Behold All Things New

visual art in response to issues of concern

Mother and Baby

Painting, Erin Ferrell

The Dilemma of Motherhood

I'm a girl. An only child born to parents with Master's degrees. Growing up I received training to become a ballerina, an actress, public speaker, swimmer, artist, choral musician, a leader, entrepreneur, model, world traveler, and writer. I graduated from both High school and College as Cum Laude. The sky was the limit. I was prepared to take on the world and to "make a difference."

I chose (to my women's college professors' chagrin) to get married upon graduation and less than two years later become a mother. In fact I've become a mother five times, with three surviving children. When I told my father I was pregnant with my third child he said, "Erin, I'm very disappointed. Why did we send you to that expensive college. I was hoping that you were going to contribute in a meaningful way to the world." Since then my father and I have ironed that statement out, but the dilemma of choice exists today. We as a society now can send our daughters like rockets into the sky to become or go wherever they desire. We are trained to excel in every capacity. But what about becoming a mother and staying at home to make play-dough and nurse every four hours? The season of early motherhood is short, but we as women give up our career potential. Even working part-time, a mother always feels torn between exercising the Calculus she mastered in or putting together Elmo puzzles. Ah, the Dilemma of Motherhood.

As Women our society tells us we can have it all, but can we really?

Erin McGee Ferrell

© 2005 The Episcopal Church & Visual Arts