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Mom-The Impossible Job

Rick Ryckeley's picture

It’s not controversial if it’s the truth. Most men are simply Neanderthals. Having said that, I really don’t think it’s our fault. We’re just born that way.
Men lumber around thinking we know everything about everything when, in the case of what it takes to be a mom and raise children, we actually know very little.

You could’ve counted me near the top of that clueless list. That is, until about 11 months ago. When Little One came into our lives, my education truly began. How someone so small can have so much energy, I don’t know. After eight hours of watching her, one of us is exhausted and watching the clock till The Wife gets home for a much-needed break. My mom had not one, but five children. She got no breaks. Dad usually didn’t get home until long after we all went to bed.

So how do the moms of the world do it? How do they care for children all day, stay up all hours of the night to give comfort when they’re sick or have nightmares, and still function the next day on little or no sleep?
And they don’t do this just once or twice a week like The Wife and I do with Little One. Nope, moms do it for years and years upon years.
Add a full-time job to the already full-time job of being a mom and the impossible becomes even more so. One day just isn’t enough to give them the appreciation they so rightly deserve.

In search of an answer of how moms can do all that they do and not walk around like zombies, I walked next door. My neighbor has three girls all under the age of three, so I thought she would be the perfect mom to educate me on how she’s able to balance being a mom, wife, work, and still have a delightful personality.
I met her in the driveway as she carried the newborn and a bag of groceries along with twins in tow. Her answer was truly amazing. She said sleepily, “I don’t really know. I just do,” and then went inside to change diapers, feed baby, and start dinner.

I’m sure my Mom, with five children to raise, would’ve answered the question the same way. She made the day-to-day work of being mom seem effortless. I now know it was anything but, which makes the way she was even more amazing. Back then, none of us gave it much thought. There was always time for her to spend with us, but very little time for herself.

Moms are resilient. From cleaning wounds caused by all sorts of misadventures, to chasing after frogs jumping across the kitchen floor after having escaped from little boy’s pockets, to defending their child from the bully down the street, moms can handle just about anything. But exactly how they do it will remain a mystery — at least for this writer.
So if you think buying a card, flowers, or perhaps even a dinner out is enough this Sunday, think again.

Mother’s Day doesn’t come just one day a year. Mother’s Day is every day – for mom. Whether they have a part-time job, a full-time job, or a stay-at-home job, a mom’s work is truly never done.
Tell them how much you appreciate what they do every day and give them a loving hug. Some of us are no longer able to do so.
We have missed our chance. I hope you don’t miss yours.
[Rick Ryckeley, who lives in Senoia, served as a firefighter for more than two decades and has been a weekly columnist since 2001. His email is His books are available at]

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