There might be many who would say that, men never can truly appreciate and understand the contributions of women in our everyday lives – correct to a certain extent. But isn’t it true that as men we appreciate, respect and honor women more than we could ever admit. Not only are we deeply attracted and for the most part dependent on them for our overall well-being, and, like everyone else, had a mother who we loved dearly and was fortunate enough to be raised by.
There is no doubt that women are central to the lives of everyone. As a boy becomes a man, this may become even more important as he is looking to stake his own in this world and raise a family. And, if the man is to have a family of his own, there is no other way to do it without enlisting the powerful force of women. Yet, engaging the process from single adolescent to mature father can be a difficult and long one. Irrespective, at the center of it all remains the woman.
Women are proven to be better at raising their own children than fathers are – that motherhood is not a title that can be shifted from the mother to the father or to a nanny or a daycare center. Many believe both the father and the mother play sacred – and distinct – roles, and that the mother performs a role that fathers cannot perform, no matter how hard he tries – and no matter how vociferously the professorial elite might argue to the contrary.
Today’s society seems to scoff at the notion of a mother, of a woman who takes care of her own children. It almost seems that women are now expected to hire a nanny or a babysitter. Why? Why would you want your children raised by someone who’s not related to you, and who you don’t even know? What if this caretaker has different religious views or views on discipline? What if she disapproves of your relationship? What if he turns out to be a child molester? Are these things to which you’d like to have your children exposed? These are all possibilities when you don’t take the raising of your children into your own hands. Your children are unique; why would you want someone else to program them? Why would you entrust something that came from a unique bond between you and your husband to someone else?
One thing is true: we come into this world hardwired. Children come into this world with a natural connection to their mothers. And they come into this world as needy, irrational beings who are incapable of thinking for themselves for nearly a decade or two. Matter of fact, science is uncovering the fact that the prefrontal cortex – the part of the brain that distinguishes humans from animals, where decision-making and forethought are accomplished – isn’t even fully developed until the age of about 25. Women – for the sake of their own self-fulfillment – are shifting their responsibility of child rearing oftentimes to complete strangers who are recommended by specialists. This has to be an act that those children don’t understand and perhaps won’t for years, having lasting consequences on their own lives and their relationships with their mothers.
A friend of mine is married to a woman who has nannied for a young Washington couple for nearly three years. It started with the couple’s first child, which the woman took on when the boy was six months old. That boy, almost three now, has a little sister who is about 15 months old. The boy called the nanny “mama” until he realized one was mama, the other nanny, and the young girl is now in that “mama” phase, calling the nanny “mama.” The nanny watched both children crawl for the first time, walk for the first time – and kept each milestone to herself, pretending to the children’s parents that they never happened on her watch, so that the parents could own those “firsts.”
But they don’t own those firsts. A nanny – who soon will leave their employment to build her photography business – owns them. Those are her stories – not the parents’. She’ll always remember when these two children, not her own, crawled and walked for the first time. And when she leaves the family, the youngest will still be calling her “mama.”