Although my kids are now grown, I can still remember how hard it was to juggle the responsibilities of being a mom, working a full-time job, and trying to keep a household running smoothly.
For those of you who are currently traveling this path, let me encourage, and assure you that you WILL survive. Whether employed outside the home or a stay-at-home mom, being a mom is the most important position you will ever hold. Embrace it and be proud!
Always remember that you're never JUST a mom, you are so much more! My children were in elementary school and one particular day, I recall a moment in time that stood still, I guess you could call it an epiphany of sorts.
It was just another ordinary day, just a casual inquiry, just a single random comment, and just one little word that simply hit me the wrong way and sent my mind swirling. The question was simple, non-confrontational and direct. Standing in the foyer of the school to pick up my kids, another mom asked, “So, what do you do?"
"I work in customer service, other than that I'm just a mom.” A mutual reciprocated nod of understanding and a smile, we picked up our children and went our merry way. Later that day, that single phrase came crashing down on me like a ton of bricks! Just a mom! JUST a mom! What was the matter with me? Did I really say that! Yes, I work a fulltime job and I AM a mom. A BUSY mom, no doubt, a TIRED mom, absolutely, and often a FRUSTRATED mom, but JUST a Mom....no way. Where did that come from? I mean really, is someone JUST a doctor, JUST a lawyer, JUST a nuclear scientist? Why on earth would I use the word JUST to describe my career, my destiny...my life? How dare I, or anyone else, demean the status of such a vital position? A mom’s day begins before anyone else awakes and ends long after everyone else has retired for the evening. The endless responsibilities of this lifetime role are challenging, stressful and rewarding. Breakfasts must be prepared (even cereal, after-all, someone has to get the bowls out and pour the milk), pack lunches, do the laundry (every day), ensure the kids leave the house “appropriately” dressed for school, teeth are brushed (can’t assume), hair is combed, and ensure the kiddos arrive at daycare, school or the bus...on time!
Once the kids have arrived at their destination, it's time for the mom, who happens to be employed outside of the home, to hurry and get ready for work, hoping her shoes match (who among us hasn’t arrived with two different shoes of similar styles) and double check the seams on clothing (you know you have worn that blouse inside out before).
For the Mom who is not employed outside of the home, the routine of household responsibilities must be tackled. Whether employed outside of the home or not, mom has to pick up dirty clothes left wherever they were removed. (For some reason, children and spouses seem to have difficulty seeing things on the floor. They walk over, around or even through them, but will never pick them up.) Meals, whether baked, boiled, broiled, microwaved or simmered in the crockpot must be prepared, dishes washed, carpets vacuumed, linoleum swept, and we all know prefabricated furniture will not dust itself. Moms possess unique multi-tasking skills, from juggling homework and after-school activities to ball games and band practice.
A mom may not be a doctor in real life, but definitely plays one at home. The art of scheduling can be likened to walking a tight rope when it comes to picking up a sick child at school, making doctor/dental appointments, dropping off forgotten homework and paying household bills. Of course, mom has to make sure the last roll of toilet paper, last drop of toothpaste or all of the shampoo has not been used.
The above description doesn't even begin to scratch the surface of a mom's commitment, love, dedication and sacrifice. So today is the day for all moms to smile! You are important! You've been entrusted with the most valuable treasure on earth, and yes, you are worth celebrating. In fact, there is JUST one simple thing to remember from this story. Regardless of how the world views your so called "employment" status, a mom, is on call 24/7. A mom is never JUST a mom! A mom's work is hard, sometimes heartbreaking, and the pay is lousy; however, when all is said and done, the rewards are unmatched. Being a mom encompasses many things, it’s just that JUST, ain’t got nothin’ to do with it!