Friday, August 18, 2006

Practice Being a Mother

This past week I have had a lot of practice being a mother. On Saturday Dad, Mom, Lydia, and Elijah left to take Lydia to college, and to visit JAARS. The same day, Jubilee and I got to go spend some time at the Harts house. On Sunday afternoon, we were brought back home, where Maria, Ron, James, and Sara were awaiting us. Maria and Ron left Monday morning, and Jubi and I were left to take care of the children, since Mom, Dad, and Elijah didn't get back until late Monday night.

Maria and Ron got a much-needed vacation together to the beach, and we had an enjoyable time with the children here. I certainly got a lot of mothering practice in! =) Sara (2 1/2 years old) stayed in my room, so naturally she got a little attached to me, as I put her to bed at night, and she woke me up in the morning. I dressed her, changed her, fed her, and all around took care of her. I also spent quite a bit of time with James (5 years old), the little guy with a lot of questions and things to say.

In addition to child care, I did the rest of the usual things this week, baking bread, making the meals, cleaning, baking, band, and so on. I must say, I'm quite worn out! I can understand why Maria gets tired - and I still didn't take care of the children all the time, the others did their fair share as well.

Not everything was fun and enjoyable. There were moments when things seemed out of control, and moments when things were a little irritating, but I learned a lot. There were a lot of precious times as well...

The house is quiet now, which is a relief, but it does feel rather empty with the two little bundles of joy gone. I'll miss sweet little Sara, with her serious little expressions, that would turn into delighted giggles when I tickled her. I'll miss saying "I love you" to her, to which she would sometimes respond "I wove ewe!" in her sweet, soft tones. Even though it was sometimes quite disappointing to hear her already awake, her little voice saying "Anna!" in the morning when she woke up and was trying to get me out of bed was quite cute! I'll miss James as well, the bundle of information, although there were times when I wished he'd stop talking for just one minute! :-) He and I could carry on quite intelligent conversations, especially since he contained a wealth of facts about various animals and fish.

No, motherhood isn't just rocking sweet babies to sleep and making perfect meals, there are tiring times when you think you can hardly stand to hear one more word or see one more mess, but it's worth it. Someday I hope that I shall be a good mother of many children, but for now, I just practice whenever I can.

18 comments:

MG said...

why are you running a household at age 16? getting up, baking, makingmeals? why aren't you in school? and also, where are your parents? you should be focused on your education and a career rather than having babies. that's a dangerous path for you to be going down.

Elizabeth Ellen Moore said...

It is sounds like you had a sweet and fulfilling time with the young ones! Thanks for stopping by Study.Quiet. I look forward to checking back here often.

thepatriot15 said...

Motherhood is truly an art that only women can master. For those who can't understand it or don't appreciate the amount of work and care it requires obviously have not spent much time around kids. :)

MG;

School has only just started for many Americans after summer vacation, so maybe Anna is only just starting school. Many 16 year olds such as my sister and myself have the ability to run a household, and we do so on a daily basis (both my parents work). Not only are we homeschooled (as Anna is) but we learn a wealth of information on childcare that we would not receive in public school. This is a knowledge we will use most in our future roles; as mothers, and we are in no way forced into it. I LOVE my siblings, just as Anna loves her little relatives.

As for Anna, I know that she is well ahead of the average public schooler in her education and plans to graduate early. I believe this earns her the right to pursue other fields of education... not that that's any of your business.

As for "focusing on a career" instead of of having babies... what do you think we plan to be when we grow up? Both Anna and I plan on being full time mothers and do not require a college degree in math, etc. to accomplish that dream.

Taking care of children and learning how to be a loving, caring mother is dangerous? Please, tell me how on earth such an action could be "dangerous".

MG said...

Patriot -
Huh? you plan on being "full-time mothers?" So you just assume that some guy is going to come along and take care of you? How does that work exactly? You just get married and make babies and that's your entire goal in life?

WHy on earth, at age 16, are girls being asked to "run a household?" Where is your mother? and how is it you are actually being homeschooled when your parents aren't even around? They leave you to run the house, while they go to work, and all you have the ambition for is to get married and have babies of your own? Probably because you are not even exposed to all of the possible career opportunities that exist in the world for you. Probably because that is what you have been taught. That girls are just to make babies. That, of course, is ridiculous.

