Hi my name is Phara Joseph, and I am a mom, but I’m not dead. I’ve have seen and heard from different moms, from different walks of life that say being a mom is the most important job they have. And I thought well I don’t think my child is a job. I chose to have him so I can’t label him a job or a chore. He is my heart and makes me smile, we have fun together and go on mommy and me dates. But I also have my moments when I want to clock out and can’t. You see being a mom is not a job because you have no legal rights. There are no laws to protect your privacy while you use the bathroom and see pudgy little fingers under the door. There are no labor laws to get you time and a half for working past 40 hours. There are no battery charges to file when your child gives you a thorough beatdown in your sleep as they push you out of your bed. You can’t file for workers comp because your boobs reach your knees and the celebrity snapback they promised never took place. And there are certainly no sick days, vacations, mental health days and most days you barely get a lunch break. So no, being a mom is not a job. These are charges given to you by God to take care of and raise to be part of society and you hope they will contribute to it in a positive way someday.
But at the same time, I am not dead. So many women let go of everything they once held dear because they have kids. I watched my mother and grandmother do this and I vowed I will not do that. Say it with me “my kid(s) are not my hindrance they are my motivation.” In my other blog post, I talked about mothers letting go of who they are and dreams for the sake of the kids ( A Mommy With Dreams). For the love of God those little snot filled, dirty hands, touch everything and break everything, tiny humans are not the reason why you are not doing anything. You are not DEAD just because you became a mom. Yes you have bills, yes you have responsibilities, but ask yourself this if; I didn’t have kids would I chase my dreams? No matter your answer be it yes or no, you are the reason to blame not the innocent incessant crying baby.
I too was that mom. I thought oh no I have a son; how dare I buy something for myself. I thought I was being a great mom sacrificing for my son. But slowly I became unhappy and dissatisfied with life. I tell anyone who meets my son that he saved my life. You see my son didn’t give my life meaning. He gave me reasons to find meaning in the life I was leading. Kids live by example especially when they are young. If mom is always tired and unhappy guess what; you will raise daughters who will think that’s what it means to be a mom and a son who will think when he has a wife she will be like you. ( Did that sting? Good).
I’m not telling you to go out and buy expensive things and leave your child in soiled diapers, that just being a ratchet women period. What I am saying is get dressed, do your hair, make the effort to take some pride in how you look. Now before you all come with the pitchfork, I already know it’s not every day you want to look fabulous. Most days you are happy to just get a shower and hope to God the clothes you have on don’t have some hideous unknown spot or smell. I know the struggle of getting in the shower and not wanting to get out because it affords you 3 maybe 5 minutes of peace and that’s only if your bathroom door has a lock on it. NO, it won’t be every day. And the women who tell you that you should be able to do it every day can now enjoy my death glare.
What I am saying is YOU are a mom NOT DEAD.
You didn’t roll up and die the day the baby came out, life kept moving. And if you pause for a second you will realize it moved on without you. Not because you devoted all your time to your kids, and the household and work if you are a working mom. But because you left your sexy, lipstick wearing, go out to dinner with friends, go on a date with your man, get dressed and feel pretty self back in that hospital. The greatest disservices I did to my son was pouring everything into him and nothing back into me. I got really good at providing for him instead of enjoying him. There is a huge difference. Society will make you feel so bad about wanting time to yourself, that you are selfish, and if you didn’t want to take care of your child you shouldn’t have had them.
Well to hell with that. Just because I want some grown up conversation and not reduce all my years of English classes to ” Say ahh, no put that down, go wipe your butt, take the noodle out of your nose, go to bed, No, No you can’t wear shorts it’s too cold, please put on your shoes, no not sandals it’s snowing and bedtime,” doesn’t mean I don’t want to be there for my child. It means I want to pour back into me so I can continue pouring into him.
I love his smile, his smell. I love hearing about his day at daycare, I love that he likes to read, I love that he says his prayers and enjoys going out. What I don’t enjoy is when I get agitated or short and snappy with him because I’m miserable inside. That’s what happens to us moms. When we don’t pour into ourselves first we can’t pour back into the mommy calling 50 times per minute little human (s). They depend on us to be well rounded so that they are well-rounded. I hide in the bathroom sometimes just so I can take a deep breath. I hide in the bathroom and lock it as he calls mommy non-stop on the other side, I hide in the bathroom so I can eat an ice cream cone by myself. Don’t judge me you all hide too. Why because you know you need that five minutes to just breathe. To pour back into you, hell to even shed a tear from being overwhelmed by it all (especially if you have more than one God Bless and Godspeed).
We are not dead because we became moms. We have dreams that have died, hopes, fitting a pair of jeans should not be the only goal in life as a mom. They don’t fit, get a pair that does. Don’t make yourself depressed and eat a bag of chips and cry some more. You are not dead. God created you to be a loving wonderful mom. But he didn’t tell you to no longer live life and have fun. If you are a stay at home mom; hand the kids over to dad and go out, call grandma, set up a play date with another mom so you can go out and next weekend it’s her turn. Your kids will love you for it. And honey embrace the mom jeans, if that’s where you are and if you don’t like them, change! It’s all up to you moms. YOU ARE A MOM, NOT DEAD.