On May 31st, 2012 the Maxwell family boarded a plane and moved to eSwatini (formerly known as Swaziland) to live at Project Canaan. I hope to update my blog on Saturday mornings and share, as honestly as I can, the highs and lows of our life in Africa. We are living on a farm in a remote part of this tiny Kingdom and are serving the community as well as the orphans and vulnerable children of the nation. Thanks for joining us.
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Saturday, June 10, 2017
Is raising children "women's work"?
Sharing with Dad is important
Next Sunday is Father’s Day and as Ian is father to Spencer
and Chloe and also 158 little Swazi children, Father’s Day has become a greater
time of reflection for me each year.
I was raised by a wonderful man (Russell Willis) who adopted
me (with my mom Bernice) when I was just a baby.He raised me as his own and provided me with food, shelter,
education, opportunity, discipline and love.
I often hear comments about the children at Project Canaan
not being raised in a “normal” home with a “real mom and dad”, and how they
will suffer because of that.I find it shocking each and every time because what is “normal”
nowadays?How many people in
Canada or the US are being raised by their biological mother and father?And even when children are raised in a
“normal” home, that doesn’t mean the home is healthy or happy.
I was reading a blog article by Dr. Gail Gross she said, “
Only 20 percent of American households consist of married couples with children.
Filling the gap are family structures of all kinds.”
In 2011 a stat said that 72% of all Swazi children do not
have a father in their lives.I
can’t imagine what the current statistic is.
As many of you know, our eldest children at Project Canaan are
6-year-old twins, Rose and Gabriel.Each day we are learning and growing as our children grow. Raising 158
is very different than raising two (or six).Our focus when the children are small babies is
primarily health, nutrition and love.As they get older their emotional, mental and spiritual development
becomes more important.
On thing that remains the same is that we strive to be
intentional in everything we do.We are now reviewing parenting courses that can help us with not only
training our staff in how we want our children to be parented, but also forcing
us to make parenting decisions all over again!What is important in THIS culture that may not have been
important in Canada in the 1990’s?What was important to us as we raised Spencer and Chloe that is
irrelevant in Swazi culture?And
how do we have fun with our children and our caregivers?
Tickle fights with Dad are important!
My point of today’s blog is that no two families are the
same. We all parent differently.We are all doing the best we can with what
we have and what we know.Our
family looks very different than any other around the world, but we are doing
the best we can, with what we have and what we know, to raise God-loving,
God-fearing children who will contribute to society and change the face of a
nation.God is our heavenly Father
and He is the perfect father who never ever lets us down, and we are secure in
I am so grateful for Ian who is a wonderful father to
Spencer and Chloe and being intentional to be a Godly role model for our other
158+.I am grateful for the Swazi
men who God has brought to us to be big brothers and uncles to be positive role
models for our children.And I am
grateful for our male volunteers (single and married) who are investing in the
lives of our children and showing them what Godly men look like.
Having fun with Dad is important.
Raising children is NOT woman’s work. It takes a village to
raise a child, and a village requires men and women to be strong and courageous
together, whether they have been blessed with one child or a village of
children.Raising children is not
for sissies either, it is hard work, all the time, so let us encourage one
other, and build each other up, not tear each other down.
One more thing – we have added some educational tools and
materials to our Amazon Baby registry. Feel free to shop for books, textbooks,
teaching aids and, of course diapers and wipes.US shoppers click here.We are no longer accepting items for the Canadian container as it ships next week. Canadian shoppers will need to access the US site please. THANK YOU!
Live from Swaziland … I am thankful for the men in my life.