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How Growing Up Has Taught Me How Cool My Mom Is

I have been extremely blessed to have had two loving and supportive parents my whole life. My sister and I grew up in a happy, healthy home before heading off to college. Throughout my childhood, both of my parents worked full time. I loved my after school program and summer camps, so this never bothered me. It wasn’t until I moved away to college that I realized what a challenge it must’ve been to juggle a full-time job, pick up/drop-offs, lunch-making, outfit prepping, and so on. As I continue to grow up, I’m becoming more aware of my mom’s elite girl boss status. She is a queen who deserves to be celebrated. 

Let’s start way back when before I was born. I aspire to be half as cool in my 20s as my mom was. After graduating college, she worked hard, saved up money, and then took time off to take amazing trips around the world. She’s been on around twenty international trips including a four-month trip across Europe and a six-month trip backpacking through Southeast Asia. Her adventurous spirit and worldly experience are part of why she’s so awesome. I hope to travel across the world someday as well, and it would be amazing if we could travel together, too! 

When my sister and I were little, my mom was at every class party, field trip, and soccer game possible. I think a common misconception about working moms is that they miss a lot of these important milestones, but this could not be further from the truth. The way she prioritized us and maintained her established career is so admirable. This didn’t fade as we grew up. She volunteered to organize the middle school musicals and high school soccer team for both my sister and me. Through and through she was there supporting us and helping us grow. I hope to be half as great of a mom as she is to my own kids one day.

In one of my classes this semester, Impact of Disabilities On Families, we’ve been discussing gender roles through the lens of parenting, as well as the financial cost of raising a child. Mothers are expected to take on the primary caregiving role, regardless of the other responsibilities they may have. This includes cooking, cleaning, shopping, carpooling, gift-buying, form signing, and so on. Although fathers are also capable of these things, it is primarily the mother’s “job” to tell their partners how to help. It was interesting to learn about these gender stereotypes while analyzing my own family dynamic. My dad was super involved and helped with household responsibilities as well, but my mom was on it. I could always call her midday if I forgot my gym sneakers or a school project, and she interrupted her workday to help me every single time. 

My mom is a girl boss who I am so lucky to have as a role model. Moving away to college and closer to adult life myself, I’ve gained a greater appreciation for the tireless days and nights she spent raising my sister and me into the people we are today. Next time you see your mom, squeeze her extra tight or call her just to say, “I love you!” We’re strong women raised by strong women, and that deserves to be celebrated!

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Jessica Shay

U Mass Amherst '23

Jessica Shay is a junior at UMass Amherst and this is her third semester writing for HerCampus. She loves working with kids and plans to become a teacher. When she's not in class, you can find her reading, baking, or teaching spin classes at the Rec Center.
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