“She’s a good mommy.” November 14, 2010Posted by Judy in Musings, parenting.
Someone said this about me today, and I actually bristled . . . . . not exactly the reaction you’d think I’d have, right? How about a little context. We were having sundown worship at a friend’s house, and the person leading out was sharing some lesson with the kiddies. She was going around the room saying, “Bob is a great photographer and Jesus wants him to use his skills. And Joey is a great doctor . .. .and Susie is a great school teacher.” She got to me and said “And Judy is a good mommy.”
I felt like time stopped, like everyone in the room was watching me, like something just wasn’t right. Of course, time didn’t stop and noone was looking at me. In fact, life went on, she kept going around the circle saying what other people did and how Jesus would want them to use their skills. I, on the other hand, was so taken aback and bristly that I have no clue what was said after the “she’s a good mommy” statement.
My first thought after hearing that comment was, “Really, THAT’S how you see me?” and then I realized that she probably doesn’t actually know much about me. In the past year or two she’s mainly seen me being a mommy, so why wouldn’t she say that?
My second thought was, “But I’m more than just a mommy.” Not that being a mommy is a “just”, and not that I don’t thoroughly enjoy being a mommy, and not that I don’t think that mommying is important. But I’d be telling a bold-faced lie if I didn’t say that I was bothered by the fact that “mommy” was the only title for me, when everyone else in the room had other titles. And more importantly, when everyone else’s titles were in no way tied to the fact that they were mommys and daddys, and good ones at that. I wasn’t the only “good mommy” present, yet I was the only one that got singled out as such.
“But shouldn’t you feel honored?” you ask. Maybe . . . but I don’t. Instead, it all played out like a scene out of Sesame Street or something.
One of these things don’t belong. Can you pick it out? Doctor, teacher, computer tech, mommy, photographer.
As a homemaker/stay-at-home-mom, I sometimes feel invisible, especially to all of the other people who do not stay at home. Let’s face it, folks. As much as people things like “Staying at home with your children is the best gift you can give them!” and “Being a stay at home mom is such hard work!”, it still all ends up just being lip service. When filling out forms, SAHM isn’t considered a “real” job. If you say that you work at home, people expect that you are tied to a company and working FROM not that you are actually working AT home to create a home for your family. Stay at home moms are not considered to be part of the “work force”. Maybe that’s because there are no SAHM bachelor or master’s degrees. Or maybe it’s because we don’t get paid in cold, hard cash. Regardless, part of the workforce, we are not. So yes, I oftentimes feel invisible.
Had she said, “Judy is a good musician . . . “, I would have had no problem with that. Never mind the fact that I’m not actively teaching or performing or doing anything with my music right now. I still would have been fine with it and that’s probably because being given the title “musician” would have made me fit in with the rest of the list.
“Musician” is not how I was labeled, though. I was labeled as “a good mommy.”
And yes, I bristled,
and felt weird,
and didn’t really like it
. . . ..
. . . .
. . . .
. . . .
for about a minute.
And then I had my third thought
“Heck yeah! I AM a good mommy, thank you very much!”