Monday, May 11, 2009

Mother's Day - A Reality Check

First of all, my Mother's Day ended with Toni knocking the entire vat of oil out of my deep fryer (not hot, Thank God), onto the floor which took my husband over an hour to clean. Nothing like cleaning 2 gallons of oil with two boxes of kitty litter, a bottle of Greased Lightning, and one large container of disinfectant wipes to top off the days events.

Which brings me to the subject of Mother's Day. After being a mother for 11+ years now, I think I kinda got a handle on the reason why we celebrate this day. Only I think we, as a society, have gotten away from what one is actually suppose to do for Mother's Day.

Somewhere through the years, this has been yet another holiday that has been hijacked by Madison Avenue and its' ample supply of R&D wizards and quick thinking ad execs. Remember, what THEY do has absolutely NOTHING to do with Mother's Day whatsoever.

Mother's Day is not about stuff. God knows we Americans have more stuff than we can handle sitting in our closets, and our garage doors are bulging outwards as we speak, from the built up pressure of the stuff it contains right now. Mom's do not need more stuff cause we gotta clean the shit up in the long run! The only exception to this rule is whatever your kids make for you for Mother's Day. Those are considered forever keepsakes and the spouse is to be hogtied and gagged if the mere suggestion to get rid of it is mentioned when comes time to get rid of some stuff.

Mother's Day is not about jewelry, Dollar Tree gadgets, funky chachkas, gift cards from JCPenny, tacky handbags from the flea market, one day makeovers or spa treatments (cause one day out of the year just is not enough for what we do), or a high-fat, long waiting line, ridiculous bill paying dinner at a local restaurant.

Now before some of you moms starting screaming at me from your 17" monitor, please stick with me here, I do have a point to make that just might benefit all of us if our better halves and children get it.

To make it plain and simple for all to understand; Mother's Day is about appreciation.

Say it with me now.... AP - PRE - CI - A - TION.

If we are unsure about its' definition, here it is:

"The recognition and enjoyment of the good qualities of someone or something."


"Gratitude for something."

Now, in order for any of you to take this definition to heart, you must be able to walk in a mother's shoes for just one day; that's it. "That's simple,", you say to yourself. Okay, if that is the way you feel, then I will break a general days events for you so that you may prepare yourself. Once you are able to complete all these tasks and end the day with a smile and somewhat of a joyful heart, then you will understand what appreciation is and be able to genuinely show this. This is when you will understand the importance of Mother's Day.

We mom's wear many, many hats in the family. I mean it's not easy cleaning the skid marks out of our spouse's underwear and raising children under the age of 18 at the same time. In 2006, if paid, a Stay At Home Mom would have earned $134, 121. I guess it might make our jobs easier if we were getting that kind of paycheck, but we don't. Mother's are not paid; not monetarily at least. We don't live in a country that actually pays a mother to stay at home with her children unless you live in France, or someplace like it. Hell, I feel like moving now!

We are expected, on a daily basis, to perform an effortless array of tasks for our family and not receive a single dime, and sometimes be completely ignored for doing such tasks. Here is just a short list of what mom's do:

  • to plan your meals,
  • cook your food,
  • wash-press-and fold your clothes,
  • keep the house clean and organized,
  • make the budget,
  • fix the budget,
  • be your accountant,
  • inventory food and supplies,
  • teacher,
  • tutor,
  • music instructor,
  • coach,
  • referee (don't forget the tacky shirt we have to wear for that one),
  • psycho-analyze everyone,
  • be your therapist,
  • be your doctor and nurse,
  • your office manager and administrator,
  • your landscaper/gardener,
  • your all-around fix-it-all handywoman,
  • your fashion expert,
  • your interior decorator,
  • domestic and professional problem solver,
  • your R & D department,
  • your Santa Claus/Easter Bunny/and every other holiday expert,
  • fix your car,
  • fix your life,
  • fix your heart,
  • be the nanny,
  • be the playdate,
  • be the entertainment coordinator for everyone in the stinking house including the animals,
  • feed the animals,
  • clean the animals,
  • exercise the animals,
  • exercise - period,
  • watch our fat intake,
  • watch our fat,
  • be presentable in public,
  • be presentable for your drop-in friends,
  • answer your calls,
  • screen your calls,
  • decide which calls your going to take and which to ignore,
  • organize your clothes,
  • organize your bath times,
  • mend your clothes,
  • buy your clothes,
  • decide which clothes go to the thrift store,
  • organize junk,
  • sell/throw away junk,
  • organize yard sales,
  • organize garage
  • organize the whole stinking house!,
  • decide when kids can watch TV,
  • decide when kids have watched too much TV,
  • monitor their video games,
  • don't hover and monitor your kids lives too much,
  • talk to the kids,
  • don't talk too much to the kids,
  • make sure everyone is happy and healthy, and functional.

