In honor of Mother’s Day this year, I am dedicating this post to all the moms that do so much for their families, tasks both big and small, and often times are under appreciated, or go unnoticed. My mom has done, still does, and probably will do so much for me. Between driving to Gustavus because I forgot a folder at home, making meals for me after late night practices, being the glue of the family, and always having answers to the “how do I do this?” questions; it amazes me how she does it all without complaining. Moms get stuck with the dirty work most of the time, one honorable mention for me was leaving her to deal with the neighbor’s mailbox after my hit and run (sorry, Mom). I fall victim to not giving my mom enough recognition for what she does, and as much as I’d like to blame it on change blindness (psychological phenomenon where one cannot detect changes between familiar images or settings), I simply just have gotten used to the fact that she does so much for me to the point I never notice just how much that is. With that, here are 10 things moms do that they should get more recognition for.
1. Best “Momager”
This one starts the day we are born, and just gets worse as we get older. A family’s schedule can be absolutely insane, yet moms find a way to organize it all, be there for everything, and rarely mix anything up. In my household growing up, my brother and I played pretty much every sport. Between six days a week a gymnastics practice, weekend basketball tournaments, Tuesday night meets, Friday night baseball games, track meets, softball practices, hockey tournaments, out of town championships…you get it, busy, my mom still managed to somehow be at all of our events. Sometimes I wonder if she had a stand in twin that I didn’t know about. The sporting events were only a small percentage of all my mom, and many other moms, have to schedule. There also are the doctors appointments, yearly dentist appointments that was like pulling teeth trying to get us to (pun intended), orthodontist appointments, eye doctor appointments, and of course the bonehead moves we did that ended in a trip to the ER with broken bones. Momagers are flexible, yet organized at the same time, especially with all the play dates we insisted having while growing up. I truly don’t know how my mom did it all, and still fit her own schedule, as well as my dad’s schedule, inside of mine and my brother’s schedules. Even to this day my mom schedules my appointments because she knows I wouldn’t otherwise. Think back on all you did as a kid, yet you didn’t have to think about planning any of it, it just happened. Even with all the chaos, my mom always makes sure there’s time for a family selfie to document every moment, consistency is key!
2. Five Star Chaeuffer
In addition to being a Momager, we all had to get to our scheduled activities somehow. Because my Razor scooter could only take me so far, this left it up to Mom to get me where I needed to be, which 90% of the time was to TAGS gymnastics. I never thought about it back then, but making a 15 minute drive every single day at 4:15, then having to remember to get me at 8:30, would be really annoying! That time really adds up. Not to mention, when I had morning practice, technically my mom did too, leaving her to never be able to sleep in on a Saturday. In addition to all the driving that Moms do, they also have to put up with a lot in the car. I haven’t always been the most fun person to drive around. I remember my early days of having the AUX cord and my playlist consisted of Justin Bieber, Hannah Montana, and other songs I would rather not admit I listened to. Even with a terrible playlist, my mom never asked me to change it, yet every time I let her listen to her 80s station, I would make a big fuss about it and complain the whole way. Moms have to endure the sibling fights in the backseat that happened every once in a while, random batch of stomach flu on the way back from Kentucky, as well as all the “are we there yets?”, “you’re making me car sicks,” and complaints about their driving when all they’re trying to do is get you where you want to go. Feel guilty yet? I know I do.
3. Best Doctor Without a Doctorate
My mom is the best caretaker I know. I will not go into detail about all the nasty and weird things I’ve left her to help me with, but we all have had those moments where it is left to mom to get us through the day. Moms magically know all the remedies to make us better (2 Sudafed + caffeine=headaches gone), and my mom is no exception. Every time I have been sick, my mom has always been there for me to the point where I don’t have to do anything on my own but breathe. Even in college this remains true. Don’t deny it, when we are sick, we all turn into helpless humans and feel like our only calling in life at the moment is the couch. Moms are the ones who know what medicines to use, how to use them, and will make us use them because they know what is best for us even when it seems ridiculous to do. This is what led to my mom chasing me around a table with a syringe of Augmentin when I was little. (I didn’t like the taste, do you blame me for fleeing?) But what about when moms get sick? We don’t even notice; because they keep driving us around, doing laundry, and helping us, instead of helping themselves. There is no one to tell moms when to take their Sudafed, get them chicken noodle soup, or chase them around the house to take their Robitussin. Just like a doctor has to be selfless, our moms seem to be no different. Next time your mom makes you a big bowl of chicken and stars, or runs to Target to get you cough drops, take a moment to realize that she really didn’t have to.
