Why We Should Stop Calling Being A Mom A "Career" Or A "Job"
We all know that being a mom is important, but is it really the most important job in the world, as women are constantly told? For that matter, is unpaid motherhood even a "job"? To me it's just another way of devaluing women by insisting that motherhood is so spiritually and psychologically rewarding that you don't need a paycheck or benefits. It really does women a disservice, I think. That's why I was drawn to this thoughtful post by Danielle Vermeer at Role/Reboot.org. Vermeer was prompted to write her post after reading a lament from an unappreciated mom. As she explains:
The post that sparked this response was Lisa Jo Baker’s “Why ‘Mom’ Is the Most Significant Job Title You Will Ever Have.” In the post, Baker applauds beyond-tired, haggard moms who often feel undervalued for their contributions to their family and society. She writes:
I live right outside of Washington, D.C., where people are defined by the question, “So, what do you do?” And “Mother” might be about the unsexiest answer ever uttered at a Capitol Hill mixer. But don’t let that fool you. “Mother” will always be the bravest, least ordinary, most difficult, and utterly challenging career that anyone ever hopes to lay claim to.
According to Baker, being a mother will always be the “most difficult and utterly challenging career” and the title “mom” is the “most significant job title you will ever have.” Those are some lofty (and incredibly loaded) statements, but how do they hold up to standard dictionary definitions? Not so well.
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