Lots of people love their work. Yet many of them are nevertheless rewarded for it monetarily, sometimes handsomely. (At least writers, who also often wind up working for free because the market exploits their love of the work, complain about it.) Posts like this—simply the new-technology delivery of an age-old sentiment—are one way society reinforces the idea that good mothers don't mind sacrificing. That good mothers are proud of sacrificing.
I, on the other hand, consider a paycheck a salient difference, if for no other reason because even when it's shared between partners, the partner whose name is on the checks is building a much stronger foundation of future employability.
This attitude helps explain why, even when they're getting paid and working in comparable jobs, mothers make less money than non-mothers (including fathers and childless people of either sex). It helps explain why more women than men are poor. It helps explain why so little status is attached to mothering, why at-home mothers often mention experiencing the “cocktail party demotion” in which they see people’s eyes, when they mention their occupation, dart around the room in search of better conversation, as if a (working) accountant or engineer is automatically better at exchanging sparkling repartee over the martinis.
So am I suggesting that someone should start paying mothers a salary for taking care of their own children? Well, that's hard to envision, certainly in the current political climate. But folks, let's start considering it real work that deserves the respect and some of the economic protections and social benefits we give to other kinds of work. Either that, or let's insist that mothers and fathers share the work of parenting more equitably—that both, let's say, do the work of ten people.
Until then, damned if I'm going to “like” a post comparing me to a masochist and a saint. I have no interest in earning either label.
True or not, celebrating this sort of slogan reinforces the idea that it's OK. Mothers should not be expected to do the work of 20 people for free. The work of raising children should be shared among fathers and the rest of the village, and mothers should not have to sacrifice their financial security to see that it gets done.