As I caught up with a blog written by a friend from school long ago, I felt puzzled, perplexed, then just plain dumb. She wrote about Maslow's hierarchy of needs (from the 40's and newly revamped, as she noted had been written about in the Sunday NY Times.) I vaguely remembered this from Psych 101, but had to click on the link she'd provided to familiarize myself with the idea. Basically, there is a hierarchy of needs starting with the basics, food and shelter etc., and ending with the self-actualization level during which we realize our creative and intellectual potential. Problematically then, those who are hungry or without home, cannot function at their highest level of creativity nor intelligence. Anyway, the revamped version puts mate acquisition,mate retention, parenting on the top. Again, problematic, because for those who choose to remain unwed or childless would by definition not be achieving their fullest potential. Now, I've not read through the whole revised version, so if there are points here that are incorrect, by all means let me know. What I did read and my friends post stemming from her reading that article was what caused me to feel sort of, well, stupid. She posited that for her self-actualization and parenting were separate, even disparate states of being. One could not fully be "mother" and "self." To which I found myself saying to the computer screen, "so what?" Perhaps because I view my being "mother" through the lens of my relationship with Christ, there is no true feeling of loss for "self." Yes, sometimes I feel tired and frustrated and need a time-out, a coffee with a friend, or just a few hours to be alone. But, at the end of the day, this dying to self is inherent in loving Christ and desiring to be more like Him, so my being "mother" is just another avenue by which I can travel that road of sanctification. For my single or childless friends I suppose this road would be named something else - perhaps just that the wait for a mate, or child or the knowledge that neither will be in their future. Moreover, I'm not convinced that one necessarily negates the other. Yes there may be limits on both, there are only so many hours in any one's day, but I know many wonderful artists/authors/musicians who are at the same time wonderful parents! Isn't it inherent in becoming a parent the knowledge that you will have to share your time with another human being? Just a thought...
On a completely different note - here are some pics of our camping adventure from last week which may or may not have included the following:
1 child screaming in the middle of the night to the point that said child had to be driven around for 30 minutes so that he would go back to sleep
2 dogs that barked. at everything.
1 raccoon who saw our trash as the gold mine of partially eaten steak and dropped-on-the-ground marshmallows that it was
1 other kid who also woke up in the middle of the night and "couldn't go back to sleep because his tummy hurt and had to pee"
1 other kid who woke up in the middle of the night because his earplug fell out and he absolutely could not go back to sleep without it
1 dog who scratched ALL night long
1 baby who peed through his pjs and onto mommy's sleeping bag, up by her head because he had completely turned himself around in his sleep
2 very tired parents who in the middle of the night swore that they would never go camping again, but one of those parents had much better outlook in the morning after those 3 precious hours of sleep:)