Okay, so I want to bring out my little soap box about something that I read tonight… maybe you’ve seen this floating around the internet, maybe you haven’t. If you have, I feel confident you have an opinion. I do too. And since I’m a bit of a big mouth (so I’ve been told), I feel compelled to say something.
There is an article out there written by a gal named Amy Glass. It’s titled “I Look Down On Young Women With Husbands and Kids and I’m Not Sorry”. You decide if you want to read it.
I won’t go point by point (though I want to)… the obvious response is to attack this writer for minimizing the job I have devoted my life to; keeping my home, raising my girls, looking after my family. But I don’t want to stoop to her level.
Some people dream of being doctors, or scientists – maybe CEOs… I only ever dreamed of being a mother and a wife. And I don’t think there’s a difference. Both paths are difficult for different reasons. It doesn’t make what I do any more or any less important.
But let’s talk about this part:
“Do people really think that a stay at home mom is really on equal footing with a woman who works and takes care of herself? There’s no way those two things are the same….. Having kids and getting married are considered life milestones…… These aren’t accomplishments, they are actually super easy tasks, literally anyone can do them.”
I would suggest Ms. Glass talk to someone who’s tried for years to conceive a child. I imagine they might feel differently about this.
Also, my thirty-plus stitches in each of my two labours might speak a different truth than “super easy task”.
As someone who has both been in the work force, and run a household, I can confirm that she is correct; these two things are not equal. When one works and ‘takes care of herself’, she only has one person to take care of. I have three – because part of my job is also looking after my husband’s needs. I imagine Ms. Glass gets to choose what time she gets up in the morning, and when her work day is finished… There it is right there; her work day has a finish. Mine does not. Also, I don’t get a weekend. Or holidays. Not even the Statutory ones. So she’s right – we’re not equal.
Here is what makes my job as a mother about four billion times harder than the 9-5 grind I used to do; my entire life is at the whim of two tiny people who just don’t care if I need a coffee break or a meal. They decide when I wake up, they decide when I finally get to sit down at the end of the day. And all the hours in between are spent teaching, policing, playing, entertaining, distracting. Teaching them how to be respectful, how to look after themselves, how to look after each other.
But the hardest part of all? The guilt. The worry. Wondering if I’m doing it right. Hoping they will grow to love themselves, respect themselves, be good people. Will they know how much they are loved? That they’re worthy? Because if they don’t feel all of those things, then I have failed. And what if I fail?
I mean, it’s practically the same as the time I forgot to fax an addendum to one of our developers, and had to write an apology on the cover sheet the next morning, after a full night’s sleep.
“You will never have the time, energy, freedom or mobility to be exceptional if you have a husband and kids.”
The only kind of exceptional I care to be, or aspire to be, is as a mother. If the only compliment I ever received was how well I raised my kids, and how loved my children feel, then I would say I am doing a fairly exceptional job at living my own dream. And my husband is part of the support system that cheers me on in my goal. Don’t judge me for being happy in my life, and content with my role in it.