"I don't see why I should have to pay so much for day care, it's not like you really do anything. You're just a babysitter"
"Just a babysitter". I let those words bounce off the insides of my skull a few moments, waiting to see where they would land this time. Depending on my frame of mind, they could settle like a pebble in a shoe, irritatingly pushing against my feelings of self-worth. "You're just a babysitter, what are you doing here wasting your time? It's not like anybody has any respect for you. You're wasting your education. You aren't accomplishing anything of importance here. You're just a babysitter."
Other times, they would get snagged in the branches of anger, flapping hard against the winds of opposition. I needed to be careful those times to guard my tongue. "What the hell do you mean, I'm "just a babysitter"? Do you have any clue what it entails to be responsible for a child's health, safety, and emotional well-being? I bet not! Do you have any notion of how many waking hours I spend with YOUR child trying to convince her that, "YES, Mommy DOES love you. She just needs a little time to unwind after work before coming to get you. She just needed a drink to relax after a day. No, it's not you she's mad at. She loves you," because you've decided to show up drunk, reeking of vodka, screaming at your daughter yet again." Ignorance is not a reason to scathingly cut a person down, at least that is what I kept telling myself.
Today, "just a babysitter", goes through a little change before nestling comfortably in the warm recesses of my heart. It throws off its ragged cloak, growing bigger as it stands up proud and tall. A glow burns brightly, nearly blinding me. You know you are more , it tells me, you kiss hurts, you feed minds, you nourish hearts, you fight dragons, you make books come alive, you create magic worlds.
I smile as I say "I prefer to think of myself as a professional Mom."