A Parenting Partnership Ceremony
Spiritually Rich, Non-Religious
Susan M. Mumm, MA
It is quite mind boggling that we have no ritual in this culture to prepare people for parenthood. Raising children is probably the most difficult endeavor most of us will engage in during our lifetimes. Parenthood should be undertaken with a great deal of conscious forethought, commitment, and planning. I, therefore, think we should develop Parenting Ceremonies where prospective parents can publicly announce their intention to parent, and make pledges regarding their readiness for parenthood with their extended family, friends and community present..|
It is important for a couple's community to be involved in their decision to become parents because parenting is, in a sense, a public matter. If a couple does not live up to their parenting commitments, society at large will have to take responsibility for the children. Perhaps rituals such as this one, which prompts couples to publicly announce their commitments regarding parenthood to family, friends, and community, can increase the likelihood that couples will be able to create healthy and successful families.
On a more positive side, the birth of a child is an addition to society. This child's life will affect not only his/her parents, but all those he/she comes into contact with. Thus, it makes sense for the broader community to be involved in the birth of a new member of society. This ceremony is kind of like a group welcoming ceremony for the child that will be born.
If the idea of a parenting ceremony appeals to you, you can use this sample ceremony to generate ideas for writing your own ceremony.