“I looked upon child rearing as a profession and decided it was just as interesting and just as challenging as anything else, and that it did not have to keep a woman tied down and make her dull or out of touch.”
Rose Kennedy, 1936
Is it any wonder that being a working mother is exhausting?
Motherhood, in and of itself, is a full-time, demanding job. Having a career and being a mother, therefore, would equal not one but two demanding, time consuming jobs. From a personal standpoint, I know how easy it is to become caught up in the drudgery of life with young children. I’ve spent an hour editing a research project on the floor of the bathroom while potty training my (stubborn!) son, I’ve reveled in my ability to eradicate stubborn ketchup stains, and I know the level of exhaustion that makes toasting and buttering an English muffin seem like cooking a 5-course meal.
But then I remember what Mrs. Kennedy eloquently said.
Yes. Motherhood is exhausting. However, it’s not drudgery. It’s far from it. We are creating people, agents of change who will affect our society’s future. Everything we do, as mothers, is for a greater purpose, and it is worth it. And just because strained fruits and vegetables inevitably form a thin crust over the shoulders of my shirts by 7 o’clock each evening and my purse is stuffed with emergency diapers and Goldfish crackers, the larger picture is what matters. The “nitty-gritty”, unglamorous parts of being a mother do not keep me “tied down and make [me] dull or out of touch”. Motherhood is an excellent illustration of the gestalt: the sum of the parts, the person we are creating, is far greater than the small bumps along the road each day. To me, at least, this is an important reminder.