I’m almost too tired to write this.
Let me regather my steam though because I know it was there when I saw that commercial. Actually not just one commercial, but two. And I rarely watch TV.
I was in the midst of my workday, and I decided to take a lunch break and watch the Price is Right. Then I heard it — “for the mom who has two, three, four, even five jobs…”
I glanced up and saw a smiling mom doing her daughters’ hair at the breakfast table after she served them a hot breakfast. Not only was she smiling, she was complete from head-to-toe. I think she was even wearing a belt. A BELT.
Let’s do a split screen of my morning today. The alarm went off a couple times, I kept rolling over and squinting at the clock. I finally rose, pulled on my Nintendo hoodie and pajama pants that are torn at my heels from being short and stepping on them constantly as I pad around in my slippers. My hair? Messy low knot. I nudge the kiddos awake, stick a couple microwave pancakes in, and pour them some milk. I’m drinking a Mountain Dew Kickstart, so soda for breakfast basically. I take them to school in the hoodie, pj pants, and slippers.
The distance between me and commercial mom isn’t the big problem though. As I mentioned there was a second commercial that spewed the exact same theme: For the mom who does everything. The five-job mom.
“Happy Workaholics Day.”
Yet wasn’t that what these commercials were pressing on whomever is shopping for us? I wish I knew earlier in life my most celebrated superlative would become “Most likely to run circles around everyone.”
A friend recently shared this tweet with me:
A lot of us don’t want to succumb to martyrdom, and we don’t want praise for doing everything. We want help and understanding.
Here’s the kicker to receiving praise for getting everything done — it isn’t who we ARE. It is not a personality trait, it’s not a cool superlative, it’s not ultimately what makes us kickass.
So. Tired marketers of tired department stores, hear my roar.
We celebrate moms because we amount to a whole lot more than task doers.
Let me salute the moms I know.
The mom who champions her transgender daughter while maintaining her delightfully quirky dope persona.
The mom who does it all alone. Deciding exactly what is right for her child squarely on her shoulders, sometimes relishing the joy of single motherhood, sometimes crying in her cereal.
The mom who explores, reads, runs, hikes — embracing the activeness and adventures she’s always loved.
The mom who lovingly opens her doors to feed and play with neighborhood children who don’t seem to get much time with their own parents.
The mom who commands the attention and admiration from a whole team at the office granting expert guidance and mentorship.
The mom who sees social injustice and raises her hand high, getting involved however she can to better this world for her children and their generation.
The mom who has long-time friendships and they still have fun together, going out or staying in. How did you do it? I’m jealous!
And so many more.
Whatever makes you YOU is what I hope you are cherished for this Mother’s Day.
You are not simply a multi-tasker who is the rock of your family. It’s amazing that you bear that weight, but Happy Mother’s Day because you’re a real human with a unique identity. Best yet, because of that real person you are, you have made your own squad of real people who look up to you with their whole heart.
I can’t get over moms, not because they have five jobs, no one should have five jobs. Partners and spouses…you gotta do better. No, I can’t get over moms because they remain the brightest lights in our community while loving their families from the deepest crevasses of their hearts. Happy Mother’s Day. I SEE you.