Worst long-suffering mom EVER!
Inspired by Jen Harmaker's Worst End-Of-School-Year Mom Ever blog
There is an image of the quintessential ideal mother that permeates our collective consciousness. She is stoic, tolerant, and agreeable. She works her fingers to the bone for the good of her family, all the while never uttering a word of complaint or desiring an ounce of recognition.
Ummm, yeah. That sure sounds like a noble option and all, but it is just not our current reality. I suspect that if you asked my family who was long-suffering in our house, they would surely vote for themselves for enduring my speeches.
As it turns out, there is just a lot you can say about how long it takes to get mud out of the carpet (again), or how challenging it is to prepare meals every day that are healthy, edible, and something all members of the family might enjoy.
In my defense (here we go, I can hear my boys sigh), I dont start off every morning of every day yammering about the laundry (grocery/school/activities/pet/yard/automobile) list of things that I have done for the family. But we often do get there eventually.
Particularly after extensive cleaning, or cooking, or driving, I seem sensitive to behavior that does not reflect a proper understanding of what has been lovingly provided. As with any ignorance I observe with my offspring, I am more than happy to educate:
Attention, K clan brothers! Please stop dropping random items onto the floor so you may listen to the following announcement regardingthe playroom, your own fun space where you may play. Please note that it is not called the room of destruction, or the dishwasher, or the place where sports equipment goes to die. So far today I have tripped over longboards, searched valiantly for uniform jerseys, and located the source of the smell (leftover smoothie from yesterweek). Do you know how long it takes me to clean this house every day? Let me just tell you . . .
And were off! Unfortunately, the tirade never really satisfies the way you hope it might, when you have to spell out for everyone all that you just want them to notice on their own. Not to mention that complaining about routine life is pretty obnoxious behavior, and surely we have used up our allotted quota for that without having a grown-up contribute to it.
Plus, the best way for folks to get a real feeling for the hard work of running a house is to experience it themselves. I have affectionately dubbed my chore chart The Janet Jackson. Across the top is the quote: What have you done for me lately?
Now, if you want me to answer that question, feel free to pull up a chair.
Bess Kercher, M.A. lives in Charlotte with her husband and two sons.
Read Kercher's other 'worst' adventures in parenting:
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