Catherine Deveny posted this Op-Ed, "Sorry, but being a mother is not the most important job in the world," in the Guardian today. Because of her tone, I hope conversation won't devolve into fights between women about who has it harder, but I do agree with her that the saccharine "Being a Mommy is the most important job in the world" rhetoric I see, particularly on FB amongst the Christian Right, is an illusory wage women are paid to overlook that they are exhausting themselves, that society actually devalues motherhood in concrete ways and that you are at the mercy of your partner's job and ability/desire to "help" in the household.
Enabling this dogma devalues the unpaid labor of rearing children as much as it strategically devalues women's worth at work. If being a mother were a job there'd be a selection process, pay, holidays, a superior to report to, performance assessments, Friday drinks, and you could resign from your job and get another one because you didn't like the people you were working with. It's not a vocation either – being a mother is a relationship.
The way she puts in, this rhetoric places young women in the workplace as temporary labor waiting to get the most important job of her life: being a mommy.