I’ve noticed a lot of mixed messages in the media lately. There’s supposed to be a “war on women”, but the only place I feel this attack from is from the very people “protecting” women. They are upset because certain private entities don’t want to cover specific medical procedures for women. They preach the idea that women should be promiscuous, but should never become mothers. Motherhood, they say, is the worst thing that can happen to a woman. Motherhood is a waste of time, talents, and energy. Anyone, they say, can be a mother – but the truly intelligent and talented should aspire to change the world.
Motherhood isn’t for the faint of heart. Motherhood isn’t something that happens accidently. Sometimes conceiving a child happens accidentally – true, but being a mother takes study, effort, self-control, selflessness, and skills that cross all areas of the job market. What career requires knowledge of nutrition, nursing, financial planning, economics, child development, engineering, construction, education, psychology, mathematics, interior design, art, music, motivation, housekeeping, science, humor, time management, mediation, and perseverance? All of these areas are required to be a mother, plus others, yet the job comes with little to no instructions, employee training, or handbooks.
Yet, while women are encouraged to use their bodies for self-fulfillment – and in any way they want, the act of actually being a mother is mocked, and joked about. Often, stay-at-home-moms say “Oh, I’m just a mom.” Implying that being a mom isn’t a good enough career choice. Often, young girls proudly say they want to be a mother when they grow up, only to be told that they should pick something worthwhile, something that will benefit society.
Apparently, popular culture thinks raising children to become productive, thinking, caring, honest, and kind members of society isn’t beneficial. I wonder if the reason for this is because our society has placed so much value on money and fame. Mothering is the antithesis of these two objectives. Being a mother means very long hours – some of them lonely – from the moment the baby is born. It means working all day in often repetitive and mundane tasks – only to find that they all need to be done again. It means working to develop the talents and interests of children before any personal talents are developed. It means loving children so much that when they are hurt, the mother feels that pain; when they laugh, the mother feels that joy. And it means doing all these things without any outside reinforcement. There’s no performance review, raise, paycheck, or day off for a mother.
And I must tip my hat to mothers who nurture and mother their children, and still work outside the home, whether they are married or single. What an amazing burden to carry. To go to work for eight hours, or more, and then come home to this over-time job . . . the stamina amazes me. The sacrifices needed to make that work are amazing.
Mothering children is the one thing that will change the world. What is the best way to ensure ideals, beliefs, and traditions continue? Teach them to a child. If I want to make the world a better place, the best place to begin is by helping my children want to make the world a better place.
So, I will stop saying “I’m just a Mom.”
I am a Mom and I am working to make this world a better place, one beautiful, amazing, talented, unique child at a time. Three cheers for all the Mothers out there. Keep it up – you too are making the world a better place!