Am I crazy – or is there a sense of self-importance about parenting in modern culture that is getting out of control? Don’t worry; the irony isn’t lost on me. I know I am part of the problem – writing and complaining about my kid all the time. But I feel like we are at this point where the bubble is about to burst like childrearing subprime mortgages.
There is a viral video a marketing company created for mother’s day, that asks people to apply for a position as “the director of operations.” The joke is that they ask the applicants if they would be willing to do all these outlandish things, like work 150 hours a week with no sleep, for no pay, have no breaks, suffer intense physical exertion, and never eat unless the client is finished with their meal. Of course all the people interviewed are like “hell no, that isn’t even legal,” and then the punch line is “billions of people do it every day… and they are called moms!” Then they all get a good cry thinking about all the stuff their mothers have done for them with the hashtag “world’s toughest job.”
Okay… yeah that is sweet. Moms do a lot for the kids no doubt. There are plenty of reasons why we should appreciate mothers. Obvi. Yet I think it is a real exaggeration to say it is the “world’s toughest job,” because a lot of it is actually quite enjoyable.
Yeah sometimes being a mom is boring, tedious, mundane, monotonous, and redundant. Yet the majority of the time I spend with my kid, I actually like. She is funny, laughs at my jokes, likes learning, wants to go outside and talk about what clouds taste like, and loves cuddling.
Of course when your kid is a baby you wait on them hand and foot like Genghis Khan. Infants can suck because that is how they eat…. and they are exhausting because you don’t know what they want half the time. But that is a pretty short window of their lives. Newborns grow up, and the effort you spend serving them is drastically reduced. Because guess what? You can say “do it your damn self – you are a big girl now.”
After The Munch was 1 she slept through the night. Yeah that was hard year for sure. I complained a lot. Yet with some effort and patience, she changed her habits and sleep is no longer an issue. When The Munch was 2 she stopped shitting in her pants, which was considerate. She then started talking and expressing her needs so we could communicate about her desires. Yeah there are times where The Munch is irritating, rude, and combative – but I am also a grown ass woman and can remove my self from her sphere because I don’t have to be ruled by the tyranny of tantrums. I am sure the years a head will be paved with challenges that I can’t anticipate, but it will also be fucking amazing.
It is true that being a mom is hard, demanding, and there are no vacations, but it is also unbelievably rewarding. I have learned more about myself, my parents, and humanity than I ever could have anticipated. It has been the greatest lesson in understanding human nature, and through my child’s eyes I have re-imagined my very being. Mothering has been a spiritual awakening that has taught me how love is the fabric of the universe, even though I sometimes let The Munch watch TV because she is annoying.
I am pretty sure that being a mom is not the world’s toughest job. I think the world’s toughest job is probably working at a sweatshop. Or any job that that has no soul and sucks your will to live.