Thursday, March 31, 2011

Postmodern effects on Parenting

Yesterday I caught a few minutes of The View (even though I was supposed to be studying for my upcoming licensure exam). Here's the thing....I love the View. I know so many people hate it but over the years I enjoy catching snippets of the show. I like to know what is going on in the industry and what popular views are being shared. Yesterday was a perfect case in point. Here is the advertisement of the segment from yesterday:

Out first guest, Rahna Reiko Rizzuto, left her children behind to focus on a career overseas then divorced her husband when she got back. Today, she revealed why she didn’t want to be a wife or mother anymore, and if she hadn’t gone to Japan, whether she thinks she would have had those feelings. To hear more of her story, pick up a copy of her book,
Hiroshima in the Morning, which every member of our studio audience took home a copy of!

This is what I gathered from the segment. Rahna back peddled and claimed that she never wanted to be a mother. She said she did not become a mother until 34 because it took her and her husband a long time to decide. When she went to Japan for a research assignment for four months her sons were 3 and 5 years old. At that time she had been a full time stay at home mom. When she got to Japan she started having such a great time and started realizing she no longer wanted to be a full time mom or a wife. And to make matters better (sarcasm inserted here), her husband wanted to be a full time father so they rearranged everything. She moved down the street so that she was still close by and she gets to be a "mom at her best" part time. She said she really didn't enjoy being up seven times in the night with a child throwing up.

I really struggled mentally, which then affected me emotionally my first year of parenting. And I've come to realize it was because I was comparing everything to how my life was pre-motherhood. I would watch people reading at a bookstore with a hot cup of coffee and think about how I longed for that freedom again. I would think of how I needed to go to the dentist that I haven't been to for two years and how nothing is easy anymore. I have to hire a babysitter to go to the dentist now. In fact, if I was working I would at least be able to take an hour or two of PTO to go to doggone dentist. I would have pity parties for myself. I have really grown through this thinking. I have learned to accept and even better to enjoy this stage of my life. And I have learned how to better take time for me so that I can go get a cup of coffee and read a trash magazine at Barnes a Noble every once in a while.

Seeing this segment yesterday allowed me to realize how much our entitled and postmodern society infects us with lies. The lies tell us things like:
I deserve to be happy. (Of course you deserve to be happy but happiness is a temporary feeling. It comes and goes.)
I deserve to have the freedom to do what I want with my time.
If something doesn' t make me happy I can abort ship.
I deserve to be an independent woman and my marriage and kids have to fit in around that.
I shouldn't be "put out" by anyone, even if its my sick kid.
I want to be a mom. I just don't want to have to do all the icky work.

What is wrong with this picture????

First of all, God calls us to be fully selfless.

Philippians 2:4 "Let each of you look not only to his own interests, but also to the interests of others."
While I still struggle with being selfless which is often apparent in my relationship with my husband and my son, I am striving to be selfless. I know this is something I will need to continue to work on. When I start to get into negative thinking and want to throw myself a pity party because I'm focusing on the loss of freedoms I have, I take a step back and look at all I have to be thankful for. I am so blessed to be a mom and when I think about how the Lord has entrusted me to care for and to raise this sweet, innocent and impressionable Soul, I am overwhelmed with a sense of responsibility and honor.
God also calls us to contentment which means we are fully satisfied.
Hebrews 13:5-6 "Keep your life free from love of money, and be content with what you have, for he has said, “I will never leave you nor forsake you.” So we can confidently say, “The Lord is my helper; I will not fear; what can man do to me?”
I still struggle with being content. Of course I would love to be in Japan doing research. I would love to explore a different county and to partake in the finest of foods. I would love to be able to take a bubble bath in my fancy hotel and order room service. But, Hello that is not my reality. I am seeking to be content with what I have. I know I am richly blessed and have so much to be thankful for. I have to guard my heart. Sometimes I have to turn off the TV that displays Hollywood Moms who have nannies so that they can go get their nails done and drink wine with friends over their luncheon dates. (LOL) How about some representation from a real housewife? One that wakes up to help her husband get his lunch packed, his shirt ironed, takes the dog out, makes breakfast, cleans up breakfast, gives a bath, all before even thinking about being able to take her own bath or to sip on a cup of hot coffee. Joy can be found in any situation. I am finding that joy as a mom. But after a segment like Rahna's on the View I stand back and think it's no wonder people are so discontent and families don't last. We are all believing lies about what we deserve.
I believe that joy is so much richer when you also experience the ups and downs of everyday living. What kind of parent would I be if I only wanted the good times with my son? What kind of love would I be demonstrating if every time he was sick or up all night because he's teething I passed him off or resented him for putting me out? This is not the love of a parent. It's in those difficult times that you are then able to experience the fullness of joy in the good times. Need I also mention that all of this applies to marriage as well? Rahna left both roles. She says that her sons are now 13 and 15 years old and she has a great relationship with them. I genuinely hope she does have a relationship with her children but it scares me that she has modeled for them that when things are not satisfying in life, you bail. You walk away. Is this not postmodernism at its finest? Whatever makes you happiest, you should pursue despite what or who you leave behind.


Elizabeth said...


Thanks so much for posting this. I needed to read your thoughts this morning. Simon is incredibly blessed to have you in his life. I love how honest you are. It makes you a pretty special person in my eyes. I pray that I too strive to be "selfless". Man it's hard, but it's truly the only way to live in His perfect peace.

Sure do miss you P.

Love you,

Brittany said...

You should read the book "one thousand gifts: a dare to live fully right where you are" by Ann Voskamp. She's a christian writer (obviously) who is struggling with this type of concept you are talking about. It's really inspiring.

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