This is how it works.
This is how we work.
This is what women’s work looks like.
Working women, working mothers, full-time mothers all know. This is what it’s like to be a woman.
I don’t mean that the world expects it of us, although it often does.
I don’t mean that all women are this self-giving, although they almost all are almost that self-giving almost all the time.
I mean that every woman I know who reads that headline will nod, smile, and say, “Of course she did.”
After writing this post–initially a very brief one–I started looking online for images to illustrate it. Do you know what “the internet” says pregnant women look like? Women staring at their beautiful round bellies, perching their hands delicately and lovingly thereon, maybe gazing adoringly into the dad’s eyes, maybe holding a docile toddler’s hands gently and lovingly over her own, maybe contemplatively staring off into the sunset, floral maternity dress blowing elegantly in the breeze.
None of them (at least none on the first twelve pages or so of results) showed one lecturing in a classroom, waiting tables, performing surgery, mopping up kiddie (or kitty) vomit, digging new garden rows, giving swimming lessons, serving Eucharist, arguing in a courtroom, balancing a checkbook, teaching a preschooler to read while a toddler pulls at her shorts or at her hair, teaching a roomful of other women’s children how to read or how to run a mass spectrometer or how to love their neighbors.
Contemplative, elegant, floral, leisured.
No, that’s not how it works.
That’s not how we work.