Besides the expected love and nurturing that’s inherent to the position called, “Motherhood,” other tasks not quite grasped when waddling around with babies inside the belly aren’t real until you’re knee deep in laundry with the phone ringing, a blog post waiting to be written, and a small person’s bottom needing to be wiped right at this very moment.
How is it then that mothers get anything done when they wear so many hats?
Naming them can help, just so we know what we’re dealing with.
1. The Homemaker hat.
With children back home from their vacation with dad, I’ve found myself with a suitcase of clothes needing to be folded, a Barbie explosion (32 total all over the living room), a chicken needing to be roasted for a tiny spoiled dog with an even tinier, upset stomach. The floor needs to be vacuumed if only I could find the bags. And emptying the dishwasher can wait, while I prioritize my long list of must do’s.
A homemaker’s hat fits me fine, if sometimes a little tight.
2. The Mommy hat.
Are they fed? Are they bathed? Are they about to kill each other?
Are they dressed? Are they ready? Is there a drink for the car? Has everyone gone pee?
The Mommy hat includes linings made from Pick Your Battles, and I Wouldn’t Do That to You fabrics.
Examples seen just this morning when we headed out for a 10:00 a.m. physical therapy appointment were as follows:
The girls dressed themselves, one in a Hello Kitty tutu the other in last night’s pajamas. When we arrived and checked out the childcare room adjacent to the therapy room, I turned the three of us right around, taking them with me instead, unwilling to leave them with all of those screaming babies.
Children should be grateful for the lining. I guess we can assume it’s silver.
3. The “I’m a Good Neighbor” hat.
The garbage and recycling was taken out just in time for pick-up, and drug back again to the hiding place behind the barn. Since the yard looks so disastrous, a call to the yard guy needed to be made. Hurrying the dog inside, stopping that incessant barking at squirrels? Being a good neighbor is the civilized thing to do.
4. The “Pay the Bills on Time” hat.
Goes without saying, and not a choice.
5. The Work hat.
The work hat, otherwise known as the “Get the Job Done” hat, is in my case worn to write blog posts, create web pages for strangers, and educate clients about toxins in products.
Whether my 2:30 conference call goes off without having to lock myself in the bathroom to avoid screaming daughters in need of something, remains to be seen.
All of my jobs need to be balanced with hats numbered one through four. All mothers, in one way or another, working outside of the home or as CEO of their family must get the job done, whatever that job may be.
6. The Friend hat.
Going out to dinner with new friend Lauren on Saturday to get to know each other better. Checking in with Emily whose baby boy started Kindergarten before the girls. Checking Stacey’s recovery three weeks out of surgery. Texting Bethy in Florida, and Monica down the road, keeping us connected despite miles and schedules that keep us apart. Tweeting with Tara. Quick convos with M. Commenting on blog buddies’ newest posts. If it weren’t for my friends I’d be a lonely and lost soul, and so this hat is an easy one to wear.
7. The Daughter hat.
Call your mother. Just like paying the bills it needs to be done, but for much better reasons than requirements.
I just asked my daughter Sophie how she feels about hats.
“I hate hats,” she said.
“Why don’t you write about shoes!”
Smart girl that one.
Moms also need lots of shoes.