In this world, many households require dual-income in order to pay bills and raise a family. Clearly, your family needs a dual income if your mother is working. and if your mother is working, who is raising and "homeschooling" the children?

It sounds as though you both have been deprived from opportunities that a real educaiton would offer you. that's sad.

Samantha C. Brooks said...

It's great you have the chance to watch your little neice and nephew! It can be tiring; I've babysat my nephew for only 15 minutes and still can't keep up with his energetic self! hehe

Miriam Rebekah said...

I recently got to watch my niece, Riley, and had lots of fun. She got to spend the night with us and is a joy to be with. Hope to put pictures of her on soon.

Anna Naomi said...

Elizabeth: thanks for the comment! I look forward to your visits! =)

Jennifer: Thanks for your commment as well! Yes, motherhood is such a high calling.

Samantha and Miriam: Yes, little kids are hard to keep up with, but they're so much fun!

Mg: I am not entirely running the household right now. I do many things to help my mother, and I have been trained well, so that if I needed to run the house for a few days while she is gone, I can and do. I do not entirely do it by myself however, we work together as a family, and mom is ultimately in charge. I do the cooking and baking because I want to, not because my parents are pushing me to do it. I enjoy it. In fact, you could simply think of it as a "hobby". Besides, why does it matter to you if I enjoy cooking and cleaning?

My parents are alive and well, and active in my life. Sometimes for a few days they need to be gone, but they have prepared me well, and often times will have people look in on us, or stay with us for a few days.

I am definitely continuing my education, and am going to be in the 11th grade this year. (No Jen, we decided that I probably won't graduate early, but will focus more on the artsy things, even though I could graduate if I wanted to) I am homeschooled, and because of all the things we've been doing recently, haven't yet started school for the year. However, this Monday I plan to start.

Yes, I plan to be a stay at home mother when I get older, whenever, the Lord willing, I get married. Being a mother is truly one of my highest goals in life. Without mothers, what shape would this world be in? I'm sure I'll be doing many other things however, teaching ballet, furthering my dance training perhaps, and whatever else the Lord has in store for me. But, once I am married, being a wife will be my highest priority, next to serving God.

We are not just taught that we have to stay home, get married, and have babies. If I want to go to college and pursue a career, my parents will send me, as they have many siblings before me. If, however, I choose to do something else, they will support me in that as well.

We have not been "deprived" of anything. We have been blessed. Both of us are taking dance and music lessons, and this year my parents are wanting me to take even more lessons to give me many opportunities to learn new things. Our parents have truly blessed us with giving us the opportunity to stay home and learn what is best for us.

Many homes do seem to need dual incomes. However, there are many ways of supplementing the income from the home. Plus, there are ways of living without the "biggest and best" in order to save money. In fact, when calculating in all the extra expenses of childcare and fast meals, sometimes it is actually cheaper to have a mother at home!

I know that the concept of this may be foreign to you. We are not the "normal" teens of today. However, we are happy and blessed, and I praise God that I can stay home and learn all these things while I am still young!

thepatriot15 said...

Yeah well, Anna, you are ten times more readied to graduate High School than the average senior public schooler. But hey; artsy things are fun!

mg said...

ok - well if that's what you want to be, fine. but for the patriot who writes all about the military and about such serious topics, it sure strikes me as strange that in the end, all she wants to do is stay home and have babies and bake bread. Why does she study and write about the military and current events if its not something that she aspires to take part in.

to sit idly by and pass judgment upon the leaders of this country and the men who serve, while never leaving your family home or experiencing any realities of this country and the world strikes me as very naive and childish.

and my questions were posed specifically to Patriot - who talked about her family working, and her sister staying home to run the household.

Ella said...

Anna, I have been out of touch for a while, and I see I have missed a lot:) I agree with your standpoint 100 percent. Being a wife and a mother is exactly what I want to do with my life. Sure, I would love to pursue writing in some way, but raising my family is top prioriety. I wish I had more practice, but as I have no little siblinga, I don't. I do enjoy being in the kitchen, and I clean a great deal, so that helps.

As to mg, I am going to try to say this with Christian love. In today's society, all that is promoted is getting a career. Yet, if you stop and look, women are unhappy. (why else do we see tabloids and actresses want babies?) God ordained women to be a helpmeet to her husband, and to raise children for the future. So how can we dispute that?