We are to complete these tasks with a smile on our face as if we are perfect and can do these jobs with flawless ease. Plus we are to be ready for sex at anytime of the week, with that same smile on our face, regardless of whether we feel like we haven't slept in six months or not. Thanks to modern medical technology and research, "Honey, I have a headache tonight.", no longer applies now. We are now expected to add 3-5 days of blood, sweat, and tears at the gym in order not to have a headache when the moment of a "Midnight Rodeo" arises. You will literally have to be dead and wheeled from your bedroom in a hospital gurney before the word "no" is accepted.

There is so much more and we don't even get stinking paid that $100,000 + for what we do even on a limited basis! For those mom's who have to do all this plus work outside the home for 40+ hours a week; you should be paid double! My hats are off to women who raise families and work outside the home; especially single mothers.

Single mothers not only have to do the job of both parents, they have to bring in the income of both parents. Talk about a plateful. When dad has left the building, so has any resemblance of a single mother's personal life and aspirations. Not only does she have to wear twice the hats in her family, she has to live with societies constant condemnation of her status; whether chosen or not. She has to work twice as hard for a lot less. So for every Bozo out there that claims that all single mothers are lazy freeloaders, I have a karmic two by four ready to smack your ass into the next universe of reality! For any other person who thinks that stay at home mothers are lazy freeloaders who sit around watching TV and eating bon-bon's, the same is awaiting you as well.

For those of you who think that raising dog(s) is comparable to being a mother to children - Reality Check - it is NOT! I don't see you turning over to breastfeed Fido off your sore nipples at 3 am in the morning! For those of you raising dog(s) like children after you've already raised children - what are you thinking? Wasn't changing three years of poopie diapers enough that you still have to now clean poop off of yours and everybody elses front lawn? Don't get me wrong, I love dogs; I just don't believe that they are same as raising a human child.

So, next year when thinking about what to buy for that mother in your life, got a suggestion that might save you some cash. Plus, your built-in budget manager will appreciate this as well when she's balancing the checkbook at the end of the month. Instead, show your appreciation by putting on some of those hats that she wears on a daily basis. Let her know you truly appreciate and understand how hard she works for her family. Clean the house with a smile on your face, plan a meal and make it yourself, and take care of the kids for the whole day without complaining. Do this pleasantly and do it without asking her a million questions on how to do it.

Also, the next time your out and about and you see a mother with her kids and she's possibly wigging out because they're not being the little angels you think they should be; try not judging her or flashing those classic nasty looks her way. Instead, give her a smile, let her know you understand, or try lending a hand. You just might help her be a better mother for it and let her kids know that compassion still exists in the world.

As I finish, my husband is quietly and methodically cleaning the remains of the oil from the floor while never asking for my help. He has not yelled or complained once about the smelly, oily mess left by my daughter and her fairy wings. But as I decide to bend down and help him sweep the oil-filled kitty litter into the trash, he says with a sheepish grin on his face:

"I guess Mother's Day is over now. I hoped you liked it."

I did..... I did indeed!

Make everyday a Happy Mother's Day.


melissa said...

i liked it. it included sushi. and a perennial. how could it not be good?

Tara R. said...

All I can say is someone owes me some back pay for all that momming stuff I've been doing. Seriously, all I need for Mother's Day is a day off, some extra sleep and some peace and quiet.

Gondooo said...

Mother's Day still exists?
Gawd, you said it all girl! But you forgot in your list of 'hats worn' driver! LOL
Glad you had a good one, God bless our children...and have mercy on us Moms.
So uh, whats the Dad do?

Mrs. Fish: aka Two Fish said...

So glad to know that mothers deserve more than just a day...we deserve appreciation...EVERYDAY!! And of course I voted!! Love the poll.