Energizer Mom

It’s time for me to tell you ten things I never heard my mother say:

“Potato chips are good for you, Son. Especially before dinner.”

“The 11 PM curfew is just a general time to shoot for. It’s not like I’m running a prison around here.”

“I love that song. Can you turn it up?”

“There’s money in my purse if you ever need some.”

“Just leave the lights on…it makes the house look more cheery.”

“Don’t bother wearing a jacket. The cold helps build your immune system.”

“It’s my house, but it’s your room.”

“Well, if Stevie’s mom says it’s OK, that’s good enough for me.”

“I don’t have a tissue with me…just use your sleeve.”

“Feel free to use your bed as a trampoline. I don’t mind.”

And finally, “Your father will never know about this. Let’s talk about it, you and me.”

We used to brag about our dads in the playground, but never our moms. I suppose I knew my mom could out cook, out clean, out mend, out launder, out pray, and out mother some of the other kids’ mothers, but I knew their moms were pretty incredible too. I had seen them carry up to four children at once. And moms had babies. In those days, at least a dozen, just for starters. Women were strong. Supermom Angela Cavallo lifted a 3500-pound 1964 Chevy to save her son who was pinned underneath. Lydia Angiyou fought a polar bear long enough for hunters to arrive, saving her son and two nephews.

Moms are amazing. According to the Guinness Book of World Records, the record for most kids belongs to Mrs. Feodor Vassilyev of Russia. 69 children. Of the 69, there were 16 sets of twins, 7 sets of triplets, and 4 sets of quadruplets. I’m exhausted just telling you that.

The mother who had the largest baby on record is Carmelina Fedele of Italy. Mothers you might want to plug your ears right about now. Her newborn weighed 22 pounds, 8 oz. Imagine. This would be a bit like me trying to pass an avocado through my nose.

The shortest recorded interval between two births? 208 days, or 6½ months. Jayne Bleackley gave birth to a son on September 3, 1999, then a daughter on March 30, 2000. Imagine. Okay, don’t. My wife gave birth to three kids in three years. The anesthetic from the first birth was still working for the third.

I’m told that over the course of 18 years, the average mom spends 8,200 hours cooking for her family, 5,800 hours doing laundry, 11,000 hours cleaning and fixing stuff around the house, and a whopping 16,800 hours taking care of the kids. I think it took that long just to potty train one of ours. In fact, my wife was so exasperated she started offering him M&Ms. And a shopping spree at Toys R Us. And a corvette. Moms have their work cut out for them. In 2012, stay at home moms averaged 94.7 hours of work per week. Moms need six hands and the vitality of the Energizer bunny.

There is no calling quite as noble and influential as that of a mother. Proverbs 31:25-29 says, “Strength and dignity are her clothing, and she laughs at the time to come. She opens her mouth with wisdom, and the teaching of kindness is on her tongue. She looks well to the ways of her household and does not eat the bread of idleness. Her children rise up and call her blessed; her husband also, and he praises her: ‘Many women have done excellently, but you surpass them all.’”

I’ve talked to mothers who feel overwhelmed and overworked, but few who feel over-appreciated. So it’s time we thank our moms. Otherwise, they may completely lose their minds and start saying things like,

“You should stay inside more often. Maybe watch some TV.”

“Let me smell that shirt—Ah, it’s good for another week.”

Or “Go ahead. keep that stray dog, honey. I’ll be glad to train and feed and walk him every day.”

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Phil Callaway

Phil Callaway, the host of Laugh Again, is an award-winning author and speaker, known worldwide for his humorous yet perceptive look at life.

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