I did not consciously intend to follow my mother’s letter with an ode to motherhood, though I love my mother and my unconscious could be at play. My wife Angele inspired this post.
Angele works non-stop as a mother. Her work day exceeds that of a full-time job, except if that job involves investment banking or any other profession with ludicrous work hours. Angele mothers day in and day out. She gets tired and I’ve seen it, but despite her fatigue, she cares for our daughter day and night, day after day, feeding, changing, nursing, bathing, coddling, calming, playing, teaching—Angele does it all.
Where am I in all of this? Previously I was working full-time, out the door early and home in the evening. Currently I’m battling cancer and my energy levels are terribly low. I parent when I can, in between treatments, but Angele still does nearly all the work. I admire her. I couldn’t put a value on her work if I tried, but if I had to, I would guess that she works at least as hard as the investment banker.
I am in awe of my wife for her ability to provide endless support and care for our daughter. When I step in, for maybe an hour to watch the baby, or at the longest a few hours to get some coffee and sit outside, I get tired. I get exhausted. Our baby is exhausting, which makes me think that all babies are exhausting. I’ve heard friends say the same thing, typically after playing with our daughter. They state that it wasn’t so hard but immediately realize that we take the baby home and revise their comments to the tune of, “I guess it’s different when you have her all the time”.
It certainly is. To call it tiring is an understatement. To call it a full-time job is an understatement. It is one of, if not the hardest job I have ever done or witnessed, though I haven’t served in the military or law enforcement, gotten my hands very dirty as most of my recent work has involved the office, nor actually mothered. But I have seen a man manually dig a gutter, with a shovel, into bedrock, in 110 degree heat and blazing sun. He was a sweaty mess, but at least he was able to go home at the end of the day. Angele is always working.
I therefore dedicate this post to all mothers.
You rock like superstars and you should be reminded often of your greatness. I am in awe of you, everything you do, and all that you contribute to generation after generation.