Sunday, May 8, 2011

Happy F*&^king Mother's Day

I just finished reading this great post over at the Ms. Blog by Natalie Wilson and it has got me thinking.  The more I live my life as a mother the more I realize that mothers get screwed (and not in the MILF kind of way).  We are expected to do everything for our families, our partners, our households, and still be sexy, vibrant, put-together women.  We are expected to keep quiet about the poor work conditions and inadequate pay we receive, no matter where we work, including our own homes.  We earn less than our female (child-free) and male (doesn't matter if they have kids or not) peers.  We are more likely to live in poverty.  We don't get sick days. 
Mothers get a lot of lip service in America.  'It's the greatest, hardest, most important job in the world.'  But they won't pay us for it.  No paid maternity leave.  No universal subsidized child care. No social security credit for years out of the workforce taking care of our families.  It's the greatest hardest most important job that no rational person would choose based on the salary and benefits package.  No glory.  No thanks.  No "atta-girl".  Well, except on this one day. 

Today is Mother's Day and we get flowers, breakfast in bed, dinner made for us, gifts and handmade cards.  We get hugs and kisses.  We get a few thank you's.  Does it make it up for all those other days of thankless work and lousy pay?  No, not in the long term.  But in the short term, yes.

I don't expect a thank you everyday for doing what I choose to do.  But I would like some more appreciation and respect from society.  I AM doing a very important and difficult job.  I am raising the next generation of tax payers, builders, thinkers, and maybe even parents.  I sacrifice a lot for these little people.  I sacrifice my own financial security in order to provide them with the things money cannot buy: unconditional love, encouragement, guidance, and understanding.  So maybe, just maybe, one of these days the U.S. will join the rest of the world and provide paid maternity (and paternity) leave and stop treating our bodies and magical wombs like public property.

And now I'll step down from the soap box and return you to our regular programming...

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Thanks for sharing your thoughts.