Whether new or seasoned, all moms can agree on one thing; motherhood requires that you wear many hats, simultaneously. And while the majority of us are used to the demanding pressures of juggling multiple projects or carrying a caseload of clients concurrently in our professional lives, the multi-tasking that motherhood requires is an entirely different beast.
I too had the severely naive notion that due to my competence in keeping several plates spinning in the air at one time, somehow prepared me for — and dare I even say — overqualified me for, the task of raising children. Yikes! That, quite possibly, could be one of my more grave miscalculations thus far in life. There’s no easing into this transition either. Nope, no CLIFF-NOTES for this bad boy. We’re sucked into (no pun, intended) the dizzying world of multi-tasking from the moment we meet our little buddies of joy, when breastfeeding becomes the first order of importance and doing so comes with a laundry list of how to’s; hold the baby’s head like this, lean into them that way, offer them the breast from this angle, make sure they’re latching on from this way…
The list just grows from then on out. Think about it, when was the last time you actually went to the bathroom alone and weren’t asked to get something or do something or find something or make someone else stop doing something? Probably before you had kids, right? It’s almost as if the moment you enter into a possible scenario that glimmers with the hope of 30 seconds of alone time and the fleeting possibility of actually accomplishing one simple task of your own, your toddler decides he must have his shoes on that minute. I mean, the act of peeing while putting on a toddler’s shoes actually requires a lot of talent! So much so, that it’s occurred to me to add it to my list of skill sets on my LinkedIn profile.
Or let’s take the mere undertaking of leaving the house. We don’t actually just leave the house. We prepare to leave the house by grabbing tissues for one kid’s runny nose, by reminding another child to grab his book bag (including, but not limited to, his library book which needs to returned to school for library day), by making sure everyone has on matching shoes, has gone to the bathroom, and that your dog hasn’t also now gotten into the car given the fact that someone has left the door wide open. And then somehow, by an absolute miracle, we collectively make it out of said house. It’s really a good thing that we’re designed to function relatively well doing 12 things at one time, or things would get really messy. And in honor of all the moms who play so many roles, I’ve compiled a short list of those jobs or traits we also embody while being a mom (watch our hats grow taller and taller).
HIGHLY FUNCTIONING HYPER-VIGILANCE. This ain’t your run-of-the-mill, average watchful eye. That’s amateur hour. This is a highly honed skill by which all moms perfect as our children grow. I can spot a choking hazard disguised as a 2mm bead in the corner of a room faster than most people can say ‘no’. Again, adding to LinkedIn.
HERDER OF SHEEP. This requires neither explanation nor further description. Let’s gooooooo!
ANNOUNCER. Except for the fact that no one is listening, and therefore you find the need to repeat yourself way too many times than you’d like to admit. Are you listening to me?
REFEREE. Akin to that of any major league professional sports ref minus the whole respect thing and the end verdict doesn’t actually matter because they haven’t stopped bickering long enough to hear you. This may only apply to mom’s of multiple children, however, somehow I think that kids are so adept at creating quarrels, that even an only child might figure out a way. Stop pulling your brother’s eyelids!
TEACHER. It’s not enough that children have exceptional teachers ready and willing to educate our children 5 days a week, but we too must remember how to figure out the square root of 965. Awesome.
LIFE-COACH. Gone are the days of children just figuring certain things out on their own. No, we as parents must instill in them, the knowledge of how everything in life works and operates. Trial by fire died in the 80’s, guys. This Q and A session, by the way, is typically initiated at bedtime just as my exhausted finger is poised over the light switch.
COOK. Short-order, line-chef, sous chef, gourmet and pastry chef all-in-one. And some days it’s just broccoli and grilled cheese.
It’s a lot of hats, some of which on certain days, I’d very much like to sell off and delegate to someone else. However, at the end of the (long) day, knowing that you are their absolute world and that without us, theirs simply wouldn’t be as happy, is enough to make it all worthwhile. And while the task of being everything for someone else can be daunting and exhausting, it’s because of this deep love and support we that exhibit, that signifies our unwavering support. We are their safe place, their rock, and we wear it all. We’re Moms.