"What I’m really struggling with is how what I’m sacrificing is benefiting human kind. How what I am doing (full-time mothering) matters, especially if it only serves to provide the next generation of women to do the exact same thing. I guess I didn’t express that so well."
I think you have expressed yourself very well — it’s just easiest to respond to a slightly different question than the one you’re wondering about.
Millions upon millions of mothers have done some variation of what you’re doing, and God willing, millions more, including your daughter, will do it in the future. What any individual mother does may not benefit human kind in a monumental way, but that’s not the role of mothering. Each of us experiences mortality only once, and each of us needs a mother, or someone else in that role, and each of us experiences the benefits of being the child of a good mother individually regardless of how many millions of others have the same need. That is, it is irrelevant to your children that you are one of many millions — you are THEIR mother, raising THEM, and that’s the whole world to them.
Even so, I’m not convinced that your individual good mothering, including the drudgery, is of use to your family alone. I have a stake in this world, too, and the quality of my life, and the life of everybody else, depends in part on the fact that millions of mothers have raised their children to pick up their socks, avoid breaking eggs in anybody’s bed, and in general to function in society. I need doctors and clerks and policemen and seamstresses and bus drivers and plumbers; I need overwhelming numbers of people around me who have been raised not to rob or murder me, who have been taught to call 911 if I have an accident, who will cooperate with me in electing good leaders and financing clean water delivery systems, and who will drive on the right side of the road and stop at crosswalks.
I guess what I’m trying to say in brief is that what you are doing leads to everything good within the walls of your own home, and contributes to human kind in ways that are obvious and yet so subtle that you aren’t even aware of them. At least you’re not aware of them in those moments when you’re teaching your children not to tie your tights to the bedposts.
Comment #39 by Ardis Parshall - Rambling Frustrated Thoughts on Motherhood (By Common Consent)