It's the week of Mother's Day and the blogosphere is full of thoughts regarding mothers. It's been really beautiful to read others' perspectives on motherhood, the wounds we receive in the pursuit of it, and the holes left behind by the mothers in our lives.
But I've noticed a trend, and it's been going on for a while. When people talk about motherhood, often the word mundane is used to describe it. And hero-lady-boss-mother-friends, let this be our anthem cry...
Motherhood is NOT Mundane.
According to the Google... Mundane is an adjective that means "lacking interest or excitement; dull." And I would just like to clarify something... motherhood is FAR from mundane.
I was an admin assistant during grad school and you know what? That work was mundane. Come to think of it, every job I've ever worked had parts that didn't excite me. That's life. Not everything is going to be GRAND all the time. But you know what, if you went up to a secretary and called their work mundane, THAT WOULD BE INSULTING.
Yet somehow, we mothers have allowed society to call our life's work mundane and we're not only agreeing with it, but we're starting to use that language as well... And I'm here to say NO MORE ladies. Let's reclaim motherhood. Because you know what has NEVER been dull? Our motherhood journeys.
I don't know about you, but from day one I was thrown for a loop. Which lets be honest... Surprise twins will do that for you! But I'm pretty sure I've never heard a first time mom talk about her discovery of being pregnant in a mundane way.
And while we're talking about it... you know what else isn't mundane? Pregnancy. Getting ginormous and pushing a human or having one cut out of you IS NOT MUNDANE. I know too many women whose journey to motherhood is so arduous that using the word mundane should be outlawed. Whether it's through mounds of paperwork and meetings with social workers, or through the numerous doctors visits, shots, pills, and procedures... Motherhood isn't mundane.
And I'm not even going to hit on nursing here.. But let me just say this... I fed two babies at the same time WITH MY BODY.
Or perhaps its the daily grind people are referring to. Sure there are some things that are repetitious and lack glamour, but the majority of mothers I see aren't sitting around doing mundane work. They're in the trenches, shepherding souls and navigating the hard stuff of life. They're teaching the next generation to read, to use their manners, to become independent contributing members of society. They're teaching tiny humans to be thankful, to hold their heads high after being bullied, and how to navigate their first heartache. They're intentional women reading and strategizing on how to better love their kids and teach them to love others well. Motherhood isn't mundane.
Don't get me wrong, I'm sure I've fallen prey to using the word mundane to describe the cleaning of dirty diapers too, but even then, I've been shat on one too many times to know that even a routine diaper change can get exciting at the drop of dime. And sure, the cleaning of bottles and the washing of all the clothes isn't my favorite, BUT THAT'S NOT MOTHERHOOD. That's house-cleaning. My husband helps out with all of those things, and you know what... He's not a mother. And even still, you try getting ALL THE CLOTHES clean for all the people in your house; it's one heck of a challenge! NOT MUNDANE.
Most moms I know haven't slept in a solid decade. Did you know sleep deprivation is used in war time interrogation and torture? So I pretty much equate surviving motherhood like surviving war and many have the battle scars to prove it (ahem grey hair and wrinkles). These women have their sleep interrupted for years on end and get up everyday to shape the lives of our future. Some work inside the home and some work outside the home. Both are tired, hard-working women who get up every day to help provide for their families in their own way. And this role as a sleep deprived mother and functional citizen who balances it all is far from mundane (unless you consider torture mundane).
Have you ever met a mom of a sick kid in a hospital? Or a mom who has babies in the NICU? Or a mom of a kid with special needs? We mama bears are advocates like none other. We navigate the medical field, legal system, insurance policies, school systems, etc. LIKE A BOSS in order to get our kids the care they need. These moms' lives aren't mundane; they're heroic. Let's not insult their motherhood by calling it as such.
And then there's the empty nest mothers... Oi! I'm so far from that point I can't even speak to it. But I'll say this, I have friends who have adult kids and I hear them pray for them. I hear them talk about their jobs, or the bad decisions they're making in college, or how proud they are of them. And although I don't know the in's and out's of that season of motherhood, I can see that even then the role of mom isn't one you ever abandon. And although it looks differently, that fierce love is still far from mundane.
So can I ask you a favor? When you talk about motherhood, let's leave out the word mundane and instead use words like arduous, intense, gratifying, selfless, and important. Because every job has its mundane moments, but motherhood is too valuable of a role to describe it as such.
So to all you mothers out there, I raise my hand to you. Carry on like the hero boss lady you are. Your work is far from mundane!
Happy Mothers Day!