from a guy named Dr. Lin Yutang:
“Of all the rights of women, the greatest is to be a mother.”
Dr. Yutang lived from 1895 to 1976.
He was married and had three daughters.
They were all authors.
And his statement made me a bit frustrated: Is being a mother a right?
If it is a right, why isn’t everyone a mother that wants to be?
Because it is NOT a right.
However: I can agree that being a mother is a blessing. I believe that is a true statement.
And I can even agree with the concept that every woman has some degree of mothering in her – though it may manifest itself in different ways.
Like, for example, I mother projects and relationships – as in nurture, coach, encourage, grow.
But to say that of a woman’s rights, that the greatest is to be a mother…
Well, that statement doesn’t hold water when speaking of women in general.
So why do I care? It’s just a quote from a guy.
I care because statements like that perpetuate, to me, a wrong belief that the greatest thing that a woman can do is to have children. And that by virtue of being a woman, that we are entitled to having children.
The greatest thing that anyone can do is live the life and purpose that God gave you.
I am not (by virtue of being alive and being female) entitled to more than the basic rights afforded to me by my country. The Bill of Rights does not mention the right of parenthood.
And to be clear, there is a significant and substantial difference between being allowed the right to pursue happiness versus the right to be happy. Everyone in the US has the right PURSUE happiness, but whether or not you ARE is entirely up to you.
Having children is not a right. Having children is a blessing.
And mothering isn’t just for those women who have children, it’s for women who care deeply and passionately about anything or anyone. I’ve had many mothers in my career – I’ve even been adopted by a few in my new job. These women check in on me, ask me how things are going, give me coaching advice, help me develop strategies – and not for their own benefit, but just because they are gifted at mothering.
“Of all of the attributes of women, one of the greatest is the ability to mother.”