The picture of the Spartan Mother is full of sacrificial love and support. Though I claim to know nothing about being a mother, I know there is much to be learned from the Spartan Woman when it comes to her children.
The biggest thing I take away from the Spartan Woman’s interaction with her child is her encouragement. When the King and her little one are sparing with one another, hitting each other in the face, she doesn’t swoop down to rescue her little boy. She stands by loyally watching, knowing this is a necessary part of his growth.
From observations I have seen this is a hard thing to do for some mothers. Our natural instinct is to rescue and nurture. However, sometimes rescuing our children is not the best thing for them. Sometimes going through a hard and trying time where our children are getting beat down (maybe not literally, but figuratively) is a necessary part of their growth. But I’ve known some mothers who can’t stand to see their children suffer. So they swoop down and rescue them, stealing the life lesson that can’t be taught any other way.
But contrary to how we feel, always rescuing our children is not the role of a mother. I once looked up the word mother, not in the dictionary, but in my Word Origin book. This particular word is full of meaning when we go back and look at where it came from. The definition that stood out to me the most is that a mother is to “give rise to another.” Just like a sponge rises when it is doused in water, we as mothers are to give rise to our children. To douse them with the knowledge we have and watch them grow, to encourage them as they create their own ways of thinking and living. But never to steal from them by swooping in and rescuing them, keeping them from learning some of life’s toughest lessons.
This is an unfortunate circumstance. Why do mothers struggle with releasing their children to learn hard lessons? Maybe because their identity is wrapped up in their children. Maybe because their faith is weak. Maybe because they want to feel like they are in control, even though the truth is that nothing is in our control.
I don’t know, because I’m not a mother. But maybe you are. Share your thoughts with us.
Have you ever been guilty of “rescuing”?
Have you seen other mothers struggle with this mindset?