Have you seen this?
If not, you have got to. It's a wonderful depiction of following 4 babies from San Francisco, Africa, Mongolia, and Japan; newborn to 1 year. Outside of a few words spoken by the mother, the movie is essentially nothing but watching the babies grow in their environments.
The movie helps put much into perspective. One being, there's more than one way to do something, ie; raising a child. The mothers in the film had the task of nurturing their children. The intended goal is practical in the sense of feeding, teaching, cleaning and nurturing; pretty much meeting their every need. To survive in the world they will live in, our job is to prepare them.
We want our children to be well and in order for that to happen we give them tools. The old adage is true- you can give a man a fish and it will last a day, but teaching him how to fish will last a lifetime.
That's what moms do.
I happen to believe a lot is already in a mom. Poor or wealthy, the U.S. or Africa, we've got the goods. Yet, beyond the practical basics of mothering listed above, we also help our children to choose good and right paths; tools in which to lead their lives. There's a lot vying for our attention that says: go this way. We have to determine what is good and right. Letting the culture or schools or Dr. Phil raise our kids is giving away what has been given to you.
What is the target you are aiming at? If it has merit, you will get up every morning with it in sight and have the energy it requires. If it is simply to get through this mom stuff so your child can be 18 and out on his or her own so you can have time for yourself, your days are going to be drudgery. You will not want to face each day.
The target has to be bigger than you.
Let's back up a bit. It seems redundant at times when you think of the generations over the centuries that are born, live, and die. What's the purpose? Well, there is much we do not understand about life. But what we do know is that life is both difficult and wonderful. And if we move away for a moment from the basics of life and death, there's a whole lot in-between that is quite fascinating. There are heroes, whether known or unknown, that have given up something for the benefit of the next generation in line.
Mankind is wired for progression and advancement. There is something almost sacred in us that understands this and how we must not only progress and advance, but keep the next generation in our mind. We are capable of sacrifice in order to carry this out.
For example, if it weren't for those who gave up their lives to create and protect our freedoms in America, where would we be today? And still, there are those who continue on in that vein since there must be a watching and maintaining of something so precious.
Your children are precious. They are a gift. And while we do not know what they will become as adults, we do know that we have a window of time to teach them what is good and what is right. Qualites such as courage, honesty, humility, kindness, productivity, self-control, generosity and more... all place the interests of others over their own. There has to be an understanding that the world does not revolve around them, that they are part of a whole and their contributions, good or bad, effect the whole. The target becomes this: others.
These and other qualities are found in the Bible. They are tried and true principles that not only are effective, but the reward is the good feeling inside when doing good and right. Based on faith in God, realizing God helps us, we will become healthy families that become healthy societies.
But first, you must have your own target. Because you cannot give what you do not have. If you live your life with you as the primary focus, believing "you deserve a break", you will find yourself never really happy with being a mom. Whether it is glaringly obvious with your attention being consumed with your friends, shopping, home decorating, television, computer time, etc or more subtle with frequent sighing, complaining, or resentment, the results are the same. Far more is waiting for you when you place yourself in the position of servant which means you are not the focus. When one sacrifices, lays down their life for the benefit of another, there is strength and joy to be found. Sounds like an oxymoron, but it works.