“Ma… Mommy… Mum… Mother… Madre…,” my son rattles off—just in case I forgot my lot in life.
“Yes, Master Mason, what can I have the pleasure of doing for you today?” I momcastically respond.
“Do you know where my keys are?” he asks.
I state the obvious, “Did you look?”
“Ya, but you can find anything,” he states. “Can you just help me?”
After asking him where he last saw them and backtracking his steps, his keys were found within minutes in his discarded jeans from the night before.
“See mom, you can find anything!” he smiles as he grabs his keys and saunters away.
I stand there for a moment with hands on my hips—like us moms like to do—in silent recognition that I was duped again by the child I chose to give life to.
In celebration of Mother’s Day, I’d like to dedicate this article to all the moms out there “who can find anything!”
When we think of moms, we think of nurturer, supporter, caretaker, housecleaner, cook, nurse, and referee—among many other job titles. According to U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (2021), in addition to at-home roles, approximately 75.5% of mothers with children older than six are employed in the workforce.
“I’m off to my other job,” is a regular salutation I give as I leave the office to describe my role as mother and wife. Rarely is my lunch hour spent leisurely enjoying a sandwich at Papa Johns. Instead, the time is spent running errands, picking up groceries and sometimes even rushing home to do laundry to ease up my nightly chores. And I don’t even have young ones anymore! I shudder to think how I managed doctor’s appointments, teacher’s conferences, sick days and all the other responsibilities that came with having younger children. But I did it, and I see my amazing coworkers doing it as well.
Although the traditional roles of ma and pa are changing, there is still a large enough gap that I sometimes fantasize about giving a slight push kick to pa’s backside to even things out. Unfortunately, it is still mostly (not all) women who are having to choose between career and family. You can certainly have both, but there will be sacrifices. The goal is to even things out and give yourself a break when things aren’t “perfect.”
It’s kind of like when you had your first child. You might have ironed all of his/her baby clothes, perhaps you made his/her own organic baby food, or sprayed down all of his/her toys—and please don’t even mention allowing food that fell on the ground from entering your child’s mouth!
Then you have your second child. You are lucky to get yourself dressed let alone them, bath time consists of stripping them down and handing them to dad while he showers—and fallen food? It’s better than no food! Same goes for working moms. One can be perfect—mom or career. But both—we just do the very best we can do.
I won’t dare give you mom tips or tips on how to juggle career and family. There is no one fits all. I’ve learned that no matter what you do as a mom, it won’t be given the acknowledgement and recognition it deserves. It truly is a thankless job at times. But the moment you see your children, who you thought were not listening to your lectures on manners, morals, forgiveness, kindness, etc. demonstrate what you taught them—you will know you’ve done your job.
And you know what part is worth waiting for? Payback. The following are some of the things my mom said to me that has now happened to me:
1) Just wait until you have children!
2) I can’t wait until you have children!
4) You think I’m a mean mom? Wait until you have children!
5) I worry too much? Wait until you have children!
And my favorite, “I told you so!” Yes you did mom!
Happy Mother’s Day to all you momma bears out there who protect and love their cubs every day! A special shout out to my mom and best friend. Thank you for always being there for me in my darkest days and in my brightest.