There was this outrageous letter to the editor the other day in our newspaper. Here’s the intro:
One of the most overrated jobs is motherhood. Nearly half the people on the planet are able to perform it. If you can use a television to baby-sit and push a button on a microwave, you have 90 percent of being an at-home mom accomplished. The person who really liberated women was the man who invented permanent-press.
The letter was so crazy it didn’t even warrant a rebuttal. But next thing I knew I was sitting down at the keyboard typing up a missive.
They printed it today.
There’s one part I will admit to right here and then I’ve said my piece and I can move on. In the letter I refer to myself as a “book author and talk show co-host” and I kind of want to puke for saying that. But here’s the thing: I was trying to prove a point. First off, those things are true. Even after I wrote it and I sat there and stared at the screen I thought “no, that’s not who I am.” But it is. I am those things (though I will admit I often times forget this is the case).
What I was trying to do was show that even with those things on my plate, motherhood is still the hardest gig I’ve got going.
So, thanks for letting me get that off my chest. I don’t like to pump myself up but in this case I did for the purpose of proving my point. Maybe it worked, maybe it makes me sound like I have an inflated ego.
Either way, letter! Published!
Please allow me this opportunity to air a rebuttal to the hysterically myopic letter that appeared in the May 30 paper, written by Michael Ledo (“Ann Romney had it easy”). I also have five boys and am insulted that Mr. Ledo considers my job as a mother “overrated.” I can only hope that he is confusing the terms “motherhood” and “secretary,” and is basing his analysis of the ease and glamour of running a household on one’s ability to write a check to the maid.
All that aside – I’m sure the Romneys have a well-staffed home – the job of motherhood goes far beyond the joy of switching over the laundry and getting the dishwasher unloaded. That’s the easy part. Whether a woman works outside of the home or not, the care and feeding of children involves a to-do list of training and teaching that is so overwhelming in its breadth and scope that it takes one’s breath away.
While I am offended (but also amused) that Mr. Ledo considers Ann Romney a “gross underachiever” for not pursuing a career to try to balance with motherhood, I will tell you from personal experience that there is simply no contest. My job as book author and talk show co-host pales in comparison to the challenge of being a mother to my children. What I am tasked with as their mother – not just meeting their personal needs but also training them for the future – makes motherhood the most daunting career on the market. Toddlers seem intent on seeking out bodily harm. A mother gets just enough time to gather her wits before the toddler becomes a teen with that same insatiable desire for danger.
Motherhood is exhausting. It’s also beautiful and challenging and not for wimps. Motherhood is only overrated by the people who have no clue what motherhood is really all about.