A few weeks ago I was scraping dishes, sweeping floors and scooping up toys and Michael was reading me the news off of the computer. It’s how we get things done and get educated at the same time :). He told me that there was an article that included a survey that found the occupations that were the most and least well-rested. I was interested and 100% sure that Motherhood would be on the list of occupations that get the least amount of rest. Here’s what was:
- Home Health Aides
- Police Officers
- Physicians, Paramedics
- Social Workers
- Computer Programmers
- Financial Analysts
- Plant Operators
What?! I asked my husband to confirm that Motherhood was NOT on the list. Maybe they don’t consider Motherhood an occupation, he said. He saw the look I gave him and made sure to emphasize the THEY part of his sentence. What?! I said again. Why isn’t it an occupation? I don’t care about any previous definition of the word, Motherhood should be included. No argument could make me think otherwise.
Then a couple of days after that, my sister-in-law posted an article from the Deseret News with the headline: How much a homemaker is really worth? Still prickling over the survey from the days before, my interest was piqued.
The article broke down the most common jobs that a homemaker performs and came to the conclusion that a homemaker would make $96,261 a year. Again…What?! That’s a lot of money for doing something that isn’t considered an occupation.
My sister recently lent me a book by Jane Clayson Johnson called I Am A Mother. She expresses multiple times how people she meets are often embarrassed to say that they are a mother. They say it quietly and as if it means nothing. She herself used to be a prominent news anchor but still felt the pride and joy that came with saying that she was now a mother. She said she wanted to shout it.
Society today downplays and even discourages the role of a woman in the home and as a homemaker. I know we don’t make the money that the article says we are worth and the survey doesn’t consider what we do an occupation, but we are Homemakers and Mothers!
We get paid in kisses and thank you’s and in the joy we get when our child finally gets the moo and the baa with the right animal.
I admit, there are times at the end of the day when I think to myself, I know I always wanted to be a mother, but what was I thinking? Why did I think I could do this? Why did I think I could be trusted with these little souls and be in charge of loving and teaching and raising them?
I am ashamed to admit that sometimes at the end of the day I am tired of doing things for other people. The kids are in bed and I want to get in my comfy jammies and turn off my brain and do something totally indulgent. Then one child needs to use the bathroom, one child needs a second nightlite and the baby needs to eat and I drag my exhausted body on to one more task and to the next and I keep on going.
Mothers/Homemakers work twenty-four hours a day. I am trained to hear my child’s cry while in the biggest crowd or the deepest sleep. I can multi-task and clean bathrooms while playing patty cake and singing ABC’s. I drive the kids around, try to keep my house clean and organized and am security guard in breaking up some pretty mean fights.
I may not be the best at every individual job because it isn’t the only job I am doing, but I get to all of them. And most days I’d like to think that my kids are happy and well fed and feeling loved. And even on those days when I am sinking into my mattress at 9 at night, I recognize that this is the most fulfilling job that I have ever had. I have never worked harder or felt more important for the job that I have been given.
My occupation? Mother.