The heights by great men reached and kept Were not attained by sudden flight, But they, while their companions slept, Were toiling upward in the night.
-Henry Wadsworth Longfellow
“So what do you do?” is a question often asked when we’re introduced to new people. “I’m a stay-at-home mom”, I’d say, and immediately my thought would be that I DON’T stay at home, nor do I feel that I should. “Oh, I’m just being a mom” I’d reply at other times, although “just” hardly gives it justice. What do I do? Am I justified in doing it? Is this what I want to do?
“I’m a Professional Mother.” I respond with confidence and a twinkle in my eye. I have found a title that reflects the dedication, passion, and sophistication I strive for in my CHOSEN career. It states simply “I love my job.” Although a rose by any other name would smell just as sweet, I would be more willing to smell a rose than a thistle. Titles matter. This is what I am, and I find great joy pursuing nobility in this calling.
I was not innovative enough to coin the term on my own. Allow me to introduce you to a man whose literature has greatly influenced my life: Glenn Doman. He describes this career more eloquently than I can;
Millions of young women watched other women moving into what had been men’s jobs and professions.
However they found that they wanted a different sort of profession and a very different sort of life for themselves. They discovered that they wished to be what we have chosen to call "professional mothers."
It was not so much that they didn’t want to enter the male world. It is that they wanted much more to be mothers.
They had decided that the best way to change the world for the better was not by improving the world’s institutions, but by improving the world’s people. They controlled the world’s most important resource and raw material—babies.
They experience a sense of high purpose and take pride in their children and the contributions those children will make in the world.
They have expanded and increased their own knowledge and find that they are more confident and more capable than they were before they began to teach their children.
They expected their children to change but they were astonished to discover that they themselves have higher expectations and bigger goals for their lives as a result of being professional mothers.
Nice side effect, isn’t it?
(Glenn and Janet Doman, How to Multiply Your Baby’s Intelligence (New York: Avery Publishing Group, 1994), 150-55)
So I’m a professional mother. Now I ask myself “What qualities do you need to fulfill this role?”Among other things, we are
These are things we do, but they are not our profession. Above all, we love our children. We love to be with them! As I work with my children, I find that my own life is enriched and I become more refined as I strive to become the best that I can be in my field. I am not perfect, in fact I have much to learn.
I am forever indebted to the many mothers, namely my own, who have influenced me and inspired me to seek for greatness. Being a professional mother is not about having the perfect house, perfect children, or perfect meals at the end of the day. It is about recognizing that beyond the piles of laundry, dishes in the sink, and our crazy schedules, there is a higher purpose to what we are doing.
We are Mothers.