If you have been privileged to have an amazing mom then you know that she deserves her own special day and more! Regardless of race, gender, politics, religion, culture, etc… we can all agree a loving, caring, supportive mother who is your biggest fan and loves you unconditionally is one of your greatest privileges to have in this life.
Throughout history, across all cultures, all peoples, no matter what side you’re on, the shared experience many have of the love of their mothers brings most of humanity together. Yet, why is it then in our society motherhood is looked upon as a burden, a chore, enslavement even for women? Is motherhood easy? Certainly not! But what is easy in this life that’s worth lifelong happiness? The feminist movement now treats motherhood as part of the “patriarchy”, saying men pressure women to be mothers to enslave them as domestic servants while he goes out to have all the fun! They say that women should be able to get “real jobs” in order to be empowered. Fancy degrees, high powered careers, not “depend on a man” and that kids will hold you back. They say it’s sexist to think of women as mothers first and that their kids take away their identity. However, what if your kids are a permanent part of your identity and you want it that way? Is it possible a woman can live a traditionally feminine lifestyle as a wife and mother and find the fulfillment she wants in life without worrying about what the new age feminists think of her autonomy? What does it honestly say about our society when being the CEO of some company is more important and far more valued then raising the next generation of our future leaders? Or bringing new life into the world?
Some women are now raised to worry about what sort of “impact” she’ll make if she’s stuck at home living for her children and family? She says, “But I want to be empowered! I want to save the world! I want to have bigger dreams than beyond the walls of my home! I want to be autonomous like a man and dream of achieving everything my brothers can…” Now, I get that not all women want a domestic lifestyle and guess what? That’s fine by me. My issue however, is that such attitudes often are not made from many women’s intrinsic desires, but more of a way to “one-up” the patriarchy or “be like a man” as she feels this is the only way she’ll be empowered and autonomous, or make any impact on the world. She feels that it’s “sexist” to be told that motherhood is one of her greatest callings she can pursue, but what of the inherent sexism I’ve argued about before in sending women the message that the only way to matter in this world is to become a man and shun traditional femininity? Isn’t it silly though, to believe that mothers make no mark on the world? Anyone who has had a mother in their life has been deeply impacted by her love, care, devotion and everlasting support, or in the unfortunate case where that was not the case, they do not forget how she was absent when they needed her to be a mother.
If motherhood does not make an impact, then why do countless cultures hold a special place of honor for a mother? Why is one of the rare times a man can break down and show real raw emotions is when he loses his mother, or get sentimental over the memories he’s had with her? Why can soldiers, trained for stoic bravery and fearlessness sob in the barracks at night over missing mom, or in their most vulnerable moment, cry out to her when sick or injured and people don’t see them as less of a man? Why have many high powered women in leadership positions, who have broken barriers for women often cite their mothers as their strength and inspiration to achieve their dreams? Or all the so called powerful men of the “patriarchy” credit their moms for their success as well? What about the phrase behind every great man is a great woman?
How can anyone say that the woman whose shoulder you cry on, the woman you laugh with, who loves you unconditionally, who applauds your successes and supports you in your weakest moments, who is your biggest fan, who has raised you since day one, who has carried you in her body to her own inconvenience big and small, or has opened her heart to you and raised you as if she had carried you within her, has sacrificed more than you will ever know for you and the family, etc…etc… did not make an impact in this world? Saying she has no freedom, and is reduced to a mere slave unable to achieve anything “worthwhile” like a job in the workforce is the most sexist insult you can give a woman, and yet society reinforces that message everyday to prospective mothers.
“Oh, you have so much life ahead of you…” “Don’t you want to be something else too?” “You’re too young to decide right now!” are all phrases we take for granted, and yet perpetuate the bias that motherhood and traditional womanhood is oppressive and limiting. Imagine anyone saying these things to girls when they say they want to be in a career! Absurd when you see it that way… A job isn’t everything in life. Yes, I realize that many women can’t be stay at home moms anymore, including my own mother. However, couldn’t that be argued to have been forced on women too, as a result of this “independent woman” craze? When we stopped expecting women to be home full time with the children and out in the workforce like men, we stopped supporting women as wives and mothers, and give less opportunities for men to be breadwinners in their families. Now, a woman not working is often considered a leech by men who feel she is just freeloading off his earnings, rather than being like the men before him who saw it as their duty as a man to provide for his wife and family.
Now, my mom did work like many mothers of this day and age in a solid career and actually was the breadwinner in my family! She enjoyed her career and did in fact, earn a graduate degree and is proud of that and of her ability to provide for her family. However, she was always mom first. Something many high powered career women who subscribe to the masculine ideal of a fulfilling life aren’t. She cut back her hours to always be a stable presence in my life and if she could have, she would have stayed home full time to raise me. She could have risen up higher in her job, but chose her children over her career ambitions because she knew that the impact she would make on me, and the legacy she would leave behind as a mother was far more important than a fleeting career promotion. She knew that a career was a wonderful thing to have, but being a mom was far more important and her #1 job no matter what!
The devaluing of mothers in society is the root of many issues today with women resentful of their own kids as obstacles rather than legacies, kids stuck in daycare full time rather than being with mommy, little help for stay at home moms to stay home and make ends meet, and the constant message of under-appreciation from a society bent on women becoming more and more like men. When will the so called feminists, advocates of women as they claim to be, stand up for traditional femininity as being equal to being like men? When will more women cherish the children they brought into this world more than their next job promotion? When will the lifelong impact and legacy a mother leaves on her family be valued just as much as the next scientific breakthrough or glass ceiling shattered? How worth it is shattering that glass ceiling if your children will be stuck on the other side?
Why does the world have to know about you? Why do you need approval from the whole world? Is the legacy you leave behind on your family enough? Why is being like a man with an outside job so much more meaningful than raising the next generation? To me, it speaks more of a society obsessed with money and worldly prestige, power and fame, which all fade soon enough, than with creating a legacy spanning generations of commitment, support, and unconditional love.
Look, there’s nothing bad about having careers or wanting other identities in addition to motherhood. Motherhood may not be for every woman, and if you truly don’t want to become one, for the sake for any future children raised in your future resentment and neglect, don’t be. But don’t discount becoming a mother because of some radical feminist message that it will make you a lesser human being or strip you of your empowerment, as the most empowered women I know are mothers and proud of it. It’s time we women show the world we are NOT lesser or oppressed because we choose to value something different than being like the pseudo-men the feminist movement brainwashes us to become. Mothers, you ARE making an impact in this world, one FAR greater than any worldly career!
Thank you, Mom!
To the world, you may be one person, but to one person, you may be the world…