A Word To Wives And Mothers Who Settle For Being Average

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A woman who stays at home to care for her children is average. No, wait. It’s worse than that, really. She’s nothing. Her daily tasks of doing laundry, washing dishes, changing diapers and buying groceries really don’t amount to anything. Work so menial should certainly never be compared to the really important duties of doctors and lawyers.

So says feminist blogger Amy Glass in a recently published post entitled, hold on now, I Look Down On Women With Husbands And Kids And I’m Not Sorry.

Catchy, huh?

Again, this was written by a feminist blogger.

Not Howard Stern.

Not Eminem.

Remember the old days when it was just a few narrow-minded men that were doing all the looking down on women? Maybe “look down” is too mild of a summary for Ms. Glass’ opinion. Here’s how she describes her view of the traditional wife and mother.

“Having kids and getting married are considered life milestones. We have baby showers and wedding parties as if it’s a huge accomplishment and cause for celebration to be able to get knocked up or find someone to walk down the aisle with. These aren’t accomplishments, they are actually super easy tasks, literally anyone can do them, they are the most common thing ever, in the history of the world. They are, by definition, average. And here’s the thing, why on earth are we settling for average?”

This is the typical line of reasoning that results from an ideology that can’t make it further than one’s own nose while looking down on others. Of course getting married is easy. And, for many people, so is having a baby. But the difficult part, the accomplishments – if you will, comes after the vows are exchanged and the umbilical cord is cut.

It’s called marriage. It’s anything but easy. It requires sacrifice, planning and communication.

And it’s called parenthood. Again, not easy. Double the sacrifice, planning and communication.

But Ms. Glass calls this “average.”

Maybe, in one sense, she’s right on this one. After all, marriage and parenthood was part of God’s original design. It’s hard to get much more average than the original. But average, if we’re willing to put aside our agenda and find joy in the well-being of another, is infinitely more pleasurable than other so-called accomplishments. I’d love to hear how Adam feels about bucking the average for that really swell looking piece of fruit.

There’s no trophy or pay raise for putting your kids down to bed after a long day spent chasing them around and then enjoying an evening with the person you have been married to for the past decade like it was your first date. But there are also few joys that match that feeling. That’s how true joy usually works. It rarely comes with a certificate or more money.

As you might expect, Ms. Glass would disagree.

“I want to have a shower for a woman when she backpacks on her own through Asia, gets a promotion or lands a dream job not when she stays inside the box and does the house of kids thing which is the path of least resistance.”

Walking through Asia alone is easy. Anyone, just so long as they are able to walk, can do that. What’s the accomplishment there? Where’s the joy in caring for another? Where’s the sacrifice for the good of someone other than yourself? Somewhere back at the trailhead, I suppose. But who’s got time to worry about that when there’s so much great hiking to do?

Pursuing a healthy marriage and trying to raise men and women is by no means “the path of least resistance.” Taking off to find yourself somewhere in Asia is. And it’s left us with an entire generation of grown children who are still searching for that ever-elusive self. But hey, I hear Asia is lovely this time of year.

Maybe the traditional marriage and family is “in the box.” But honestly, couldn’t we all use a return to thinking inside of the box? It’s thinking outside of the box that has given us New Coke and Segway Scooters.

I went home for lunch on Monday afternoon. My wife was there and my son was sitting on her lap when I walked in the door. He’s not old enough for school like his big brother is. So he stays at home with his mom and watches her teach online math classes to students all over our state. When I come home for lunch we all team up to prepare our meal, clean the kitchen and put away dirty clothes. Afterwards, I leave for work. My wife stays at home to teach through a computer screen while a toddler begs her to play just one more game. I don’t know how she does it. But she does. And she does it well.

Amy Glass says that a husband and kids will only get in the way of a woman fulfilling her full potential.

“You will never have the time, energy, freedom or mobility to be exceptional if you have a husband and kids.”

I disagree.

Because exceptional isn’t something you find at the end of a hike through Asia.

The truly exceptional things are found when you sacrifice for the good of another.

And that’s called love.

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