*In writing this I am in no way discounting the man who takes on the “mom” role in a household. There are numerous ones out there who do, and they do a marvelous job. I know that their families would be lost - and dirty - without them.
These are the things that only the mom of the house does. From the predictable, to the disgusting, to the entirely random, there is no way on earth that you would survive without us. Remember that from time to time.
1. We lock doors and windows. We literally try to rush the rest of the family outside before we leave the house, because we know that if we do not do that last perimeter check, someone will - for some god-knows-what reason - leave something open, to let in the robbers and let out the cat.
2. We flush toilets. We grumble about it. We remind all of you all of the time, but for some reason, we are the only family members physically capable of depressing that little switch on the toilet. This happens particularly when there is a giant poop in it. What do you people do; lie a turd, and run away before it explodes? We also plunge the toilets, because even though that is supposed to be a handy guy sort of activity…Oh, no! Only mom will brave the plunger when your poops are too damn big to go down the toilet.
3. We turn things off. I can walk from one room of my house to another, and turn off twenty things that other people have left on after they have vacated the area. Lights, fans, television sets, even burners on the stove. We ask over and over again. We show you the electric bills. We explain how people in some places in the world have no electricity - and yet - you all still seem to be on a mission to bankrupt our entire family through unnecessary electricity consumption.
4. We eat the leftovers. We finish the food that we have put out several times after it was made - food that we already know that you all like - because you are not in the mood for it this week. We are so dedicated to not letting it go to waste, that we sit there eating it two days old, and sometimes no even re-heated while the rest of you enjoy a hot and toasty grilled cheese.
5. We check on shit every night. I just stopped doing a sweep of the entire house in the middle of the night - every night - because we have a new pup, and if I go walking around the house, he will wake up the whole household. My kids are teenagers now, but when they were little, it was every single night, sometimes more than once, that I would stumble through the house - half asleep - to count children and pets and make sure that everyone was still breathing, and that the house was locked up tight.
6. We pack. All of the rest of you all just amble out into the world completely unprepared with no thought to when you will journey home or when you might be hungry. Mom’s pack. We have endless stores of snacks and beverages, we have bandaids and antibiotic, we have fruit strips for days. We carry extra sweaters and towels, napkins and tissues, and even changes of clothes. All of this we carry on our backs without complaint, while you wander around free of luggage. We know that we look like complete and total dorks. You are welcome.
7. We buy staples. My husband can make a trip to the store and come back with French Bread, salami, and beer. I keep the house stocked with things like toilet paper, filtered water, coffee, butter, eggs, pet food, tooth paste, saline, cat liter, shampoo and paper towels. These things rarely if ever run out. I cannot imagine what this house would look like if I was gone for more than a week. Probably like an episode of some reality television show.
8. We remember to plan social events. We schedule time with family friends. We plan trips to see the grandparents. We plan vacations. We keep up with friends who have moved far away. We write these down and we remember them. We remember to send cards or gifts for birthdays, or for mother’s day or father’s day. If we didn’t do these things I am pretty sure that most families would end up hanging out with the neighbors every weekend of the year.
9. We schedule the maintenance. The oil changes, the vet appointments, the doctor and dentist visits, (and some of us even do research on our own to find out how necessary those visits are). We change the damned HVAC filter every frigging month and we fill it with vinegar to make sure that it doesn’t back up. We replace LIGHT BULBS, and we empty the vacuum cleaner canister. We clean out the lint trap on the dryer every time that it gets used so that the house doesn’t catch on fire and kill us all in our sleep.
10. We clean. Those of us who are diligent mothers do teach you how to clean. We give you chores and we hound you until you complete them over and over again, every single damn day. The thing is: you all suck at it. So, usually once a week or so, we have to go around behind all of you and re-do what you have done inadequately. If it were not for us you would all die of some flesh eating fungus that was home grown in all of our filth. We love you like crazy, and we fear for the day that you go out on your own, because we know that your first apartments will be health hazards until you learn to appreciate the value of non-toxic living environments. We just hope that you have built up the immune systems to survive the interim.