Motherhood is a privilege that is tainted by the pressures of society. It’s a journey that many would love to be apart of but are not allowed.
Yet, mothers deal with a crushing amount of stigma of what a woman and mother should be. Why does a treasured ability to be a mother face such tremendous criticisms?
Mothers face judgment every day. We see the articles that tell us the best ways to parent our children. Our social media is overflowing with posed realities of what makes a mother. Motherhood is a community filled with unsolicited advice and opinions masked as support. It’s one that shames mothers for how the discipline, fed and raises their children. It’s difficult for a mother to find her tribe of women that has the unconditional support of friendship and solidarity. The pressures within the confinement of motherhood are staggering, but it doesn’t stop there.
The world has this idea that a woman should be more than a mother. A woman can do it all. She can have an education, a successful career, and marriage while raising the perfect pint-sized individuals that will make a difference one day. So, why aren’t you more than a mother? They tell us it’s not impossible. We’re told every single day that we are supposed to be doing it all. It’s incredible to see what a mother can accomplish. We are CEOs, best-sellers, doctors, and entrepreneurs.
We’re students seeking higher education, juggling more than one job while hustling to take our kid to their extracurricular activity. But what if she just wants to be a mom?
She’s not a social failure by not having a career defined by a paycheck. She’s not incompetent because she doesn’t have a degree. And, she’s not lazy because her house isn’t Instagram worthy clean. Her role to be a mother is admirable. Her work goes unrecognized. There is no employee of the month, raises, or paid vacation. She’s lucky to get a thirty-minute lunch break or to pee alone. She manages activities, playdates, meals, doctor’s appointments, and educates. She spends countless hours of her life, showing her kids how to brush teeth, count, color in the lines, and tie shoelaces. Her life is dedicated to the ones she created.
There is no time off. A mother is always there, the one that hears the coughs in the middle of the night. She’s the one that lays in bed, rearranging the schedule in her mind. She contemplates the sorrows of the world and how to maneuver her children through them. Her mind, body, and soul belong to them. It’s a journey that lasts a lifetime of worry, hope, and unconditional love.
To all the mothers that fight every day to provide a solitude to protect the innocence of our children that will once disappear at the harsh hands of reality, we see you. Let’s acknowledge the strength it takes to be a mother. And appreciate the battles carried on the back of mothers. Yes, she may be just a mother. But, she’s doing it all. And that’s enough.