Monday, May 11, 2009

Mother's Day

Mother's Day Sacrament Meeting=the only time mothers are praised and thanked, formally or informally, all year.

Mothers sacrifice so much, from their sleep to their education to their dreams to their ice cream, in order to take a hands-on role in building the future of our world. Mothers work harder, longer, more selflessly, and in more difficult circumstances than anyone else on earth I can think of. Mothers sacrifice, bleed, die for the world to continue to grow and hopefully be a better place than even they grew up in.

And for what?

Not honor. Not praise. Not glory. Not thanks.

Oh, no. Not in this world.

What we usually get is belittled, mocked, degraded, criticized, and condemned.

Why? Because we chose to put our children--YOUR future--ahead of our own needs. Ahead of, incredibly, a career.

Yes, we consent to be not queens, but second-class citizens because we chose not to do secretarial work, shelve books, read other people's research papers, and insert endless numbers of commas into other people's papers. Because we give up our figures, our youth, and our salary for so much more important work.

Interestingly, most of the persecution of mothers is done by other women, not by men. Other women are the ones who laugh in our faces and tell us outright that we are less of a woman for bearing children (instead of what? being a middle manager? teaching someone else's kids in pre-school instead of our own? serving in congress?). Women who chose not to have children.

But THAT is where mothers will, in the long run, be vindicated.

See, the career women who are, at best, condescending to mothers--they have what they chose, and they can't really do both. But we who chose motherhood first? We also can have a career because children are forever, but diapers aren't. Those "career women" will get, at most, two children when they are too old to really enjoy them--and maybe, if they do motherhood right, they might realize what they missed. And we who stay home and raise our babies, however many we choose to have? We can have a full, rewarding career, too, after the babies get big.

And they, who mock me now for my choices, if they pursued their choices the best way they know how, when we are all 90 years old, they will be surrounded by dozens of books they wrote that nobody reads anymore, dozens of papers that were published in journals that have been outdated, disproven, and forgotten, or dozens of employee of the month certificates. Oh, and I'll have those, too. But I will also, if I did it right, be surrounded by dozens of people who love me.

And Mother's Day, and the little flower I get (whether made of cookies or tissues or wilting in a little pot) reminds me that I'm not just investing in the world's future, but my own as well. It reminds me that I CAN have it all--we all can have it all--but only if we do it in the right order.

And it's worth it.

1 comment:

Heather said...

AWESOME! I love your writing.