Today’s post is a little different from my norm, because I have a more personal story to share, and I think it’s one many mamas can relate to.
Last week I went to go get a pair of my boots resoled. I brought my toddler into the shop with me, and started a pleasant conversation with the shop keeper. I told him that I bought the boots years ago while I was in college, and because they were my favorite I wore them nearly every day. Walking across campus day after day took it’s toll, and soon I had worn the soles down so much that I couldn’t wear them anymore. I explained that I had wanted to fix them then, but as a poor college student I couldn’t afford it, and in the first few years after college I just couldn’t justify spending more money on shoes when I had student loans to pay. I told him just how excited I was to be able to wear them again.
He started asking me questions about where I went to school and what my degree was in. I explained that I was a proud Gonzaga University alum with a Bachelor of Business Administration. And then, he said something that caught me completely off guard. He said “So you graduated from college and now you’re just a mom”?
I didn’t know what to say. I was shocked, and hurt, and since my sleep deprived mommy brain could think of nothing witty to say I simply replied “Well, sometimes I do freelance blogging and social media”, and then quickly changed the subject. Then I drove home and cried.
You might never guess that sometimes I struggle with the decision to be a stay at home mom and not work outside of the home. I mean for heaven’s sakes, I’m writing a mommy blog! But working gave me a consistency and independence that I will never again have with kiddos at home. When I worked outside the home, people were grateful and thankful for my efforts. I constantly felt appreciated. As a mother, I seldom get any thanks, and my job now is MUCH harder. I tried to explain it to my husband the other day: “Imagine if your job NEVER ENDED, and you never got to leave the office. Now imagine that your coworker is a complete pain most of the time. They literally poop and pee on you, they need your help with EVERYTHING, and they almost never say thank you. They scream in your ear when they are angry, they never leave you alone (not even to go to the bathroom or shower) and at the end of the day you maybe get a 6 hour break before it starts all over again.” The role of a mom can be thankless and often I feel like I don’t accomplish anything other than merely surviving the day.
But then my wonderful husband reminded me of all that I do in this new role. As a mom, I am teaching my daughter how to live in this world. From the small stuff like how to get dressed, to the bigger stuff like how to treat others; she looks to me for example. I am her teacher, her nutritionist, her chef, her maid, her coach, and her companion. I am teaching her how to be a good citizen in this world.
It was then that I realized that there is nothing “just” about being a mom. To your kids, you are just their everything. And to me, you are just amazing, incredibly brave superheroes. So I want to say thank you. Because you don’t hear it enough. You are doing a good job, mamas.