Recently I’ve had more than one friend tell me that with all the moms they’ve heard complain about their kids, they question whether or not they want to have children at all.
My first reaction was to feel guilty, because I have contributed my fair share of complaints. Through sleep issues to my post-baby body to breastfeeding woes, I haven’t exactly been silent.
But did my list of complaints outweigh my love of being a mom? Absolutely, positively not. In no way, shape or form.
Lately, too, I came across Ezra + Eli, an awesome shop with tees for kids and moms. They have a shirt that says, “Best Job Ever,” meaning motherhood. As adorable as the shirts are, it made me stop. Is motherhood a job? Does calling it that diminish the role, and all its worth and its joys?
Here’s my conclusion: motherhood IS a job. Make no mistake about it. It is work, and it’s hard work, raising little ones. Even keeping a child alive for the first few
days weeks months (haven’t gotten to years yet) is hard!
The amazing thing motherhood has taught me, though, is that you can adapt to almost anything. You are stronger and smarter and tougher than you think. Every single time I’ve approached something as a mom that I thought would be impossible to do, it’s been overcome.
When I found out I was pregnant, I didn’t understand how something so small could make me so sick, and didn’t know if I would get through it. But I did.
When I was pregnant, I had no idea how I would give birth. And then I did.
When we went home from the hospital, I couldn’t imagine figuring out how to do it all on our own. But we did.
When we were eating dinners that others had prepared for us in those first few weeks, things like grocery shopping and cooking and cleaning seemed insane. But they happened.
When my last few weeks of maternity leave came to close, I couldn’t fathom working and taking care of the baby. We figured it out.
Now Theo is growing up, exploring, getting around on his own. He’s starting to exert his independence, and some defiance is flaring up. There are times I think, “How will we help him to know healthy boundaries, while letting him discover? What if he gets hurt? How will I put the brakes on this defiance without crushing his character?”
But I think back to when we’ve made it through the hard things, like the midnight feedings, the fevers, and the bumps and bruises he’s already gotten. We’re more than equipped to help him grow. Moms go through far more difficult things every day, and come out stronger because of it.
And let’s not forget every victory, every new skill, every smile, every snuggle. I’d take a week of sleepless nights for just a few of those sweet moments. I think almost any mom would.
So yes, motherhood is a job. But there is no better job. There’s no career or role or title more important to me than “Mommy”.