Friday, April 19, 2013
It's the Little Things
When looking at my overall experience as a mother, and thinking about how my atheism has affected the way I raise my children, I am kinda surprised by my own established misconceptions. In the beginning, I felt that being an atheist would drastically change motherhood all together, but I can't help but notice how on a day to day basis, nothing really changed.
Granted, I became an atheist really early on in my children's lives. Little K was 3 and Little M had just turned 2. So I hadn't had much time to start to brainwash them into Mormonism. And I hadn't been very religious in over 8 years when my first little kumquat was born. So we never said prayers other than when we would go to my parent's house for dinner. I hadn't told them any Bible stories or really had gone to church more than a handful of times.
I honestly feel that with or without church, I would be raising my children, day by day, very similarly to the way I do now.
We wake up around 7am every morning, the girls get dressed for school, watch a little tv, I make sure they are dressed for the weather and we head out to school. Warm days we walk, chilly days we take the car and they are at school on time every morning. I am pretty sure that sounds like most mornings in most households with elementary school children.
If I was religious, maybe we would say a family prayer before leaving for school, but in my childhood home, we rarely said a morning prayer. It happened on occasion, but it was never a constant.
I work full time. My husband is a stay at home father. He loves his children and he picks them up from school each day. He sits and does their homework with them, then will play xbox games with them for little while. Viva Pinata is one of their favorites. When I get home from work, either my husband or myself make dinner. We watch The Simpsons, the girls hop in the bath and then it's time for bed. Maybe short of a prayer or two, I know it would be exactly the same with a religion to follow.
All the little things are the same; same day to day behavior and love. Maybe if I was still religious I would shove prayer in where ever I could, maybe a little Bible study too. Church would be a mandatory thing, instead of something we do when I have the energy, the gas and no other plans. (We sometimes go to our local UU church.)
But as much as the little things haven't changed, I know that there are a lot of little things that have changed drastically.
I know that if I was still religious, I wouldn't read the bedtime stories that I do. My daughters love excerpts from The Magic of Reality by Dr. Richard Dawkins. I know that would not be a book on my shelf had I clung to the fleeting mesh of lies that is Mormonism. I would answer their questions differently. Instead of giving a basic brief explanation of where babies actually do come from, I know the words "Babies come from heaven" may have slipped past my lips.They wouldn't have a basic understanding of evolution or science. Maybe I would be a parent who spanks, maybe I would be a parent who would try to shove them into 'appropriate' gender stereotypes. I hope not, but that may just be the 'new' me talking.
So whether it be the little things that haven't changed, or the little things that have, when I take a step back and ponder my feelings about motherhood, I know that if it weren't for these two little critters that came into my life, nothing would have changed, and that's a really big thing.