I struggle every day with my choices in life for many reasons, but mostly because I feel that I haven’t done enough. I am not good enough because I do not have some great career or haven’t made some great mark on this world. I am a mom of five. I have for the most part been a stay-at-home mom. I have gone to work in the past and am actively seeking work now because the two men that I have been married to chose to put their own needs and desires over that of their children; only a mom is selfless enough to do without for the sake of her kids. Since the work was more to make ends meet and not to be some awe-inspiring business woman, I felt I did nothing.
Don’t get me wrong, I adore my children and know that they are the best things to ever happen in my life. Yet, somehow, I feel guilty for only being a mom. Nobody cares that you are a mom unless you are some movie star or top-40 singer. I went back to college as a momma of five to get my degree and ended up with my Nursing license. A Nurse is an honorable profession. It means you made an impact on someone’s life; as if making an impact on your children’s lives is not enough. To date, I still have not landed a nursing job. Recruiters are not impressed with a resume full of motherhood; it’s not a real job.
Somehow, being a cook, maid, teacher, guide, counselor, editor (wait ’til one of yours enters college), chauffeur, and so on does not have any merit when it is unpaid and for your own family. When your resume is overlooked again and again because you are experienced in giving and nurturing life and not in a profession acceptable to the eyes of society, it devalues motherhood. It confirms what you have always been led to believe from a father who reaches for the limelight any chance he can that can be akin to delusions of grandeur or the mom who was so incredibly brilliant that she made her way up the corporate ladder in the days of it being the place of men; women had to defeminize themselves in shoulder-padded, slim-waisted suits to blend in enough to sit with the big boys at the meeting table, although they were paid only $.50 to a man’s dollar.
I am confused and defeated by the notion of motherhood not being enough. I begin to waver in my cooking, cleaning, and loving in pursuit of something more respected. I am so worried to waste my time on the trivialities of motherhood… afraid that my children will lose respect for me; that they will suffer some unconscionable disadvantage if I am just a mom. I know financially that they need me to work to counter the strain from irresponsible fathers. However, does my mommyhood have any value at all? It once did. Women were once respected, loved and adored for what they sacrificed and did for their families.
I know this limbo that I hang in is not good for my kids. I need to learn to accept that I am a mom and embrace that singular title. I have many roles as sister, daughter and friend, but motherhood is more than just a role, it is a job. It is the most rewarding job, even if not financially so. I have to accept that society has all sorts of definitions of perfection, especially when it comes to women. No matter what, none of us will ever measure up to that standard… we will always falter because the whole point is to keep women under the thumb.. confused, guilt-ridden, self-conscious, and unable to be empowered.
I have raised some, and continue to raise, some incredibly beautiful, intelligent, charismatic, and hard-working young people. I am proud of what they have accomplished and overcome daily. They are the light of my life and being their mom is enough!