I get most of my spiritual advice, reading-wise, from people without kids. They’ve either never had ’em, they’re all grown up, or in several cases they’re guys whose wives clearly handle the household stuff (which counts as only sort of having kids in my book). But I am the wife, I handle the household stuff, and my kids are all still in elementary school. You know who writes spiritual blogs from that point of view? Evangelicals and Mormons. People in big, organized, conservative church systems that heavily stress missionary work and raising children in the faith.
Pretty much all the more liberal and DIY paths–humanism, pantheism, paganism, Unitarian Universalism and its like–are pretty much for grown-ups. Kids are, at best, a problem to be solved. It’s not that helpful to me, it doesn’t speak much to my life, but I don’t blame them. Sometimes kids are a problem to be solved. No matter how early I get up for some peaceful morning devotion, some kid or other just . . . senses the energy and wakes up to pee. And then doesn’t get back to sleep. Or they all stay in bed but the moment they get up they’ve got problems to solve and fights to mediate, which totally harshes my spiritual mellow.
It’s pretty hard to be all deep and enlightened with a bunch of kids in your face needing things all the time. Which is why most of the biggest, most accomplished writers in this area are childfree to varying degrees.* I get it. But it makes for a shortage of articles and blog posts about fitting your spiritual practice around your kid’s ADHD or meditating while watching your kid’s sports practice. And while conservatives have loads of children’s Bibles and fun little morality tales so they can share their faith with their little ones, I find myself wishing there were more solstice tales and exciting retellings of pagan myths.
On the one hand, I love the DIY of it all. Learning to retell the stories on my own, struggling to explain the virtues of excellence or hospitality, and adapting pretty much everything to my own family’s needs forces me to really engage with my beliefs. On the other hand, it’s exhausting, and I would pay cash money for an engaging children’s book on pagan virtues or a book of Greek gods that isn’t the same old sort-of-dry list of deities. Cash money. Somebody start writing that, ‘kay?
*Where are my down-to-earth pagan mommy bloggers? Who’s telling it like it is? Maybe they’re out there and I’m not looking hard enough.