The more talk I hear about gender roles, the more I encounter the insidious notion that it’s impossible for a woman to “have it all.” People say that a woman has to choose a role—just one role—and she can never be more than that. But this is a fallacy, and I am living proof. Society needs to realize that while I am a hardworking mother, I am also a proud parent.
What do you see when you look at me? A mom who loves her children, cares for them, and devotes her time and love to raising them right? Or do you instead see a parent of two, someone whose responsibility is to her sons, protecting them, caring for them, and raising them?
The point is that you should see both. There’s no reason being a parent and being a mother should be mutually exclusive.
My routine admittedly does get crazy. On a typical weekday morning, I’m up at 6:30, and immediately it’s parent time, waking the kids and making sure they eat a good breakfast. But then I switch into full-on “mom-mode,” piling everyone into the car and zipping off to school. After work, of course, I’m headed right back home for dinner (parent), homework hour (mother), and bedtime stories (parent). Keeping both balls in the air can be a real struggle.
There’s no reason being a parent and being a mother should be mutually exclusive.
And to be honest, I sometimes wonder if I ought to give up parenting and spend all of my time mothering, or vice versa. But that’s when I step back and realize: Being a mother and being a parent are as one; they are part of the same experience, part of my life. Much like a businessman who finds time for his career, a student who manages to simultaneously study and attend college, or a basketball player who is also an athlete, I wear many hats.
We’re still a long way from fully accepting mother-parents such as myself. The good news is that we have role models like Beyoncé, Hillary Clinton, and countless others, public examples of women proving, every day, that it’s possible for mothers to be parents and, yes, for parents to be mothers.