And there is nothing wrong with writing about current events. We need to know what is going on in our world. It ultimately effects our daily lives. Our freedoms and everything can become at stake. What the Patriot talks about is absolutely fine. If there is something that you feel passionately about, go for it. My mom encourages my brother and I (we are homeschooled by the way) to dig dip if there is something we love. That's what the patriot does.

I am sorry for you, mg, that you do not agree with our standpoint. I only hope that your mind can be changed. I think it will one day.

Sorry, Anna, again, for my outspokenness.

Miriam Rebekah said...

Ella, you were not too outspoken at all. Thank you for speaking up.

Ella's mom said...

Anna,
Your blog is a refreshing breeze on a hot summer day. Thank you for being a voice out there that encourages women to pursue paths of purity and holiness.
MG, I want you to know that as a product of the 1970's, I was raised with the belief that a woman must have a career, that being a full-time wife and mother was a "nothing" thing for her to do. So, I pursued that path, and I had a career. I held an important job and made quite a bit of money, but you know what. I wasn't happy. I was never fulfilled, and I was never content. There was something missing inside, and it was only as I came home and embraced my home and family that I found the happiness I had been lacking. I can honestly tell you that being a mother is THE most fulfilling role a woman can have...and it is the most important job as well. Look around at our society. Since women abandoned the home 30 or 40 years ago, our society has gone downhill. The Lord called women to be keepers of their homes. To be a keeper is to be a guard. A guard protects and keeps the bad out. As we women have abandoned our posts to pursue careers we deem "more important," bad things have gotten into our homes...like violence, pornography, loneliness, skyrocketing teen suicide rates. In addition, diseases like depression and autoimmune disorders, which were hardly heard of 40 years ago, have become rampant, and they mostly affect women. I believe with all my heart that women are stressed, depressed, exhausted, and physically sick because they are not doing what the Lord put upon their heart from the foundation of the world. From my own experience, I know that I was depressed and physically unwell when I was not embracing my home and family. As I began to love homemaking and motherhood, my health returned, and I became supremely happy.
So, bottom line, MG, I have "been there done that" with regard to a career, and I know for certain that it does not satisfy.

MG said...

From my own experience, I know that I was depressed and physically unwell when I was not embracing my home and family. As I began to love homemaking and motherhood, my health returned, and I became supremely happy.

Wow. well sorry you were depressed. But I have a mother who worked full time my entire life and she has lead a happy and fulfilled life. She is a successful businesswoman, has raised three healthy, athletic, academically talented, successful children who have all gone on to good colleges. She is highly respected both in her office and her home. IN addition, she helps with the masses at church every sunday. She is not depressed, her job and her family leave her very content. Further, she has two sisters, both of whom are employed outside their home, one owns a business with her husband and the other is a nurse in the pediatrics ward. All of these women are wonderful examples to our family. They have careers which they love, families which they love, and complete lives. Certainly, there are times when my father takes a more active role in our lives but what is wrong with that?

My point is young women at the age of 16 should not be ignoring career opportunities or educational opportunities to simply wait at home for a "prince-charming" to come along and take care of them and start making babies. Sure, this is an option, but to prepare yourself solely to be pregnant and working in the kitchen ignores so much of the world that these young girls may be interested in.

Further, families that encourage their young girls to stay home, do housework, cooking, cleaning, and refuse to allow them to interact with other students in public schools is keeping them closed off and maintaining total control even as they reach adulthood.

That, would make me depressed.

Anonymous said...

mg,
To make this an honest and fair dialog between all concerned (assuming that IS what you want)we need to know more about you. Are you male or female? Your age? It would help us better understand your perspective and your dogmatism. So, are you willing to play fair and tell us about yourself?
Miriam's mother

Anonymous said...

"My point is young women at the age of 16 should not be ignoring career opportunities or educational opportunities to simply wait at home for a "prince-charming" to come along and take care of them and start making babies."

Umm... as far as I can tell Anna isn't ignoring career or eduation. As she stated she is still pursuing school and will be starting up soon. And it isn't really that late to be starting considering my college doesn't begin until the last week of Sept.
She is still young and has time to change her mind, but even if she what's wrong with being a stay at home mom?? Not everyone in the world is going to go to college and have big careers.

