Parenthood Is Servanthood, Not Slavery – Opinion

A confession is in order. Although I am a mom to two kids, I’ve never really wanted to become a mother.

When I was 24 years old, I married my husband and immediately stated to him that I didn’t intend on having children. I considered them a problem. But I was making plans. Big, big plans. I had desires. I needed. In my family, everyone, almost to a person, seemed “burdened” with the task of child-rearing. My grandparents were the only ones who knew of anyone in my family that had ever planned to become parents. It was almost everyone who had divorced. Yes, even my grandparents.

I can’t remember a single time anyone in my circle became pregnant where we actually celebrated the news. I’m sure there must have been some, but I honestly can’t remember any. There was always some reason to consider a pregnant woman as the most horrible thing that could have happened at that time.

The adults in my life inadvertently added to the sense of parenthood being a burden by always offering me the “friendly” advice to hold off on having a family as long as possible.

Don’t get married before you’re 30.

Don’t have more than one child, so you can really enjoy your lives together. 

Make sure you don’t have kids until you are established in your career and financially stable.

You can travel before your kids are born. Enjoy all of your adventures now, before they arrive. It’s over once you’re a parent.

This all led to the same message: Kids can make your life difficult. Avoid becoming a mom if you desire a happy life.

Children have very little appetites. They’re bloodsuckers. They will bleed your joy, happiness, adventure, and wealth. What do you get in return? You’ll be charged for stress and your health.

That’s the message I grew up with, whether or not anyone meant for it to be that way.

So I wasn’t completely surprised to see this tweet come across my timeline recently. Apart from the left-wing views of nuclear families, many people today feel that their happiness is being hindered by the adult in their lives.

Just like the dear doctor above, I didn’t see children as obstacles. They are my roadblocks. Why would they want to be in my body? There was so much I could do.

My husband was a patient, kind, and understanding man who supported my decision. He probably sensed that I was changing my mind but didn’t push me. His family was a close-knit nuclear one. It was naive of me to believe he wouldn’t want one of his own, but he never pushed me.

It felt that our marriage wasn’t the only thing in our family after a while. It was clear to me that we would be much more. I decided to let go. Nearly five years after taking our vows, I gave birth almost immediately to our son. Since then, I’ve never felt the same.

We thank God.

Only a fool would try to say being a parent isn’t hard. It would be foolish to claim that marriage is easy.

However, slavery?

Oh my goodness. No.

I was never destined to mother and now, as someone who is not a parent yet, I can tell you the truth about motherhood that Ms.Doctor and all your favourite coastal bubble blogger will never share with you.

It’s difficult. This isn’t for the faint of heart. However, it’s by far one of the most important and meaningful things you do in your life.

Patterson may misunderstand Patterson’s complaints as complaining about parenthood.

Parents are hard work. However, parenting isn’t slavery. It is freedom.

Think of all the things you’ve ever said about the kind of person you’d rather be. Are you a more compassionate, generous person? Are you looking to become more patient? More understanding? Are you more motivated? Creative? More creative?

Being a parent is a step in the right direction. It frees you from the bondage of “self” and forces you to view the world through the lens of someone else. This automatically makes you the servitor instead of the servant. Although servanthood isn’t slavery, I understand why some people might mistakenly assume the role of a servant. While slavery is an evil trap, servanthood can be a great choice.

Being a parent gives you an entirely new view of love and sacrifice. You can become more compassionate, passionate and intuitive towards the needs of others by becoming a parent.

Are you tired? Yes. Are you going to be cranky? Yes. Yes. Absolutely.

Are you going to be forever transformed for the better?

It is without a doubt.

It is my pleasure to help parents and mothers be honest and open about their parenting struggles. We shouldn’t feel shame for our frustrations, but it is terrifically dishonest and narrow-minded to define parenting (and marriage, a consensual action) as slavery.

I believe that attitude is the outcropping of a culture that has steadily devalued life — both in its creation and nurturing. It is an outcropping of a culture that tells us the “self” is sacred. Self-love, self-esteem, self-care…self, self, self. Our bodies aren’t made to be worshipped, so when we try, our worldview is distorted.

You can’t go wrong with parenthood. It is the best way to let go of your navel gazing ways and look at the big picture.

Freedom is not slavery.

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