You’re the mom who makes sure the fridge is stocked and dinner is on the table, right? You’re the mom who lays out the clean uniform before practice or, at the very least, sprays it with Febreze. You’re the one who shuttles kids to baseball diamonds, gymnastic practices, and soccer fields. You’re the mom who nudges, encourages, and sometimes bribes her sweet child to practice the piano or that darned recorder. It’s you, isn’t it, who spends hours flashing multiplication cards, state capitals, or whatever is the subject of the week? You, who, when your baby crawls into bed burning with a fever, stays home and spoils him with popsicles.
You are the mom who knows the weight of her child in her arms as she carries him up to bed. You’re the mom who makes sure the sheets get changed, who swipes the toothpaste trails out of the sink, and who matches endless pairs of mismatched socks. It’s you, who could pinch yourself because you got so lucky with this amazing kid or kids, but after three consecutive snow days are ready to launch yourself out the window.
It’s you, who has packed more lunches than you can count, has researched the nutritional value of said lunches, or who makes certain there is lunch money in your child’s pocket each day. It’s you, who asks if the homework is done and then asks again if it’s in the backpack before the door slams shut. And, yes, I mean that same homework you two spent hours slogging through together last night. It’s you who shuttles your kid to the dentist, the doctor, and the shoe store, when he impossibly outgrows the sneakers you bought him just last month. You, who listens when your child has a story to tell, is especially proud, or needs a hug.
It’s you who incurs your child’s wrath when you tell him he’s played enough Xbox or PlayStation or whatever because you know too many hours of that stuff will rot his brain. You, who scatters books around the house, hoping he’ll be inclined to pick one up when he’s bored, and if not, then you’ll find a way to read to him at night, well past the age he’s willing to admit that he still enjoys snuggling with his mother.
You’re the mom who always asks, “How was your day?” even if you know that doesn’t mean you’ll get a response. It’s you, who arranges play dates because every parent wants her kid to be happy and well-adjusted, and you who breaks up just as many fights between siblings.
I recognize you, really I do. It’s you who capitulates when your child gives you a list of reasons of why she needs a dog. And you who ends up walking the dog. I’ve seen you around in the neighborhood when nothing but the white fog of our breath fills the morning air.
You’re the mom who signs the permission slips and researches summer camps three months in advance. You’re the mom who has formed a network of like-minded mom friends because that’s the only way to stay sane, by keeping your loose tether on the adult world and your sense of humor.
You’re the mom who’s working a job, or two, outside the home, both to bring home the cash and to set a good example. You’re the mom who cuts out of work early so that she can make it to the school play or the end-of-year talent show. It’s you, who wrestles schedules, kisses bruises and scrapes away, and endures countless sharp elbows to your chest when your too-big child crawls into your lap. And you wouldn’t have it any other way.
You are the mom who makes the difficult call to another parent or teacher if your kid is being bullied or having trouble at school. It’s you who has your child’s back no matter what ‒ and you who will be the first to tell him when and if he’s crossed the line. It’s you who goes to sleep worrying about whether you’ve done enough. You, who can spend hours wondering whether you’ve sufficiently encouraged him – or conversely, whether you’ve coddled him too much.
But it’s your job to worry because, well, you’re the mom.
On this Mother’s Day weekend, we celebrate you (yes, for the entire weekend). And on those other 360-some days when you might be wondering if you’re doing anything right? Just remember how special and important you are. Because you’re the mom. I recognize you. I’ve seen you around. And trust me ‒ you’re doing a tremendous job.