The Real 24

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The Real “24”

It is absolutely mind blowing that in one single episode of the wildly popular show 24, Jack Bauer can accomplish so much.  In one hour he can manage to rescue 25 orphans from another country all while avoiding and defeating an army of the bad guys trying to keep him from accomplishing his goal. It just amazes me, because I only have three children and I can’t get them from the house to the car without them forgetting their shoes, needing to go to the bathroom and having a breakdown because they have to get in a seatbelt.

By the time I get in the driver’s seat I am such a nervous wreck that I just want to crawl back in bed and pull the covers over my head. And we aren’t even talking about dinner, dishwashers, laundry, homework, projects, and extra curricular activities. Yes, it just about requires a super hero license these days or at least makes you wish you were an octopus.  Yet it seems that there are still those “supermoms” who accomplish all of this without breaking a sweat or a nail for that matter.  It is enough to make me wonder if maybe I missed out on the mommy gene or that I am just really bad at it. It is far more likely though, I think, that these women who appear to have it all together really have just adopted some ideas and habits that make life easier.

Years ago becoming a mommy was the most beautiful and incredibly exciting experience most women looked forward to from the time they were little girls. Unfortunately it has not taken society long to riddle motherhood with unbearable pressure, guilt and uncertainty.  From conception on, mothers are bombarded with demands and expectations. Bottle or breast feed? Work or stay home? Day care or private in-home care? Organic or store bought?   Paper or plastic…. Wait, sorry I got a little side tracked. Seriously though, our grandmothers and great grandmothers would laugh at us for the things we worry about.  She would probably say, “Oh sugar, just put a little bourbon in the bottle.” While I certainly don’t advocate feeding liquor to infants, I think the point is to chill out. Calm down and remember what is important. I have watched women abandon 30 year careers, forget their hair and nail appointments, and give up just about everything because their child has been diagnosed with a serious or terminal illness. That is because everything comes quickly into perspective during a tragedy.

It is sad that we cannot seem to slow down and recognize the importance of just memorizing our children’s faces, relishing their laughter and losing ourselves in their love. All the things we think are so important become dismal in the eyes of a sick child.  Whether you work or stay home there are infinite challenges to being a mother. Either way, it is probably not getting easier any time soon, so take a minute to appreciate the miracle of motherhood.  Brush off the critics, leave the dishes in the sink and read your child a book, take your teenager out for ice cream, and listen to them.  Just ask the mother of a sick child or one who has lost a child. Everything else can wait.

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