Posted on | September 26, 2012 | 3 Comments
I got an email from a former co-worker and friend this morning. She started it off by saying it was “out of the blue” and random, but then she went on to put the biggest smile on my face.
It wasn’t a long email, nothing fancy or formal. Just an “I’m thinking of you” and “you’re doing great work.”
And you know what it did?
It made me smile all day long, every time I thought about it. And I appreciated her words more than I could ever really tell her.
The truth is, being a mom… being any sort of mom… is a really hard job. It’s got long hours and no financial gain. It has no health insurance, no vacation or sick leave, and no 401k. No matter if you work outside or inside the home, you’re number one job is still being someone else’s go-to person, their number one, their emergency contact plus confidante plus scapegoat plus any and everything else. No matter what else you do, at the end of the day, you’re being graded by the look on your child’s face when he closes his eyes to meet sleep head-on, one more collision in a series of cataclysmic catastrophes and thunderous triumphs that make up his day.
Being a mom is the hardest job I’ve ever had and that’s WITHOUT the negative feedback or guilt trips or power trips or whatever else that other moms throw our way. It’s hard without being told that you’re doing it wrong by the latest scientific study, or the latest television broadcast or editorial on the internet. It’s difficult without knowing that 9/10 children with pacifiers are empathetically challenged, 3/4 doctors recommend you don’t do whatever you’re doing, and 2/3 neighborhood moms secretly want to punch you in the face. It is one challenge after another and that’s without every elderly woman in a 10 mile radius giving you advice you didn’t ask for, scorn you didn’t need, and looks that would curl the hair on a hairless cat.
The email I got this morning reminded me how awesome being a mom can be… a secret club of women who have been there/done that or who are about to be there and do that. Being a mom can and should instead be about nods and smiles and “Honey, I have WALKED that and let me tell you which booze works best to forget…” It’s a band of sisters, or it should be… a sisterhood of the traveling pill bottle, a friendship based on common ground, common enemies and common mistakes.
It shouldn’t be about all of this other nonsense.
But I’m just as guilty as the next gal for thinking in my head “at least I don’t (FILL IN THE JUDGMENTAL BLANK).” I’m guilty of secretly hoping my kid isn’t like so and so’s kid or that I don’t act like this or that mom. And I hate that about myself. So I, for one, plan to send a few emails myself over the next few weeks. I, for one, plan to remind a few other moms just how awesome they’re doing at this really hard job where no one does performance reviews. Because honestly, if we don’t take the time to tell each other about the things we’re doing right, what gives us the right to waste our time picking at the things we’re all doing wrong?