Just a Mom
Updated: Dec 5, 2020
The other day I was talking to someone about how I've been a stay-at-home mom for 14 years now and this person's response to me was one of shock and, well, almost disgust.
"Oh, you're just a mom? You don't have a job?"
I kindly replied, "I might be only a mom, but I have plenty of jobs." Then I walked away, knowing that conversation was going to get me nothing but trouble. It did, however, get me thinking about her comment and how so many people think that being only a mom is somehow failure in the eyes of society. Living in a society where people gain their self-worth from how much money they make or by their job promotions/etc, I can see how easily it would be for someone to judge my choice of being "just a mom" so harshly. However, I do not look at my decision of staying at home with my kids as anything negative at all. In fact, I feel as though it has given me many opportunities and experiences in life. I feel it's given me more opportunities than if I'd have gone the road more traveled and gotten employment instead.
The way I look at my opportunities is that my body developed something smaller than a grain of rice to a full sized baby in only 40 weeks (less than if we're being precise because my children are impatient!), and I did this four times, somehow! I don't feel like that's failure at all. I brought these four little humans into the world (which was no easy task either!) I have been everything from a human pacifier (don't get me started on the woes of breastfeeding in itself!), to a rocker and a full-time stroller, to a seamstress, and a chef and maid, and a boo-boo kisser. I've gone without makeup and had lipstick put on by my daughter while I was asleep. My kids have made my jewelry from raw noodles and beads from an art set that I've worn with pride, and they've also given me beautiful necklaces on mother's day (that I know my hubby really picked out). I've worn everything from pirate hats to snorkels, snot to urine, and feces to vomit, and glitter to paint. I've eaten gourmet food and microwave dinners. I've had toddlers feed me make-believe cake and I've accidentally eaten glue during "art" time. I've had my hair fixed by a one year old, an eight year old, and a fourteen year old. I've been told "I love you," and also, "I hate you!" all in the same day. My heart has been broken over them and for them, and I've shed many tears with them and over them; and have also had tears cried on my shoulder. I've been given hugs because there was no one else to receive them. I've had many sleepless night for them and also with them. My ears have heard secrets that no one else knows, and my hands have helped to heal injuries that even the bravest kid couldn't keep from crying over. My lap has comforted many sleepless nights and has rocked to sleep many restless babies. We've gone on adventures together, exploring parks, museums, and zoos, and tasting the array of foods at restaurants all over the country, and we've created our own adventure together in this thing we call everyday life. In all of it, never have I once thought I was "missing out" on anything because I chose to be a mom. In fact, I didn't "choose" to be anything. Mom life chose me. Mom life isn't something we decide at all because it doesn't matter if we have a job or don't have a job. It doesn't matter if we are stay-at-home moms or work from home moms. What matters is that we are making the most with our kids of the time we have. Mom life chooses us and there's a reason it does. The next time someone tells me I'm "just a mom," I will answer, "Yes, I am. So was yours. Thank her for it."