Like, say, the stereotype of the young married couple with children. This is a fun one. One moment we're hip young college students with the world at our fingertips, and the next we're trapped in the bonds of marriage with spit-up on our shirts and babies on our hips. Our peers who scoff at being married in their twenties turn up their chins and point and laugh because OH MY WORD, we are the group that has gone from cool to lame in a matter of a few years by taking the bait that marriage is the next natural step in life after college, and that kids are the natural step after that.
This choice has not only greatly limited our futures, but it has also rendered our intellects useless. We are suddenly lumped together as the ones who could have gone to grad school and had good careers, but instead chose to pledge commitment to our spouses in the boring bonds of marriage and then promptly reproduce to make up for the zing that fizzles after marriage grows stale. The worst of us actually choose to stay home with our offspring, foregoing the finer things in life by losing one income and spending the day up to our armpits in dirty diapers. And then our peers who do not understand our choices simply shake their heads and sigh. All that potential. Wasted.
I don't care how many times Oprah declares that being a Mom is the best job in the world (to keep her ratings up, perhaps?). We are still viewed as naive. Unintelligent. Ignorant.
I would like to assert that perhaps these assumptions are a bit untrue. Becoming a wife did not strip me of my sex appeal. Just my single status. Birthing a child did not cause my IQ to drop. My boobs, perhaps, but not my IQ. If it is the challenges in life that cause us to become better people, then being a wife and a mom must catapult us to realms of greatness unknown. My husband brings out the absolute worst in me, no doubt. My frustration with him can cause my blood to heat to boiling. But the act of digging in my heels and fighting it out until it's right again takes work. Hard work. Work that pays off. And having two babies who cry and get hurt and push me to my limits at times might bring tears to my eyes, but I don't get to quit. I don't get to clock out at five. I figure out how to make it work, for all of us, and we push through until bedtime. And I'm on-call after that. I not only figure out how to survive, I figure out how to do parenting well. I figure out how to turn those moments into exceptional ones, where the joy is overflowing. And I end the day loving my husband.
I don't think that makes me a sucker.
I think that makes me strong.