The other day I was at my regular grocery store when the cashier lady whom I had been seeing over the past year asked me if I was a stay at home mom with a tone that was a bit degrading.Society is so harsh sometimes, if you stay at home to raise your child the assumption is that you are literally staying at home and doing nothing and that life is so easy for you. If you are a mother that has a job, the guilt treatment is the main resort from most people who will comment on how early you left your child to be cared for by someone else. I have experienced both worlds and here is what I have learned along the way.
I have learned that there should be no such thing as a working mom or a stay at home mom and I quite can’t understand the need to be labeled as this or that. We are all mothers regardless of our career and personal choices, we all love our children, worry about them and want what’s in their best interest and I am writing this post because I truly believe that something needs to be changed on how we treat new mothers specifically and mothers in general.
The most difficult thing that I experienced as a mother with a full time job was not missing my baby girl, it was having to deal with comments about how early I went back to work and how I am missing out on the most important moments of my life and and and etc. Another difficult thing that I went through and I am still going through as a mom other than maintaining my sanity is dealing with the pressure of the need to go back to work and the comments about how I need to start doing something useful in my life and that I should be careful not to get stuck in the mommy world or else my career is doomed.
I have learned that as a new mother you are so fragile and overwhelmed that you really do not know how to react to the judgments from others and one of the most hurtful comments that I dealt with were ironically from other mothers. Two years later I began asking my self why I spent so much time worrying about Justifying my family’s choices and seeking the approval of others just to be recognized as a good mother. At the time I was so overwhelmed as a new mom that I didn’t know any better, I look back now and realize that this was a very difficult experience that has taught me so much about understanding my self.
I have learned that the moment you give birth to your child you become an advocate, an advocate that fights from all her heart to do what is best for her family but along the way we forget ourselves, at least I know I did. I forgot that it is not acceptable to be labeled, I forgot that it is not normal to have to justify your choices especially to people you barley see. I forgot that I can and should stand up for my self when I am criticized for my choices.
I have learned that the best advocate for mothers are mothers themselves and that real change happens when we fight for what is ours, our right to make our own choices without being judged. If every mother spoke about this with her friends with her colleagues at work, with her parents and in-laws we would be setting the path for more compassion and understanding.
I have learned that there is a pressing need for us as mothers to speak up as to what is acceptable and what is not and to not live in the shadow of being too busy or too tired if we want to see things changing for us.
For all the mothers, the heroes, the invisible advocates and any woman who has fought with all her heart and soul to support and empower herself and other mothers and the sacred choices they make, this post is for you.
Happy Mothers Day,