Motherhood means more than being a “breeder”

Motherhood means more than being a “breeder”

Melissa Anderson

I am an active duty military officer.  Right now my husband and children are on the west coast and I am on the east.  My heart stayed with my children.  Every morning I wake up wondering how I’ll make it another moment without six dirty little faces, sticky hugs and a daily scolding for one thing or another.  I’m not on active duty because I want a career or because I’m not satisfied with my work in my home.  I am here solely because it feels right for reasons I myself don’t understand at the moment.

In this environment I found myself in a conversation with another female soldier.  She asked what my job is in the civilian world.  I told her I’m a mother.  I bragged about my crazy children.  I bragged about the wedding of my oldest.  I bragged that my ten year old just made student of the month at her school, that another is working hard at her reading tutoring, that my six year old is finally making friends at her new school and that yet another child finally stopped biting random people and tackling his older brother.  What can I say? I’m a proud mother.

That’s when my friend stopped me and told me that I love my motherhood too much, that I’m more than “a breeder” and that I put the feminist revolution back decades.  She ended by telling me that I’m more than a mother.

What’s more than a mother?

I am a lawyer, an author, a public speaker, an officer in the armed forces, but I am a mother first and foremost.  I am a mother.  In my life nothing will ever define me like my motherhood defines me and there is absolutely nothing derogatory about that. Nothing in my life will have the impact on the world that being a mother will have on generations of people.  No work of writing, no court case, no public speech, no war time mission, will make the footprint on the history of mankind that rocking, nurturing, loving, holding and teaching a child will make.  Absolutely nothing compares.

As a society, we are confused.  Motherhood is detested.  Motherhood is seen as an independent woman being stripped of her individuality and forced to breed, barefoot and pregnant trapped in a kitchen.  How wrong is that image!  Motherhood happens when an independent woman lovingly serves her fellow beings by raising the generations of people who will raise the banner of goodness and liberty in our nation. Motherhood happens when a woman selflessly serves her children teaching and painstakingly molding our future.  A good mother educates, softens, heals, motivates and inspires her children.  A good mother is worth more than senators, armies and kings.

I offer you a challenge. Make every baby your baby.  If all mothers fought for their babies, for every baby like their own baby, what a different world we would live in!  If we fought for the child down the street, for the preborn, for the child in the supermarket, like we fight for our own children, we would be in a better place.  Love every baby like your own.  If we each love every baby as our own baby, maybe that child who needs a smile and a hug will get one.

Maybe you’ll walk through the store and the child you smile at will be my baby. Goodness knows that with their mama gone my children definitely need a kind smile from some mother somewhere in the world.  Who knows, maybe that smile will be all my baby needs to remind her that her own mama loves her more than combat boots and law degrees and her mama thinks she’s still the most beautiful baby in the world and wants nothing more than a cuddle, a kiss and a song.

Hug my babies for me. All of them.

Melissa Anderson is a lawyer in San Antonio, Texas. She is the mother of seven crazily adorable children and an author of children’s books. In her spare time, Melissa volunteers extensively with Court Appointed Special Advocates educating the community on issues related to child abuse and neglect.

*”The opinion expressed by the author may or may not reflected the position(s) of the Department of Defense.

  • lizsturm
    Posted at 08:58h, 23 February

    Thank you. This was beautifully put. You are right — motherhood is denigrated in this world. How many times have we heard the phrase “Just a mom”? It takes real courage to speak against this. And to be a mom.

  • Meagan
    Posted at 15:05h, 23 February

    No matter what you do or how diverse your accomplishments, it will never be good enough for the feminists until you follow their prescription for happiness–this is an eye-opening insight into what the feminists really are focusing on.

  • Patrick O'Regan
    Posted at 10:24h, 07 March

    Thank You…. A Mother’s Love is the most powerful Love tat exists.

  • Tony Listi
    Posted at 13:16h, 09 March

    “Motherhood happens when an independent woman….”
    Forgive me, but this goes way too far. Motherhood is not (or should not be) something a woman does “independently.”
    Where is the acknowledgment that “motherhood happens when” the husband gives it to her as a gift of love? (as his fatherhood is a gift from her and as the Church’s motherhood is a gift from Christ)

    Mrs. Anderson emphasizes the value of “independence” when love/marriage requires interdependence and sees it to be a good thing.
    The feminism lingers when it should be entirely banished. There is nothing wrong with saying a woman is dependent on her loving husband.

    The husband gets one brief and mundane mention at the beginning. Where is the mention of how his fatherhood enables her motherhood to do all those great things? (as her motherhood enables his fatherhood in certain respects)

    It is not good to sing the praises of motherhood and yet claim independence for it and rip it out of the context of marriage, of love between husband and wife, mother and father. That is a disservice to motherhood.
    I do not think this was Mrs. Anderson’s intention, but I think all this needed to be pointed out.

  • Stephanie
    Posted at 17:45h, 16 January

    The problem with this posting is that it does nothing to incentivize a culture that is disinterested in motherhood. Anderson “gets to” (not her words, but from a type of feminist perspective) have the kids but then be away from them doing her career for what sounds like years on end. Birthing kids and then leaving them across the country to be primarily raised by their father alone does not sound responsible (though it sounds like a dream-come-true for a certain type of feminist), and is not very appealing to young women who would like to see some female role models who achieve a healthy balance of parenting, career, ministry/volunteering, and following one’s dreams/enjoying one’s hobbies. I personally only know one woman who is successfully doing it all. With those odds, it is hard to see how usually-time-intensive motherhood does not diminish the good work one could otherwise contribute to the world. Anderson seems to be negligent on her mothering while extolling the goods of motherhood. How is she really “teaching and painstakingly molding. . . . educates, softens, heals, motivates and inspires her children” as well as having the time to be a mother to every other baby she sees around her, when she’s not even there for her kids in the daily grind of day-to-day life?

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