THE ROLE OF WOMEN IN LEADING A FAMILY:
DIFFICULTIES FACED BY A MATRIARCH IN LEADING A FAMILY.
Since the challenges and blessings in leading a family are as varied as women themselves, I will explore the topic by sharing my own experiences. I married very young, 17 to be exact, running from a strict family and into the arms of a young man who needed a mother more than a wife.
At 21, I had my daughter and continued to mother both my child and my husband, but I grew weary of parenting a spouse. I realized how I was letting myself down and decided to parent myself better. I enrolled in college classes and began the process in which I earned my Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees. I lost the husband.
Then, my roles became single mother and college student. Many dinners were 99 cent take-out bean burritos and water at home, but my daughter and I had each other. We had time to spend together as I tootled us around in my Honda hatchback while listening to Back Street boys and car-seat dancing with my mini-me.
At 28, I met my second husband. I was still a single mother as I claimed I would be both mother and father to my daughter before I allowed a man to step into our relationship and tell me how to raise my child. This second husband respected that and supported me to parent my daughter as I saw fit. We had a second daughter together and this fragmented family became a cohesive unit. I was now finally mother and wife, not mother-wife, and I made room for a true father for my girls.
There is something freeing about true partnership. I will always be the mother and for me that means I am the spiritual, heart-force of my family. It is not about authority or power as much as it is about working together for the common good of each member of my family. I chose to take on my role as a carver of a sanctuary in a world that is tumultuous and rash.
I am a matriarch. I am a loving, living, flawed, divine manifestation of female love that strives to bring soul-power and compassion to my family and to the world. From the outside, do people see me as powerful? As a life-force of matriarchal strength? I don’t know. Perhaps not. I do live what looks like a traditional lifestyle. What I do know is that being a mother is my highest calling and is the source of my authentic power.
My role in leading my family is not the same role every woman takes, nor is it the “correct” one. For me though, it works. I am now moving into the phase where I am having to learn the art of letting go. My daughter is 19 and in college. My role as her mother is ever more evolving. As a matriarch, I hope I can model for her the courage to blaze her own path, the tools to navigate the good and the bad that will challenge her, and the grace to know when to hold on for dear life and when to let go. For mothering is not just about the birthing and raising of babies that come from my body. Mothering is the art of loving and manifesting that love so that it sends love-waves far from the hearth and into the world.
A LITTLE ABOUT STACY OVERMAN MORRISON:
Stacy Overman Morrison was born and raised in Texas. She earned her Bachelor’s and Master’s of Arts degrees in English from the University of Texas of the Permian Basin. Upon completion of her Master’s, she taught secondary English and adjuncted at the University. She took time off from her teaching career after the birth of her second daughter and has pursued her writing since. She continues to live in Texas with her husband, two daughters, two dogs, and two horses. This is her first novel and she is hard at work listening to the voices of her characters in her second.