22 Feb Motherhood means more than being a “breeder”
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.