Women’s History Month is a time for us to honor all of the women who came before us and paved the way for the freedom and autonomy we enjoy today. But it’s also a time to consider and praise those women who really are doing it all—single or married, working at home or in an office, mothers or not, chances are most women are taking care of someone else in addition to themselves.
They multitask and make it look easy, while rarely missing a beat. So although March may be Women’s History Month, we women deserve to give one another mutual respect and praise all year long.
When considering Women’s History Month and the sacrifices and lack of choices of women of the past, I can’t help but think of my mother. She was a stay-at-home mom, but that doesn’t mean she had it easy. She was up at sunrise and burned the midnight oil, always on the go in the interim. My father worked as a police officer, but when he came home, his home-cooked meal was on the table and the next day, his uniform was clean and pressed and ready to wear. I don’t ever remember seeing him wash a dish or do a load of laundry. My mother took care of it all.
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Even at a time when other kids’ mothers were working outside the home, there was never a moment when I thought my mother didn’t “work.” In my eyes, she had a job (multiple jobs, really) and she worked damn hard. We woke up to a delicious breakfast, our school lunches were packed and dinner was on the table at a certain time every night. She sat with us and helped us with our homework and she made sure our clothes were clean. Was it her responsibility as a mother? Yes. But did she have to do it all alone? No! It’s not that my father was being mean by not helping her…it’s just that those gender roles were so deeply ingrained, I don’t think he thought to offer help anymore than she thought to ask for it.
Today, I think about how fortunate I am to have a spouse who pitches in with household chores and homework, even though he works full-time outside the home. This makes me really appreciate single mothers all the more, since, whether they are single by choice or not, they make it all happen, all by themselves. They work outside the home all day, come home and get dinner on the table, help their kids with homework, get them tucked into bed and then, get up and do the same thing the next day. Wow.
So I repeat: let’s not praise women just this one month of the year, but every single day, year round! Let us shout out their accomplishments and remind ourselves that women make the world go round, and we deserve credit for doing so!