Celebrating Motherhood

Photo courtesy of Brianna Leigh Photography


March is Women’s History Month. Don’t worry – I am not going to bore you with a history lesson. I feel like Women’s History Month is a great opportunity to celebrate motherhood. As I was brainstorming for this post, my intention was to take a look at the trends in motherhood over the past few decades. Honestly, I expected to find some grand revolution from the stereotypical 1950s housewife to a more modern view on motherhood. What I found instead was a trend back toward the traditional. I found that about 1/3 of mothers are considered “stay-at-home” moms – but this does not include those moms who work from home. The percentage of moms who work from home is on the rise. What startled me the most was the public opinion of moms working outside the home vs. not. Only 35% of Americans believe that children are just as well off when both parents work outside the home. That means that 65% of Americans disagree. As a working {outside of the home} mom, I couldn’t help but find myself a tad offended. This research suggests that the public’s opinion of me is that my child is lacking in some way. So, I decided to take my post in a slightly different direction.

I want to discuss perception. While I find myself offended about digs {and judgement} toward working moms, I also find myself on the other side of that judgement. We all have our own perception, or ideas, of what motherhood should look like. I absolutely love my career and I honestly do not feel guilty that I work. I think a lot of times people just assume that I wish I could stay home – but GASP! I don’t wish that. When I was pregnant, people would ask, “Are you going to have to go back to work?” Again, an example of their perception of how motherhood should look.

I breastfed my son for a year. I overcame A LOT of challenges in order to be able to do that for him. I am a big breastfeeding advocate which influences my perception of motherhood. Sometimes I find myself passing judgement on women who do not breastfeed. Why? We all have that, “well, I may not ________, but at least I _________” mentality. For me, it is “Well, I may not stay at home, but at least I breastfed!” But why do I feel the need to justify my actions to myself? On that question I am not too sure of the answer. Maybe it is because of the societal pressure to conform to the majority’s perception of motherhood. Maybe it is our human nature to try and compensate for what we feel like are our “mothering mistakes.” Whatever the reason may be, STOP. We need to stop judging ourselves and others. We need to uplift each other during this messy, difficult, but oh-so-rewarding journey of motherhood. We need to celebrate our differences and realize that they make us unique. As moms, we all make mistakes. Some mistakes are things that we perceive as mistakes while others are mistakes that the public perceives we are making. During this Women’s History Month, while we are celebrating the great women {and mothers} in our history, let’s take time to celebrate our choices and cut ourselves, and others, a little slack.


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