The Work of Motherhood Is Valuable
I want to say I am sorry to all the Moms who feel undervalued. I am sorry our culture devalues the work of Motherhood. The work you do is VALUABLE. To the part of you that looks at your W2’s and thinks, WOW that is all I made last year, I must be ______ (fill in the blank). Assuming the negative inner critic thoughts arise, I am here to say, YOUR WORK as a MOTHER IS VALUABLE even if our society does not honor or recognize it.
The orientation of Motherhood is all encompassing from the baby years well into the teenage years. Moms keep track of so much, including kids’ emotional and physical health, social interactions with friends, school work, clothing, food, sleep, media use in the digital age, spiritual life, and so much more. Our ability to manage so much is an extremely valuable skill that is often overlooked because our culture values success and money.
I am sorry this is the state of the world. It is up to us to hold each other tight and remind each other that our value is beyond a paycheck. Our value and significance is beyond what a W-2 says. It really is. We are not taking our paycheck, savings or anything else for that matter when we die. We might as well put value on all that we do.
When I work with Moms I often suggest they write a list of all that they do on a daily basis. When they count EVERYTHING they do in a day, they are amazed both by how much they accomplish and how little they recognize it. Be kind, truly kind to yourself. Mothering is a hard, amazing, kick your ass, bring you joy, magical job. Most Moms TRULY are doing the best they can physically, mentally, emotionally, and financially. Women’s salaries tend to dip the first several years of Motherhood, but that does not take away your significance or your innate value. You matter, simply because you are a human on this planet with a soul.
I love the story about when the Dalai Lama first heard the word “self-esteem” and did not understand it because there is no direct correlation in the Tibetan language. He started to cry when he heard what it meant. Imagine a culture/world where you mattered no matter what. We can create that together. Go out and tell a fellow Mother what an amazing job she is doing. Be sincere and kind, and most importantly acknowledge yourself. It is wasted energy to do anything else but feel good about the work you are doing as a Mom regardless of the income you make.
And if you feel like you need a bridge to your value because you are so used to having money adding value to your worth, then try this exercise.
Write down all that you do as a mom on a daily basis and then on a spreadsheet, pay yourself. Pay yourself for every diaper you change, for every tantrum you sit with, for every snuggle you do, for changing clothes, and making food, and all the many tasks you do to take care of your child. Pay yourself, and pay yourself well. Pay yourself millions and millions.
I see you. I honor you. I know how hard you are working.