Why is it that as women, we only seem to be happy when we are over achieving? Particularly if you are a mum. It seems not enough to say “I’m a full time mum”, there has to be an ‘and’: “and I’m a freelance journalist”; “and I’m a nursery teacher in the mornings”; “and I’m studying to be a…”. It’s as if we are saying that the role of full time mum is not good enough.
If you actually stopped and took an inventory of all things you did in a day, not including your “and” duties , just all your duties and tasks as a mum you’d probably be surprised at how much you actually do without noticing. Now I’m not trying to pat myself on the back at how much I do; its just that until recently it hadn’t occurred to me how much I pack into an average day, and I realised, frankly that is a lot.
I know I have for a long time had a beef with society for undervaluing the role of full time motherhood. But if we as women and mums don’t value it, then how can we expect other people to do so?
The role of mums, I would argue, is crucial to the infrastructure of society. If no one raised children because we were all off having important careers somewhere, then what would happen to the next generation? Without sounding like George Benson, er, children really are our future. And we mums are investing in the next generation of doctors, lawyers, politicians. Actually, not just the ‘important’ people of society, but also all the street cleaners, bin men, ticket collectors, bus drivers and so on- those other roles in society that seem to go unnoticed and in my opinion are undervalued, but without whom society couldn’t function- another host of people who are crucial to the infrastructure of our society.
So as you embark upon your week, take a moment to say “I do enough, and I am enough”. It’s fine to have an “and” role in your life. As a mum it can be healthy to have another outlet. But if your sense of self worth hinges on all the other things you outside of your day job as a mum and housewife, then stop for a minute. Sit down with a pen and paper and keep a diary of all that you do today, this week. And congratulate yourself.
You are enough, and you already do enough!