President, CEO, CFO, COO-OOOhhhhh the Responsibilities of Motherhood

Lisa Cantalupo, Giovanni, and Gianluca,  December, 1999

Motherhood. My approach to the most magnificent job in the entire world (I am biased) may be slightly different from the norm. When I first accepted the challenge of the position I was under qualified and not the most whole individual but I knew I had been entrusted with an enormous responsibility - in my arms were two pure and precious souls who didn't belong to me but were entrusted to me to love, honor, respect, guide and teach. A blank canvas for me to assist in the creation of what would eventually become masterpieces.

A mighty task to undertake, but I dove right in eager to tackle the job. I devoted myself full time to this position, with no vacation time, sick days, or paid leave. The salary was LOW if nonexistent and I hardly ever received a thank you or pat on the back to tell me that I was doing a good job. There were times when I felt greatly unappreciated.

I did not receive much support from certain family members and the culture around me was not very encouraging of my decision. I was reminded over and over again that at anytime I could abandon my position leaving the job of raising my children in the hands of another. I turned my back to those naysayers trying not to feel hurt and frustrated by their words and lack of respect for what I was attempting to achieve. I knew I would be at my best, devoting my entire being to one job instead of two. I chose Motherhood.

I chose to not follow the rules of society - the opinions and advice found in books and from those who have gone before - to let your infant cry, the age when your toddler should use the toilet, get rid of the pacifier and bottle, go to school, sleep in a bed, share their toys, etc etc. I tuned it all out to follow my own intuitive ways and instill the values that I felt were most important in life.

These two little ones are now approaching their 23rd and 18th years of life. They have endured a great deal in those years. They too have loved and lost and coped and struggled along side their mother. Today though I am more of a bystander then their leader. I get to watch as they now make decisions of their own; how they react to the good ones and how they deal with the not so great ones. I see how they treat others; the love and respect they show and how they honor others who they have chosen to share their life with. I'm watching as they face challenges and overcome on a path they choose to walk - one that is their own - not letting the culture and ways of the world influence and dictate their every stride.

These two human beings with their strengths and their imperfections will be okay. I no longer need to keep two hands on the wheel. Maybe now I can sit back and enjoy the ride and find my own way back into a culture which honors the job of motherhood less and less, and under values it's requirements and sacrifices. It's such a shame really when you stop to realize the importance of the job.

So all that said.... I salute you, Mothers, and I thank you for a job well done! I hope I will be in a position where I will be able welcome you back with open arms acknowledging your wisdom and vast experience with a decent salary reflecting ALL that you are worth! A little early, but Happy Mom's Day!

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