I visited a doctor’s office the other day and for insurance purposes the questionnaire asked what I did for a living. Never understanding why it matters, I wrote: MOM. I used to say Director of Communications or Business Owner and boy did that feel good. It said everything I needed to say in 2 -3 words to boost my ego.
Now, when I fill in the box with : MOM – I hear 2 little words in my head: “JUST A.” I felt compelled to explain, as if I needed a paragraph to say: I cook for a small army, ya know, planning menus, organizing schedules, responsible for annual budgets. We’re teachers, accountants, counselors, chauffeurs; we’re public relations, risk management, the CEO of our Household all rolled into one.
For whatever reason, I’ve become my own enemy in viewing the word MOM, as if I had been retired from active duty, been put to pasture, as if staying at home meant doing nothing. With a title like Director of Something, there’s a value set to it; a monetary figure, a set of skills earned to attain this position. With the title of MOM there’s no financial figure tied into the equation, therefore motherhood doesn’t reflect the respect it deserves. After all, who would work for nothing?
While I know that’s not true, I somehow felt compelled to march in a parade, hold my flag high as if to say: we guide little hearts into adulthood, teaching them to be productive citizens, raising leaders of tomorrow. Perhaps it’s because our pay rate doesn’t translate in monetary form. No real salary, pay increase, bonus or vacation days. While greenbacks are a definite bonus, the benefits of parenting far out way financial perks.
I then realized, why do I care what the world thinks. I’m not in charge of changing global perception, rather my own. The problem is with me. In the end, I know my credentials, my capabilities. There’s no need to post a sign on my car advertising my resume. What matters is that I’m focusing my attention, my abilities and talents on guiding my children (doing my part) to raise the best individuals they can be, one person at a time. One day they will be someone’s employee, boss, spouse, parent, friend; that’s my contribution, my legacy.
So here’s a shout out to all those moms (working at home/ in the office) who will NOT make the Forbes’ Top 100 list. Your reward is mentoring those trailing a little behind you in life’s journey. There are no term limits, no set guidelines. No matter what you write in the BOX OF LIFE, that one-word description can’t possibly DEFINE all the many facets of Who You ARE and what you do. Here’s to Living in Confidence, knowing you are where you need to be, this moment in time.