“NO. IT IS NOT. Being a mother is not a job. Stop throwing things at me. I’m sorry but it is not. I find it offensive to motherhood to call being a mother a job. Being a mother isn’t a job. It’s who someone is. It’s who I am. You can quit a job. I can’t quit being a mother. I’m a mother forever. Mothers are never off the clock, mothers are never on vacation. Being a mother redefines us, reinvents us, destroys, and rebuilds us. Being a mother brings us face-to-face with ourselves as children, with our mothers as human beings, with our darkest fears of who we really are. Being a mother requires us to get it together or risk messing up another person forever. Being a mother yanks our hearts out of our bodies and attaches them to our tiny humans and sends them out into the world, forever hostages.”
Excerpt from Year of Yes by Shonda Rhimes
For the longest time, 3 years 5 months 25 days to be exact, I couldn’t explain why being a mother was not enough for me. Let me clarify: I became a stay-at-home-mom but it was not enough for me, not fulfilling to me, to only be a mother. I knew since childhood that I would one day enter the ranks of motherhood. What I never imagined was that it would pause the rest of my life. I went from working woman to non-working-just-a-mother woman.
And people around me never understood my position. They saw it as me complaining. As me being unhappy and ungrateful at the wonderful opportunity to be at home with my child. I understood the magnitude and luckiness, if you will, of my situation. On so many occasions I was glad to be at home with my son. But I also wanted a career. I wanted a well-rounded life. And being a mother stripped away everything I was before I became a mother. Especially my career.
When I became a mother and then decided to stay home I didn’t readily realize I was making the decision to sacrifice my career (which was barely off the ground at the time). I have since then built a career from home (thanks be to God!), and gotten involved in other things to round out my life. But that’s not what this is about. This is about learning why motherhood didn’t fulfill me.
While reading Year of Yes by Shonda Rhimes (my writer/producer idol may I add) I connected with her feelings on motherhood. And I now understand and can put into words why I initially felt like I needed to do more. Why being a mother was not enough. Because becoming a mother didn’t replace my job. I was always meant to be a mother, it was always in my life’s destiny. But I never wanted to only be a mother. I’m stronger than that. I can handle more. Because being a mother is part of my title, and not my job.
Thank you, Shonda.