4. Best Volunteer
I may not be able to speak for everyone, but my mom has done so much work for others just because she wants to. If I had the chance to do all the tasks she has taken on, I would turn them all down as bad as that sounds. Moms seem to be attracted to volunteering, but that’s because they are JUST that good at helping others, not complaining, and love their kids enough to do things I’d rather take a Razor scooter to the ankle for than do. I remember the year when my mom decided to be the head coordinator of concessions for a basketball tournament. I don’t think I’ve ever seen a mini van filled with so many soda bottles before, and I don’t think I ever will again. That was the one moment where food objects took priority over me getting a seat in the car. I don’t even remember whose car I ended up riding around to each venue in, but all I know is that I had giant bags of M&Ms to comfort me from stranger danger. My mom has also taken on other big roles such as being on the board for the gymnastics booster club for many years, coordinating elementary school carnivals, helping with many class holiday parties, organizing fundraisers and contacting restaurants/setting up promotions for Eastview Baseball, and many other things that I can’t remember because they all run together as much as my mom ran around getting stuff done. Most of our childhood experiences that we loved so much wouldn’t exist if it weren’t for the mom community.
5. Terrible Two and Terrible Teen Survivor
I would be very surprised if you are telling yourself that you were the perfect child growing up. I never hear the end of the time when I was two, and threw a tantrum at the mall by crawling under a table display while kicking and screaming just because. I also can’t forget the time I crawled under the table at the doctors office because I didn’t want a shot, and wouldn’t come out. There have been many more little Lauren honorable mentions that include drawing on things I shouldn’t, having a fit in the middle of Wendy’s, stealing my brother’s toys, and being stubborn in many situations. Even though the terrible twos were bad, that can be attributed to being young, whereas terrible teens is just downright difficult. While child psychology argues that there is developmental evidence for why teens act the way they do, we call this the “exploratory phase” in the psych world, there is no reason why teens have to talk back to a simple question, act like their mom is the enemy, or do the opposite of what they are told. I hate to admit it, but I had my moments, and I can’t believe how patient my mom was with me. If I were in her shoes, I would not have put up with any of that. Teens are a hard age to deal with because they still need their mom, but they don’t know it, or don’t want to admit it. So for you moms with teens, give it time and they will come back crawling to you asking for help and forgiveness for the sassy attitude like I did. Moms are more than moms, they are survivors.
6. Best Cook
We all say that our moms are the best cooks in the world, and even though we all say it (which makes for a lot of best cooks in the world), I don’t doubt any of you are wrong because moms know us best. Anything made by mom is better than anything you could buy except Chipotle. Growing up, I was super picky, and I wish I wasn’t because I missed out on a lot of good stuff. I also spent a lot of time whining about what my mom made for dinner, rather than thanking her for taking the time to make sure I don’t starve. She would make steaks or fancy chicken for dinner and I would be insistent on Wendy’s chicken nuggets. I remember sitting at the dinner table most nights, my mom would cut up my pork chop or chicken for me (you can see above in the picture, I’m not exaggerating), and I wouldn’t eat it. I always went for the bread (that’s why I’m smiling above) and mashed potatoes, really enforcing that carb loading diet back then as you can see. Instead of my mom getting mad for neglecting protein, she would say all I had to do was eat those four bites, and then she would be happy. My mom has made so many meals over the years, yet I never took into account just how much time it took her, and I never thanked her for making the meal during prayer (had to sing the Johnny Appleseed song every time). I’m sure I’m not the only one who has started to stuff their face, or pick apart a meal our moms made without being grateful. I didn’t turn my nose up at every single meal though; I loved (and still love) my mom’s chicken pot pie, chicken tetrazzini, spaghetti pie, and KY BBQ pork chops (yes, I did like those four bites she made me eat I just didn’t admit it). I’m so glad that growing up has made me become more aware that food doesn’t just magically appear on the table on its own.
7. Best Teacher
Moms are great teachers. My mom was the one who taught me to do a lot of things some being how to ride a bike, play basketball, and drive. She is the person that has instilled the “I can do all things” attitude in me. I can remember these teaching moments with my mom like they were yesterday. In basketball, I dribble with my left and shoot with my right just like my mom, and I never let the fact that I was a midget in the basketball world get to me because she didn’t let it get to her. When it came to riding a bike, my mom told me to ride to her, (I hate when people tell me what to do), so I challenged that and rode right past her ignoring what she said. But still, I wouldn’t have been able to do that if it weren’t for the many times she picked me up after I crashed and told me what to fix. If it weren’t for that “I’ll show you” moment of riding right past her, I probably wouldn’t have been as confident when learning to drive. I think a majority of us had to take some type of driver’s ed during high school. You were lucky if you were paired with someone you knew; my brother and I weren’t that lucky. Those long, conversationless, driving sessions with Jim were not my favorite. So when my mom finally took me out to drive her fancy car, it made me realize I wouldn’t want anyone other than my mom to teach me how to drive. Learning to drive in the middle of a Minnesota January is not ideal at all, yet with every sheet of black ice I hit, sharp turn, slam of the breaks, and 5 MPH traffic jam I was causing, she stayed calm throughout it all. My mom is good at making me less stressed in situations, and learning parallel parking was one of the most stressful moments for me which is why I have vowed to never parallel park since I passed my drivers test (vow has not been broken). I can’t say I would have been that calm if we switched places, as I wouldn’t want to put my life, or my nice car’s life, in the hands of a 15 year old in the middle of winter who barely could reach the pedals and see over the steering wheel. Moms will literally risk their lives for us.
