Prioritizing Passions.

Posted on December 6, 2011 by

In a discussion at Dalrock’s the other day about career women (that predictably skittered off a bit into some back and forth on schooling), Kai asked this thoughtful question (I’ve consolidated the statement some):

I’m just wondering because I see a lot of overlap of thoughts – those who believe homeschooling is by far the right way,seem to believe that all children would be better if educated by their parents instead of the public system, and also seem to overlap with the idea that all women want nothing more than to be mothers.

Or basically, I would ask, would you encourage more women to simply not pursue motherhood, since you’re demanding a lot more out of  motherhood than many women put into it, and (I think) more than a decent percentage of otherwise-potential-mothers would have the ability to put into it.

The observation seemed significant, as the “breeder at all costs” meme is often how traditionalists are perceived, grouped with the camp of what are considered cult-trads, though they are hardly the norm and not how the typical traditionalist family operates.  I was struck by the realization that  children-as-accessories can be found in what would seem to be oppositional lifestyles – the fundie/trad and the career-tracked lifestyles.  What they have in common is a fundamental misunderstanding of what it means to parent – it is more than merely reproducing people and endowing them with the same last name you bear.

So, I’ll borrow Kai’s question, rephrase and ask again:  should all women have children?  How do we as traditionalist Christians encourage women toward meaningful motherhood (or not) rather than simply breeding for quantity, or social status, or even personal fulfillment?  And my own questions:  Other than adhering to our own husbands wishes for us to do so, how is it possible to claim that responsibly rearing children is our priority, if the bulk of our time is spent outside the home, pursuing other passions?  Regardless of other gifts or desires, does practicality if nothing else not demand that children become a mother’s default priority?

Posted in: Homemaking