By Law Momma Contributor
I have this cross that I carry around with me. It’s heavy and cumbersome and it smells like laundry mildewed in the washer mixed with a dirty diaper accidentally left in the kitchen trash can. I’m not going to lie… carrying it around is hard work. I’m constantly getting splinters in the most inconvenient places, spraining muscles I didn’t know I had, and in general feeling very sorry for myself.
What’s my cross?
Glad you asked, because it seems I’m glad to remind people that I have it. It’s a giant flashing sign that says “SINGLE WORKING MOTHER” and I sigh and heft it up onto my shoulders with a muttering about the patience of Job and all that jazz.
Because that’s what we do, isn’t it.
Especially as working (outside the home) moms, we tend to pile our concerns and fears and worries on top of each other, shellacking them down with pasty tears and probably a little too much ketchup. Eventually, we worry so much about what other people might be thinking about our lives and our choices that we heft up the tower of concerns and carry it around with us, announcing to everyone we meet that we are a “SINGLE WORKING MOTHER” or “MOTHER WHO TRAVELS FOR WORK” or “DEDICATED TEACHER” or anything that will beat them to the punch of criticizing any of our choices… anything that will stop them from possibly making us feel any worse about our lives than we already do.
And it’s exhausting.
Carrying those burdens around does nothing but give us all extra work, extra pain, and extra worry; is our sign better than hers? Do we have more of an excuse for not making our bed in the morning? Is it more okay that my kid is eating McDonald’s than hers?
Being parents shouldn’t be so much about what other people think… at least not people other than us, our spouses, and our kids. And yet we insist on making formal announcements about our shortcomings, formal protestations about how difficult our particular situation is.
It’s these silly crosses we carry that spark all of the “mommy war” nonsense.
Being a mom is hard, any way you spin it. But if you’re trying to mother while occupying both hands with a giant bundle of “my life is way harder than yours,” then you’re never going to get ahead.
So this is me, setting down my cross. I’m just a mom. Just like you.
Because at the end of the day, we’re all the same. We’re all struggling. We’re all awesome. And think of how much more we can accomplish if we drop all these heavy titles.