Today is a tribute to my amazing mother who somehow raised four daughters (and well), worked and kept her sanity. Being a mother now I have absolutely no freaking clue how she did not have a nervous breakdown or screw us up big time, but somehow she survived and has come out on the other side victorious! I feel her story needs to be shared with all the working mothers out there today who are scared and think their working will royally screw up their kids. Many of my friends may be working moms but as children did not have a working mother so they have nothing to compare to. This is scary and brings a lot of anxiety to them but I want to help ease their mind.
My mother was the “early working mother”. She was an artist but also a family woman. When she married my father at age 28 (Gasp! She was an old spinster back then) she immediately started to have us girls. Within 5 years she had three daughters and realized when I came along she was going to have to work. So I have never ever known anything but my mother working. She worked as a graphic designer and has created her own business and reinvented herself over and over many times over the years.
I feel like psychologists will sit there and tell us this or that about the effects on children of working mothers, but lets just go to a woman who was one and what happened 35 years later. HOLY SHIT ladies we came out fine, actually more than fine. Lets looks first at the logistics. My parents had four daughters which is basically everyone’s idea OF A NIGHTMARE. None of us ended up a drug addict, a stripper, and or any other horrible thing a person fears when having a daughter. In fact we all graduated highschool, went to college or school for something and have careers. I have my masters, two sisters have bachelors and one sister has an associate and is a massage therapist.
So the logistics turned out fine, we are all above average functioning adults in society but let’s go into our psyche? While I will never say we are perfect my mother raised 4 strong-willed, confident, outspoken, loyal women. I somehow need to figure out how they raised four girls with confidence. It was a fluid thing over our adolescence but we always knew we were worth a lot and loved. No eating disorders, no boyfriend who beat us, or cutting. My mother always made us realize we were smart, beautiful, kind individuals who had a lot to offer. With that said my mother NEVER, I MEAN never took shit from us kid. She would be seen as strict today but I can tell you we knew who was boss in our house.
When talking to her she says she had to keep a tight ship due to us outnumbering her and dad. She was not one to hit us but man she cracked a lot of wooden spoons on the counter while yelling (OH NO A MOM WHO YELLED???!!! THE HORROR!) and she always stuck to the consequences she dealed out. If I got in trouble as a teenager she would ground us and when I mean grounded I mean grounded. She stripped the room of anything fun (no radio, phone, etc) and she would only let us go to school, and nothing else. I remember fighting with her that I had practice and needed to go which she responded ” You are grounded and it is like jail, you do not get to go do fun things when you are in jail. So do not do it again” Thinking about it now I realize if she or my father even wavered for a minute we all would have railroaded them.
With that said about discipline my mother somehow had the fear of GOD in us but also the compassion and love that made you want and love your mother. I again must learn this trick. My mother is my best friend today (we talk numerous times a week) and yet I still would never take my mom on. I think even at 60 plus years she could kick my ass.
I want to bring this back to working mothers today. I NEVER not knew who my mother was, I never felt abandoned or not loved and I never hated my mother because she worked (I hated her for other things like not letting my smoke pot, or date a guy 6 years older than me, LOL). I actually think her working made me realize that we as women can take care of ourselves and should always be able to stand on your own two feet. While she may have had to work she made the times with us quality versus quantity. I think this is the most important lesson I gained from my mother. She had dinner every night and made us sit and talk. This kept us so connected that I hope to do this with my own kids.
So to my mother you are FUCKING ROCKSTAR! You are my hero and best friend. I have no idea how you did it but I am thankful you did.
To my other working mothers do not worry too much….your working will not be the reason your kids are screwed up. SO stop worrying about that and sit down and have dinner with your kids.
Happy Mothers Day Ladies 🙂