The Motherhood Shut Down

9:23 AMHeather

Government Shut Down.  So over it.  The whole thing was ridiculous to me.  Of course, I'm the last to wax politics on Facebook or during dinner conversation.  And, I basically avoid the news or any of those screaming talking head shows where opposing sides shout over each other as they discuss political issues.  

It's not my thing.  I've said it before. I take the bury-my-head-in-the-sand approach.  But, I did see a couple of comments on social media with which I agree whole heartedly in regard to the shut down.  Namely, how the politicians were ruling by temper tantrum.  And how the Washington Redskins are changing their name.  Because using the word "Washington" is just too embarrassing.  Personally, as a Baylor alumni, they should just be called the RG3's, in my humble opinion.

As a mom, this would have been my solution to the government shut down.  

Yep, throw Ted Cruz and Obama in that bad boy.  One Republican and one Democrat per "time out shirt."  Live that way until you can resolve your differences.  No pay.  No time off.  No privileges.  Until you can learn to get along.

Of course, we moms could likely solve many world crises because we do so every single day in our own little worlds.  We negotiate world peace and we strategize like nobody's business.  We manage to get our offspring and spouses and ourselves dressed and ready and prepared for any number of things.  We keep the pantry stocked, the family fed, and the budget balanced WITHOUT RAISING THE DEBT CEILING.  

Yay.  We are pretty much rock stars, truth be told. 

Except for some days.  Like yesterday.  When I shall just summarize it to say it was not a red letter day in my household.  It was ugly and frustrating.  And the end result was a grumpy mom.  I literally locked myself in my room after I had calmly announced to my beloveds that Mom needed to be alone.  So good-night and sweet dreams because I'm off duty.  Then, I climbed into bed with my ebook and a cup of mint tea and cried for a while before I read. 

It made me dream impossible dreams.  Like what if we staged a Motherhood Shut Down.  Of course, I thought this after I dragged my sorry self out of my pity party long enough to present the football player with his "night before game day" goodies of Gatorade and energy chews, all wrapped with a bow.  

Yeah.  I think he felt my scorn of shutting the world out.  For sure.  Cause I showed him how I wasn't going to cater to his every need.

What would happen, fellow moms or people who know a mom, if we declared a walk-out?  Oh, you're hungry?  Don't expect mom to cook.  There's a motherhood shut down.  Dirty clothes piling up?  Too bad.  Oh, you can't get to all your activities?  Sorry.  Mom's taxi service is not in operation.  Need lunch account money or money to go to the volleyball game or money to buy the zillionth spirit shirt at school?  Too bad, so sad.

Oh yeah.  We'll show them.  We'll just walk off the job.  We'll just quit doing what we do every day.  Then--really THEN, they will realize how much they need us.  How wonderful and selfless and giving we moms are. 

Let the babies sit around in their filthy diapers.  Let the toddlers eat whatever they can reach and watch Barney until their brain cells curl up and die.  Let the preschoolers jump off the roof and figure out what matches are for.  Let the school age kids learn where the kitchen is and how to make their own meals.  Let the teenagers realize how smart and wise their parents really are and how badly they need us.  Oh, yes.  They are DEPENDENT on us because we have so much to offer.  Like a ride to all the places they want to go.  And cash to pay for all the things they want to do.  

We'll show them alright.  

We will do other things instead!  We will revel in our shut down.  And eat bon bons.  And watch Lifetime movies.  All day long.  And shop.  For leisure.  Alone.  For something besides toothpaste and milk.  We will sit around carefree and footloose and fancy free and have complete conversations, uninterrupted by the demands of our offspring.  

And we will love it!

Except we really won't.  WHO am I kidding?  Try as I might, I don't think I really could just walk off the job.  Yes, it is exhausting.  And frustrating.  And I'm over feeling unappreciated.  I don't like feeling taken for granted.  It's never ending.  These people we created or adopted need to be fed continually.  And their clothes are dirtied at record speeds.  And our pantries are like magic with how quickly the food disappears.  And, yes, don't we all wish and long for a break?  To think of no one but ourselves?

Except we can't.  Because try as we might, I think we would all agree that we just simply do what we do because it's what we do.  We can't help ourselves.  And if we really stop and think about it, our lives would feel strange if we weren't taking care of these little ones God gave us.  I mean, really.  How long do you last away from them before you kinda miss them?  Maybe not the tasks of mothering, but I don't know too many moms who can take a long vacay from the kids without realizing they do miss them. Even just a tiny bit.

Because dadgumit, they do things like say, "I love you, Mom" at the most unexpected times.  Even if it's grumbled from a tired child who is at practice before dawn.  They hug us randomly at times, and our hearts swell.  They draw lovely pictures for us, and make us Mother's Day cards that we treasure and cherish.  And, even after the hardest mom day ever, they look so cute and innocent and wonderful and precious while they sleep.  When you tip toe in and relish the moment they aren't talking back.  

And you remember how it felt when they were first placed in your arms.  And you whispered a promise to love them forever and introduced yourself as their mommy.  And you know, as surely as you know the sun will rise tomorrow, that someday, you will miss them when they fly your little nest.  If you really stop and think about it, you know that your home and family and life would never be the same without them.  

They are treasures.  They are worth it all.  Every bit of it.

So, maybe, just maybe, that motherhood shut down would actually never work out for you.  

Besides, who wants to face the mess and clean up after such a time off?  

Press on, fellow moms.  Stop and daydream about running away.  Then remember the paradise that is your messy, trying, frustrating wonderful life as a mom.     

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