Tuesday, May 6, 2014

In Praise of Young Wives and Mothers

As I settle in to my “crone” years… you know, those years after motherhood, when your children have grown and have their own lives, their own schedules, their own children and families… I find myself sometimes studying young wives and mothers… newlyweds… mothers-to-be… new mothers… young mothers with infants and toddlers… mothers with school children… mothers with teens.

I find myself swelling with pride and in awe of many of these young women. It would do us all good to pay attention to these remarkable women. They can teach us so much.

So many, at least in my circle of friends and family, have chosen to truly “parent”… to return to traditional “wife and mom” roles, for the benefit of their families. They are loving their husbands and children, enjoying them.

They are growing gardens instead of buying processed foods… cooking fresh, healthy, from scratch meals; they’ve done their research and have realized fresh is better than convenient; home-cooked is better than fast food. They’re utilizing herbal remedies, essential oils, natural cures, alternative methods, rather than running to the doctor for every sniffle and scrape. They’ve done their homework and understand the overuse of antibiotics and popping a pill for every little thing. They are taking their family’s health and well being into their own hands whenever and wherever possible.

They are learning almost forgotten skills… sewing, knitting, crocheting, canning and preserving, soap making, spinning, weaving, herbalism, raising livestock, farming, gardening, etc… and embracing their newfound knowledge along with the independence and satisfaction that comes with new skills.

They are choosing breastfeeding over bottles, cloth diapering over disposable… they are allowing their children to play, to experience fresh air, sunshine, trees, mud, and bare feet, rather than hovering like helicopters, sanitizer in hand. They are giving their children the freedom to be creative, to pretend, to imagine, to dream, rather than scheduling every minute of their day.

They are reading and researching and studying… and making informed decisions on whether or not to vaccinate, medicate, fluoridate… instead of simply following the dictates of society, government entities, the status quo.

They are altering their own schedules to fit the needs of their families… sacrificing that extra income to give their children what they need more than anything… time! They are choosing to stay at home, or working part time, or rearranging their work to allow them time to better care for their home and family, or establishing creative, wonderful, home-based businesses that give them more flexibility. They are realizing that being a parent can be more fulfilling, and exciting, and rewarding than any other career.

They are choosing not to institutionalize their little ones with babysitters, daycare, preschool… but are choosing instead to keep them at home where they can be taught, nurtured, loved, and cared for by their own mother.

They are doing more research into educating their children… and when they decide that public, cookie-cutter education is not for them, they are investigating alternatives… home schooling, charter schools, private schools, even “un-schooling.” They are taking their children’s education seriously, and they are taking the decision for that education back where it belongs… with parents!

They are giving up bigger homes, fancier cars, designer clothing, exotic vacations, bigger and better and more things… but what their sacrifices are giving them in return cannot be bought… they are raising human beings who will be strong, free, creative, thoughtful, innovative, amazing, thinking men and women… and you can’t put a price on that.

So, my younger sisters, carry on! I know some days you are exhausted, some days it seems like all you do is wipe dirty noses and butts, and all you want to do is go to the bathroom by yourself. Some days you wonder how the power bill is going to be paid, if your car will make it to the store, and how you’re going to stretch one pound of ground beef to feed everyone. But you are strong, confident, beautiful, and AMAZING!!!!! You are my heroes! This old crone is proud to know you!