©2017 Susan Noyes Anderson
I grew up in a simpler time,
when roles were more defined.
Perhaps I should have felt constrained.
In truth, I did not mind.
The call fate held in store for me
delighted me no end.
I plied it in my daily life
and played it as pretend.
To be a mother was my dream,
to raise a happy clan.
No urge to nurture a career
informed my master plan.
I shadowed a professional;
my mother was the best.
Her gifts (wielded creatively)
supported, taught, and blessed.
In high school, I received advice.
The counsel was to earn
credentials as a teacher,
just in case life “took a turn.”
I student-taught in college,
which annoyed me, on the whole.
I settled for it anyway,
indifferent to that goal.
My focus was on motherhood,
the family I would raise.
It brought fulfillment, growth, and joy,
gave purpose to my days.
And later, when the culture whispered
I should think of me,
I wrote books, got them published,
and produced more poetry.
Yet nothing I have fashioned since,
by paper or by pen,
has matched the thrill of raising children:
good women and men.
And just for me (though not PC),
I took the job full-time.
No limits! Mom – unfettered,
and the payback was sublime.
Choice matters, every kind of choice.
Some moms might find more bliss,
if mothering as a career
ranked higher on the list.
Of course, some need an income;
others love their own profession,
but choosing to stay home should be
a job, not a confession!
Today, it almost seems as if a talented, intelligent woman is considered to be wasting her opportunities should she decide to stay home and raise children. Nowhere is intelligence and creativity more useful than in that environment, and no attributes more reliably ensure a successful reign as a stay-at-home mom. But let’s be honest, even the name makes less of it than it is. At least “homemaker” was an active description, not a passive one. “Staying at home” offers no glimpse of what a professional mom does there. Don’t get me wrong, I’m all for doing what’s right for you…whatever form that takes…I just hope that the avenue of mothering as a career can one day be afforded every ounce of respect it deserves. For those who can swing it financially, full-time mothering should be seen as a viable, challenging, and equally prestigious option. Sadly, I don’t think we’re there yet.