A Tale of Two Mommies

…because more seems excessive…

The Prize for First Place

I find it interesting the commonalities I periodically find amongst Mommies.  Usually I can divide us into certain groups, but there is one issue that has a certain Stepford quality to it.  I’ve met a myriad of accomplished women in my life travels, but all the ones with children say the same thing.  Their children are their greatest accomplishment.  I even hear it in interviews of various noteworthy women.  I bet some Nobel Prize winners throughout every category would say the same thing, “Oh, yeah, that thing I did that changed the world?  Sure, I guess that was important, but my children, well…”  I always figured that was something I didn’t understand because I wasn’t a parent, and was, at best, ambivalent about the prospect.  Even with that, it never escaped me that I never heard Daddies say something comparable in conversations or interviews, but maybe they are never asked.

Well, now I’ve earned a membership in the elite parenting club.  I’ve accomplished squeezing a watermelon out of a lemon, and continuously prevent my son from leaping off of furniture and plummeting to his sudden death.  He is a delightful little man most of the time, and I love him oodles.  Even as young as he is, I’m pretty proud of my role in forming his loveliness.  Would I say he is my best accomplishment?  Maybe it’s too soon to affirm.  Would I say that I’m the most proud of my life achievements as it relates to him?  Not the most proud, but maybe if he solves the crisis of world hunger…

I find it a troublesome pressure that women must pick one feat that has a singular worth above all others at all times.  For me, sometimes I look at my little man when he is doing something really sweet, and I swell with pride thinking of how I created this little man from a pin head.  Other times my other pursuits win out in my thoughts.

I’m proud of many endeavors I’ve realized in my life, and I find it dismissive and insulting that the expectation is I choose ONE thing I’m supposed to declare as having primary value at all times, and the default is always motherhood.  Are fathers expected to make such a choice?  Unlikely.  Would I be a terrible person if I viewed parenting as an enriching part of life, but not an accomplishment to be achieved?  I’m kinda afraid to test that one; something tells me throngs of people carry rotten vegetables and eggs in their car trunks and pockets just for such an occasion…



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