We love mom. Or, at least, we like the idea of mom — even if, as countless writers have taken to pointing out, being a mother is as complicated a job as it ever was.
Even recognizing the hardships of life in parts of the world — too-early marriages, too many pregnancies too close together with too little prenatal care, too little opportunity to make decisions for oneself, let alone for one’s children — still, there are plenty of things to preoccupy us in the wealthy and healthy (by comparison) U.S.
If you were to believe everything that’s written and said about us American moms, it would seem we are always wrong. We work too much at our jobs for some critics, but we’re not leaning in enough for others. We are too involved in our children’s lives for some observers — helicoptering in, as it were — and not involved enough for others, not staying on top of those homework assignments, not spending enough time volunteering. We run ourselves ragged taking care of everyone else, goes one story line — or, wait, is it that we’re so self-absorbed these days that we’ve lost the capacity to put other people’s happiness ahead of our own?
It’s hard to keep up with everything I am supposedly doing wrong these days, but if i had a dollar for every time I got contradictory advice on the same day about how I should go about being a mother, I would be rich enough to worry about ruining my children’s lives with excessive wealth, as opposed to worrying about not being able to keep them in soccer cleats and math camps so they can get that exclusive college scholarship.
But can I just tell you? There’s a new day coming. Just as President John F. Kennedy famously said we are all Berliners, we are all about to become mom.