Perhaps it was the way in which I was raised, or the fact that I have grown up in a society that states that we, as women, must fulfill a certain role that I have arrived at crossroads in my life, both personally and professionally. As a young girl, I was fiercely independent, and as I have grown, this has remained very much the same. I like to do things for myself, because for a long period of time, I did not trust others to help me to do them. I always found this to be effective, because I knew things would get accomplished, but it was an incredibly lonely way to live. I only discovered how much stress I was putting myself under when my husband forced me to delegate.
He taught me that it was possible to trust in others to help me with things, but my fierce sense of independence still stubbornly butted in. I always felt as if I needed to be doing something, and this translated in to work. I felt that, if I were not working, I were not contributing to anything. There was nothing I was accomplishing. I was fortunate enough to have a supportive network of family and friends who let me know that I was still important. I was still contributing. I still mattered. Yet it led me to wonder..what causes a woman to feel this way? Surely I was not the only woman, the only mother, in the world, who felt as though the way she were defined was by the title she held.
Why are we made to feel this way? Why are we our own biggest critics? Why do others feel the need to criticize us as well? As long as our children are happy and healthy, our husbands support our decisions, and we are happy with how we are living our lives, we should not judge ourselves, nor should others judge us, no matter what position we hold.
So I encourage you, sweet mom friends who are reading this, that you realize that you are special. You are valued, in the home, and outside of the home. Whether you are a working mom, or a stay at home mom, a part time job mom, or even a dog mom, you are a mom. You are a woman who brought life in to the world, who nurtures her children in to becoming the adults who will create families of their own. You have spent countless nights awake with little ones plagued by illness. You have cleaned bruises and bandaged broken bones and broken hearts. You have held a child in your arms as they fall in to a peaceful slumber on your weary, worn body. You have been someone’s safe place.
Minutes will pass, and days will quickly turn in to years. Your children will grow, and I can guarantee that they will not recall the last position you held, or what your career title was. To these children, you will always be their mother. And that’s the most important title of all.