I recently read a New York Times article: "Why men want to marry Melanias and raise Ivankas." The article went on to criticize Melania and Donald Trump for how their roles in their marriage are regarding their children. Melania changed all of the baby's diapers and would get up with the baby at night and Donald would have nothing to do with that. I suppose readers are to be shocked and disgusted with how the chore of raising a baby was so unequally divided in the Trump household. (However I highly doubt Melania didn't have hired help as well...but I digress.) However, Trump praises his daughter Ivanka for not only being a champion at motherhood but also a successful businesswoman. The article goes on to say in addition to changing diapers, Melania only had a skin care and jewelry line. Oh and also was a super model.
So what's a mom like me to take away from this article? Well, I don't change diapers anymore, mostly pull ups whenever my 2 year old decides she doesn't feel like being potty trained. Oh I also spend most of my day wiping butts and also washing sippy cups. And I don't even have a jewelry line! And do not have any super model aspirations. Oh well...maybe my husband could raise an Ivanka since I don't even measure up to Melania?
I think there are two choices I could make after reading this article. One is very popular. That one is I could get mad and resentful at my husband. Why doesn't he get up at night when the kids cry out? Why isn't he here mopping up another pee accident? I do everything. It's so unfair. He's just like Donald Trump.
And I can't even imagine what the journalist for the NYT would think of me.
I recently saw a clip of a pregnant comedian making jokes about how her husband gets praised for coming to all her doctor's appointments and all he has to do is show up and play candy crush. And here she is growing a baby and has to show up to the appointments. And she can't even believe he expects her to do the dishes. This goes along with choice number one. Let's be resentful the second we become mothers because heaven forbid women actually mother unless it's 50/50. Let's just call it parenting - not mothering.
There is something so beautifully feminine about mothering. There are things a mother can do and provide that men simply cannot. And I think we should embrace that. And I don't think it makes us less of an person when we do.
Mother Teresa said in her book, No Greater Love,
"We must know we have been created for greater things, not just to be a number in the world, not just to go for diplomas and degrees, this work and that work. We have been created in order to love and be loved."
So I think I will make the second choice in reacting to this article. I will know I was created to love and be loved. Everyone was. No matter their title or what they spend their day doing, their job is to love and be loved. So instead of reading that article and feeling embarrassed at my choice to be a full time mom and comparing myself to others, I can know I was created to love. And to be loved.
You don't have to be a woman or a mother to do that.
My sister who is about to be a veterinarian spends her day loving others and being loved. My other sister who works for a non profit spends her day loving and being loved. My good friend who recently won an Emmy for her reporting spends her day loving and being loved. My husband spends his day loving and being loved.
And I spend my day raising two young children and loving them and being loved in return.
Let's all focus on what we were created to do instead of spreading judgement, competition or jealousy. Let's love and allow ourselves to be loved.