Monday, May 5, 2008

"every day things" every day

(matt took this picture a little over a year ago because he wanted to depict life as it really is. this shot is so typical of my life with 2 small children, one in hand, and one on my hip!..a t-shirt, jeans, and tennies or flip flops)

last week i was talking to a mom of a little girl in jack's preschool class. we were letting our kids play for a little while on the playground before we put them in the car to go home. we were talking about the things our children loved at the time. jack, i said, was obsessed with super heroes. he loves dressing up as spider man or super man and captain jack sparrow! i told her that gracie wanted everything to do with babies. she carries her baby doll everywhere. she said that her daughter was very much into dollies too and that her daughter is always talking about the day when she can become a real mommy. then she went on to say that it bothered her because she didn't want her daughter to think that motherhood was glamorous....and that she needed an education and a career path to make a difference in the world. she didn't want her daughter to be "just a mom". well, i wish i could say that i stood up for mothers. quite frankly, i didn't know what to say. i can't even remember what i said, if i said anything at all, that comment sent me into deep thought and introspection at my life. the comment, "just a mom" haunted me.
then a few days later, i was nominated to be the histo
rian for the board of parents over the school both my children will attend next year, and i was at the first meeting of the new board. i was talking to the women sitting on both sides of me. the women were talking about what they "do". one woman was a lawyer, and one was the ceo of public relations for key bank (the tallest building in downtown cleveland and largest bank of the state). when they asked what i do, the thought popped into my head, "i'm just a mom". but i said that i stayed at home, but i was a graphic designer and photographer. i also went on to say that i was a teacher for 5 years. WHY COULDN'T I STAND UP FOR MOTHERS?????
i was totally wrapped into society in thinking that unless you get a paycheck, you don't have a real or otherwise important job, which is so NOT TRUE!!!
the world would say that unless you
-increased sales by this much
-closed that deal
-won that case
-climbed more more rung up the corporate ladder
- gave that speech
-or received some sort of tangible reward
that what you do is not important. motherhood is not that way, aside from God Himself, no one sees what we do. most, if not all of the work we do, is behind closed doors. there is no bonus for doing 14 loads of laundry a week, and no award for the cleanest one to cheer when you picked up the last toy or used the hand vac for the 17th time that day!
however, mothers are indeed important, and though the world devalues our "job", we must not. the poet william ross so eloquently wrote, "The hand that rocks the cradle is the hand that rules the world." i found this quote in the book titled, "I am a Mother", by Jane Clayson Johnson. we are reading this book for our book club this month and i have found it to be uplifting and inspiring.

as mother's day approaches, i wanted to have this week to feel
what i do counts, and that being a mother although so tiresome and many times thankless, is indeed a job, and not something to feel like less of a person because that is my "chosen career path". maybe it is just a day that the greeting card companies make a ton of money, but it's not so bad to have one day a year to pay homage to our mothers, and feel good about being a mom.

so although a baby on your hip, and a child in hand may not be glamorous, it's my life, and i love it (most of the time!)

may we teach our daughters that to be a mother is not to be "just a mom", but a true person who holds the future in her hands (or on her hip), and mothers make the BIGGEST difference in the world. i truly have a legacy of wonderful women behind me, and may the legacy i leave be just as wonderful.