Some of the things motherhood is:
Absolutely what motherhood isn’t:
the toughest job in the world
the most important job in the world
Circulating around the internet recently was a video called ‘the toughest job in the world’, that managed to go viral in a very short space of time. Essentially, it posted a fake job vacancy, and asked for people to apply. The interviewee’s skyped in and at the end of the ridiculous list of job requirements, it’s revealed that the job up for grabs was that of ‘mother’.
Some of the ‘requirements’ the video outlined were:
the ability to stand up all the time
constant bending over
no time for sleep
working 135 hours a week
a degree in medicine, finance and culinary arts
a work increase on all nationally celebrated holidays
Blarrrgh. Can someone pass me a bucket, please?
There are so many, many things wrong with this that I barely know where to start.
Apart from the fact that these are all gross exaggerations, the idea that mothering is a job is what really gets me riled up.
The implication that loving someone (for that’s essentially what mothering is) is a job is abhorrent to me. It’s not a job. It’s something I chose to be (and before you carry on – if you choose to have sex, you’re also choosing the possibility of being a mother, regardless of whether you specifically set out for that to be the end result).
And touting motherhood as the ‘hardest job’, ‘the most important job’, ‘the noblest job’ in the entire world. Really. Really?
I have raised one child and am still in the process of raising another two – I’m pretty sure I’ve never faced anything like what a brain surgeon deals with on a regular day. I’m pretty sure that breaking rocks in India every day for the rest of your life is harder than dealing with a three year old tantrum in the middle of Target. I’m pretty sure that me teaching a child to have manners and be polite, isn’t quite as important on a scale of 1-10 as the work of world changers like Rosa Parks, Eleanor Roosevelt and Marie Curie. And I’m pretty sure that Mother Theresa would pip me at the post in any competition vying for nobility.
Am I saying that motherhood isn’t worthy of recognition? Of course not. It is a worthy thing to do – to love and raise another human being. Should mothers be appreciated, recognised, given a break every so often? Abso-bloody-lutely. But is it the be all and end all? Nope.
There are plenty of things I’ve done that have been harder than raise children. Plenty.
It’s not a chore to raise my children, it’s a joy! I don’t stay up late waiting for my teenager to get home because it’s in the ‘job description’, I do it because I love her. I don’t re-shuffle my work day to take my ten year old to the doctors or to watch her run a race on sports day because I have to, I do it because I want to.
So let’s be honest – motherhood is great. It’s also something that requires our ongoing attention and focus. It is sometimes frustrating and stressful. But so are many, many other things in life.
If you’re a mum, enjoy today. It’s nice to have motherhood celebrated, but let’s not get carried away and think it’s the only worthwhile thing a woman can do.
I love being a mum. Far from being the toughest job in the world, loving my children and being their mum is one of the easiest things in the world!