"Further, families that encourage their young girls to stay home, do housework, cooking, cleaning, and refuse to allow them to interact with other students in public schools is keeping them closed off and maintaining total control even as they reach adulthood."

Anna's parents just seem to be supporting what Anna dreams of, not pushing her in that direction. And considering she is in dance and band they are NOT refusing her to interact will other students/the pubic.

thepatriot15 said...

MG:

In response to your comments about me. About assuming that a guy will come along and take care of me, yes, any man I marry must be fully capable of taking care of me. That's what husbands do, even as their wives take care of their husbands. Your value of life is obviously quite low that you would consider raising children as a worthless thing to do. To be sure, it is one of the most honorable and powerful challenges in the world; "those who rock the cradle rule the world", and I would be most privileged to rock the cradle of many children. This is not an idea pounded into my head by my parents; it is my wish as a free American to be a mother, and quite frankly, if I choose to be a mother, it should be of no concern to you.

My life goal? My entire goal in life is to glorify God, and if His plan for me does not include marriage and motherhood, than I will move on to something else. But, yes, this is my ultimate dream, and I am not ashamed of it.

I was never asked to run a household. It is expected of all children to help with chores, watch siblings here and there, and be involved in family. I have simply chosen to be more involved than most American kids, and enjoy teaching and raising my siblings. I am sorry if this is not a privilege you were offered.

My mother works two days a week, and during these times my sister and I manage the home. My sister is graduated from High School and does a majority of the managing, but I know that should the need arise, I will be able to take over, and I am more confident and thankful for this knowledge.

As I said, my sister has graduated, and this gives me more time for school. I plan on rising especially early during the school year and get a lot done in the morning, but the great thing about homeschooling is we can work around our schedules, and though sometimes it is a challenge to read enough history (500 books in High School :) in a day, it is a healthy challenge for me and in no way stunts my educational growth. It's one thing that sets me and other homeschoolers apart from public schoolers; we learn to be diligent, because if we don't have the strength to manage our time wisely, we will never progress in areas of life, such as school.

What my family does and what my dreams are is none of your business, but I and several young ladies here have opened their lives to your discretion. Why should we do this if we are oppressed? There is very little chance that someone who hates their life is so crazy as to profess a love for it. From reading Anna's well written thoughts and the other ladies thoughts, I can tell you that none of them are crazy.

Yes I am sheltered, but no I am not isolated. Daily I am bombarded by newspapers, magazines, movies, news, websites, and people who live in a nation pounding feminism, liberalism, and atheism down my throat. How can I escape the working mother mentalities, the pro-abortion thinking, and the anti-motherhood ideas? I can't, and thus I have been exposed to more options than I would ever wish to hear. Do not accuse me of being so sheltered that I do not hear of other options when people such as you daily attempt to make me conform to them.

Many homes can do without a second income. Most people in America live very well and they make themselves believe they are poor and work more than is necessary. We lived just fine on my father's income before we started this business, and if our business was doing better he would quit his job. We put a lot of work into our business, though, and do not plan on selling. In the meantime, my sister helps at our business, we all help at home, and we remain a healthy family.

I find nothing sad in being saved the struggles of living every day trying to be someone I'm not. I am not sad that I am spared the boring lectures on sex education and evolution, taught by liberal teachers I don't know. I am not sad that I can relate with my family and be involved with them. There is nothing sad about homeschooling; except, that is, when one is not allowed to.

As for not pursuing the military while I write about it; why should you care? Why do we study biology, physics, chemistry, math, religion, etc. in High School when we do not plan to major in them? One does not have to commit to devoting her whole life to a certain subject simply because she enjoys it. I will not become an actress, singer, violinist, skater, gymnast, or book writer simply because I enjoy such things. Besides, what are our men overseas to do if they didn't have women at home to support them and back them up? That's what mothers, wives, sisters and daughters have always done in the past, and simply because I plan on being a mother one day should in no way hinder the amount of time I spend supporting and learning more about our military. If everyone thought that way, the world would be a very narrow-minded place, don’t you agree?

Erin said...

I love taking care of little ones, they are so much fun!

Anna Naomi said...

Thanks, everyone, for commenting. Some good things were discussed. However, I think that we've gone far enough... Not much is getting done, and this is just turning into a big debate. So, I'm going to go ahead and lock this post. Thanks again for all the comments.