Setting the Tone
“Help, I’m a working mom!” I hear it a lot. It’s a common cry and one many women understand. If you are a mom, by definition you are a working mom. You don’t have to collect a salary; all you have to have is someone who calls you “mom”, and relies on you. Reality for many working moms is having too much to do and not enough time to do it. I remember my mother trying to work outside the home, getting up early, getting children ready for school, while trying to get ready for work.
They say the first half hour of the day sets the tone for the rest of the day. If so, my mother’s tone was set at stress before she left the house. She then had to go to work and deal with the pressure of the workplace, trying to perform her duties, while thinking about her children. At the end of the workday, the home workday would just begin: helping us kids get homework started, getting dinner ready, then washing the dishes, getting the laundry started, refereeing fights. In truth a mother’s work is never done and sometimes we men don’t seem to notice what’s involved. A story might help.
A man came home from work and found his three children outside, still in their pyjamas, playing in the mud, with empty food boxes and wrappers strewn around the garden. The door of his wife’s car was open, as was the front door to the house and no sign of the dog, walking in the door; he found an even bigger mess. A lamp had been knocked over; the throw rug was against one wall. In the front room the TV was on loudly with the cartoon channel, the family room was strewn with toys and various items of clothing. In the kitchen, dishes filled the sink, breakfast food was spilled on the counter, the fridge door was open wide, dog food was spilled on the floor, a broken glass lay under the table, and a small pile of sand was spread by the back door.
He quickly headed up the stairs, stepping over toys and more piles of clothes, looking for his wife. He was worried she might be ill, or that something serious had happened. He was met with a small trickle of water as it made its way out the bathroom door. As he peered inside he found wet towels, scummy soap and more toys strewn over the floor. Miles of toilet paper lay in a heap and toothpaste had been smeared over the mirror and walls. As he rushed to the bedroom, he found his wife still curled up in the bed in her pyjamas, reading a novel… She looked up at him, smiled and asked how his day went. He looked at her bewildered and asked, ‘What happened here today?’ She again smiled and answered, “You know every day when you come home from work and you ask me what in the world do I do all day?” ”Yes,” was his incredulous reply. She answered, ‘Well, today I didn’t do it.’
Thought for the week
As your thought for the week, try to empathise with those close to you and, at times of stress in their lives, try to see things from their point of view.