Several years ago, a video called “The World’s Toughest Job” went viral. In this video, people came in to interview for a job for “Director of Operations” and were told that it required 135+ hours per week with no vacation, no sick days and no pay.
They were told it would be physically and emotionally exhausting, and very painful in the first few weeks. That other employees would often yell, hit, and even urinate on them and that the job would be thankless.
Of the 2.7 million people who saw the ad, only 24 inquired about the job and the interviewees responded with shock or bewilderment when they heard the job requirements…
When they revealed that this “most important job” was a job that billions do daily: motherhood, it brought many of the applicants to tears.
What is in a Mother’s Day?
The US version of Mother’s Day was created in 1908 by Anna Jarvis and at the time, it was the only holiday that honored women. When it became overly commercialized, she denounced it and spent the rest of her life trying to remove it from the calendar.
Now, 25% of all flowers purchased during the year are bought on Mother’s Day. It is the day of the year with the most phone calls (122 million in the US alone) and about 14 billion dollars are spent each Mother’s Day.
In theory, it is great that we have a day to honor moms, and I hope that all of us do this everyday, but I personally don’t like the over-commercialized version that we have now. I certainly appreciate the sweet cards from my children today, but how is today any more special as a mom than any other day?
How is this day more of a “Mother’s Day” than the day I found out I was expecting a child and became a mom? How is it more important than the five days that were spent bringing my babies into the world?
Does today mean more than the other 364 days a year when we get our children up, feed them, teach them, take them to their various activities and safely tuck them into bed?
How is today more of a day to honor moms than the days we have all stayed up with sick children, or kissed boo-boos, or even had to say earthly good-byes to our children?
At the end of the day, we don’t need a day, because we have all of them.
The Secret all Moms Know
Here’s the thing. Everything in the video about the world’s toughest job is true.
Motherhood is hard. It’s the hardest job there is.
From the very beginning it is intensely painful (childbirth anyone?), physically demanding, emotionally and mentally exhausting.
You get to trade the body and life that you once had for stretch marks (and often incision scars) and a screaming mini dictator that demands 110% of your time and attention.
You say goodbye to showers, and going to the bathroom alone, and a completely clean house (at least for the first few years).
Your boobs sag, your hair falls out (either from pregnancy or stress at some point) and you don’t sleep for approximately 5.8 years….
You make the decision to forever have your heart walking around outside your body, sometimes multiple times. You give birth to someone you love more than you ever thought it was possible to love and realize that you might crumble if you ever lost this person, this part of you…. and sometimes you do.
And the crazy part is that you’d do it all again and wouldn’t trade it for the world…
Because we are the ones that they run to when they are hurt, and ask to tuck them in at night, and the ones they say “I love you” to.
They may not appreciate us until they have kids of their own (Mom- I truly appreciate you now, I’m sorry for all the trouble I was growing up and I love you), but that doesn’t matter…
Because motherhood isn’t just beautiful because they love you, but also because by loving them, you become better each day.
Because when we go to bed each night, often exhausted, we have accomplished something important each and every day.
Own Your Strength…
I often get asked “do you work, or are you just a mom?”
This question bothers me because in my opinion, moms work extremely hard, whether they have a job outside the home or not.
Here’s the tradeoff though:
Moms also have much more power than we realize…
Day to day, we are raising the next generation. We are teaching the future world leaders, school teachers, scientists and mothers of the world. We are forming the minds and hearts of the next generation.
More than any other job, ours matters.
We may often go to bed at night wishing we’d done better that day or feeling bad that we didn’t have more patience or that we didn’t keep the house cleaner, but we did the most important thing that day… we were moms. Imperfectly wonderful moms.
Creating Change on Mother’s Day
Incredible power comes with this incredible responsibility of motherhood. We control the majority of our country’s spending power. We control the food budget. We make or influence 85% of all purchasing decisions, according to Edison Research.
Here’s my humble proposal….
This year, let’s make Mother’s day a celebration of the real power of moms and start taking ownership of our collective power as moms.
Let’s vote with our dollars and start increasing the demand for healthier foods and products by choosing them for our own families. Let’s create a healthier future for our children.
As a mom myself, I have so much respect for the work that all women and moms do each day. It’s nice to have a day, but I celebrate you everyday and my whole purpose with this blog is to make moms lives easier each day.
So whenever you read this, Happy Mother’s Day!
To all moms and step-moms…
Grandmothers and Godmothers…
Those who hope and pray to become mothers and those who have lost children or their own Mothers…
Happy Mother’s Day, today and everyday!