“Motherhood is a choice you make every day to put someone else’s happiness and well-being ahead of your own, to teach the hard lessons, to do the right thing even when you’re not sure what the right thing is, … and to forgive yourself over and over again for doing everything wrong.” —Donna Ball
Moms are the greatest experts in the world on motherhood. This page is dedicated to the thoughts and essays from our Mom Squad on motherhood.
Erma Bombeck is an incredible, hilarious, and insightful author who chronicled the ordinary life of a midwestern suburban housewife during the 1960’s and 1970’s. Below is an essay she wrote entitled “When God Created Mothers.” Enjoy!
“When God Created Mothers”
When the Good Lord was creating mothers, He was into His sixth day of “overtime” when the angel appeared and said. “You’re doing a lot of fiddling around on this one.”
And God said, “Have you read the specs on this order?” She has to be completely washable, but not plastic. Have 180 moveable parts…all replaceable. Run on black coffee and leftovers. Have a lap that disappears when she stands up. A kiss that can cure anything from a broken leg to a disappointed love affair. And six pairs of hands.”
The angel shook her head slowly and said. “Six pairs of hands…. no way.”
It’s not the hands that are causing me problems,” God remarked, “it’s the three pairs of eyes that mothers have to have.”
That’s on the standard model?” asked the angel. God nodded.
One pair that sees through closed doors when she asks, ‘What are you kids doing in there?’ when she already knows. Another here in the back of her head that sees what she shouldn’t but what she has to know, and of course the ones here in front that can look at a child when he goofs up and say. ‘I understand and I love you’ without so much as uttering a word.”
God,” said the angel touching his sleeve gently, “Get some rest tomorrow….”
I can’t,” said God, “I’m so close to creating something so close to myself. Already I have one who heals herself when she is sick…can feed a family of six on one pound of hamburger…and can get a nine year old to stand under a shower.”
The angel circled the model of a mother very slowly. “It’s too soft,” she sighed.
But tough!” said God excitedly. “You can imagine what this mother can do or endure.”
Can it think?”
Not only can it think, but it can reason and compromise,” said the Creator.
Finally, the angel bent over and ran her finger across the cheek.
There’s a leak,” she pronounced. “I told You that You were trying to put too much into this model.”
It’s not a leak,” said the Lord, “It’s a tear.”
What’s it for?”
It’s for joy, sadness, disappointment, pain, loneliness, and pride.”
You are a genius, ” said the angel.
Somberly, God said, “I didn’t put it there.”
― Erma Bombeck,
A Three Year Old, a Jar of BB’s, and a LOT of Feelings
To Yell Or Not To Yell…That is the Question – Tammy
I have been playing “catch up” listening to as many as I can as often as time permits. I have a little story after I listened to your podcast about parents and children and sports.
I have four boys. The two oldest often umpired games to earn extra money. I live in southeast Idaho where it gets cold and blustery during games in the springtime. This particular game was on such a night, so parents might have been uncomfortable at the start. Anyway… I had dropped my boys off to umpire, run home to take care of the other two, then run back to pick the two oldest up since they weren’t old enough to drive themselves. (13 and 15)
As I approached the field, I heard some men yelling. Turns out, they were yelling at the umpires. One of my boys was behind the plate. The other was in the field for umping the bases. On one of your episodes you talked about our identity systems. I noticed mine was starting to awaken. However, I tried to calm it down and go stand next to the offending yellers who were right behind the plate. (I know that sometimes behavior changes if proximity from a new person is noticed.) Well, the men noticed I had come close to them but continued yelling. I just stood there for a bit, and then started asking a few questions. “Who’s winning?” “Why is it so cold in Idaho during baseball games?” You know, questions that could “re-reroute” these men from abusing my children. Alas, they did not take the bait.
So I began commenting on the umpiring myself. I said something like, “Wow, these are young kids umpiring aren’t they? I bet they are so cold.” Still the men persisted. So I just had to point out the obvious (to me). Finally, I said, “ You know, I bet these umps are doing the best they can.” One Dad said, “They don’t know what they’re doing! They’re terrible!” Another… “They’re throwing the game! It’s so one-sided!” To which I responded (still calmly, I think—can you believe it?), “Actually, I know they aren’t throwing the game, and I know they are doing their best because I know them.” (Okay so my identity system was becoming more active.) A couple of the Dads looked at me then turned and kept yelling. So I quickly added, “Ya, I know them. I am their Mom. So I know they are doing their best. That’s what I taught them to do— do their best and be honest.”
It was SO awesome to see the looks on their faces as they turned to me. There were 3 or 4 dads and all dispersed except one. He began an entirely different conversation. I was so glad to “break up” the bullying. Those were “my” boys! Inside I could tell that my identity system was just about ready for a one-two punch and roundhouse kick to the face. BUT I kept it at bay. Super glad I did.
I acknowledge that moments in my life have not been so great, (identity system WIDE awake!), but when I heard the story of the parents yelling at (was it?) Camille’s son, it brought back a flood of memories.
An Earful Out Of The Mouth Of Babes – Melissa
I listened to your podcast with Brad Wilcox this week and I was glad I did. I have a 3 year old girl and we have taught her anatomically correct terms for her body parts and are teaching her that no one should try to touch her there, but it still feels awkward to say it. The podcast strengthened my resolve to keep doing what we’re doing…which I needed tonight when my daughter told my 6 year old niece “don’t touch my vagina” and my niece responded “what’s a vagina?”….so my sister in laws 5 kids got a little unwanted anatomy lesson, while I felt a little more than awkward. But because of your podcast I was able to still feel like I was doing the right thing no matter how awkward it was! I’m sure it won’t be the last time… haha!