Allow me to introduce the working mommy.
You think you know her but I assure you, she is running circles around us, and it’s time we give her some due credit and more than just a little help. This elegant creature of style and poise does more before breakfast than most of us accomplish all day. The working mommy thrives behind the scenes, where subtle details comprise every nuance and time sputters in manic fits just long enough to get the kids up, dressed, fed, and out the door.
The working mommy is successfully managing a career, folding laundry, feeding the dog, organizing bills, wiping spills, changing diapers, babysitting the neighbors’ kids, buying organic groceries, supporting cherished friends, staying fit, and preparing a well-balanced nutritious meal for her family – all while talking on the phone with a mortgage broker trying to refinance the house. These people are saints, and if you don’t believe me, you probably aren’t paying close enough attention.
Working mommies are undoubtedly the world’s greatest asset.
There is no force on heaven or earth as selflessly devoted to good as a working mom. His Holiness the Dalai Llama has famously said, “The world will be saved by the western woman.” It is her ability to triage priorities, manage the minutia of vital details, and take deliberate action with purposeful resolve that makes the working mommy the beating heart of every community.
A 2013 study by the Pew Research Center reports a record 40% of American households with children under the age of 18 include mothers who are either the sole or primary source of income. These ‘breadwinner moms’ comprise two distinct groups: 5.1 million (37%) are married mothers with a higher income than their husbands, and 8.6 million (63%) are single mothers. As working moms increasingly maintain the balance of managing households with bringing home the bacon, it’s time for the rest of us pull our weight.
I live in the world of the working mommy. They raise our kids, organize our homes, thrive at work, enrich their minds, invest in the community, bake muffins, and somehow find time to do yoga, make new friends, tend a garden, and support their partners at home. Instinctively, these exceptional individuals place the needs of others before their own. They tirelessly dote on, chase after, discipline, coddle, play with, nurture, reassure, and teach our children how to behave honorably. They bring intuition, innovation and sincere leadership to every business and industry conceivable, with profound emphasis on heart and integrity. They carry the weight of the world. They seldom complain. They rarely seek assistance.
These dynamo mamas fantasize not about diamonds and flashy fancy. They simply want more time and a little help.
When a working mommy expresses a need, you can be sure that the request satisfies authenticity and merit. Give her whatever she asks for. Contribute financially. Be a role model for your children. Wash the dishes. Take the baby. Clean the house yourself or hire some help. Fill her gas tank. Finish a project. Keep your junk out of her way! Try to anticipate what might be helpful and take some initiative. Take her to dinner – wherever she wants to go. Get everything on her wish list. Give her time to herself and see that she takes it. Make your bed and the kids’ lunches. Help with homework. Wash her car. Tell her she’s beautiful. Ensure she receives something nice for every occasion meaningful to her. Give her a few minutes to take a breath – and a bath, without interruption.
Follow her around telling her how grateful you are that angels saw fit to deliver her to your life.
When a working mommy casually utters, “You have no idea how much I do,” silently nod in agreement and offer to help in any way she sees fit. Trust me.
Photo: Midge Dallas Photography (My daughter, Juniper & My gorgeous wife, Jeet)