Christians Over Hyping Parenting – When All Identity is Wrapped Up In Being a Parent – Empty Nest Article

Christians Over Hyping Parenting – When All Identity is Wrapped Up In Being a Parent – Empty Nest Article

Not only is Christian culture guilty of hyping motherhood, but secular culture is as well.

The majority of girls in America are conditioned to be mothers when they are older. It is expected all women want to be mothers or will be mothers some day.

Christians in particular – especially the kook groups, such as patriarchy and quivering – teach that a woman’s only or best role is to be a wife and mother.

It’s one facet of codependency to base your entire identity in your relation to one or more other people (such as husband and children).

One issue is that some Christian women are so wrapped up in being a mother they never stop to think, “What if my child dies tomorrow,” or, “What will I do when my kid gets out of college and gets her own apartment.”

One of my aunts only had one child. He died in his early 20s, he was hit by a guy who fell asleep at the wheel. She had divorced the boy’s father years before.

This Aunt of mine was forced to live out her life alone after her son died. She could no longer define herself by the role “wife” or “mother” in the same way other women do who are still married or who have living children. She had to figure out who she was apart from the roles of “wife” and “mother”.

There is no guarantee your kid won’t get hit by a car, hit by cancer, or kidnapped and murdered. At the very least, your child will probably one day grow up and move out of your home.

I really don’t think churches and Christians in general think through their worship of motherhood often enough.

Not only do they raise Christian females with the expectation that if only they pray hard enough God will send them a husband, but they so enforce the “you will be a mommy” shtick so much, women are never taught how to cope with the possible reality they may remain single into their 40s and older, or, they may be infertile, or their kid may die young if they have a kid.

Here is an article about Empty Nest Syndrome.

It’s very dangerous for culture and churches to keep teaching women to define themselves by their relation to other people.

It is wrong and unhealthy for preachers and other Christians to teach women that their only or even primary meaning comes from being a wife and a mother. Husbands divorce or die, or you never get one at all and you stay single your whole life through. Kids die, become estranged from their parents and never phone them, or they move out and only visit on the occasional holiday.

By the way, when Christians keep hyping motherhood as much as they do, that is a form of Virgin Shaming or Singles Shaming. Churches need to venerate and respect adult virginity and singleness and being childless every bit as much as they do motherhood. That they do not, that they continually applaud motherhood but never cheer on singleness, is a form of singles of celibate shaming.

(Link): Dealing with a looming empty nest

Excerpt

    By Tracy Grant,
    Published: April 16

    My kids are going to graduate from high school in a matter of weeks and in a matter of months, they will head off to college.

    None of this comes as a surprise. I’ve known it intellectually pretty much since the day they were born. Knowing, as veteran-mom friends have warned, that “you’re really going to feel it when they are gone.” I’ve even written about my dawning realization of this next step of parenthood.

    But there’s a difference between knowing something in your head and knowing something in your soul. And this month, with actions that are positively quotidian, the knowledge is seeping into my soul.

    First came the realization that I would make the last Catholic school tuition payment. The only rational reason for feeling sentimental about this is that soon I’ll be pining for the (relatively) small payments associated with those years of education.

    By the end of the month, I’ll be writing other checks: the ones that will secure their spot in the Class of 2018 for the schools of their choice. (Of course, before those checks will be written, my children need to reach some decisions, hence the at least three more “Accepted Student Day” trips planned for this month.)

    But I’m pretty sure the banal moment that sent me over the edge was the note that came from St. John’s College High School outlining all the events coming up to graduation: receipt of caps and gowns, prom, senior picnic, graduation practice at the Basilica, teachers’ reception for seniors and, of course, the big one, graduation itself.

    I can almost feel the breakneck speed with which these weeks will go by. I want to tell myself what countless women told me about my wedding day: “Remember to soak it all in; don’t be so distracted that you don’t create the memories.”

    But already it feels like these last months are careering out of control. I’m tempted to start making lists, because listmaking is how I order my universe.

    Not just the kinds of lists ticking off what they need before they leave for school. Rather, lists of the movies we want to watch on Netflix before they go.

    (Recently we’ve been watching “The West Wing” — something every parent should do with their teenagers; talk about conversation bait. But when we recently logged the finale for Season 2, I realized that at one or two episodes a week, there was no way we’d reach the end of Josiah Bartlet’s presidency before the start of their college careers.)

    And so I’m coming to realize that there’s no real way to impose order on this process. So much of the next few months will be bittersweet. But I’m going to try to focus on the sweet.

    Instead of wishing the boys’ dad were alive to see them driving off to prom, I’ll focus on knowing that of course he’s looking down on them. Instead of lamenting that we have no tickets to Nationals games in September, I’m going to savor the games we do go to in the sweltering heat of July and August.

    And I suspect when they head off to college, I will realize that it’s not the end I’m fearing it will be. Yes, a change. A transition. But this truth remains: I won’t stop being their mom and they won’t stop being my sons.

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Related posts:

(Link): Parenthood Does Not Make People More Loving Mature Godly Ethical Caring or Responsible (One Stop Thread)

(Link): Married People Who Find Themselves Single Again – Spouses With Dementia / Married People Who Are Lonely

(Link): Neither Fully Widow Nor Fully Wife – Married People Will Be Single Again

(Link): Lies The Church Tells Single Women (by Sue Bohlin)

(Link): Why Christians Need To Stress Spiritual Family Over the Nuclear Family – People with no flesh and blood relations including Muslims who Convert to Christianity – Also: First World, White, Rich People Problems

(Link): Biblical Womanhood Does Not Hinge Upon Marital Status or Parenthood – also: Christians who portray all women as sexual temptresses – by S. Burden

(Link): The Irrelevancy To Single or Childless or Childfree Christian Women of Biblical Gender Complementarian Roles / Biblical Womanhood Teachings

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