“I’m just a Mom,” a friend told me in passing, as we were chatting about life and catching up. JUST a Mom. Why do we attach that word “just?” Why do we feel the need to defend our role or note that our position is without pay or merit in the business world? Is it because in today’s culture so much pressure is placed on mothers to do it all and not enough value is given to the very sacred duty of raising our kids well?
As “Just a Mom,” you and I are responsible for our children’s entire lives and well-being. When we have new babies, we feed them what feels like around the clock. We hold them whenever they cry and sometimes just because they smell nice! They are helpless and dependent on us for every need and we instill a foundational belief at this tender age, that their needs will be known and met. These feelings of trust, attachment and security are the foundation that the rest of their lives will be built on and that’s no small thing!
As regular ol’ Moms, we teach our children their ABC’s, their shapes and colors. We teach them to look both ways and to not talk to strangers. We sit and listen to them practice the same song for hours for their concert, in what can only be described as an act of sainthood. We teach them how to do everything from [writing] their name to ride a bike. Maybe it’s just me, but it actually felt like a huge parental achievement when I finally taught my child how to tie her own shoes!
It is amazing in and of itself that we keep these sweet little people thriving, learning and growing on a physical level and even greater still, that we are a part of teaching so many developmental and educational milestones in their lives. However, beyond caring for their immediate needs, we also have the monumental responsibility and joy of showing them right from wrong. We are our children’s first moral compass, in a world that seems to have lost it sometimes. We are the first place they learn love, empathy, and kindness. We do our best to model positive behavior for them to mimic. We have a pivotal role in shaping exactly what kind of person they will become and how they will subsequently change the world.
Motherhood is not just a job, it is a calling. However, if it were a job, it is estimated that full-time Mom’s work an average of 98 hours a week…NINETY-EIGHT HOURS! We must love these little munchkins a whole lot to devote that much time to their happiness, safety, and overall well-being. Who else do you know that pours that much of their lives into developing the hearts and minds of the next generation? The next time you find yourself saying, “Oh, I don’t work. I’m JUST a Mom.” The next time you hear a new mother utter these words, because she is perhaps lacking confidence in just how important of a job, she DOES have…do me a favor and help continue to change the rhetoric surrounding full-time parenthood. Tell them, “You are a teacher, a baby whisperer, a life coach, a smile maker, a world changer.”
Give yourself some credit, Mama. You are giving your kids an amazing childhood. You are the one creating memories that they will look back on with love and fondness and tell THEIR children about. You are the one doing the hard things — the late-night talks, the dreaded math homework, making them eat their vegetables, wiping away their tears, kissing their cuts and scrapes and helping them believe in the beauty and magic of the world around them. You are where their story begins. You raise them kind. You make them brave. You teach them well. You are “just” simply amazing, Mom!