Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Where's My Gold Star?!

I was reading Melissa Sue's blog post today, at A Wonderful Life, and found it very thought provoking. I had theorized on my main blog about why women of our generation seem to be more hung up on our bodies than of past generations. I hadn't really thought about how other aspects of our lives are likewise affected. I got to thinking, Why is it so hard to be that 1950's housewife and mother that I long to be? I really do think Melissa Sue and her commentators are right; we are a generation of reward and acknowledgment. Our mothers and grandmothers were stay at home moms before that was even a term because it was what they did. Now it seems to be taboo and embarrassing to be a SAHM. I have seen the new "movement" of proud SAHMs but still, I think people look much more kindly on WorkAHMs.

I even had a nightmare last night about it. I was back in college talking to bright eyed young girls attending there. I realized they didn't know who I was so I commented that I was a former cadet (AFROTC). They were all giddy and began asking me what I was studying now. I said I was done with school. So then they asked what I did for a living, so eager to know what lay ahead of them in the big world of industry. I proudly told them I was a stay at home mom who sold homemade scrapbooks and sewn items. They suddenly got calm and said "oh how sweet" and proceeded to ignore me.  I woke up thinking that perhaps I should call myself a WAHM from now on, thinking somehow that taking care of my son isn't enough.  It was a sad thought.

That leads me to agree:

This is the generation of gold stars. This is the generation of participation trophies. This is the generation of automatic salary increases and yearly bonuses.

But in the career of motherhood there are no gold stars, trophies, or bonuses.

In fact, I need to speak to management because it's been five months and I still haven't received my paycheck.

I have been struggling with this idea for a while and after reading that post, I think I know why.  I have always been told how well I am doing and I want so desperately to be told I am a good mom.  My husband tells me but I just can't seem to hear it enough.  I think I probably need to hear it while I am comforting a crying baby and not at the end of the day when he is finally calm and smiling.  But, alas, DH can't very well call me when Little Bit is crying in the middle of his work day to say "You're doing a great job holding the baby and calming him honey."  By the end of the day I find myself so exhausted that just want to crawl into bed and forget the day ever happened.  Unfortunately LB has different plans and wakes me up several times during the night.  It seems like I get just enough sleep to skate by for one more day.  I sure do wish I had a gold star every now and then.  Actually, you know what I wish?  I wish our parents and teachers hadn't shoved this "everyone wins" crap down our throats!  I hope I can teach my kids that you do things because it's the right thing to do, not because you'll get a cookie and that you have to work hard to win.  If you don't win, then try again.  It's just fine to fail sometimes.  I wish our generation was aloud to fail.
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