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"why I hate the term working mothers"

You will never find joy as a mother until you recognize that the societal expectations of mothers are TOXIC and are designed to make you doubt your self-worth. These expectations thrive on a steady dose of unhealthy comparison.

Maybe you need to leave home before your kids go to school because you round on your patients before scrubbing into the OR at 6 am. Or maybe tackling your endless pile of paperwork and incoming patient results makes you late on occasion for school pickup? Maybe you arrive, huffing the last bit, with a side of sweat-boob?

How do you feel when you see Instagram reels on "homemade sandwiches cut into stars for picky eaters" or "simple (read: unlikely-for-baking-dummies like me) gingerbread cookies to wow the kindergarten class at Christmas!" If you're like me, you feel like such a slouch mom. 

But hey, you say. "I save lives! I'm doing important work! I bet these “perfect moms” don't work so of course they have time to exercise, make 3-course meals, and wear cute outfits to drop-off..."

Well. Ahem. Comparison goes both ways right?

I have a friend who is a stay-at-home mother. She wakes up at 5:00 am to make breakfast and lunch for her family, does the bulk of the daily carpool school drop-offs and pickups without complaint, helps with homework, listens to her tween's fears, and volunteers at hot lunch day. She doesn't make Instagram worthy home-made sandwiches, tend to an organic vegetable patch, nor lead the parent council. But her worry lines and work-worn chapped hands tell me she is doing work.

Hard work.

And yet, if I ask her husband and children what she does, they say "nothing--she doesn't work." And do you know what is worse? She would also agree that she "does not work". 

Can we agree as women not to be so mean to each other? Can we agree to stop comparing (either better than or worst than) other women?

I don't know any mother, whether she works outside of the house or not, who doesn't work damned hard. But no matter how many roles a mother takes on, she often feels that she is not doing a good enough job. Motherhood--which is challenging, rewarding, and potentially so amazing--becomes a shame trap. 

Question: Do you struggle with comparison? Could it be a part of your burnout?

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