“I’m Just A Mom” came up during a recent conversation I had with a woman named Amy (a mother of 4 children) who is a participant in a class that I teach. The subject was authenticity. The question was, ‘if a well known women’s magazine was featuring an article about “real” women who are making a difference and you were chosen , what would it say?” Here is how our discussion went:
Amy: “This was uber hard. I read the question and thought; it’s going to be a really short article. Since I am a stay at home mom I feel like my difference is really small. Like super small, because I am never out in the world. So I went back to my small circle on how I make a difference. I think I make a difference in my kid’s lives. I want them to be beautiful, strong, independent people. That is the goal that I work towards every day. I want this for all children so I try to do as much as I can to encourage all children toward these same attributes. And so that is my “short” article.”
Me: “Here is what I would encourage you to think about. I can speak not as a parent, but I can speak as someone who deals with how parents raise their children because I employ a lot of young kids in my businesses. I think the most important job on earth is being a mom, first and foremost and always. I don’t care if you are the president of the largest publicly traded company in the world, a great author, or an astronaut, that is a distant second to being a mom.”
Amy: “It’s hard though, because I cannot tell you how many times it has been said to me, “oh, you’re just a mom.” I realize that people don’t say this to me to be rude. I know that no one is intending to be mean. But when you meet someone who is getting to know you, especially if you are out in the world beyond your children’s schools and activities and you meet someone and they ask what do you do and I reply well I am a stay at home mom. They often respond by saying, oh so you are a mom, ok. And they give you this look as if to say, “do you do anything else?”, and I think to myself, nope, that’s it right there. You’ve heard it all. So it is tricky because I have heard this response so much it is hard for me to remember that it is a very important job. I know it is important in my house because I am married to a wonderful man who thanks me often for doing such a great job of being a mom. I do feel like I make a difference in the lives of my four kids. My kids follow me around all the time talking to me. I have tons of their friends at my house all the time. They feel comfortable at our house and they chat with me too. It is hard because I feel like my mom world is such a small world, to think in big terms like an article I feel like my world is not that big.”
Me: “OK, know your audience. If the first thing that comes out of someone’s mouth when they first meet you is what do you do?, a flag goes up for me and I think to myself, they are shy and don’t know what to ask, they are uncomfortable in the environment or they are not evolved to a place where what someone does in the world isn’t the most important thing about a person. So if the first question that someone asks you when they meet you is “what do you do?”, you can be prepared to know what their reaction to you being “just a mom” might be. Additionally, I would craft a response that you feel genuine in saying back to them. If it were me, I would say, “I will tell you what I do. I have the most important job on the planet along with a lot of other people who have my same job, and that is being a mom and a great parent and the influence I am going to have on the world as a result of my parenting is important beyond measure. That is what I do.”
Then stop and recognize the signs that the universe is giving you each day validating that you are a great mom. Where are all the kids coming? Your house. That is a beautiful compliment. And not all husbands are thanking their wives for doing such a great job in motherhood each day. You are showing up and you are doing what you were put on this planet to do for this period of time. There might be something coming next, we are not quite there yet, but we will figure that out when the time comes. But right here, right now, your ass in the saddle, you are doing an exemplary job of being who you truly are meant to be right now. You will come to know what might be next for you as you evolve through time. We don’t want to focus too much on that because there is no power in the future and there is certainly no power in the past, the power is right now. So I would start to retrain your thinking. This will be a very powerful way for you to step forward and out into the world, and once again, this is not ego driven, it is based on your truth. I know, that you know, that you are a great mom. I can tell by your energy. Show up fearless as a parent. Embrace this. The ripple effect of those 4 children is incalculable. Spend some time rewriting your article and boldly tell the world what it means to be “just a mom.”
Let me tell you about a good friend of mine. Her name Lisa Druxman, founding mom of Stroller Strides which has now morphed into Fit4Mom, a nationwide company designed by moms for moms. The impact that she has had on moms all over the world has been phenomenal. She shows up every day to inspire every mom across the world to realize that they are inspirational life givers and life setters. She knows that moms like you will set up the next generation to change the world. I am so proud of her because she has taken this profession of motherhood and put it on the pedestal it deserves to be on. It is so fun to watch the difference she has made with all these moms.”
While writing this article I came across this quote that I like, a lot. It goes like this: “Just a Mom???...I can’t stand it when people say, “You’re JUST a Mom?” Yes, I am a Mom (and a damn good one)! That makes me an alarm clock, cook, maid, waitress, teacher, nurse, referee, handyman, security officer, photographer, counselor, chauffeur, event planner, hairdresser, personal assistant, ATM & I scare away the boogie man. I don’t get paid holidays, sick pay or days off. I work DAY & NIGHT. I am on call 24/7 for the rest of my life. That’s just BEING A MOM! I may not be anything to you, but I am everything to someone!”
I think that pretty much says it all.
Learn more about the author, Annie M. Fonte.