Every time I hear a woman describe what she does by starting with the words, “I’m just…” I want to shake her. And then hug her. And say, there’s no such thing as “just a mom.” Moms have incredible power, not only to influence the next generation (a huge responsibility) but we also have power to influence the world economically, politically and socially.
A woman who is actually a partner in a family business will often tell people, “I just help my husband with his business. I just keep the books…” A man would describe the same job by saying he’s the Chief Financial Officer of a privately held company! As well he should. Ironically, to say “I just…” does you, and all women, an injustice.
Several books I’ve read this year make the audacious claim that moms can change the world: Fast Living by Scott Todd, The Missional Mom by Helen Lee, and Global Soccer Mom by Shayne Moore. I found that interesting, and, thanks to the wonders of technology, true.
Do you agree? I’ve written an article, How Moms Can Fight Poverty, which you can read, download, post on Facebook or your blog. Let’s get people talking about this idea, so that maybe, they could even do something about it.
If you’d like to use the article on your Facebook notes, blog or even a newsletter, just click here to go to articlesbase.com, then find the “re-publish the article link on the left side.
Respond: do you think moms can change the world? Are you a mom who’s doing so? How?
It’s so true, Keri–moms so often downplay what they do like it’s not a “real” job, when in reality what they’re doing is so incredibly important! And I think that self-depreciation is built into girls at a young age. When I was in college I minored in linguistics, and in one of my sociolinguistics classes I did a paper on the difference between how girls and boys used language. Boys tended to use far stronger descriptions of themselves and their abilities than girls, who would describe their talents and abilities with far less confidence. And girls who expressed solid confidence in themselves were usually admonished as being prideful or smug. What gives? I don’t want my daughters to be self-absorbed, but I also don’t want them thinking they have to minimize their intelligence and strengths, either, or think that, unless they’re in a corner office somewhere, their work doesn’t mean that much.
Thanks for your comment, Alison! I’ve heard of studies similar to the one you describe. I have a 17-year-old daughter who is very confident, –and yet, she often downplays her own accomplishments. I think little things, like the phrase “just a mom,” affect us in ways we don’t notice on the surface.
I think that there is also something in Christian culture that coaches people, and especially women, that to be honest about one’s gifts and strengths is arrogant. Even if we feel confident, we are told to minimize our gifts and restrain ourselves in the use of them. Sad.
I struggled with that the six years that was home when they were very little. Now, I realize that my Mom work is the most important work that I do. My sons are growing and developing into strong, wonderful young men. I also find myself mothering my mother these days since my father has entered into the nursing home and the final stages of alzheimers. Keep writing, Keri!
Friar & Dawn, I appreciate your thoughtful comments. If we are doing what God called us to do, whether it is running a home or running a company, we can realize that it has significance and makes a difference.