Mother’s Day — the day we give praise to all the mother’s around us…our own mother’s, our mom friends, and even those that are like mothers. The flowers, homemade cards, and of course the school crafts all come pouring in. This is also the perfect time to think about the ironies behind how our children view mothers. For instance, do our children really view us as givers? Are we just givers of endless amounts of snacks and ridiculous requests? Let’s not mention the endless hours of sleep we are deprived of, the enormous amounts of guilt we feel, and the thousands of unfinished cups of coffee (sadly waiting on the counter all day waiting to be enjoyed)?
I once asked my children what they thought I did all day…the answers varied. My overly observant daughter replied (in a nice complete sentence), “I believe you clean and cook and make sure everything is perfect by the time we get back from school.” My son, who sees the world much MUCH simpler replied, “I don’t know…what do you do? Do you just wait by the door for us to get back home?”
You may be wondering why I decided to title this “Mother’s Day” tribute, “The Father, The Hero…” — let me explain. Before I continue, I would like to lay out a disclaimer…this post in NO way is putting down father’s and saying they don’t do squat (even though, let’s be real…).
Spring Break — I was told to take it easy (by my very kind Doctor). My husband had already planned to take a couple days off to hang out and hopefully play some golf. Luck would have it that I’m down and the weather wasn’t golf-appropriate. He stepped up and came to the rescue (I inserted that for those about to go all “at least your husband helps…blah blah blah” on me).
What does a crazy mom do when she hears she’ll be “down” for a few days? Plan. I made sure we were stocked up on groceries (end-less snacks) for him. I made some meals — easy heat-up meals, ready to go in the refrigerator for him. I made sure all the laundry was done and folded (and EVEN put away) for him. I did all this to not only help him take over, but also to ease my own stresses on being “down.”
During my stages of bed-ridden bliss, my darling children would visit me in bed. They would bring me sweet cards, sneak me treats, and even serenade me with a song and nicely demand a TV show. During their visits, they would also go on about how “daddy was doing.”
“Daddy made us lunch mommy — JUST like you!” — so he just heated up the food I prepped and then served it? Nice.
“Daddy gave us ice cream with sprinkles AND chocolate syrup!” — so he simply scooped out ice cream and gave into the kids’ whining for more sugar? Wuss!
“Daddy laid out my pajamas for me!” — so he opened a drawer AND took the nicely folded PJs out? What a man!
Oh and my all-time favorite…
“Daddy READ us a book!” — he can read?? Get out!
Here’s my take on it…kids don’t expect their fathers to perform and execute tasks the way us moms do. They expect the whole “your mommy is better at this than I am so just bear with me” spiel. They naturally expect their mothers to complete tasks effortlessly. I asked a male friend about this and he simply replied, “you ladies are just naturally better than we are.”
And with that — the end.
There’s a reason my children were incredibly happy when I was back — their routines were back in place. They were happy that lunch was prepared for them by ME, they were actually content with MY dessert portions, they appreciated the way I kept their lives in order (including their never-ending laundry), and they really enjoyed MY story-times with them. Even though my husband tried his best, there’s nothing that could replace a mother’s touch. That unique blend of love, care, and sometimes over compulsive behavior! A mother knows how it should be done and even when things blow up, she can effortlessly fix it without a second thought.
Happy Mother’s Day, ladies…you may have a crummy day today or hopefully not. Just know, you’ve got this — you don’t need to try to be the BEST because in your childrens’ eyes, you already are. Simple.
Cheers to that!
Your brainy chick,