Posted in Family & Parenting

No Rest for a Mom of Many


It is Monday morning. I just had what was supposed to be a restful weekend, with little regular work. I take that “day of rest” thing seriously, but, sadly, my children do not. They seem to think that I should feed them and clothe them every day–even on Sundays! So, in spite of the fact that yesterday was the Lord’s day, and I only washed the dishes once, and cleaned and cooked not at all, I’m still a little bit tired.

Even worse, I can’t complain about it, not only because complaining is wrong, but because the moment my self-restraint slips and I let out a sigh, someone will invariably blame my exhaustion or depression (and I do have a tendency to be melancholy when I’m worn out) on my “too many” children. I have learned through hard experience that the only way I can protect my children from forming the idea that they shouldn’t exist is by never giving anyone even the slightest opportunity to suggest it.

And yes, I do work hard for this family, and that is why I am tired. There’s certainly no arguing with that. I can’t help but notice that, when someone is exhausted from doing some other kind of work, she is likely to get a different response. Perhaps, “You earned a restful weekend!” or “Thank you!”

One rarely hears a doctor or nurse encouraged to quit simply because she had to pull a double shift. We know that those jobs are sometimes hard even for the most talented of individuals, but because of their value to the community, we encourage them in their tasks despite the difficulty. But when a mom with “too many” kids gets to the limits of her strength, it must be because she’s either too stupid or too oppressed by the patriarchy to stop having children.

Excerpted from ConDeceived: Little Lies the World Tells to Keep Christian Families from Growing by Cindy Dyer, p. 23-24.

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