By Mirranda Reinhardt for Pregnancy Awareness Month®
“So, what do you do?” I get asked the same question over and over again. Sometimes it comes from a stranger at the grocery store, on occasion it comes from a friend that I haven’t seen in a long time. For years I’ve answered the same thing, “I’m just a mom.”
As I sit down to write my weekly blog post for Pregnancy Awareness Month tonight, this question is echoing through my mind. My husband’s work often takes him out of town for days at a time, leaving me as the sole caretaker of our three young children while he’s gone. His sometimes erratic schedule has made it difficult to pursue interests of my own and that’s left me contemplating not only who I am, but who I will be.
When I was a teenager I was often asked what I wanted to do when I grew up. My goals in life were to be a doctor and a mother. At twenty-nine I’ve fulfilled the later three times over, a stellar success if you ask me. I’m quickly approaching thirty and every once in a while I’ll feel a twinge when someone asks me “so what do you do”? It’s painful to admit but I was glad when my high school class didn’t hold a ten year reunion because I felt my achievements over the years just wouldn’t stack up. I don’t have a college degree, I haven’t traveled to exotic locations (heck, I’ve never even been on an airplane), I haven’t found “success”. I’ve often wondered if I’ve done enough and accomplished enough, and if I’ve given my children the kind of role model they need.
The problem is that I haven’t seen my “job” as one that is important to society; I’ve struggled to see how I could make a difference. How wrong I’ve been! I am not “just a mom.” That answer short changes everything I do every single day. Tonight, as I sit here in a quiet house I realize that the last thing I should ever say is “I’m just a mom.” I am a MOTHER. I am a woman who has birthed, nurtured, fed and cared for three children through every moment of their lives. I carried three new lives within me, and brought them into this world amidst my own screams.
To my children I am a miracle worker; no other kisses can heal their hurt as quickly as mine. I am the hero who fixes broken toys, the teacher who educates them and the arms they run to when they are sad. I have modeled love, forgiveness, loyalty, and faith to my children. Those are the qualities that will make this world a better place. My success cannot be measured in dollars or titles, instead it is found in the happy little faces that look up at me each day.
I don’t know what the future holds, maybe it will take us to unexpected places and someday my answer to the oft asked question will change. As life leads us I may carry different titles, but my most important job is and forever will be the one that I have right here at home. I am no longer “just a mom”.