“The mom”

#iwillpunchthefirstpersonwhosaysillmissthis

“I will punch the first person who says I’ll miss this.” I saw that hashtag on a Facebook post yesterday and literally laughed out loud. The poster, you may have guessed, was a mom at her wit’s end. She’d taken to Facebook to vent about what we all face as moms – the constant nature of being the mom. Of course, she loves her kids, but she was having a bad day and needed to let off some steam. So often, though, as her hashtag suggests, moms can’t vent without judgment from others, someone thinking we need “reminding” of how blessed we are as mothers, or us feeling the need to make sure everyone knows they still love their kids.

For example, writing this post right now, I feel the need to start out acknowledging how blessed and grateful I am …. Yada, yada, yada.

Why can’t we vent without the judgment? Probably for the very reason we need to vent in the first place – we’re the moms.

Mad About You was a popular TV show, starring Helen Hunt and Paul Reiser, back in the day. I don’t recall a whole lot about the show but there’s one scene that I can still somewhat see in my head. After years of marriage, the couple finally decides to start a family. At one point, the way I remember it, the wife (Helen Hunt) is nearing the end of the pregnancy, already in the 8th or 9th month, when it seemingly suddenly hits her: “I’m the mom,” she said. She’s visibly shaken and clearly terrified of what that really means.

Helen Hunt as Jamie Buchanan in Mad About You. Photo Credit: IMDB
Helen Hunt as Jamie Buchanan in Mad About You. Photo Credit: IMDB

I just spent way too much time on the internet trying to find a clip of that for you with no luck.

My point is this: being “the mom” never stops. There are no breaks, no nights off. I’m well aware that one day all the kids will be grown and moved out; we’ve already got one who’ll be going off to college in a few short months. But that doesn’t mean that being “the mom” ends.

A good chunk of my brainpower each day is dedicated to my kids, regardless of whether they are with me. (In fact, it’s probably more true when they’re not with me because I’m worried about where they are/what they’re doing). I can’t just turn off being the mom.

The other night, I had a migraine – one of those that no amount of medicine or darkness will relieve. But that didn’t stop the “mom” calls from my kids.

A kid needs money, help with homework, to tell me something about his/her day, to ask me if he/she can go somewhere. It’s always “Mom?” I couldn’t even begin to tell you how many times a day I say, “Ask your dad.” It doesn’t make a lick of difference.

It doesn’t matter that dad’s better at fixing booboos or making sickness go away. It doesn’t matter that dad’s better at cooking dinner or changing high-up lightbulbs. It doesn’t matter that dad’s better at math. It’s always, “Mom?”

And, yeah, one day, I’ll miss the incessant, “Mom?” And, yeah, I’m glad my kids want to come to me with stuff. But isn’t it okay that I’m just a little tired? Isn’t it okay to sometimes want to be the dad?

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