Every morning I start my day making choices on how to best care for my family. I am constantly reminded by my stepson’s mother (we will call her D )that I didn’t give birth to the boys and therefore they are not my children. Well she is right that I didn’t give birth to them but she is wrong that about me not being their mother. Whether you want to insert the “step” in front of it or not- the job description is the same and I take it seriously. Since I have known D she has been an absentee parent. Giving herself up to “God” to try to justify her abusive actions while succumbing to the temptation of alcohol addiction has been the forefront of her place in our lives. Thanks to facebook parents like D are able to put up a facade so outsiders don’t know what is really going on. Meme after meme is posted each day, whether it is a cute little poem, a bible verse or “A PRAYER for my son” the “likes” are dished out and mommy gets a pat on the back. Well let me tell you something- those poems and prayers don’t meaning anything unless your actions back them up. Posting a poem about how tough it is raising kids isn’t the same as making sure they wake up on time in the morning. cooking a favorite dinner at night, being an active part of their education, knowing that something is wrong just by the look in their eyes and being the one who helps make it right again. I may not get “likes” from hundreds of cyber-friends, but I get a “thank you” from my children and that means a hell of a lot more.
Your belief in God does not make you a better parent than me. In fact it might very well make you worse in many ways. If you abuse your child or neglect them it is because you have strayed from god. If anything happens to my children I take personal responsibility for it I’m the one that is responsible for their needs. If you believe in God you probably think well whatever happens is God’s will but that’s because you are naive and probably shouldn’t be trusted to take care of yourself… let alone a child. In the church community you probably say “it takes a village to raise a child” but that village is only as strong as the values of those who participate. If it is God you look too guidance for, well I “pray” that the rest of the village is wiser.
Our children don’t need love and acceptance from God, they need love and acceptance from their parents. It isn’t love and support from God or the church that their children need, it is the love and support of a family. A prayer won’t get them to a doctor when they are ill or heat the house in the dead of winter. If you are too selfish to give your kids your all- no strings attached… then perhaps your meme was wrong and God does give you more than you can handle. No worries though, this Atheist is here to pick up the slack… all day, every day… and I do it out of love for my family, not out of fear of God.