Over the last few weeks, I’ve been in social settings where some iteration of “What do you do?” has come up. And the response I’ve heard to that question from women has upset me.
“Oh. I’m just a mom.”
Cue all the anger.
These are smart women. Educated women. Kind and generous women. To hear them diminish themselves in any way because they’re not drawing some kind of paycheck is like nails on a chalkboard, and it needs to stop.
When did we get to the point where we felt the need to qualify or justify our livelihoods? You wouldn’t say “Oh. I’m just a financial analyst,” or “I’m just a teacher” or “I’m just a Marine.” The very thought is absolutely absurd. Why is it different for homemakers?
I’m not going to sit here and list out all the pros and cons of stay-at-home moms vs work-out-of-the-home moms vs work-from-home moms. Mommy Wars are so 2008 and I would like to think we’ve evolved just a bit since then. What I want you to understand is that no matter our path, we all face huge challenges. Conversely, there are perks associated with those paths as well.
And as with everything in life, there is really no right answer. Don’t let anyone tell you otherwise.
There’s no shame in being a mom, stay-at-home or otherwise. And there’s equally no shame in working full time out of the home. It’s two different ends to the same means: taking care of the family you love in the way that works best for the people in your home. What’s the point of inviting negative reactions by reducing your duties with four little, very unnecessary words?
The point I want to make today to all those “Just A Moms” is be confident in your calling. There is nothing “less than” about staying at home. If you love it and it works for your family dynamic, then you can count yourself fortunate to be one of those people who get to live the proverbial dream. This is what feminism is all about: having the freedom to choose the vocation that works best for you and embracing that without judgment.
However you spend your days — in the kitchen, in an office, in the field, or any combination of those things — own it and be proud. You’re doing great things and you deserve to feel secure in that knowledge.
You’re a mom.