A big talking point in the media over the last couple years is the value of being a mom. Some websites proposed what a mother’s salary would look like if women earned money for being full-time moms. (Answer: $112,962. But everyone knows that number is off by at least $900,000!) Other outlets focused more on the conceptual worth of mothers, asserting that moms simply don’t get the credit they deserve.
On sites like Facebook, women preached about the highs and lows of motherhood, which inspired columns like “Can Stay-At-Home Moms Say That They Have Jobs?” and “Mother Who Expect Special Treatment — For Being Mothers.” And while some of the “buzz” surrounding this subject has died down, I still regularly receive submissions that capture the same idea — that mothers are valued, but they’re not like, valued. People have no idea what it takes to be a mother, or so some parents would have you believe, and get this: Moms never, ever get a break.
Nope, moms can’t clock out when their shift is over. They can’t drive home in gridlock in bliss like everyone else. They don’t get to collect a paycheck for all their hard-earned dollars after adding to the general population, and they don’t get big, fat bonuses at the end of the year like everyone who has a full-time job. (Note: The last “big bonus” I received at a corporate job was a $15 iTunes gift certificate.) It’s like the whole world has conspired to ignore the fact that mothers never even get a minute to themselves!
Did you know that toddlers insist on talking to their moms while they use the bathroom? It’s true. And it’s like no one even bothers acknowledging that. Based on the way some mothers remark on this conundrum, you’d think that moms in the ’50s received giant annual checks like the ones Publisher’s Clearinghouse doles out, just for being awesome at mothering.
Of course, that isn’t the case; it’s just that being a mother now requires additional skills that used to not be part of the job requirement. Nowadays, kids have to be 100% germ-free instead of just 12%, and an average of 74% of children should be able to speak at least three languages by age four. (Interestingly, the art of disciplining children seems to have regressed by several dozen degrees.) All of this effort (or, lack thereof), contributes to the solitary confinement that is modern motherhood as we know it. WILL mothers ever catch a break? CAN society finally recognize the difficulties that come with never taking a day off? And when will someone finally figure out a way for moms to cash in on this whole “motherhood” thing? Those answers remain to be seen. In the meantime, here are five examples of moms who can’t stop dwelling on the fact that parenting is a 24/7 gig:
1. Moms Never Get A Break
“Hello, 1-800-MOM REST? I need someone to tell me when I’ll be able to take a break. Oh, wait, moms don’t get a break? GEE THANKS NEVER MIND.”
2. Most Important Job On The Planet
I’ll be honest: I get confused when I see women talking about how they not only have motherly duties, but wifely duties, too. What does that mean, exactly? First women must cook, clean, and bathe their kids because they’re moms, and then they need to flat iron their hair, pour their husband a glass of Scotch, and wait for him to arrive home wearing nothing but one of his ties like Julia Roberts in Pretty Woman?
3. Most Undervalued Job In Society
I’ll call Ashley’s bluff on this one, because I happen to think that teachers have the most undervalued jobs in society. Considering my own mother was a public school educator for 30 years, I guess she really had a shitty time of it. If only mothers could unionize.
4. Hardest And Most Exhausting Job Ever
Anya is completely, totally, irrefutably convinced that being a parent is totes exhausting (something I’ve personally never heard anyone contest), BUT it’s not as exhausting as being a deployed soldier. (Everything else is easier, though. Coal miners, I’m looking at you.)
This submission is like an updated, slightly more self-aware version of this post from 2009, so, hey, a sign of improvement!
5. Moms Don’t Go On Vacation
What can I say, this example is true. Being a mother does not cease to require a long list of responsibilities when on vacation. UNLESS you go on vacation without your kids sometime. I know that’s a far-fetched idea, and certainly nothing that’ll happen in the next several years, but hopefully, with progressive leadership and some strong campaigns, mothers will one day have the right to go on a vacation minus their children. Let’s all hope Congress grants women this ability. Until then, they’re just gonna have to stick it out.