If you have not already seen the World Toughest Job vid floating around your news feed, take a look before you read on. It’s pretty damn sweet.
This video is not only a clear reminder of the undeniable love and dedication required to be a parent and mother, but it is also a lesson about women’s work.
Labor has historically been divided along gender lines in families; women are in charge of the the home, and men handle outside work. Of course, these gendered divides are not always so stark, as many women obviously work, and some men stay home with their kids, but the labor of being an at-home-parent is still culturally considered women’s work, even if a man is doing it.
Men’s work has always been considered work, whereas women’s work and the hours women dedicate to the balance of the labor system has consistently been labeled a “natural duty,” and therefore not a career, and is often a job that is never compensated or even fully appreciated. I think we can all agree that this kind of work deserves immense appreciation! I mean, the people in the video were not about to agree to that horrible sounding job, and they didn’t even go into the grimy details about snotty noses, potty training, and the terrible twos!
That’s why this video is so useful and so beautiful (besides making us more fully appreciate the most important lady in our lives) because it utilizes new language to convey that motherhood is an actual job, not just “nature’s calling.” Just think about this: when you stay home with your own children, it’s not work, but if you leave your children with someone else, it is considered work for the sitter or day care worker. See this inconsistency? Childcare IS WORK and your mama did it all for free, with only the payment of your life’s successes, the hugs and kisses you sometimes reciprocate, and the fulfillment of the love in her heart.
This video should be applauded a million times over for opening some eyes to the fact that motherhood is absolutely legitimate work, and for how well it conveys the intense sacrifice mothers make for their children, which said children often do not fully understand until they make the same sacrifices for their own babies.
*sniffle sniffle* Excuse me while I go hug my mom.