Woman says motherhood is not the most important job and people are upset

Posted in Family.

A post on the wildly popular Humans of New York Instagram account about a mother of a toddler is being hotly debated.

“It can be exhausting”

The mum in question is an ER doctor and she admitted that she’s finding the day-to-day tasks of parenting a little soul-destroying. 

“He’s starting to be less dependent, but so far it’s been pretty relentless and repetitive,” she says of her motherhood experience so far. “A lot of changing diapers and feeding. The same mundane task over and over again. It can be exhausting and depersonalizing.” 

She’s headed back to work and her partner is staying home to care for their little boy. She notes that despite the wonderful moments, she’s not one of the lucky ones who loves looking after small kids.

“Dad will be staying home and I’m returning to work full time. I’m an emergency room doctor, and that’s where I think I’m most useful to the world.”

“If some people love parenting, that’s very lucky. There are certainly moments when it’s wonderful. But to believe motherhood is the most important job in the world, you’d have to believe your child is the most important person in the world.” 

It’s an often-heard adage that parenting is indeed the most important job in the world and this mum thinks that view is a little selfish.

The most precious gift?

But lots of people were upset by her candour. They interpreted her words as meaning her child was not as important to her as he should be – and were quick to critique her stance.

“This is horrible,” one commenter wrote. “Parenting is the most important job in the world because you are raising a soul that is going to go on to give to the world and itself what you taught it.”

“Motherhood is THE most precious gift a woman can ever be given,” someone else wrote. “There’s no better feeling in the world, to me as a mom. Any woman that doesn’t put your child first and foremost over a career, I’m sorry for your child.”

“From one doctor and mother to another, I disagree! Parents think parenting is the most important job in the world because IT IS! You are a doctor till you retire, a mom forever!” another follower posted.

“A woman should choose to be a mother if that’s what she wants but don’t become one and then feel trapped by it,” one commenter said.

The highest purpose?

But others related closely to this woman’s update and many said they’ve experienced the same feelings and loved her honesty.

“This is EXACTLY how I feel about parenting,” one mother said. “I absolutely love all the cuddles and being his mom but I am excited to return to work as a scientist.”

“There’s a BIG difference between saying her child is the most important person in HER world vs the most important person in THE world,” someone pointed out. “It’s about the details, make sure you’re understanding what she’s saying.”

“This is a perspective more people need!” another commenter wrote. “As someone who loves and cares for children, I think it’s very detrimental to health and self-esteem to raise people to think they are the most important people. As a feminist, the idea of woman as a vessel for others with the highest purpose in life to be that of mother … or that mothering has a rigid definition … Well, I see that as powerfully destructive.”

“I can say that I totally understand you! It’s not about my kid, but about a world filled with kids and adults where I can save some of their lives … all people have equal right to be cared about,” someone else posted.


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