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Why It's OK If Motherhood Is Your Greatest Accomplishment ... Or Not

It was shortly before I met my husband and knew with certainty that I would have children someday that Felicity Huffman told 60 Minutes and Leslie Stahl "no" when asked if motherhood was her greatest accomplishment.
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It was shortly before I met my husband and knew with certainty that I would have children someday that Felicity Huffman told 60 Minutes and Leslie Stahl "no" when asked if motherhood was her greatest accomplishment.

"...I resent that question. Because I think it puts women in an untenable position," she said. "Because unless I say to you 'Oh, Lesley, it's the best thing I've ever done with my whole life,' I'm considered a bad mother."

They were words I cheered. Not to mislead, I did always hope kids would be part of the greater plan (and secretly knew I would be heartbroken if they were not); however, it was important to me to never identify myself most as "So-and-So's Mom."

Then, October 3, 2008 happened.

The most beautiful creature I'd ever seen (really, she was - ask my husband) came, quite literally, screaming in to my life.

They told me I would love her more than I loved myself. Check. They told me it would be as if my own heart was walking outside of my body. Check. They told me if she was happy, I would be happy; if she is sad, I would be sad. Check. But there is one thing no one ever told me ...

At weddings I had attended, often a toast was made wishing that the swooning couple would one day learn that "today is the day you love each other least." That is, though hard to imagine at the time, with each passing day their love would only grow.

As I laid there in the delivery room, sweaty and exhausted, putting every trick I had learned in Happiest Baby on the Block in to immediate action - I knew for certain there was no way I could ever love this little girl any more than I instantly did at that moment.

I was completely wrong - it was the day I loved her least. Not only have I learned that I love her (and her sister) more each day, I also discovered I was wrong about something else. For me, motherhood is my greatest accomplishment.

But that doesn't make Felicity Huffman wrong.

I still admire and support what she had to say, and I fully understand why a woman who has an Academy Award nomination to her name and an Emmy in her home would feel the way she does.

As women, we struggle too often to support each other's greatest treasures, whether that be sincerity of happiness for professional accomplishments or honest appreciation of those content with a daily life different than our own.

Then, we are frequently left either feeling defensive or, conversely, apologetic for our own personal brand of motherhood.

In the end, the children of each brand of mom will walk away with something the other mother's child will not - parts for good, others for worse, but all for what that son or daughter will be in their own life. Which, if all works as it should, will bring a different strength and a different weakness to the world than your kid.

The "Mommy Wars" are such a losing battle, and most all of us have soldiered up in some way. It's time to lay the weapons down and, in the prophetic words of Kacey Musgraves, mind your own biscuits.