4 minutes reading time (835 words)

Is Motherhood a Job?

Please find below the article by Nikki Bush entitled Is Motherhood a Job?

I have always believed that being a mother is part of who I am and it is not just the second job of the day, although it does require a lot of doing! But there is so much feeling and self-discovery along the way that makes it a deeply personal and unique experience for each and every one of us.

While Mother's Day puts the spotlight on mothers for just a single day, I hope that you are all deeply appreciated every day for who you are and what you do for your families. Being mom is not a button that you can switch on and off at will. Once a mother, always a mother. You take it with you wherever you go.

This Mother's Day I thought to share an excerpt from Shonda Rhimes' book The Year of Yes (Simon & Schuster, 2015) which is one of the best books I have read this year. Shonda Rhimes is Hollywood's most powerful woman, the mega-talented creator of Grey's Anatomy, Scandal, The Fixer and more. The Year of Yes is not about motherhood per se but is an intimate account of her life and how she overcame herself, came out of the shadows, learnt how to dance it out, stand in the sun and be her own person. And motherhood is very much a part of who she is.


I work. I have a job. People with a job often do not have time to bake.

"But being a mother is also a job, Shonda."

I can hear someone reading this book saying those words right now.

You know what I say to that?



Being a mother is not a job.

Stop throwing things at me.

I'm sorry but it is not.

I find it offensive to motherhood to call being a mother a job.

Being a mother isn't a job.

It's who someone is.

It's who I am.

You can quit a job. I can't quit being a mother. I'm a mother forever. Mothers are never off the clock., mothers are never on vacation. Being a mother redefines us, reinvents us, destroys and rebuilds us. Being a mother brings us face-to-face with ourselves as children, with our mothers as human beings, with our darkest fears of who we really are. Being a mother requires us to get it together or risk messing up another person forever. Being a mother yanks our hearts out of our bodies and attaches them to our tiny humans and sends them out into the world, forever hostages.

If all of that happened at work, I'd have quit fifty times already. Because there isn't enough money in the world. And my job joes not pay me in the smell of baby head and the soft weight of snuggly sleepy toddler on my shoulder. Being a mother is incredibly important. To the naysayers, I growl, do not diminish it by calling it a job. And please, don't ever try to tell me it's the most important job I'll ever have as a way of trying to convince me to stay at home with my children all day. Don't. I might punch you in the nose.

The most important job to a woman who has rent, has a car note, has utility bills and needs groceries is one that pays her money to keep her family alive. Let's stop trying to make ourselves indulge in the crappy mythological lady-cult that makes being a mother seem like work.

Staying at home with your children is an incredible choice to make. And it's awesome and admirable if you make it. Go you. Being a mother still happens if you don't stay home with your kids. It still happens if you get a job and go to work. It happens if you are an Army Ranger and you're deployed overseas and your kid is staying with your parents. Still a mother. Still not a job.

Working or staying home, one is still a mother. One is not better than the other. Both choices are worthy of the same amount of respect. Motherhood remains equally, painfully death defying and difficult either way. It does, it does.

Powerful stuff! Whether you work or are a full-time mom, I'm sure something in this excerpt has resonated with you as it did with me.

I love being a mother. It is one of the most precious parts of my being.I have loved being a mom more than I ever anticipated I would. And yes, it has its highs and lows because we are human. But, through my children, I have learnt more about myself than I could ever have dreamed. I am blessed to have had the privilege of being their mom.

To every mother old and young, biological or not, working or non-working, I salute you all this Mother's Day.


Creative parenting expert, inspirational speaker and co-author of Tech-Savvy Parenting (Bookstorm, 2014), Future-proof Your Child (Penguin, 2008), and Easy Answers to Awkward Questions (Metz Press, 2009)



Parenting Matters/Vol 8 Issue 4

Grade 5 Lego EV3
Autumn Treasures


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