The subject line was “Full-time mom creates….” The email went on to detail how this awesome full-time mom created a completely unnecessary product. And good for her.
But I was left wondering, How could she be a “full-time” mom if she works creating completely unnecessary products? Does she think I’m a full-time mom just because I work from home? Does the person who wrote the subject line think a mother who works at an office full-time is “only” a part-time parent? Because, personally, I don’t think there’s such a thing as a part-time mom.
Mothers who work are full-time moms. So are mothers who share custody of their kids, moms with nannies, and mothers whose kids are away at school. My mom tells me that even mothers whose kids are grown and have kids of their own are still full-time mothers.
I get a lot of emails from PR people that hope I’ll write about their products, and they’re often hyperbolic about motherhood in the hopes that sucking up to me will make me more inclined to give them publicity. It doesn’t work. They probably don’t realize that when they evoke the image of a “full-time mom” or “stay-at-home mom” or “dedicated mom,” they’re fuelling the so-called “mommy wars”—not to mention irritating me in the process.
None of us truly fits into any of these stifling boxes. We’re all moms from the minute we pee on a stick, or hold our baby for the first time, or cry simply because our baby is crying. I don’t know a mom who doesn’t think of parenting as a full-time endeavour. In fact, the term “full-time” doesn’t even come close to describing what being a mom means. I’m not sure there’s a word in the English language that covers how parenting takes over our hearts and minds. Perhaps another language has a word that encompasses what it means to be a parent.
I don’t want to leave dads out of this either. Fatherhood is also “full-time,” and it’s about time our culture starts to recognize that, too. I don’t want to put any kind of parent on a pedestal because ranking different kinds of parents is a lose-lose situation. We’re all working more than full-time to do the best we can for ourselves and our kids.
It’s great that there are moms out there who are balancing parenting with entrepreneurship. It’s also great that there are parents who aren’t. The world is slowly changing so that moms (and dads) can create a life that is full of as many elements and commitments as they want, or can handle, or need.
But it’s far from perfect. I promise you that if someone sends me a press release with the absolute specifics on how to create a society that values family and work equally, than that’s the one I want to read and write about.