The other day, a mom in our homeschooling group on WhatsApp posted an illustrated quote. The message, essentially, complained about how hard it is to be a mom. Apparently we work long hours for little compensation. Apparently we are not adequately rewarded, or even thanked.
First of all, did we not choose this life? Weren’t we all – at some stage – desperate to fall pregnant? When each precious child was born, didn’t we feel the pulsing, surging joy – the privilege – that that small life brought with it? How, then, can we taint this high calling by labelling it as anything they than the most amazing opportunity we will ever have?
It is not a “job”. It’s not some dry each work we are forced to perform, day after day after day.
And by that, I don’t mean to say that it’s plain sailing. I don’t mean to imply that it is always easy. Sometimes, it’s bloody hard. But, dear friend, is that not the flavour of sh*t sandwich we chose, when we chose to have a child? That doesn’t make it some kind of a job. It’s not something we do for reward, or compensation, or even thanks.
Because it is hard. Not the bit where we feed them and close them and keep them alive. But the bit where we mould them and shape them and prepare them to make a positive impact on society one day. (Even if the sum of that positive contribution is simply not allowing them to turn into psychopaths.)
That’s the hard part. And it’s the important part. It’s the most important work we can do in our lives.
And while it is work, it’s not a job. It’s a calling. The world would be a better place if fewer people answered that calling, frankly. If the only parents with those few who could see the gift and joy of parenting for what it truly is. We’d have fewer broken homes, fewer delinquents, and fewer problems in general.
At the problem lies with what people believe about parenting. Maybe it is possible to re-educate these poor souls who see it as a thankless job.
I must hope that that is true.
And I must do what I can to bring about the change.
But in the meantime, I have my own troop of tomorrow’s adults to get ready for today.