I am Just a Mom
While on a walk with my family this weekend I overheard two college-aged adults talking about someone they knew and how she had decided to "just be a stay at home mom". I have heard people use this phrasing for my whole life; in different forms of course but with the same message. "I am only a mom", "I am just a mom", "she is just a mom" and my very favorite "she doesn't work, she is just a stay at home mom". Now I have heard this over and over and before becoming a mother myself I used to think it was an unfair categorization but one that was simply part of how society views woman. Now, remember please that I am not an expert, I am a parent and I have my own opinions so here they are. After 5 years 8 months and 7 days of parenting I view every other job on this planet (with the possible exception of hard labor, plumbers and those who risk their lives on a daily basis) as a walk in the park that pays; as compared to motherhood.
There was no interview process, there was no list of "expertise needed". There are no coffee breaks, Labor Day vacations, lunches, bathroom breaks, paychecks, gratifications or awards. We as woman, we as mothers-and men/fathers for those of you who stay at home- didn't choose this path because it was a way out. We chose this path because the ability to raise the next generation and to impact the future of this planet by creating children who become the best human beings they can be is a fundamentally important and necessary career. If cars seize to be made the world would go on, if doctors seized to practice medicine the world would go on, if parents stopped creating children and being parents our entire civilization would stop. Everything else is secondary to the necessary job of brining human life, the next generation, into this world.
I tried to defend phrases about "just a mom" for so long, before and after having my daughter. I realized this past weekend that defending it is giving it power that it is something in need of defense. I say now to all of those woman - and men- out there that are "Just a Mom" - OWN IT! Wear it proud, say absolutely I am just a mom, would you like to try it out for a day? Would you like to see what #Justamom feels like for a short 24 hours because please do and let me know at the end of it if there is any other job on this planet which warrants a higher praise than being called "Just a Mom".
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I am a mother, not a wizard. I share what is hard, what is scary and what is real. The rest I leave to you.