Motherhood and freedom
I was reading Facebook the other day and one young woman, newly married was commenting on how much she would love a baby. Someone responded by saying " I'd give up mum hood any day to go back to the 'easy life' - don't wish away your freedom too soon". I assume part of this comment was "tongue in cheek" but sadly this is more true that we would like to admit. How often have you heard young women say that their careers are going to come first before having a baby and plan to wait for that "next big promotion", or the need to buy the house first, then comes the car and furniture and before long the young woman isn't quite so young any more.
According to recent research "New figures from the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare (AIHW) confirm the steady rise in the average age of women giving birth, and mums aged over 35 accounted for almost a quarter of all babies born in 2008. Women aged 40 and over made up almost four per cent of those who gave birth over the year." The article goes onto to explain why this is occurring "There are a number of factors that contribute to delayed childbearing, including social, educational and economic factors and increased access to assisted reproductive technology."
But underlying much of this is the fear of losing ones identity and freedom. Women these days (thanks to the feminist movement) believe that having a baby will take away their freedom - and this boils down to "doing what I want". I don't believe that women loose their freedom or their identity when they becomes mothers. Things most certainly change - less sleep and more demands are placed upon mums. But in return you have the most precious gift from God, unconditional love and someone who will turn around and say "I love you". Women in high powered jobs also loose sleep, work long hours and have many demands placed upon them - and what do they get in return - perhaps more money, certainly more stress - but nothing as precious as a baby!
Personally, my priorities changed when I became a mother - there is no doubt that having a baby is life-altering (it isn't a cliche) and it is hard work and you do make sacrifices - but it is also the most rewarding job on the planet (even though at times it doesn't feel this way). When I wanted "me" time I did things a little differently (I had to wait on occasions before I could have this time to myself) however I wanted less "me" time and more "baby and me" time I must admit. It didn't become a prison at all - and how sad that some women see it as that.
Being a mother is a very important role that the Lord chooses to give to many women and each baby is truly a "gift from God". God didn't give us children so they would become a chore or unpleasant task - He gave us this beautiful baby to love, nurture, teach and encourage - it is a life long journey and He is always with us on this journey. Mine has certainly been bumpy - I have climb Mount Everest more than once, but the rewards have been worth it!
These photos are of baby Sarah and her mum who I visited in early December.