From a very early age I watched my mother struggle to pull a life together for herself and her two small children. I saw men come in and out of our lives, each time taking a little piece of her (and subsequently me) with them. My response was to put up walls. I saw men as being the problem. I grew to not only distrust men, but to fear and hate them. I became obsessed with not needing men in my life. From coaches to pastors… men were untrustworthy. I watched as she fought to gain two inches and was then pushed back twelve. My mom took a lot of hits over the years just trying to make ends meet. The vibrant, brilliant, passionate woman that I heard stories of faded into what I got to see: the woman who just needed a break. As I got older and my mother and I grew further and further apart, I looked for solace and guidance from other women. At the time the church wasn’t even in my field of vision. I was on a college campus enrolled in women’s studies classes being taught by women who screamed for women’s strength. I found this quote and decided to make it my mantra.
My whole life I pushed to be a successful, independent woman. I didn’t want to have to depend on anyone for anything, for any reason. This meant a career and a “real” future. I am Morgan, the smart one. I can’t be a mother; I am made for much bigger titles than Mrs. (fill in the blank) and mommy. Vivian Gornick, a author, wrote that, "Being a housewife is an illegitimate profession... The choice to serve and be protected and plan towards being a family- maker is a choice that shouldn't be. The heart of radical is to change that." So I pushed for the career. I worked in a well-known art gallery and caught a prestigious internship at a museum in town. No matter how hard I fought rail against what I perceived to be forced gender roles emplaced by men intent on keeping women in a permanent subservient station in life, the hole in my chest didn’t go away.
Are you ready for my life changing confession?
I want to be a wife and mother.
When I say this to some of my feminist friends I have received a myriad of responses. Some pat my hand and give me sad little glances. Some ask hesitant questions and then pull away over time. The last group accused me of having lost my mind and joining a religious cult. Here is the truth; I did not join a cult. I want to be a homemaker. I want to be a mother, and for me that means staying at home with my children. I believe that the best place for a child to be educated is at home, by the parents. I do not mean to say that I want to get married so I can post pretty pictures on facebook. I don’t want to have a child because I want a live doll. I believe that children are the future. As Christians it is our God-given responsibility not just to bring children into the world but to teach and guide them. I believe God has called me to raise up the next generation of leaders, I can’t do that if I am pursuing a career that requires an 60 hour work week. I don’t want to be an influence on my children’s lives; I want to be part of the biggest influence on their lives. For now, I am doing that with other people’s children. When the time comes for me to have my own family I will remember what Proverbs 29:15 says. “If a child is corrected, he becomes wise. But a child left to himself brings shame to his mother.” It is hard to correct if you aren’t there.
That may not sound like a radical confession to many of the people who read this, but to most of my friends and family this is ridiculous. The hole in my chest that I felt was caused because I was not fulfilling the purpose I was designed for. I am terrified of this realization, even now, months later. My feminist ideas "protected" my heart. If I said I don't want to get married and have children, then if it doesn't happen then it isn't a big deal. Hiding behind the guise of wanting a career, was safe. A high powered career was my harbor, but I am made not to sit safely by the shoreline. Instead I am putting my trust in God to guide me on the sea.