Guest column: Meeting of the moms
I spend six months of the year as what I jokingly, and with a wink, refer to as Awesome Mom. I volunteer at my children’s school, donate checks to a bunch of nonprofits, exercise to fit into my skinny jeans, manage the demanding health care needs of one of my sons, cook from scratch, read great novels and try to be a supportive friend and a great lover to my husband. Oh, and I do all of this while keeping a clean house and sparkly bathrooms.
The other six months of the year a different person clamors to get out. I call her Working Mom.
During this time of the year I work full time. In my spare moments I pedal pre-cooked meals for my family, argue with my husband over pretty much anything, listen to self-help audio-books, eat a gluten-filled bagel every morning, drink too much wine, occasionally smoke, binge-watch TV late at night and merely think about working out or meeting up with a friend to chat. I refer to this time as when “s— gets real.” This is the woman who can move mountains. She wants to be seen and needs to be heard. On many levels she is in stark contrast to Awesome Mom, and she wants to be, too.
DR. JEKYLL AND MR. HYDE HAVE NOTHING ON ME
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Sometimes Awesome Mom is exhausting to be around, and right now I think she needs my help.
She works hard to live up to society’s standards. She is a wonder woman. She’s been raised to understand the importance of pursuing a degree or two and then to work hard for a few years establishing her career. She needs a passionate hobby and then marries for love. Afterward, she stays home taking care of her young children. During this time of endless diaper duty, laundry and shuttling kids to and from activities, she wonders if this is going to be as good as it gets.
Awesome Mom devotes the same drive and intensity to everything she once gave to the outside world. Now she is passionate toward raising her kids and emotionally supporting her husband in his professional endeavors. This mom provides stability, routine, clean clothes and holds the family to a high standard of personal values set forth by her belief in the American Dream.
On the other hand, Working Mom is less inclined to worry about social graces or making gluten-free, vegan snacks for the neighborhood kids. She sometimes forgets to pick up her kids from piano class or call a friend on her birthday. Working Mom incurs the wrath of and can sniff out the disappointment from others when things start slipping through the cracks.
Working Mom focuses instead on social-justice issues and leaves a bevy of unrest in her wake. She desperately wants to shed light on the fact that although being a mom is one of the most rewarding aspects of her adult life, she wants to be acknowledged for her other pursuits, as well.
Why I will March
Although I encompass both moms and need to rely on each to survive as a woman in modern-day America, I’m going to need one mom to stand tall on Saturday, Jan. 21, 2017 on behalf of the other.
I’m not marching for politics. And I’m not going to Washington, D.C., representing any one disenfranchised group. I am not marching to declare warfare in my community. And I don’t want to jeopardize all that I’ve worked so hard to establish in my personal life, with my friends and with my colleagues.
However, I am marching for the women, men and children who do not think they have a voice. I am marching to stand up for Awesome Mom who knows her pussy is unfortunately up for grabs.
I am standing up for Working Mom, who still feels she has to use her sexuality to get ahead professionally.
I am standing for our daughters who have learned cute, coy and ladylike behaviors are traits that open all sorts of doors.
And I am standing for our sons who see women objectified daily and know that their moms see this also.
So I choose to march on Saturday, January 21, 2017.
Because I am all of these women wrapped up as one hot mess. I want to believe that I can be more than how I was taught to be in order to move mountains. I want to stand tall and use my voice while working hard at being a great mom, employee, friend and citizen.
We all don’t have to stand tall at the exact same time. But some of us do have to do it now, and Saturday is my turn.
Andrea Chacos lives in Carbondale.
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