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“She’s a good mommy.” November 14, 2010

Posted by Judy in Musings, parenting.
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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!”

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Comments»

1. Michael G. - November 14, 2010

Being told you are a great parents is the ultimate compliment. The opposite is true for those who are told they are a sub-standard parent.

You are obviously a great parent! Keep up the good work!

2. Lita - November 18, 2010

Sweetie,
As a woman somewhat I can understand your feeling; but I can tell you that not every woman can be a great mom and yes you are!!!!!!!! and be proud that you are a great Mom. also you are very inteligent, loving and smart. Is not easy to be a mother; because your are a chofer, doctor, taxi driver, referee, cook, seamstress and much more.
Be Proud!!!!!

3. R - November 28, 2010

Hmm, I’m afraid I would stop at the second thought…it’s more than a little insulting to have your contributions (to music, to education, to your family’s home life, to toddler nutrition, to the babywearing and cloth diapering causes, etc.) dismissed completely. As much as we can all agree that “making a home” requires a lot of work, being singled out as “a mommy,” good or not, while others in the circle are identified as doctors, lawyers, etc. minimizes all those other contributions you make in all those other areas of your expertise.

I think your reaction–to embrace the statement and the fact that it really is true–speaks volumes about your great attitude and humility, so I congratulate you on reaching that positive emotional place. But I would probably have stalled at thought number two and stayed bristly the rest of the evening! 🙂

Judy - December 1, 2010

I think I may have taken a wee bit of artistic license in writing about the events of that evening. It’s safe to say that ALL of those thoughts didn’t zoom through my head at that moment. I guess I didn’t really flesh out all of my thoughts until I started to write the post. So I guess you could say that I was still somewhat bristly later in the evening when I was writing the post. In fact, I’m pretty sure my BP went up a bit as I typed. But by the time I got all of my thoughts sorted out and blogged, I really had gotten past it all and truly had arrived at my third thought=)


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