Coloratura Christian

I sought the LORD, and he answered me and delivered me from all my fears. Those who look to him are radiant, and their faces shall never be ashamed. (Psalm 34:4-5)

Wednesday, February 01, 2006

The Irony of the Stage Mom

At the dance studio where I teach, I teased one of the mothers that she deserved the "parent of the year" award. I teach her daughter tap, and she is always at the studio helping not only her daughter, but also at least five other girls get ready for tap class. We got into a conversation about parenting and she exclaimed,

"You're not thinking about having kids, are you?"

I replied that I did want to have children a some point. To this she replied,
"You better think carefully about having kids. Your life will never be the same."

Another mom piped in,
"The best years of my life were when I was married before I had kids."

This topic was apparently popular with all the women in the waiting room, because after this I heard a series of complaints.
"All the money goes to the kids. You can't get anything for yourself."
"Make sure you do everything you want to do before you have kids. Go to shows, travel... because you never get to do anything after."

Something in me strongly resists the idea that life ends after you have kids. That the best is over, and the worst is yet to come. So in an attempt to turn the conversation around, I said lightheartedly,
"But you would not want to go back in time, would you? Don't you prefer your life now?"

"If I could go back in time," replied the 'mother of the year', "I would not have had my kids."

"Are you joking?"

"No, if I knew what I know now, I would not have had kids."
Needless to say, I was horrified, and speechless. All the other kids were standing around hearing this. This woman must have known much sorrow, but how could a mother say that? No woman in the room contradicted her, if fact, they all seemed to affirm her in her selfishness.

Maybe I am just naive, but I get excited when thinking about the privilege that women have to influence the next generation. I love reading about women like Sarah Edwards who found joy in raising the next generation to serve and glorify God. She worked hard in her life, but seemed to have great joy, and many of her children and later descendants are reported to have served society in great ways. (All our books are packed up since the bedbug incident, so I can't give an exact reference.)

I must admit that there seems to be few examples of Proverbs 31 type moms today, but ones I know are characterized by love and joy, and there is something truly beautiful about their lives.

7 Comments:

  • At February 02, 2006, Anonymous Mel(ody Grewal) said…

    Wow, those comments were sad. But they don't surprise me, without a Godward view, one WOULD see life with children as depressing. I agree with all these moms that you have less money, can't travel etc. But who cares?! Children are not only a duty from God for mothers, but a blessing! I'd take my son over more money or more vacation trips any day!

    I'm so sad that their daughters had to hear them say those untrue things.

     
  • At February 02, 2006, Blogger Christel said…

    Hi Mel,

    It's nice to hear how motherhood has been a blessing to you! (Izzy's such a cute little guy!) I think you are right when you say that motherhood could be depressing if you do not have a 'Godward view'. I have heard of it so often.

     
  • At February 02, 2006, Anonymous elisha said…

    You know Christel, your description of this interaction brings various thoughts children I hope the Lord will bless me with in the future. But in the present, it just made me realize how as teachers, our job is perhaps a little deeper than I often acknowledge. Yes, primarily our job is to teach them how to move with good posture, how to do shuffles or tendus, how to become strong and flexible... But what an opportunity we have also to just love these kids... to appreciate who they are as individuals, to encourage them as they go through the difficult years of childhood and adolescence, quite often with parents who tell them they are an inconvenience.
    And Christel, incidentally, I know that you are a teacher who does this because I've personally heard from many of your students about how much they adore you.

     
  • At February 03, 2006, Blogger Ian said…

    I'll tell you one thing, if my mom had been there she would've ripped into each one of them.
    My mother is one of the most self-sacrifical and loving people that I know, and she would do anything for my sister and I. She is surely a mother-hen! You step near her chicks, and you'll get a claw in your face. :)
    Jane and I have surely brought my mom some upset over the years, but never in a million years would she regret having us.
    It is utterly appalling that these women could think such horrific things of their children. I cannot wait to have kids (DV), and I will appreciate them, warts and all.
    Can you imagine what their children will turn out like if that is the love displayed to them in their homes?? Very sad indeed.

     
  • At February 03, 2006, Blogger Christel said…

    Ian,
    It makes me sad for those kids too.
    It seems like kids whose mothers are like this, tend to be a little socially odd, and my heart goes out to them.

    Elisha,
    Thanks for the encouragement. I am growing quite fond of my students, so it's nice to hear a good report. :)

     
  • At February 05, 2006, Blogger Marlene S. said…

    This is so typical of our world today. Children are often viewed like a possession, as opposed to a blessing. When that possession does'nt fulfill our self-absorbed desires, how do we respond? I think you got a first-hand dose of that Christel. For a funny addendum to this post, check out my latest one. I wrote it before I read this one... which makes me believe all the more firmly that children are a blessing: a very contrary view in today's society.

     
  • At February 11, 2006, Blogger Christel said…

    Hi Marlene,

    Thanks for sharing your story...so funny...well probably not for you! :)

     

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