Mothering With Your Education
My sister recently shared an article named “Homework“. I was super surprised to find out that it was written by one of my good friends Whitney Archibald. I loved the ideas and the personal examples of moms who have found a way to use their education in teaching their children. It has always bothered me that moms, myself included, go from a vast amount of knowledge, inspiration and new ideas gained in college to changing diapers and wiping faces (which requires very little intelligence). How can this be right? Some moms have figured it out:
Three-year-old Jane Holmes loved princesses. But instead of fueling her interest with the abundant pink-and-purple paraphernalia available at every toy store, Jane’s mother, Taliatha Palmer Holmes (BA ’01), reached for her college textbooks. An art-history graduate now living in Buhler, Kan., Holmes showed Jane paintings of real princesses in their fancy dresses and answered her endless questions. Soon the two were decorating Jane’s walls with a picture timeline of women in fancy dresses throughout history. Now 7, Jane still loves to look through her mom’s art-history books and learn about the paintings.
Tamsin Hansen Barlow (BS ’85), a biology graduate from Rochester, Minn., uses her education to bore her children at the beach. “I name every barnacle, sea slug, and seaweed and give them excruciating lectures on the biodiversity of rocky streambeds,” she says. “But my education has also given me a broader range of responses to any given situation, especially child rearing. It has helped my husband, John (BA ’85), and me teach them to understand different points of view, withhold judgment until they understand things as thoroughly as they can, show empathy and insight into human nature, recognize their own flaws, and learn to show grace to others and themselves.”
I love this idea that, “a mother’s higher education has been shown to strengthen her “maternal sensitivity”—the way a mother responds to and influences a child’s growth.” Our education is not just knowing the day Pearl Harbor was attacked, it is having a bigger view and understanding of the world, of people, of emotions and families.
“Children with secure maternal attachments are more likely to have positive peer interactions, as well as more positive emotions, social behaviors, and exploratory behaviors. In addition to these benefits, a mother’s education also enhances her own well-being.”
Luckily my education focused around PLAY! So I better be extra good at teaching my children the ins and outs of PLAY