It's Mom's Turn (Inspired by a true story. Or two.)

Disclaimer: I’m not trying to ignore the value of a father here. But in honor of Mother’s Day, I’m going to focus on the woman, if you don’t mind. I am hoping not to be attacked with an onslaught of readers who think I’m dissing the male counterpart. I will write about HIM on Father’s Day. So, have patience, grasshoppers!

It’s been said that “A man works from sun to sun. A woman’s work is never done.” Now, I know men work hard. Some of them work too hard. (And they should get a regular blow job for that, but they too often don’t!) I also know there are lots of lazy women in the world. But that type of woman is not the sort of which I am speaking today.

Too often, when a woman is at home doing the “support work” while the man is out “supporting” the family, she gets overlooked. Yes, strides have been taken to get us all caught up on that. A working mother is a redundant statement. We all know that many mothers work outside the home, but that doesn’t mean she doesn’t work in the home. And a woman who does not work outside the home is no less of a worker. That said, regardless of where or who you are, if you are a mother, your work is so all consuming that years go by and you don’t know where they went. You’re not even sure where YOU went. You remember a blur of events. You remember being behind the wheel a lot. You remember a lot of fast food. I think they should design a vehicle where a woman can leave her left leg out on the running board, so she doesn’t have to get entirely in the car before she just has to get out again at the next stop!

So a woman devotes these years, of her own free will, to the care and nurturing of the family. Then one day, she takes a breath. And then another one. She looks around to see if anyone saw that. No one did. A few weeks later, she does a quick twirl in the kitchen. Still no one sees. Wow. Where did that tiny spark of youth and life come from? She takes three breaths! In a row! Soon, she finds whole blocks of time where she has no demands placed upon her and catches herself even fully dancing for MINUTES at a time! From time to time, someone drifts in from another room. “Mom, what’s for dinner?” She replies and moves back into her routine.

One day, she has a whole day with NOTHING on the agenda. Kids are at camp. Dad is out of town. Whatever. Something happens and she’s alone. Does this feel good? She’s not sure. Wait. “I can take a bath with the bathroom door open and when I’m done, I can walk to my room with nothing on. I can even walk all over the house that way, if I like!” Or, “I can put something down and when I come back it will still be right in that same spot!” Wow. She likes that day, but it gets a little long and she gets a little lonely.

Next time a day like that happens, she calls a friend. The friend is alone because her kids are about the same age and her hubby is working late. “Let’s do something!” And so they do. This is fun.

Time passes. Mom has now found some things to do that are her own interests. She doesn’t share them with a single soul! They are all hers! And you know what? She can do them or she can do them not, it’s all up to her! She starts walking or working out. She goes on a diet. Dad comes home and wants to know what’s for dinner. She says, “Whatever you make for yourself. I’m on a diet.” He laughs. He’s a good sport because he knows she’s feeling good. And he likes seeing her feeling good.

On the weekend, big brother comes home from college. He sits down with his soon-to-graduate-from-high-school brother to play video games and they have a grand old time. Big brother goes in to the kitchen to get a snack. He sees a receipt on the counter and reads it aloud to himself, “Water, beer, soda, chicken wings.” Hmmm. Mom comes down the stairs and he says, “Mom, what is this?” She says, “A grocery receipt.” He says, “These are the groceries? Do we live in a dorm now?” Little brother pipes in and says, “Yes we do, and don’t try to do anything about it. Just live with it.” Mom smiles. It’s my turn.

12 comments:

Ms. Annie D said...

I never had children. Through the years I've watched single moms, and moms with partners, be superwomen.

Awe-inspiring.

And yes, it's MOM'S TURN.

Ambassador said...

Teri -

Great Post! You know my heart's with all the mom's out there who need (and take!) their turns. We could all learn from taking that breath or three and a dance around the kitchen.

Cheers to you and all moms! Ken

ZoeyBella said...

Well written, as always :)

Best wishes to all the moms out there this weekend... and every day

Jenn in Holland said...

Wonderful. Wonderful. Wonderful.
I think you've said it perfectly and I haven't even hit all those working Mom stages yet. This post makes me look forward to them, every one.

Happy Mother's Day!

The Exception said...

Three words - Just keep dancing!

Happy Mother's Day!

Brillig said...

Haha. The idea of "mom's turn" sounds so incredibly far away. And yes, my life is a whirlwind. And yes, I CHOSE it. I have the amazing blessing of being married to a man who gets that, gets ME, and helps in the whirlwind as much as he can.

But still. There's only so much anyone else can do (including Dad) to help Mom. Mom carries a heavy, heavy load that really no one else can share.

Mom's turn? Does that really happen?

cathouse teri said...

Actually, for some women, it doesn't happen. They cling to the remnants of their children's dependent lives as if their own lives depended on it. This is a very ill thing and detrimental to all concerned.

I read some great advice, not long after giving birth to my first. From the minute your children are born, you start letting them go.

This is evident even in the act of childbirth. And from that time, you let go a little at a time. If you do not do this, then you find it to be awfully painful and sudden when they become adults and leave home.

Brillig said...

That's VERY good advice.

And you turned you word verification off for MEEE???? I think that may be the NICEST thing anyone's ever done for me. :-)

The Lazy Iguana said...

This reminds me. I need to get more beer. I am down to my last three.

Also, chicken wings are good. I know this place that makes yummy buffalo garlic wings.

Being able to let it all hang out in the house is a good thing.

Ba Doozie said...

I'm hearing voices

Adventures In Waitressing said...

that was FANTASTIC.. I can only say I had wish I had read it sooner.

jennifer said...

Lovely lovely lovely... and I'm loving it