When did valuing family become a ridiculous joke?

| July 12, 2018

In a High-Level Political Forum event in the UN this week on renewable energy, there was an alarming comment made. It occurred when the topic of clean cooking fuels for women came up. One of the forum discussants, Joan Carling of TEBTEBBA (Indigenous Peoples Major Group), was commenting on this issue.

Carling said that we need to empower women to be at the center of renewable energy planning, and help them get clean cooking fuels, but finished with; “why are women always the ones cooking?” which was met with wild applause and laughter.

Her tone of voice portrayed sarcasm, implying that cooking for your family is ridiculous and archaic.

This was outrageous to me.

Since when is it a terrible fate to cook for your family? I find it quite presumptuous to insist that all women in the world who cook for their families are disappointed in their situation and helpless to make anything else of themselves but a mother and a wife. This is obviously ridiculous as many take absolute pride in cooking for and providing for their families. To assume they are underutilized in terms of their skills is to diminish motherhood and mock those who take pride in the family.

The assumption is, these women can’t possibly find happiness in simply having, and caring for a family! Beyond the insulting nature of that assumption on all mothers, I am not sure what these UN delegates suggest the alternative be for these women of third world countries.

Do they think we should empower them to find a more fulfilling path and put their family on the back burner? Do they think these kids will just raise themselves? Do they think they can order food in every night for their families? Do they think there is such a thing as take-out in a third world country? What are they getting at here.

If not for their mothers’ cooking, these children would starve. To be a mother, especially one in such a dire situation, is a full-time job. Especially in this case, cooking is vital and nothing to joke about.

Since when it has become a waste of a woman’s life to take pride in the well-being of their family. If this is the popular worldview, then let me tell you, we are doomed.

Growing up my mother stayed at home with me and my three siblings and was scorned for not doing more with her career. Shouldn’t the so called ‘feminist’ ideals support her choice? Based on their claims it would make sense that women should be able to choose ANY path for themselves and receive support. However, being a stay-at-home-mom doesn’t fit their “revenge on men” game plan and therefore deserves no respect.

Despite this, my mother has no regrets about her choices to put her family first. She tells me constantly how much pride she is filled with to be able to support us and love us every day. Our successes are her successes. I can speak from experience that any successes I have had, I attribute to my mother and my father deciding long ago that family will come first, only to be followed by our faith.

This issue of mocking the family, and thinking parenthood is a hobby compared to a career is a toxic attitude that is extremely dangerous to our culture.

Today people treat the choice to have a family with no respect. People need to understand children are not an accessory, they are people. Furthermore, they are a huge responsibility, and demand your complete love and attention. Therefore, if you decide to engage in sexual activity, you had better be ready to be a mother. It may not be fair, but that is reality, and our children need us.

This idea of not putting family first is a toxic idea that has led to this lackadaisical attitude about abortion, divorce and family in general. The idea that our choices of having a career or being “free” can give us the ability to kill human lives, namely our own children, is deplorable.

Having a family is no small feat, I think we can all agree. We need to take family seriously and understand that no matter what choices about career or circumstances you might have, we need to make sure our children come home to someone every day. Our children need to know that they are loved, supported, and will be cared for each day with…. yes… a warm well-balanced meal.

I am lucky to come from a loving home where my mother was literally there for me at all times emotionally and physically. I came home from school everyday to my mother, and shortly after my father came home to us. Every night we all sat down and prayed over our well-balanced meal and talked about what was going on in our lives. Every night my parents said goodnight to me and told me they loved me. These parts of my life are the most important to me. I would not be the person I am today without my parents devoting all of their love and effort to me and taking parenthood seriously.

UN officials are free to joke all they want about the useless nature of cooking for the family, but I am currently learning to cook for myself as a young adult, and I have to say that it is no small task even with all of the resources I am blessed with.

As a young woman, I have professional aspirations. Therefore, I am in school and I am in an internship with C-Fam and the IYc, however I have other goals in my life. I want to make sure that when I have kids that they have someone to come home to everyday, and a warm well-balanced meal to eat every night, that I will proudly make.