Mother's column – What if I were to be a role model?
Sometimes we read a sentence somewhere that sticks in our memory. I experienced this, for example, some time ago when reading an interview with Mirjam Bikker, at the time just elected leader of the Dutch Christian Union party. It was published months ago, but the last question of the interview is still clear in my mind: "Suppose girls at Christian schools will soon say: Mirjam Bikker is a true role model for me..."
Actually, it's not even a question. But the interviewers - two men working for a conservative Christian newspaper - apparently do see a problem: imagine that young Christian girls, following Bikker's example, suddenly all want to go into politics. The unspoken question then is whether she dares to be responsible for that (some Dutch Christians hold the opinion that only men are allowed to take office in political functions).
If you ask me, I think you may consider yourself lucky if your adolescent daughter (or son) mirrors not some fuzzy vlogger with a questionable lifestyle but a hard-working politician who professes to want to follow Christ. But apart from that, I wonder if role models really play a significant role in that sense. The fact that Bikker, for example, sees fit to keep a household running while holding an important position in The Hague, does not give me any illusion that I could do the same.
I admit there were days I dreamed of a job position in politics. But writing the occasional column in a magazine turned out to suit me better than holding a position in a political party. And to be honest, it is also much more compatible with my role as a full-time family manager.
Nevertheless, the time has come to put down the pen and quit writing columns as well. My thoughts multiply at this farewell to you as a loyal reader. Speaking of role models: in the worst-case scenario, I have also been an example to young women with my columns, and in the coming years, we will see a sudden large increase in the number of messy households among conservative Christians. Just the thought of it!
However, I do hope that from time to time, I may have been an inspiration to let things go a bit more and dwell more on the great and small blessings of everyday life. If that has stuck , I am a grateful person.
About the author
Neline is married and the mother of five: Martha (9), Abel (7), Jolijn (5), Reinout (3) and Sifra (1).
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