4.16.2014

my take on motherhood being the toughest job



I'm not really known for whipping out blog posts immediately after something "controversial" happens (whether it's a serious matter or a silly viral video that has created an uproar).  But today, I'd like to chime in.

Like many of you, I watched the "motherhood is the toughest job" interview video shown above.  It was all over my Facebook feed and I finally gave in yesterday.  Like anything else on the internet, there were immediate shouts of praise followed by status updates and blog posts of criticism.

In summary, the goal of the video is to celebrate motherhood ... because Mother's Day is around the corner. 

But in true internet fashion, people came out with guns loaded.

All of those stats about motherhood aren't even correct!  My wife rests!  We sleep!  What is he talking about? 

No, motherhood isn't always standing up all day and not sleeping and never taking breaks - BUT some days it can be.  Or some days it can at least feel like it.  Ever had a sick child?  Ever had a newborn?  Using all of those "stats" is just a way to say that motherhood can be an incredibly exhausting job.  And the title "mom" is one you always wear, 24 hours a day 7 days a week.  Some days I'm really tired and some days I'm not tired at all.  The guy probably knew he wasn't speaking literally when he said that mothers are on their feet 24 hours a day.  Surely we can all see that.

People need to stop acting like motherhood is so hard.  My kids are a gift and it's my joy to be their mom!

Absolutely!  Children are a gift!  We love our babies/kids and we'd do anything for them.  Although there are plenty of hard moments, I would say that most moms feel that the good far outweighs the bad.  However, it doesn't mean we can't talk about the hard parts.  Most things that are really hard are really, really rewarding.  That's motherhood.  (And if motherhood truly has never been hard for you in any form or fashion, please show yourself.  I would love to meet you.)  The video offers a simple glimpse into the many hats we wear as moms.  And even though we don't need a "thank you for doing all the hard parts" from our kids or husbands to keep doing what we're doing, it certainly is a precious thing when we get it.  The video acts as a reminder to say thanks to your mom, even though she doesn't require it and even though she views being a mom as an honor and a privilege.  I think we should always welcome a reminder like that.

Yet again, we leave the fathers out.  Fathers have equally tough jobs.  No one can say motherhood is harder than fatherhood.  No one can say motherhood is the toughest job in the world.


Fathers are incredibly important and work incredibly hard.  But it's not Father's Day yet.  I know that seems like a nutso answer, but probably the reason the video didn't focus on dads is because Mother's Day comes first.  There are plenty of tearjerker dad videos coming our way soon, I'm sure.  (Also - I think we're all smart enough to know that we can't seriously go out into the world and unanimously agree on what the "toughest job in the world" is.  We know this guy isn't being literal.)

I sent the video to my dad yesterday.  His response was the furthest from "being left out" as he could be.  He called it "awesome" and then thanked my mom for being a great mom.  He didn't compare his hours or chores or burdens.   He celebrated her.

I know what Colt does as a father.  It's exhausting to think about.  He works a job all day and most of the time comes home to more "to-do's."  Sure, he may get to plop on the couch for 5 minutes when he gets home.  But soon after, he's greeted with things Duke wants or requests I have or places we have to go or home projects that need attention.  Is he more than happy to do these things?  Absolutely yes!  He would say there are definitely days when it's hard.  But then he would clarify that being a dad is the best thing in the world and that he loves providing for us.  Although I hope to be doing this every day, I will specifically celebrate him for those things on Father's Day.  Just like he will celebrate me on Mother's Day. 

Not everything needs to be a battle or a fight or a discussion.   We could all just watch the video, nod, and say, "Wow, moms work hard.  They deserve a day of celebration," instead of diving into deeply charged arguments about how dads work hard too or how that interview trick wasn't fair or how it should've been more about "parenting" instead of just "motherhood" or how the stats the guy read off aren't 100% accurate 100% of the time.  But then again, if we did that, the internet would totally lose its thunder.  So maybe we should just keep arguing.

I watched that video and got a little emotional.  I loved watching the interviewees thank their moms at the end.  I loved seeing that lady get choked up.  I loved the feeling I got when I realized, I guess I do do all of those things for Duke.  Even though I'd do it forever without a "thank you," it does feel good to know that all of those tasks are noticed.  I loved thinking about my mom staying home and raising the 3 of us.  She worked so hard.  I loved thinking about how she is still just as much my mom now at 27 years old as she was when I was 3.  The video did nothing but produce positive feelings and emotions in my heart.  I hope you'll allow it do the same for you.

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