Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Purpose in Parenting

I saw three things today that reminded me of the purpose of a parent.

1.  I loved this video that's been floating around for the last few days that emphasizes a father's role in his family.  It reminded me of the movie, Courageous.  What I want to see now is a similar video on motherhood to get me all weepy and happy.


3.  My friend wrote a Facebook status about chopping walnuts.  I'd love to just copy it in here, but I don't have her permission, so I'll just summarize.  As she chopped, she stressed over all she had to do and what she might be doing wrong.  Finally, she took a breath and decided just to focus on what she was doing.  She noticed one walnut always jumping out of the way of her knife and "just going with the flow."  As she slowed down, she remembered she actually enjoyed cooking!  She noticed other little things around the house and then wondered how often she misses out on special times because she's worrying about other things.  She wondered about missing connections with her kids and other "blissful moments."  She realized she needs to be more like that walnut and "go with the flow" and try not "to fix and force things," but to "be still" and "be quiet" so she can "find the joy and contentment [she] seek[s] in places [she'd] never expect."  Loved it.

1 comment:

Tiffany Wacaser said...

I've read this a few times and found it really interesting. I'm bugged about the comments about college though. I agree with the authors that it has contributed to women having less children. While I don't think the authors are trying to devalue education, I think their arguments could easily be used to discourage women, especially LDS women from going to school and getting degrees. While that runs counter to President Hinckley's counsel about education, especially for women, there are unfortunately too many members who do devalue education for women and often expect the sacrifice of education to be placed on the woman's shoulders. I also think the authors aren't looking at the ways in which education helps women, especially as mothers.

The Swedish government is using both financial incentives as well as government run daycare systems with generous maternity/paternity leave systems. Sweden still has a low birthrate. So I agree that none of those incentives really does pay off in the long-run.

For me, I think the shift has to come in what we value. As a society, indeed the broader western culture values what we DO in our professions, which must be paid, and if they are not paid, must be for charity. Motherhood doesn't count. Swedish society doesn't value motherhood beyond the first year. After that, they feel that children are best raised by the state. American society doesn't value motherhood, as much lip service is paid to the calling.

So I guess what I mean is that the fundamental shift that takes place is that we put our efforts, our meaning, and our value in society in how we create our families--that we make something bigger than ourselves--that we recognize the value of parenting and the over-arching importance parenting has on the health of our society.

As a last note, I find the comments about the escalating costs of colleges absolutely fascinating. Freakonomics has some really interesting things to say about that. I agree, our university system is in desperate need of reform.