No Such Thing as “Just a Mom”

Last Thursday, I was behind a lady at the grocery store. It’s a national chain, but not one of those fancy all organic places where they offer free samples of tofu ice cream and sushi. It’s the “bag your own stuff” kind of place where you can buy enough beans to feed the French resistance at a deep discount. She had a baby on her hip, one in the cart and three right beside her. She was a professional. She carried more coupons than I’ve ever seen. Totally organized. By the time she finished checking out and redeeming her coupons, I thought they were going to have to pay her for taking the groceries.  It was really close. In the middle of this important and somewhat shadowy financial transaction, she also managed to tamp down a sibling mutiny between two of her toddlers, convince a 12-year-old that chocolate causes acne, and give a plausible explanation to an 8-year-old for fake UFO sightings printed on the National Enquirer nearby. I was in awe. This lady had it going on in the “Mom Department.”  It reminded me of how difficult mothering can be, if done right. 

Being a mom requires a ton of multitasking and lots of counterbalancing. In order to be a good mom, you must have the patience of Job, the wisdom of Solomon, the compassion of Mother Teresa, the financial savvy of Warren buffet, and the defensive prowess of Chuck Norris, all in the same day.

I’ve seen a mom settle a dispute simple with a single sentence. Of course, the tone and volume of that sentence may have had a little to do with it. A mom can ease a pain with a kiss on the affected area. I’ve never pulled that one off successfully. I’ve tried.

My wife can handle and clean up just about anything with the exception of vomit. I am chairman of the vomit department at our house. She has a sensitive gag reflex. Just about everything else she can handle just fine, thank you very much. Sincerely, Dear… Thank you very much.

I’m also grateful that I’m the designated driver on long trips. That seems to be a fairly universal agreement in most families. The dude drives. I’m not a better driver but someone has to drive while negotiations worthy of United Nations treaties are being conducted in the back of the minivan. My wife is a firm yet gentle mediator. When we disagree and a debate ensues, it usually goes badly for me. Maybe it’s just me but about halfway through an argument, I forget what my original point was. How does she do that? Such verbal sleight of hand! If true be told, no man has ever really won an argument with his wife, the mother of his children. If you do win, you kind of lose in the long run. Our doghouse has room for only one dog and it’s a rough place to spend the night. I’ve kind of decided that she’s too attractive to argue with and that suits me just fine. 

I think we can all agree that no one’s just a mom. Mom is a big enough title for a gal to rock the world and I got to see another example in the checkout line on a Thursday day afternoon.  

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