So when the great word “Mother!” rang once more,
I saw at last its meaning and its place;
Not the blind passion of the brooding past,
But Mother — the World’s Mother — come at last,
To love as she had never loved before —
To feed and guard and teach the human race.
– Charlotte Perkins Gilman
I’m a new mother at 34, currently savoring the joys and enduring the sleepless, tiring, and backbreaking wrestle with my little Buddha – I call him that because he’s such a chubby cherub. One thing I realized about myself, though, becoming a first-time mom, is I often find myself worrying too much, short of saying I’m almost always in an anxious mode. And I have every reason to be. Leaving my tiny bundle of joy to someone else’s care, let alone a house companion, leaves me quite apprehensive. For one, can a non-relative care as much for a kid totally not her own? Can she lull my baby to sleep with such amorous delight as I do? And with nary a mother’s instinct, can she discern what’s wrong with my precious one when he cries? For motherhood entails all of those nurturing and loving and sacrificing, and much, much more. Indeed, motherhood is a career all by itself. It requires much and expects less.
Being a mother is a 24/7 job. It demands your undivided time and attention. Unlike your regular daytime or nighttime job where you’re mandated to render an eight-hour work at the very least, motherhood requires you to work three shifts. You’re supposed to be on guard for when your baby feeds, wets or soils his diapers, or simply cries to be held and comforted. It’s overwhelming when the survival of someone so small and so helpless depends largely on you. Simply put, motherhood is a great, as in huge, responsibility.
One needs to be multifaceted to be a mother. You have to be adaptable to the ever-changing needs of your young one. Babies are an unpredictable lot. They change habits as often as they change nappies. So if you think you’ve mastered everything there is to know about your youngling’s predicaments, think again. What seems to be your newborn’s established routine may become yesterday’s news in a jiffy. And where a worker with a flexible personality gets the better of the corporate rat race, mothers also who are able to adjust more to their baby’s capriciousness are on top of their game.
Promotions, salary increases, commendations – these are quite a few that engender satisfied employees’ in the workplace. Workers strive harder for that most coveted position. They toil doubly hard for that forthcoming performance bonus. And they are prompted to do well when a boss only has words of praises for them; oh, what music to their ears!. On the other hand, it doesn’t take much to make mothers happy. Moms don’t get elevated to a higher position. They aren’t compensated for what they do. And their line of work is the one most often overlooked, ignored, taken for granted. But have you ever realized what’s behind every CEO, every EVP, every head of state, or every worker for that matter? Every single one of them was raised by a mother. Need I say more?