Saturday, January 27, 2007

Motherhood & the Early Years

In Japan, the kanji (those wonderful little pictures), that create the Western word "Motherhood" is comprised of two pictures:

1. Child
2. Time

Together, these images, and these two words, sum up what it means to be a parent. And sure, a Mother. (But Father's too.)

Children need our time.

Canada is a one of the more civilized nations in the world, that I know of, that embraces the concept of children requiring time. Our time. When you have a baby in Canada, you are afforded the choice of EITHER parent taking up to a FULL year of maternal/paternal paid leave (from work) in order to to bond, nurture and grow a child...that includes adopted children. I appreciate that this nation I currently call home, and the Government that runs it, understands and affords its citizens this kind of quality time. There are provisio's, caveats and rules in order that our citizens do not abuse this system, but for the most part it works.

If I had my druthers, this leave would be for 5 years, as studies indicate that these first few years of a child's life are formative. One would think that if these years are THIS important that we should be afforded the choice to stay home and raise them properly, instead of having to go back to work when these little people are just learning to walk, just starting to say their first words and most likely starting to define themselves in the societies in which they will be raised. We would be afforded the choice not to have someone else raise them in private or in subsidized daycares until they are old enough to go to school.

The ugly truth is, we live in dual income households...thankyou FEMINISM. I keep coming back to this because it's a dogsbreath that this movement that, while intending to do good - and did for some things - was formed by women who, for the most part chose NOT to have children OR who's kids were bigger, or had already left home, and these women found themselves unable to define themselves as entities OTHER than Mothers and got pissed off about it. I'm not entirely sure WHY a person would get pissed off about being defined as what they are, or have been, and wouldn't view their children growing up as a new opportunity for a new leg of the journey....instead of being pissed off about 'losing their identity' in being a parent, more specifically, a Mother, for the past 18 years.

Being a Mother is not a dirty word.

Motherhood is the most noble of all professions.

Being a Mother is THE most important job I have.

Being a Parent shouldn't heave the kind of sacrifices that it does in our world today.

Children need our time. They would actually prefer our time over that large-screen tv, a fancier car, an emotional spending spree at the Dollar store, over fast-food, over a million toys that cannot and do not fill the space, the very special space, that Mothers fill in a child's life.

There is nothing more disheartening than a working mother, who's trying to make ends meet, who is dogtired from the morning routine of packing her child/ren up to get to someone else to care for, then going to work (and being on time, and looking great and being functional), working all day, then picking her kids up, getting home, trying to feed them, get them ready for bed and ready for the next day....this doesn't leave a lot of room for playing, or nurturing when you consider that there are dishes to do, vacuuming, laundry, the bathroom to clean or a million other jobs. Perhaps this working mother is fortunate to have a partner in her life that doesn't have to be ASKED to pitch in...hmmm, my experience with the majority of women I've encountered is that this is, unfortunately NOT the case.
It's a bit of duel-edged sword...a woman needs to work in order to define herself and succeed as something OTHER than a Mother, but then, her role as a Mother suffers.

I have yet to meet a child who says, "My mum works as a _______ [fill in the gap] and is the best mum ever." More likely, I hear, "I wish my mum played with me more" or "I wish my mum wasn't so tired after work" or "I wish my mum stayed home."

Children need us. Children need our time. We are breeding and, through non-nurture, creating an entire generation, and subsequent generations of young people that have no idea about parenting (we learn these skills through experience), about not rushing, about amusing themselves (the tv and games are such wonderful babysitters...which helps Mama make dinner, right?), about exploring their creative Selves, about helping out at home (ok...HOW many families still eat at the table together every night?), about helping their siblings with their homework, about being part of a home environment that is a HOME, not just a place to sleep, eat quickly and go to sleep...we are raising an entire generation of Beings that are left alone.

So ask yourself why we have a nation of non-empathic Beings?

Ask yourself why we have an entire nation of individuals that are tuned out, with personal music systems, cellphones and portable amusement? There is no need in this kind of societal environment to connect with anyone.

A child without time, is a child without love. Would you want that child having your grandchildren? Or becoming the new policy makers of our country? Or your doctor? Or the person that's going to choose how to take care of you when you are no longer able to care for yourself?

We need to be with our children.
They are the future.
They learn how to love from us.

Let's make sure we are setting a good example.