"You're like a machine," they say.
They mean it in the nicest way possible.
And, really, it's their way of offering up a compliment.
"You're like a machine. You never stop," they remark.
And I'm never quite sure how to take that.
Do they intend to insinuate that I'm programmed, cold, and predictable?
Or, just that I somehow find within me, the will the keep going until someone -- anyone I'll let hold even just a little bit of authority over me -- instruct me that it's time to "turn off."
I'm a machine.
Or at least that's how I come across.
Monday through Sunday, it's the same shiitake, and I can assure you that I am more of a frantic mouse chasing my tail on a wheel that won't stop than I am an impressive beast.
"You're like a machine," they say, and I get it. I can understand why they would get that impression.
But don't be fooled.
So many of us women get glimpses into the lives of our mother-counterparts, and we are so quick to devalue ourselves, be self-deprecating and practical scoff, and occasionally, mock, the ordinary, yet utterly monumental work we are doing.
And, all the while, placing other women on this semi-deserved, but more often than not, unwanted pedestal.
"You're like a machine," they say to me, and perhaps I am bit programmed and when it comes to my motherhood and how I operate.
But, your motherhood is different than mine, and I can assure you I have the same "She's like a machine!" thoughts when I see you.
I'll tell you this too -- no two machines work exactly alike, nor should they.
You get the job done, and so do I, and it doesn't matter one iota who looked more put-together doing it, got it done faster, did it with more grace or who was able to pull it off with minimal tears and without a mini-breakdown.
I'm a machine because I work hard to be a good mother every day.
And, you are, too, because you do the same damn thing and just as well.