Tuesday, February 27, 2007My story and the Rule of Six
When I had my first son, I was barely 20 years old; my husband was on the other side of the world; and my family was 1000 miles away. I had no clue what I was doing as a mother. It seemed as though there was suddenly this little life given to me and while I knew I had to feed him and change his diaper and such, I didn't exactly know WHAT to do with this little guy?! I think a lot of people fall into the mindset that children are simply accessories to our own lives. We have kids to check off that little box in our lives, much like buying a house or going to college or getting a dog. We think a couple kids will be nice; we won't be lonely and they'll be so much fun to dress up in cute clothes and parade them around. Then they grow older and start talking back and we just try to keep them out of our way as we go about our business... annoyed that they keep demanding our time and attention. Sometimes they bring home a cute drawing from school and we proudly display it on the fridge. We dress them up and get the mandatory family portrait at Sears and send it to all our friends, hoping they'll see what a lovely, well-put-together family we are. Then they become teenagers and it's the battle of wills and we pray for the day they move out so we can go back to "quality" time with our spouses without those kids getting our every spare moment. What a pity. And yet, this is basically what society considers typical, healthy parenthood.
God has so much more in mind for us! For them!
What exactly DO we do with these kids? What does it mean to love them? To raise them? To educate them? If you would have asked me this when I had my firstborn, I probably wouldn't have known what to say... at that point in my life, I was just having a baby because I knew artificial contraception was wrong... not because I necessarily wanted one or had any concept of the vocation of motherhood.
Now, hopefully, the readers of this blog have some sense of wonder, privilege, and humility at being called to our noble vocation; I thank God that I've learned to have this attitude now. But sometimes I think it's tough to answer those above questions STILL.
However, recently discovering the Rule of Six has helped me articulate what I've begun to know but didn't think to itemize. I know I'm johnny-come-lately to this Rule of Six which seemed to get its blog-buzz last October, but there are still many who've not heard of it. Since there is a lot to be gleaned from these ideas, I thought the word should get spread even more.I encourage you to read posts about the Rule of Six from the originator: Melissa Wiley. These can be found in the sidebar of her blog.
So there's that. There now exist many different versions as mamas everywhere are trying to tailor their own rules for what their family needs are. But most follow the same theme of Play, Work and Love. So it may help some moms who are just feeling unsure as to how to go about this whole mothering thing... I wish I'd had it 4 years ago.