I’m a mother and I’d like a fucking medal.
I want something big and shiny and obnoxious that I can display on the mantel. Something that says “Thank you! Nice Job! You are Amazing!” as validation for all that I do in this role.
Now before I tell you why I think I deserve a big fat medal for being a mom, I will do my requisite disclaimer. These are statements that I hope are implied, but I’ve witnessed the mommy wars and so I understand that I need to actually say them before I complain about things.
So here goes… Yes, I love my kids. Like really really, sometimes it hurts, love them. Yes, I’m aware at how lucky I am to have them, and yes, I know I am privileged to even have some of the things I sometimes complain about. But being humbled and grateful in this position, but also wanting a little validation that I’m doing a good job at this gig, should not be mutually exclusive.
Because regardless of how you get there, motherhood is a job sometimes. A hard job. One that is absurdly under appreciated, and one that you bust your ass at full time with no vacation and no paycheck in return. So yes, I think I deserve a fucking medal.
I want a medal for acing a job that came with no manual, no practice, and no test drive. A job that I was expected to master overnight, despite the abundance of false information I received in advance.
I want a medal for going back to work at twelve weeks postpartum with my game face on, regardless of whether or not I was ready.
And I think I deserve a medal, no – make that a trophy, for functioning at work for months on less than 3 hours of sleep.
I want a medal for every time I sat with an electric my pump attached to my breast. And maybe two for the times that were in a moving car or public restroom.
I want a medal because I have to act like it’s no big deal when someone poops on me.
I want a medal for sacrificing my body, my boobs, and my lady parts to carry two children, and another one for truly accepting that it’s never going to go back to the way it was.
I want a medal for the Oscar worthy performance I give pretending not to be bothered when I spend an hour preparing food that immediately gets thrown on the floor.
I want a medal for the childcare hoops I have jumped through, the husband prep-work I’ve managed, and the anxiety I’ve endured, just to get away with my girlfriends for a weekend.
And I want a medal for the times I felt like crap, yet still mustered the strength to read three bedtime stories, with character voices and all.
Maybe I’m selfish. Maybe I’m needy, and maybe there are unicorn moms out there who do it all without ever needing validation, but that’s just not me.
I love my kids, but I want my fucking medal.