January 01, 2008

Do I Want to Be a Mom?

A simple question right? For this generation, maybe so.

But for our mothers, grandmothers, and great-grandmothers, it is quite likely this question never crossed their minds.

This reality was brought home to me in a casual conversation with my mother over this holiday week. We were remembering my grandmother who passed away roughly ten years ago. Born in Poland, she was a very strong and determined woman who survived wars, near starvation, and the loss of her family home and business.

My mother lamented that at my grandmother’s funeral people stood up and spoke mainly about my grandmother’s devotion to the church and family. A woman who knew her as a much younger woman was not able to speak that day. If she had, she would have told the assembled crowd about a woman who was an accomplished horsewoman, a woman who ran the family business in her early teens while her ailing mother barked orders from her sickbed, a woman who used her smarts and her powerful determination to navigate through the worst atrocities of World War II.

My mother, acknowledging the whole spectrum of her own mother’s experience and personality, remarked, “If she would have been born in today's world she would have been childless and running her own business.”

My grandmother was born close to a hundred years ago. She had eight children.

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1 comment:

julebule said...

Fantastic story! It's too often that women's lives are over shadowed by family and obligation. I'm glad you have a facet of your grandmother that shows her independance and success in her own right. Too often i hear moms saying *i'm doing it for the kids", and they end up giving up everything in their lives *for their kids*, to the point that their *self* is gone.
What kind of role model is that?