On my way to Austin last weekend, I had a few hours to waste while in transit and on the plane. If you are one of the normal folks, like I am, those hours are not particularly the time when we experience a spurt of efficiency in getting work done. So I took out my beloved Kindle and chose a book to read. Happy that I chose “Year of Yes: How to Dance It Out, Stand In the Sun and Be Your Own Person” by Shonda Rhimes.
Having read business and science-related books for a while, I figured something like a memoir would be a refreshing change of air. Plus, I’d love to know more about the architect behind some of my favorite shows: Scandal and How to get away with murder.
What I like the book is its realness. Shonda’s writing is genuine that I got a feeling I was listening to her story in person. From her struggle as an introvert, self-awareness of the time when she got fat, the allergy with public events. You might find some parts a bit long-winded, but I guess it’s part of the charm. Other highlights for me are her Year of Yes concept, perception of motherhood and commencement speech at Dartmouth. It’s real. It’s rough. It’s honest. And that’s why it is appealing.
Below is a sneak peek of her perception on motherhood.
“But being a mother is also a job, Shonda”. You know what I say to that? NO. IT IS NOT.
Being a mother is not a job. Stop throwing things at me. Being a mother isn’t a job. It’s who someone is. You can quit a job. I can’t quit being a mother. Mothers are never off the clock, mothers are never on vacation. Being a mother redefines us, reinvents us, destroys and rebuilds us. Being a mother yanks our hearts out of our bodies and attaches them to our tiny humans and sends them out into the world, forever hostages.
Please don’t try to tell me it’s the most important job I’ll ever have as a way of trying to convince me to stay at home with my children all day. Don’t. The most important job to a woman who has rent, has a car note, has utility bills and needs groceries is one that pays her money to keep her family alive. Let’s stop trying to make ourselves indulge in the crappy mythological lady-cult that makes being a mother seem like work.
Working or staying home, one is still a mother. One is not better than the other. Both choices are worthy of the same amount of respect. Motherhood remains equally, painfully death defying and difficult either way.
I am not a mother, but she makes sense there, doesn’t she? Here is her awesome commence speech