Saturday, January 2, 2010

Becoming a Woman of Influence: The Case for Cookie Bakers

Becoming a Woman of Influence: The Case for Cookie Bakers
From Oct. '07

The headline on a news story this week read, “Laura Bush Not 'Baking Cookies.'” The article detailed the First Lady's increasing involvement in national and international issues, and the headline referred to Hillary Clinton's now famously sneering reference to the fact that she wasn't the type to “stay home and bake cookies.” A local women's college in our area has a billboard campaign that shows the face of a woman with the words, “Become a woman of influence.” Apparently, going to college is the path to power and influence for women. For several generations now, the prevailing belief has been that those women who want to be of some consequence in life had better drop the cookie dough, leave the babies behind and head for the work force. This fallacy has done incalculable damage to the family and most specifically, to the young children of our land.

If the observation that the “hand that rocks the cradle rules the world” is correct, the world is being ruled today by an ever changing army of low paid daycare workers. The tender nurture of one's own offspring is now viewed as unsavory work that should be outsourced to strangers as soon as possible. Once, women outsourced their laundry or their house cleaning. Today, we send the children out for daily care. Entire generations have grown up in day time orphanages where the vast majority of their day is spent without their mothers. It is little surprise that America's children are not doing well. In the book, Home Alone America: The Hidden Toll of Daycare, Behavioral Drugs and Other Parent Substitutes, author Mary Eberstadt details the fact that America's children and teenagers are dealing with a tidal wave of issues virtually unknown to early generations, including alarming childhood obesity rates, eating disorders, ADD and ADHD, self-harming, alcohol and drug use, sexual promiscuity as lifestyle, venereal disease and suicide. She points out that if the public debate ever shifted from what is best for mothers to what is best for children, there would be no debate over whether mothers of young children should pursue full-time careers outside the home. What is best for children should be obvious to everyone—the care of their own mothers.

In recent years, educators beginning with preschool teachers have observed a radical change in the seriousness of behavioral issues of the young children they deal with. Children, raised in a pack from their earliest childhood and socialized with their peers rather than loving adults in a home setting, are exhibiting shockingly anti-social behavior. Ironically, the push for greater “socialization” of babies and toddlers with their own peers has produced the reverse affect in children---anti-social behavior. The notion of a child being expelled from daycare or preschool for violent behavior would have seemed absurd at one time. It is now commonplace as little ones who have had to grow up in a “Lord of the Flies”, survival of the fittest setting from earliest babyhood have developed aggressive behavioral traits to protect their own turf. If mother is not there to look out for you, even small children understand early on that they are their own best protection, and biting, kicking and hitting are the frequent result. Deprived of the strong bonding with their mother, these weakly attached children are then labeled as behavioral problems at an early age and tagged for behavioral drugs in order for teachers to be able to handle them down the road in school.

With this reality staring Americans in the face, why do mothers persist in believing the media perpetuated lie that real women of influence aren't home baking cookies, but are out dragon slaying in the business world? Why are women now systematically trained to deny their nurturing instincts as mothers and taught to adopt masculine characteristics of aggression in order to be deemed a “success” in society? As I asked in an earlier column, why are so few couples committed to making financial plans that enable mothers to stay home to care for their babies? I believe with all my heart that God instilled in the hearts of females the desire to nurture and care for others. It is part of what makes womanhood a beautiful thing. The modern feminist movement rejects God's plan and His design in creation and subverts what womanhood is all about. America's babies are the poorer for it.

Motherhood is far more than changing diapers and baking cookies. It is the job of a master weaver. We as mothers daily weave the fabric of our children's lives. For babies and young children, mothers are the sun around which their world revolves. Every diaper change for a baby is a chance for eye contact that builds trust and love between mother and infant. It's not about diapers. It's about a child's world. To those who accept and love God's design for motherhood, it is a precious and sacred thing to look into those beautiful baby eyes. The bond of trust and love that mothers build through daily care is the bedrock foundation for that child's lifetime of emotional, physical and spiritual well-being. For mothers and fathers who are tempted by the siren song of a bigger house, a better car, and more disposable income, walk carefully. Make sure that whatever decisions you make for your family's income, that you at all costs don't interrupt the work of the weaver of your children's lives.

The handwriting on my Mother's Day card was the typical, awkward writing of a ten-year-old boy. The note was decorated with a drawing of a flower comprised of hearts. This is what my son wrote, unedited.

Your (sic) the absolute best mother in the whole world! Thank you for all your hard work, patience and love. You are the most important part of the whole universe. You make people! Have a happy Mom's Day!


The bold letter emphasis is mine. Young William knows what all the hard-bitten feminist experts and authors will never admit. Mothers are women of profound influence. They make people. With every batch of cookies, with every story time, with every bath, a human being is being formed. That, my women friends, is true power.

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