I was so surprised to see that only a handful of people chose to participate in the poll about the qualities of the modern Mom du Jour, while poll questions like where people travel or what baby name to choose received hundreds of replies. This gave me pause, and made me realize that we moms in fact have a hard time classifying ourselves into tiny boxes of description.
By far, the most popular responses were “College Educated, Organized, Cooks” and “Works Outside of Home,” while choices like “Patient” didn’t even get a single vote.
Because some of the most amazing moms I know aren’t the least bit organized, yet they exude more patience than I can manage to muster up by the time I’m out of my morning shower.
Women, I believe, have worked hard to earn the independence we enjoy in the U.S. today. Work from home, work in the business world, entrepreneurs, students, artists, wives… we have so many choices. Maybe by checking boxes, it rubs this individuality in an uncomfortable way. After all, if I check “organized” and then ignore a pile of clothes to be folded or a stack of school papers to sign in place of a dance party in my kitchen, have I abandoned one of my “defining qualities?” I hope not.
I have come to the conclusion that the Mom of the (modern) Day is a woman who can balance all things: her responsibilities, her dreams, her children’s needs, and her own. It is a much bigger task than the moms of generations before, but a much more fulfilling one as well. So for now, for me, Mommy du jour will be the mom who embraces her passion and shares that passion with her children, all the while seeking to draw forth a passion from within her own babes. This does mean we incorporate art, music, love, discipline, sports, health, silliness, seriousness, academics, responsibility… and on and on and on… until we have filled our children with enough confidence and exposure to enter the world ready to pursue their own dreams. And if the laundry doesn’t get done, or the conference call gets put on hold, then it will all be in the interest of maintaining that delicate balance.
Forge on, Moms of the world! I wouldn’t trade the unpredictability of our Mom status for the more defined, but less diverse, roles of our grandmothers – and I gather you wouldn’t either, by the reluctance to “check the box” that defines you.
If you want to take a look at the poll again, and maybe add some of the traits that make you a unique Mommy du Jour, click here: