As we have just passed the “holiday” of Mother’s day, when kids make their moms adorable cards and creative gifts in school and their dads desperately try to make some sort of good impression on mom so that Father’s Day, for them, doesn’t totally stink. I did see the irony in having the holiday of Shavuos follow so closely to Mother’s Day and then look, here comes Shabbos…so, between all of the spa treatments and being cooled down by a handsome man in a loin cloth fanning me with peacock feathers and feeding me grapes, I found the time to prepare food for four yom tov meals, one with 17 people, and then have the foresight to cook and freeze meals for Shabbos. That is why there is Mother’s Day, because mothers totally rock and do everything.
Now, if you are a father reading this and you did all of the shopping, cooking and preparing for any of the above mentioned holidays (or even if you just did one of the listed items) I salute you, I respect you and I would really, really like to meet you to make sure that you are not an urban myth. Not that I am doubting your existence, I am just a teeny tiny bit curious…
What is the difference between stay-at-home-moms and moms that work, aside for the amount of drinking and anti-anxiety medication they take? I happen to feel that moms who work a full time job and then come home to spend those precious few minutes or hours with their children do not have it so easy. There is someone else there to take care of their babies, there is someone else there to prepare the meals and clean the house. But when they come home from work, they literally have to cram an entire day of activites into just a few short moments. Catching up on what happened in school and what happened with their friends and just when it starts to get good, it’s time for them to go to sleep. It is a whole different ball of wax than the stay-at-home mom. We are the nanny. We do the laundry and cook dinner and make sure the little ones take their naps and don’t burn the house down. We have the enjoyable task of taking the kids to the park, to the supermarket and the cleaners and the pharmacy when they have fever…it’s totally awesome! Some of us dress up each day with makeup and clean clothes and meet our friends and their kids for fun activities and some of us wear sweatshirts from the 80’s and introduce their kids to the backyard…you know, your backyard that you are paying way too much in taxes for? There is a swing set there, go play, so mommy can sit on her lounge chair and drink the contents of her water bottle, which may or may not be filled with water.
When the stay at home mom has kids in high school she gets the “Mom, I forgot my tefillin.” “Mom, I need money for lunch.” “Mom, I left my computer at home….” And so on and so on and so on. And when these lovely adolescents come home and ask why you don’t have a job, and, of course, they say it lovingly, not in a condescending matter, this mom can reply, “You are my job, the best job in the whole world!!” Of course, that is after the contents of the water bottle has been consumed. Hope all you moms had the Mother’s Day you well deserved!
by Banji Ganchrow