In which we have a sermon about a wife and mother's proper behavior disguised as a chapter in our book.
Okay, maybe not quite, but on a whole, this one is a lot preachier than the last few chapters, don't you think? Actually, I quite agree with a lot of what she says here, and it feels very familiar to me, since I'm the mother of three little people.
I well remember that first year after I had Sam, how I had to struggle to find a balance between nurturing him and caring for our house and my husband. I've been blessed with a very understanding husband who has been engaged in child-rearing from the first minute or so of Sam's life. But I have really strong mothering instincts and get weirdly selfish about my babies -- happened with all three of them. For the first 3 months or so, I just want them all to myself, all the time. I have to force myself to hand them over to him sometimes, even if it's because I need to take a shower or whatever. People who aren't Cowboy -- wow, letting them hold those little all-important bundles of babyness was almost physically painful sometimes.
So I well understood Meg's exhaustion, and also her stubborn absorbtion in her babies. And also the need to make a point of spending time with her husband, because guys don't stop needing attention just because there's a baby around now. Husbands are people too, and wives are wise not to forget that.
"...you are the sunshine-maker of the family, and if you get dismal there is no fair weather" (p. 350).
Possible Discussion Questions:
Alcott says, "a woman's happiest kingdom is home, her highest honor the art of ruling it not as a queen, but as a wise wife and mother" (p. 356). Do you agree? Disagree?