To The Woman Who Has Demeaned The Last 13 Years Of My Life

Dear Amy,

Yesterday I read your article titled "I Look Down on Young Women With Husbands and and Kids and I'm Not Sorry."

I'm sorry I ever read your article. I'm sorry that women feel the need to look down on other women for their choices, no matter what they might be. In life, we're faced with many paths. Sometimes we make the right choices, sometimes not so much. Sometimes we choose what's right for us, even if it's not right for our sister, our friend, our neighbor. We are given this right to choose. I may not agree with your choice, and you may not agree with mine, but I don't look down on you for it. I have no problem with a woman who chooses not to get married and have kids, like I did. I may think that woman is missing out on something important and amazing, but it's her choice, not mine to make for her. And I would never belittle that choice.

You talk about how we shouldn't have showers to celebrate weddings and births, but rather we should celebrate when someone backpacks across Europe or lands their dream job. Sure, we should celebrate those things too. But why would we stop celebrating love, one of the most important and sought after things a human being can ever experience? Why would we stop celebrating the bringing of a new life into this world, something you say that "literally anyone" can do and yet something we still acknowledge as a miracle. And it is a miracle. Which you would understand if you had experienced it yourself.

Here's the thing. I would never tell a lawyer, a doctor, a teacher, or a garbage man that their job is easy. I would especially never tell them that if I had never experienced it myself. I don't know what you do for a living, and I don't know what sacrifices you make to be the best you can be at it. But you know nothing of what it's like to be a mother. To stay at home every day with only toddlers to talk to. To completely lose yourself, one day waking up and not knowing who you are anymore. You have no idea what it's like to see someone you created, someone who is a part of you and yet their own person, go through milestone after milestone, something you might not think important but is one of the most incredible things on this earth to witness. You have no idea the highs and lows, the joys and suffering, the pain and love that I go through every day. What you should know is despite all this, despite your article, I would never go back and change my decision.

You think that a stay at home mom isn't on equal footing with a woman who works and takes care of herself. I don't just take care of myself, I take care of four other people too (not to mention my husband who occasionally needs care too). And what about the women who not only take care of their kids, but work too. To me, that's amazing, and more than equal with a woman who only takes care of herself.

You said that men never mention how "hard" it is to raise kids and manage a household. That's because in most cases, men don't do this. They're at work. They, like you, don't really understand what it takes. You think it's just laundry. You think that sending my kids to school in clean clothes isn't as important as what a doctor or a lawyer does. You think raising a child and having a clean house isn't an accomplishment. You think being a mother is "average."

No, I'm not saving lives, I'm not inventing a new miracle drug, I'm not putting bad guys in jail. But my "average" job keeps society running. Do you think a receptionist or a garbage man is average? What about the people who spray the dirt off highway signs or stock shelves at your local grocery store? Are these people saving lives? Are you? No. But how would the world work without them? You may think you are more important or exceptional than me because you have such-and-such job (I'm not sure what you do), but without me, and the countless other mothers out there, what kind of people would we be sending into the world? What would the next generation look like? Would there even be one? Would we have doctors and lawyers anymore? Where would you be without your own mother, or whoever raised you?

You think it's ridiculous when a wife and mother wants recognition for what she does. Guess what? We don't get promotions. We don't get better salaries. We don't get days off. You can leave your job every night, you get a break. We never get a break. Our job never ends. There are no days off. There is nothing tangible that says, "well done." I'm not asking for a medal for getting my laundry washed every week. Even when we get the recognition, mothers often don't want it because we never feel like we're good enough. There is always something we could do better: healthier meals, a cleaner house, a child who is potty trained before they're four. All I am asking for is a little respect. Respect for sending clean, well-fed and well-behaved children into the world. Respect for trying to raise children who will become people who are hopefully way better than me or you. Respect for the sacrifice I have made four times over and would make again. Respect for those women who not only do all this, but go off to work as well. Respect for my choice.

You know what? I know I'm not going to get that respect, not from you, not from lots of people. And that's okay. Because I think you're wrong. I can be exceptional. I can be exceptional "despite" having a husband and kids, and because of them. I am exceptional with them and all on my own.

Us women, we can all be exceptional, whether we are mothers, writers, doctors, teachers, maids. I guess, more than anything, I hope that one day you realize that.