Sunday, January 4, 2009

Mommy's Musings: In Defense of Motherhood

You'll have to forgive me ahead of time if I ramble but I have been thinking about these things for two full days now and wanted to get them "out there" for discussion. Yesterday I was talking with my friend Heidi and we were discussing the highs and lows of being a mother. One day prior to this an old friend, who doesn't have children, posted a comment on her facebook page implying moms are lying when they say their kids are the best thing that ever happened to them and they love their compromised life in which they've lost their identity. Hmm.

Is this true? Are we all just lying to ourselves and the rest of the world? Do we love our kids but secretly resent that we've given up careers, personal space, personal time and the freedom to be spontaneous? I don't think so.

I'm certain there are those women out there but the ones I come in contact are genuinely happy women. They are well rounded and rooted in their church, family, and community. Their children don't take away from their life but instead add a richness and fullness that is incomparable.

Here's where I see the dichotomy that exists in motherhood and that doesn't translate if you don't have kids:

  • 100% fulfilled and 100% depleted at any given moment and most times simultaneously

  • We think our children are perfect angels and quite possibly the anti-Christ

  • We think we're never as good as our best friend, neighbor, sister, whoever but also know that our family would be lost without us

  • We wear more hats and carry more responsibility than one job would ever ask of an employee and do it without any pay and very little sleep yet wonder if we're contributing enough

I'm sure you can think of a whole lot more but you get it don't you? With all these grey areas how can a person without children understand how these little midgets who are such drains can completely leave you breathless with love and adoration; how they enrich and deepen your life in a way that no book, no job, no vacation, no title or promotion could ever do.

Hey, I'm always the first to admit it ain't glamorous ("ain't" used for effect) and most times I'm ready to get my drunk on by 10am but I love my kids, I love my life and there is truly nothing I would rather do more than spend my day chasing them around and telling them to get off the counter and stay out of the cat's food. I'll take a day away with a girlfriend or Hot Jeff at any given moment but only for a day because I have some terrorists who need me to make them Mickey Mouse shaped pancakes.

postscript: I make these statements as a mother who doesn't work outside of the home. However, my oldest friend Traci, does work outside of the home, full time, and I believe these things are true for her as well. Her son means everything to her. She's a wonderful example of balance. With that said, the "facebook comments" were directed, I believe, towards mothers who choose to stay home and obviously forfeit their talents and education.

Email me your comments, musings and feedback at! I'd love to hear your thoughts on this topic whether you agree or disagree.


raffertymomma said...

Before I was a mom I always heard the saying, "Parenthood is the hardest job you'll ever love." That confused me. In my mind when something is hard I want to give up and run away. And honestly there are days I want to do that. (But I only get as far as Walmart. I walk around for an hour and I can't wait to get back home.)

I do think motherhood is something ladies without kids can not understand. It's like a contraction. How can you explain a contraction to someone?! We say, "It's like_____" But you really don't know the feeling of a contraction until you feel it for yourself. "A contraction is like the worst gas pain you've ever had, times 1,000." or "A contraction like being ran over by a Mac truck for 16 hours." But all moms sign up for it and we'd all do it again because of the joy and satisfaction that comes at the end.

That's what motherhood is to me. A lot of hard work, periods of pain, bouts of crying, but great satisfaction and joy and in the end more reward than we ever we ever thought was possible.

Traci said...

Well, I read your blog first thing this morning and have been looking forward to getting home and sitting down and typing out an intelligent comment to support what you wrote. And I got a perfect example of what you were talking about. :)

I made dinner and then played a few games with Jonah, and then came in to the office to just have a few minutes of "down time" to check my email and respond to your blog and of course he's yelling at me from the kitchen for Lord only knows what reason. So I was kind of frustrated, but when I went out to see what he needed he just looked at me and held his arms out and said "Mommy, I just wanted to dance with you like we are at a ball because you are like a beautiful princess." Ahhh ... how can you refuse that? :)

So there you have it ... one minute total frustration and the next minute absolutely adoration ... what is it with those little midgets?! They sure have a magic power over us mommies. :)

Sara Kane said...

All I can say is I'm new at this...and it's great to hear words of wisdom from the trenches! :)

Cindy L. said...

I have used those exact words to people...dichotomy...that's what it is...the most wonderful, but most difficult job in the world is motherhood. I don't know how those two things go together, but they do.
Nice blog...I'm a friend of Nona's and she said to give you a shout out if we checked out your blog....consider yourself shouted at!!

Dena said...

Amen Sister, AMEN! pure joy and frustration...i would never hope for anything else, but to be the mom of my two.