8. Best Stylist
Again, I can’t speak for everyone, but I think for most of us, our moms were the ones who used to dress us. She was good at making me look good, even during my phase where I lost all my teeth except for my one front tooth (we call it the snaggletooth era). My mom and I had the same routine every morning up until third grade. She would come in my room and wake me up, open the blinds, open my closet, and then ask me what I wanted to wear. “I don’t know” was always my answer, and my indecisiveness has persisted even to this day which is why I still can’t figure out what to wear and ask my mom to help, as well as my brother still asking for her two sense. She would then pair one of my tops with a pair of jeans, and put it with a matching scrunchie. This is where my obsession with matching my colors started, because that’s what I grew up observing. My brother and I always put on what she paired without questioning it because we have always trusted that she won’t let us leave the house looking like fools. This was proven when I started to dress myself and paired a striped shirt with plaid shorts. My mom was also the one who convinced me to grow my bangs out in 4th grade (thank you), and taught me how to put my hair in a pony tail and braids. Lastly, my mom has been my secret weapon for picking out homecoming and prom dresses. I always go in with one image in my head, ignoring her suggestions saying its ugly, end up agreeing to try it on “just for looks”, and EVERY TIME, her pick is the one I choose. That is why my senior year prom I went in thinking pink sweetheart and came out with a backless black little number that she found. Needless to say, she’s coming with me to find my wedding dress.
9. Best Advice-Giver
They say that Mom is always right, and as much as we hate to admit that statement is true when we are trying to prove a point, it never fails. But in cases where we truly want to know what to do, or what to say, Mom is the place to go. When it comes to my mom and I, I never ask for advice because I’m not the type who does that typically. I hate asking for help. Instead, she knows that when I start to talk about something either in the car, or while we are ellipticalling next to each other, that is me asking for advice. I am not one to willingly talk about problems, unless it is in either of those two places. I think a lot of us believe that moms will never understand some situations we are in, but I have come to find that my mom has been in the same, and even more situations than I have been in (that’s the moment I realized my mom was way more cool at my age than I am). I’ve come to my mom for advice about many things; what classes sound good to take, planning my future path, what road to take to get somewhere, fashion advice, relationship advice, sorority advice, health advice, cooking advice, laundry…you see where I’m going with this. Whether it is something as simple as what shirt goes in what laundry load, or something big like “how do I know if he is the one?” Mom knows best, and her words have never failed me.
10. Best Hype Woman
No one makes you feel good about yourself quite like a mom does. I don’t know about your moms, but moms and Facebook go together like PB and J. My self-esteem probably would not be at the level it’s at if my mom didn’t get a Facebook. Between her postings about my life updates and successes, and her like-minded friends that never fail to add a comment, I feel like I am a celebrity. Going off the “mom is always right” idea, it is in these situations where we say we look terrible in a photo, but Mom denies it, that we embrace the concept rather than hate it in every other situation. My mom knows me in and out, which is why she is such a good cheerleader whether that be tanking my beam routine, taking a terrible school picture, getting a bad test grade..the list goes on. She knows what can build me back up again after I’ve had a day that knocked me down. I remember the days back in middle school or high school where I would be having the worst day ever, and of course when she picked me up later that day she would have a chocolate shake with a cherry on top waiting for me, as if she magically knew that I was having a Terrible Tuesday. That always cheered me up! Nowadays being an hour away, my mom has found other ways to hype me up such as midday texts with excessive emojis just to check in, snapchats, and care packages full of my favorite things. Moms know us to the core, which is why I can always depend on mine to make me feel like I didn’t just get hit by a pile of bricks, and to persist day in and day out.
I could say so many more things about my mom that are unique to us, such as that we get told we look the same about three times a week. I am sure that you all can say the same about you and your moms having your own “things”, too. When writing this, I was thinking about the fact that a majority moms do all of these things without being asked, and while these are just common things moms do, each mom does them differently which makes each relationship different. I know that without my mom, my days would have been a lot less bright without a few kind Facebook comments, my prom pictures would have been a lot different, I would still be on a carb loading diet, I would still be pondering if my 7th grade boyfriend was the one, I wouldn’t have passed my drivers test, would not have been the gymnast I was, and I wouldn’t be the woman I am today. I would be lucky to be half the woman my mom is. It’s the little things moms do without being asked that make them so special, so on this day, and from now on, recognize those little things, and maybe start returning the favor.
To all you moms out there, I hope your Mother’s Day kicks butt like my mom does!