“That’s actually right, Gary!”
Gary Vaynerchuk wanted someone to say the statement above with regards to the wisdom he shared in this video. So, I’m doing so…not to pacify him, mind you, but to motivate all mothers across the nation to shed the shame that comes with the descriptive “just a mother.”
If you’ve ever shrunk back as a SAHM when asked the question, “What do you do?” Or felt the ‘need to lead’ with a professional title, like “attorney” or “producer,” prior to identifying yourself as a “mother,” I urge you to watch this video. It will bring you incredible perspective…the same kind I acquired at age thirty-five, when I became a widow with four young children to rear (ages 9-3).
Today, my oldest child is finishing medical school and beginning his residency as an orthopedic surgeon. My second child works in technology at Yale-New Haven Hospital & Medical Center. My third was admitted to medical school two years early. And my fourth attends UC San Diego and is out to help save the planet.
Being the surviving parent in-charge of raising my children, I became extremely clear on the importance of my role as a mother. I also realized, very quickly, how lucky I was to continue in that role, when my husband could not in his. It’s the reason I abhor the phrase “just a mother.” In my opinion, it is denigrating and faulty as opposed to pride-filled and important.
No mother should be described with the belittling overtone society seems to have attached to that phrase. All should shun that stigma as, like Vaynerchuk says, “Shit gets remarkable when you keep your fingers in your ears and shed all concern for the image or title others foist upon you.” My proof to you as to how right Vaynerchuk is, resides two paragraphs up.
Embracing and not apologizing for keeping my role as a mother “first place” has now allowed me to go “all in” on my career without guilt or missed “childhood moments” I would have eventually regretted. And I bring with me valuable skills, talents, and realizations I would have never developed otherwise given I’d taken a different perspective on the matter.
Take it from this mom, the words “mother” and “just” have no business being in the same sentence together, let alone “phrase.” And even though, Gary Vaynerchuk probably never expected his video to be used to clarify such a reality for moms everywhere, who better than this ‘mother’ to speak truth to the rest of us. He’s one of the most honest, clear, and direct thinkers and orators today. Plus, he’s a dad. He gets the whole “Mom” thing!
Mother’s Day is just around the corner, Mom. Let’s mark this one by laying to rest the word “just” wherever the word “mom” is found. You are a MOTHER! Stand tall and proud as without you, a world full of children would surely be lost.