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The Instinct to Mother

by | Aug 10, 2023

By Bonnie Finnerty

Editor’s note. This appears in the August issue of National Right to Life News. Please share with your pro-life family and friends.

Six months ago I left a job I loved, coworkers I admired, and a mission I wholeheartedly believed in.  In some ways it was a difficult decision. But then again, it was also quite simple.

My four-year stint as the Education Director for the Pennsylvania Pro-Life Federation was an exhilarating experience that stretched, challenged, and fulfilled my desire to be an agent of change in our misdirected pro-abortion culture. I loved writing and speaking about pro-life topics. I loved doing our weekly podcast with amazing guests. I loved meeting so many dedicated people through our chapter events. I even relished debates that would surface on social media when abortion supporters proffered their illogical comments.

So why leave a job that I found so meaningful, one where I had the opportunity to have a positive impact on the culture of life? 

Well, a new position had developed.

The hours were irregular.  The salary nonexistent.  But the clientele was unparalleled. And it was the best pro-life job I could ever land.

I left to be a full-time Baba (grandmother).

You see, my daughter and son-in-law had recently relocated with their four children to our corner of the world. If you are a grandparent, you know the weight of that blessing.

Each day that I went into the office, I felt a tug.  While I was busily composing blogs, social media posts, and weekly e-newsletters, safely tucked behind my keyboard, my fast-blooming grandchildren were just 15 minutes from me.  

The baba in me wanted to be more present in their lives. The teacher in me wanted to support their homeschooling journey. The mom in me wanted to be available to help my daughter and son-in-law whenever the occasion arose.

So I resigned. It was hard to walk away from work I loved, but not hard for those I love more. The greatest pro-life work, after all, is what we do in our very own families, in our own homes.

This wasn’t the first time I yielded to the strong maternal instinct that dwells within. Many years ago I left a teaching position that I absolutely loved.  I had landed an amazing job in a middle school where I felt I could truly make a difference.

But just a few weeks in I learned I was pregnant with our fourth child.  As I neared the end of the pregnancy, I realized that I was called to prioritize my own children and leave teaching. Transitioning to one income meant some sacrifices but our basic needs were met and our family life flourished. Twenty-four years later, as that child is finishing her doctorate and serves others in her healthcare vocation, I know it was the right decision for our family.

As I was writing this, our fifth grandchild was born, a sign of good job security for this baba.  With two weddings on the horizon, we are adding onto our family through marriage as well.  It is a new season of life and I am embracing it. 

There are so many ways to build a pro-life culture- through education, advocacy, legislation, mentoring, and more. And I am so grateful for all those who continue to work in the pro-life movement, shining light on the darkness.  

For me right now, my work is here.  Mother Teresa said, “If you want to change the world, go home and love your family.”  It is after all, where it all begins!

Categories: Pro-Lifers
Tags: pro-life