CINCINNATI, Ohio, April 4, 2011 (LifeSiteNews.com) – Not only do these six moms have 44 children between them, they are beautiful, vibrant, hardworking women on a mission to spread the beauty of what they deem “the greatest profession on earth”: motherhood.
Brought together by dynamic pro-life leader and mother of nine, Jenn Giroux, these six women began traveling the United States in February 2010, calling their presentation “Speaking of Motherhood.” They witness to women on college campuses, at women’s conferences, and even in high schools, presenting a “counter-cultural” view of motherhood.
Founder and former executive director of Human Life International America and founder of the Association of Large Families (AFLA), registered nurse Jenn Giroux holds an array of titles, but looks on her motherhood as the crowning achievement. Known for her speaking and writing on the spiritual and physical harms of contraception, Giroux’s plan for “Speaking of Motherhood” developed out of her public speaking.
“There is a huge need out there for us to show the positive side of motherhood and to once again elevate motherhood to the respect that it deserves,” Giroux said in a telephone interview with LifeSiteNews.com while traveling with her five companions to a speaking engagement. ”It is the greatest profession on earth for women and it has really been completely denigrated by the feminist movement.”
“Speaking of Motherhood” had its inaugural presentation at Notre Dame last February. Since then, the six moms have done sessions in Missouri, Nebraska, and Indiana and have upcoming bookings in Ohio, Kansas, and Washington. “We try to go wherever we’re invited,” said Giroux, who recently started marketing the talk.
“Speaking of Motherhood”
“One of the funniest things,” Giroux recounts, are the huge 2’ x 3’ blowups of their family photos that the six moms put on tripods during their talk. “Here we are carrying the huge things in,” she laughs, “but it is amazing the response that we get from it.”
“We want them to see the visual, beautiful pictures of our children,” said Giroux, who said she often jokingly shares with the audience the number of natural and c-section births the six moms boast.
The pro-life leader begins the presentation speaking of the spiritual and physical harms of contraception. “Most girls have not heard any of this,” said Giroux, speaking of the proven high increased risks of breast cancer from contraceptives. “It is important for women and young girls to hear this.”
“Our generation is completely filled with grief and post-contraceptive regret,” she said. “We were blown away at our first talk with how many women could relate with what we were saying … we want to witness to the younger generation so they don’t repeat our mistakes.”
While Giroux begins the talks speaking about contraception, the majority of the presentation consists in personal testimonials from the moms, none of whom are professional speakers.
One mom recounts how she was told on the delivery table with her second child that neither she nor the baby would likely survive. Both the mom and her baby lived. Later, she refused to have a tubectomy (tubes “tied”) on the physician’s advice and went on to have seven more children.
In another mom’s testimony, she tells of her choice to have her “tubes tied” at age 26. She then “walks through her story of regret” that ended in a reversal of the operation and the birth of her son after three daughters.
The presentation seeks to show the beautiful and the positive aspects of motherhood lost in society, said Giroux. “We really need to show them the beauty of children, which is the actual positive message of showing them the beautiful fruits of accepting God’s gift of children.”
Another mom tells the heartbreaking story of her first born, a still-born baby. An accountant who planned and calculated through her pregnancy, she tells the humility she learned on the delivery table surrendering everything to God. She recounts how she had to learn trust in God and later went on to have four children.
Yet another testimony of trust comes from the mom who witnesses to those with financial excuses for not having children. “I’m here to talk to anybody who says they can’t afford children,” she says. While she and her husband “can’t afford” a large family, she tells the audience how through hard work and trust in God, they have had eleven children.
“We try to give them a very realistic picture of what having a large family is,” Giroux told LSN of the moms who represent a variety of lifestyles, from working to stay-at-home moms.
Where the media is constantly bombarding women with the idea that they should not have lots of kids because it will ruin their careers, change the look of their bodies, or alter their carefree lifestyle, Giroux and her team are there to stand up as “counter-cultural.”
“We’re trying to let them know that the moms they put on T.V. are completely abnormal,” said Giroux. “The big secret of having children has been lost” through the continual lie of the secular public.
She laughingly recounts the stories of college-age girls who look at her in awe upon learning she has nine children and respond, “oh my gosh, but you’re so normal.”
“We’re giving the message back to people that ‘you know what, girls, you can have it all, you can take care of yourself, have kids, work-out, be an active mom, work outside the home and have a strong marriage and have a large family,’” said Giroux.
“Surrender everything to God”
To a culture that buys into a one to two child ideology, these six moms challenge women to “surrender everything to God” and be open to His countless blessings.
Giroux says that time and again many people express to her regret at having only one child or the grief they have at being an only child. She quotes Pope John Paul II, saying, “The greatest gift you can give your child is another sibling.”
Yet, Giroux maintains the “Speaking of Motherhood” campaign isn’t to force bigger families on everyone, even though the moms do promote large families.
“Our message isn’t just ‘have a lot of children’ because everybody isn’t intended to have 10 kids,” Giroux told LSN. “Our message is ‘trust God’ and accept the beautiful gift of children.”
“All of us say, marriage and motherhood is stressful and has its challenging moments, but the blessings so far outweigh the difficulties. We had very scary moments where we had to trust God in our motherhood and as a result we were blessed with the children that we have.”