Remember during election season* when there was that whole flap about stay-at-home-moms and how hard being a mom is and how being a mom is the most important job in the world and blah, blah, blah? And neither side really came out a winner and everyone was kind of left with a bad taste in their mouth? People talked about daycare and working moms and maternity leave and the importance of raising kids well. People even talked about how politicians are out of touch.
And yet. At the time, I felt like there was something else about it that bothered me – something that no one was really talking about. But I couldn’t put my finger on it.
I just realized:
Who gives a shit?
I don’t really care if it’s hard or important or whatever. It happens to be MY choice, my life, my ‘job’. Why does any politician’s opinion on the merits of my choice have ANY bearing on my life? Why do a bunch of old men get to stand up in front of the country and speak in platitudes about being a mother?
Here’s what it is that really bothers me: the implication that my choice of what to do with my life is somehow anyone else’s, let alone the country’s, business. The implication that every single one of us should have a job that contributes to the growth of GDP or, if not that, then it better contribute to the “moral” growth of our country. If it just happens to be something that makes me happy, that’s not good enough. We are, apparently, all in this together, and we all have to pull our weight. Well you know what? Count me out of your collective. I’m sick of being treated like a commodity. My family makes the choices that work for us, and we take care of ourselves. And we don’t need anyone’s judgment about it. Not our neighbor’s, not our president’s.
Being a mother is hard. Really. Fucking. Hard. It’s also the most amazing thing I’ve ever done. It makes me feel that my life has meaning in a way that it never did before. It’s made me question everything about my life and it’s given me the strength to make some huge changes. And let’s be honest, I do happen to think it’s pretty damn important.
But the fact that anyone thinks they have a right to analyze my choice – to debate the merits of it, the “value” of it, the worth of it – makes my blood boil. It’s not a “job” – it’s my life. Get over it.
* Yes, I realize I’m way behind on this. Sometimes things have to simmer for a long time before I get the inspiration for a post.