• 48°

Please take care of your moms, wives fellas

Mother’s Day is almost here and as we get ready to honor the women who brought us into the world, and most likely at least once threatened to take us out of it, I have to say I have a newfound appreciation this year for all that moms do.

As I’ve mentioned in my columns over the past three-or-so months, my family and I moved back to Atmore last summer so my wife could take a new job. It was a great opportunity for her and it was certainly time for me to follow her, after all the places I’ve dragged her for newspapers. But, I found myself in a peculiar spot: sitting at home without a job for the first time since I was a teenager. But, it worked out because it was the summer, which meant our daughter wasn’t in school and needed one of us home with her. So, logic dictated that we not put our 3-year-old son in daycare just yet. Why not save that money if I was going to be home anyway? Made sense. But sense, I would soon find out, would quickly deteriorate into chaos for a dad home alone with the kids for the first time.

Oh, the stories I could tell of failed attempts to get the little one to nap; temper tantrums thrown by the oldest one who just wanted to go outside, but couldn’t, because the little one would want to go too and dad was too busy cooking or cleaning to go supervise. And on it went for a few months.

There were the days I couldn’t believe I was cleaning the same thing for the third or fourth time and moments of resting when I would realize, not only was I still watching “Paw Patrol” even though the kids had left the room, but that I had seen that episode before.

I’ve never been the type to believe it’s a woman’s job to cook, clean and stay home with the kids. Stephanie has always worked, too. But she is the maternal, nurturing type. She likes a clean house and she’s a great cook. So, I’ll admit, I often left those things to her and took for granted how much goes into them. On top that, after having both Sawyer and Colin, she was home with them for extended periods. She was also home with them when, for example, when we moved to Andalusia. She had to leave her job here in Atmore and only a few months after moving, she gave birth to our son. There she was, taking care of two kids – one a   newborn – cooking, cleaning and everything else the days entail, while I worked at a daily newspaper, often until late at night.

Fast forward to last summer and I suddenly saw so clearly why coming in and tossing my shoes in a corner, my computer bag on the table and my wallet and keys on the counter made her give me that look from Star Wars where the Jedi is trying to choke you with his mind. It would have been like her showing up in the newsroom and deleting pages. I just wasn’t thinking about it that way at the time. Well, after my stint as Mr. mom last summer, I think I get it.

Now, while most of this is probably a little funny, I mean it as an example of just one aspect of being a mom. There are plenty of stay-at-home mothers out there, plenty who work and plenty who are single and have to play both roles.

So, I guess the point of all of this is to say not to take your mom or wife for granted this year. Take care of them. After all, haven’t they always taken care of us?