Today after baking up a batch of pumpkin muffins (recipe here), I thoughtfully invited myself down to my neighbor’s house to share the fall goodness for a lovely play date. (I’m generous like that, letting my kids go play somewhere else that I didn’t have to clean up…)

As we settled in, drinking delicious coffee (side note: it pays to befriend a neighbor who was formerly a barista!) and watching our kiddos play together, we talked about the jobs that we do “on the side” of motherhood.

And listening to her, one of the most traditional mothers that I know, it occurred to me how often we women make the mistake of judging others mothers on if they’re “mom” enough.

Honestly, breastfeeding debates aside, I can’t think of a single topic that ignites more passionate debates, more doubt, or more heated arguments than what is the right amount for a mother to work–if at all.

I’ve struggled with it myself, feeling bored some days, overwhelmed the next. And I definitely hear other mothers who don’t work a job that you know, pays money, downplay their own roles, saying things like, “Oh, I’m just a mom….”

Excuse me for saying so, but allow me to say it:

No mother is “just” a mom. 

I see it in the mother who teaches voice lessons while her daughter plays in the next room. 

I see it in the mother who plans the best Halloween party ever for her son, every last detail perfect. 

I see it in the mother who helps her farmer husband, fixing him a sandwich when he comes in from plowing up the fields. 

I see it in the mother who works hard at a her job to support her family, gazing at her daughter in adoration every night when she comes and finds her already sleeping. 

I see it in the mother who posts a zillion pictures of her daughter on Instagram, capturing every sweet moment of a childhood that will go by too quickly. 

Every mother, whether she works in the home, out of the home, or solely at home, is a person beyond a mother, no matter how much her identity is made up of through motherhood. 

Every mother, no matter how many children she has or how many children she will have, matters to her home, her community, and to the world.

Our interests beyond our worlds of motherhood, our work, our passions–they are not separate from the title we took on the moment we gave away our hearts to the little ones who will forever hold them. I really believe that our talents and abilities as individuals can meld together to make us better, stronger mothers. They are intertwined.

Our children will grow up, we will learn to live with our hearts always feeling like there is a piece missing and we will somehow find our way in a world without children, when all along, we felt like we would never see a moment alone–it will come all too soon. And although there is honestly no other title that we could ever want beyond that simple, one syllable word first uttered from the mouth of babes,

We have to remember:

No mother is “just” a mom.

We are so, so much more. 

Copyright 2013 Chaunie Brusie