Daily Post: Uncredited Populations

by Michelle Lasley

Michelle Lasley is a mother, wife in Pacific Northwest learning to balance green dreams with budget realities.

January 3, 2011

Levi, Christmas, and Cars
Image by alexis22578 via Flickr

Topic: Name someone who deserves more credit than they get. And for bonus points, how to change things so they get more

I started reading the Price of Motherhood by Ann Crittenden the other day. It was suggested through Oregon’s Mother P.A.C., a political action committee designed to support, encourage, and broaden women and mothers in politics.

The premise of the book is discussing how, and I think later how to change, mothers are so undercredited. It’s recognized the world over from the average Joe to political leaders that the most important job held by anyone is being a Mother. Raising the next citizenry, shaping our future, raising the next generation – yet when taxes, census, and public assistance are concerned mothers are more often than not considered dependents.

So, this blog is simply to all the mothers out there that every day do one of the following:

  • Get up, get yourself in order
  • Make breakfast for yourself
  • Get your husband/partner/spouse off to work with a packed lunch and clean clothes
  • Clean the kitchen
  • Wake the small ones, feed the small ones, appease the small ones
  • Plan your day: “work”, errands, shopping, cleaning, baking?
  • Get you dressed, get the small person dressed
  • Avert crises over the wrong pants/socks/shoes/shirt chosen or put on in the wrong order
  • Clean up messes, prevent messes, get teeth brushed and hair presentable
  • Make it out the door (on time you get lots of bonus points)
  • Wade through traffic, offer appropriate snacks, calm tears of unknown origin (boredom?)
  • Wish them well off to daycare/preschool/babysitter
  • Commence errands with our without children
  • Pick up one thing, drop another off, pick up another at another location, visit another place and make an exchange, all before noon to ensure lunches are had
  • Fix another meal (snacks have been had around mid morning)
  • Clean kitchen, again
  • Put small fry down for nap, repeating self, justifying the need to the small person when reason isn’t always what works
  • Begin bread
  • Start laundry
  • Think about reading a book
  • Sweep floors, tidy rearranged items putting them where they belong
  • Hope this was done before Husband returns from work where a new set of distractions commence
  • Consider dinner, prep frozen things, time oven with bread baking and dinner making
  • Enjoy family dinner
  • Clean up Kitchen
  • Prep lunches for next day
  • Appease emotions of all members of household
  • Think again about reading that book
  • Recognize that you too are tired
  • Get the big and little people down to bed
  • Forget about putting things away
  • Read the book

Two years ago, I was looking for paid work to help pay off my school loans. This was on the heals of the 2008 Wall Street Crash and Housing Market Crash. This was more or less my routine, without the daycare/preschool/babysitter line. I enjoyed much of it, but much of it left me unfulfilled. In many ways.

Part of motherhood is coming to terms with choices and being able put them into place with new realized boundaries. This is something I struggle with everyday. This book, the Price of Motherhood is helping me to put a voice to some of these feelings I have had. So, this post is simply to mothers. If you think someone or something is undervaluing you – STOP. Think, believe.

We need to change this paradigm under which we’ve operated for far too long. Society recognizes our position as the most important, so it is time for us to collectively stand up and say, YES, you are right, our job is important, and we need your help valuing it as important as you say it is.

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