The great expanse of motherhood

I came across this wonderful quote about motherhood from G. K. Chesterton today in a book I am reading and wanted to share it with you:

To be Queen Elizabeth within a definite area, deciding sales, banquets, labors, and holidays; to be Whitely within a certain area, providing toys, boots, cakes and books; to be Aristotle within a certain area, teaching morals, manners, theology and hygiene; I can understand how this might exhaust the mind, but I cannot imagine how it could narrow it. How can it be a large career to tell other people’s children about the Rule of Three, and a small career to tell one’s own children about the universe? How can it be broad to be the same thing to everyone and narrow to be everything to someone? No, a woman’s function is laborious, but because it is gigantic, not because it is minute. (What’s Wrong With the World)

I think that in our modern era, all stay at home moms, from time to time, feel that we are not doing enough – that we must somehow justify our lives with busy-ness and being productive. We know that there are those who look at us and think we are wasting our talents, stuck in the house. Or the enemy tells us we are. We see other women who are being productive, making money, gaining power and recognition, wearing beautiful clothing and, well, making money. In comparison, we can feel silly, unimportant, dowdy and poor. In fact, as the gentleman says, we are the universe to our families. We don’t need to justify what we do and who we are.
Everyone who homeschools has been asked why they homeschool. So often it feels like an invitation to justify our choice. So we talk about poor school experiences, religion, our particular child’s difficult temperament or health problems, our own abilities as an instructor and so on. While all these may well be true, I have lately come to realize that even if I could send my children to excellent schools which I know they would fit into and be safe and respected in, I would still homeschool. Simply because we like it. We enjoy it. We have no reason to do otherwise. Likewise, for all of us who have made the choice to devote ourselves full time to the care of our children and family, we do not need to justify ourselves to the world. Some things are just true, whether the world would recognize them or not and the great expanse of motherhood is one of them. Be blessed!

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