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Modern-Day Nativity Scene Reflects Fathers' Involvement in Parenting
PHOTO BY @advancedmfm/Instagram
  • Part of the enjoyment of celebrating Christmas in the Philippines is putting up Christmas decor two months before December: this includes the tree, the parol, lights, and a tableaux of the Nativity scene, which depicts the birth of Jesus Christ in a manger, as described in the Holy Bible: Mary is knelt on the floor beside baby Jesus, Joseph is standing by their side, as the three kings, an angel, and farm animals surround them. 

    Recently, to the delight of mothers everywhere, a different kind of Nativity scene has gone viral on social media. It deviates from the image we all grew up knowing in that it shows Joseph seated with baby Jesus on his lap, while Mary is curled up in deep slumber on the manger beside them. Titled “Let Mum Rest,” the image is being lauded for showing the realities of parenthood.

    Pope Francis himself was delighted when on his 83rd birthday on December 17, 2019, he was shown a photo of the said Nativity scene. Reports Aleteia, the Pontiff said it shows the tenderness of a family or marriage.


    “How many of you have to share the night between husband and wife for the baby boy or girl who cries, cries, and cries?” he said, adding that this is exactly the message of the Nativity scene.

    This unique image of the Nativity is also a reflection of modern times when parenting duties do not anymore fall on the shoulders of the mother alone. Over the years, the need for mothers to practice self-care has been emphasized and recognized. Fathers have also gradually taken on an active role in the family other than being the provider, giving more of their time and presence to contribute in child-rearing in a significant way.

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