We are a country that was founded on the principle that if you work hard you can create anything. If you're responsible and hardworking, you will be rewarded with opportunity. That message; however, is only directed to paid work, not to parenting. For this Mother's Day I would like for you to suspend the messages that you've been handed by society and open your mind to think differently about one of the most important jobs that exists, being a Mother.
When I became a parent, my whole world changed. It's way more joy than you can envision and WAY more actual work than you ever could have imagined. And when I say work, it's an equal mix of physical and emotional work. The emotional piece was something I never experienced in my career, but as a parent I'm now responsible for the welfare of another person. This component makes the job much harder than most professional careers.
My perspective on parenting also changed. More specifically, my opinion on what it means to be a stay-at-home mother was altered. Before I had my daughter, I bought into society's message that unpaid work was not valuable. So, if you were a stay-at-home mom, the work that you did wasn't of much value, and it certainly wasn't a career. Now, that feels like an insane statement. What I realized is that the work involved in raising a child is WAY harder than most professional jobs. It's never-ending, it's constantly changing, it's intellectual, it's emotional, it's physical...it's everything.
So why don't we value this job as much as we do a CEO of a company? How come we don't value a role that has more impact on our future as a society than most CEOs of any company? That's the question I keep asking myself. When you see the job for what it is, it isn't anything less than one of the most valuable professions that exists. Period.
I believe we should see the role of full-time mother as a stepping stone to almost any other paid job of choice. In an interview, a full-time mother should talk confidently about how she approaches the role and talk about her unique way of tackling the never-ending challenges it provides. The job of mother is a huge one and how you manage it demonstrates to any employer or company how you would approach any other position.
As our society evolves, we need to re-think how we value this critical role. Mothers and fathers need to be valued and seen as the architects of our future society. This is a huge position that needs our full support...support while they are in the role and support when they are transitioning out of it into the working world. I think we can all agree this change is necessary, and I believe we can achieve real change. We just need to start being more conscious of our mindset and our behaviors when it comes to this topic. This can be as simple as appreciating, and earnestly valuing, the next person you meet who says that they are a stay-at-home mom or dad.