By Lisa Davidson
I have never been a career driven workaholic. I liked work, but didn’t live for it. I liked being successful, but not at the expense of my relationships with family and friends. Thanks to my husband, I have the freedom to stay home with our children and work occasionally as a freelance writer. That was our plan. That’s what I wanted.
My main job is to take care of the children. But is being a stay-at-home-mom a profession? When people ask me what I do for work, I tell them I am a writer. Don’t get me wrong, parenting is work – hard work sometimes – but motherhood is not a job. We don’t get paid, aren’t getting promoted, can’t feel the accomplishment of a fulfilled task. “Self-esteem and self-worth are closely aligned with working,” says psychotherapist Charles Allen in an interview with USA Today. I agree.
I don’t have to go to work to pay our bills, but the struggle with unsteady contracts and the constant search for new projects is exhausting. Not so much because of the financial difference, but because of the feeling of being worth less.
Jobs used to be a sign of status; today they are an outlet for one’s passion and creativity. When we can’t get this feeling from an office job, we try to project it onto our life at home and connect our happiness with visual accomplishments: a clean house, a self-made gourmet dinner, a new Pinterest project. I am sure some of my fellow stay-at-home-moms can relate.
One fact every mother will agree on is that taking care of children is tough. But sometimes motherhood is stressful because we make it hard for ourselves. We expect our lives to stay the same after having children, expect too much from ourselves and the little ones in order to fill the day with passion and creativity – like a regular job – but there is often neither time nor need.
Happiness doesn’t require any of that. Happiness is being able to spend time with our children, enjoy being messy with them, reflect on the day and feel accomplished – with or without a job.
It’s great to have a position that gives us purpose. But even if motherhood is not a job, what can give our lives more meaning than our children?
Lisa Davidson, mother of two energetic and drama-prone little divas, age 2 and 4, studied Journalism in Munich and spend most of her time before child writing for various publishers and travelling the world. After multiple moves within and outside Germany, her latest pit-stop brought her to Texas, far from home but not the heart.
Now the days contain less scribbling in journals but accomplishing tricky toddler crafts from Pinterest, less strolling in high heels through European metropolises but trying to connect her daughters with her own culture. She is a busy mommy that knows how hard it can be to be far away from old friends and family and wants to help fellow moms to stay always true to themselves – no matter how stressful life can be or where their journey might take them.