Saturday, September 17, 2005

The Importance of Being Mommy

For those who read yesterday's blog, you may see this as a contradiction; but, I think mothers are the most important person in a child's life.

I'm sorry to have to say this, but men tend to be rather lazy when it comes to their role as parents. Yes, yes. It's true. Mothers step up to the plate no matter what. Whether they receive the recognition or not, they are there. Men, on the other hand, will step back and allow mothers to do it all. You tell a father that mothers are more important, and, well, they let mothers do it all. Mothers pick up the slack for men. Whether it is because a father isn't really being as good as father as he should or could be, or because the father is totally absent from a child's life, mothers make up for the fact that men aren't being the most important person in a child's life.

And, just as a father must recognize themselves as the most important person in their childrens' lives, a mother must recognize the same for herself...but for a different reason. In one study, while family situations played an important role in the academic performance and overall child well-being, it was the confidence the mother had in herself and her role as a mother that was the stronger influence.

My wife...she is incredible. Not just as my wife, but as a mother to our children. And there is no better way to appreciate that as when she isn't around.

A few Saturdays ago, my wife spent an entire day away from motherhood to Scrap. Ten hours straight of pure Scrapbooking bliss. (Well, for her, anyhow.)

So, there I am at home with ten kids. No, wait. It was only four...but they move around so fast, it was hard to keep proper count. I decided to "be mommy". I decided not to insist my boys spend the entire day helping me clean up the playroom, unload and load the dishwasher, scrub the floors, wash the windows, mow the grass, and... Well you get the idea.

Instead, I decided to follow in the footsteps of my wife. Spend time with each and every one of them, sometimes invidually, sometimes as a group. No raising my voice, no losing my temper. This would be a place of peace and happiness, where everyone gets along famously.

Then, reality took over. I ran around the house, keeping my daughter from writing with yet another marker she found from who knows where on yet another wall or book or herself. I had to play trains with my three-year-old. (Just how many times can you push Thomas around a track? I think it was a thousand and one for me.) I had to juggle between helping my older boys keeping their roller coaster design in Roller Coaster Tycoon from crashing, making lunch, watching Booh-Bahs with the youngest, and trying to convince them of taking a nap.

Needless to say, by the time I had them in bed and my wife came through the door, I could totally relate to less-than-amorous feelings she might have when I would come home from work. I sat comatose on the couch, drooling, only having accomplished half of what she does in a day. She smiled at me, and I know what she was thinking. "So, perhaps you'll appreciate me more now, eh?"

She didn't say it, though. Bless her heart.

So to my wife, and to all mothers out there...I appreciate you. Being mommy is hard. No. Being mommy is really hard. And, your hard work does not go unnoticed.

At the end of the day, after everything I did, my children still asked me, "When's Mommy gonna be home?"

Your children love you, mommies! They need you in a way altogether different than they need fathers. And I applaud you. Because when it comes to being Mommy...this Daddy just can't cut it!

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