No matter how old I get, I still need my mom — and my mother-in-law. That’s especially true now that I have my own family, house, career and other obligations. This precarious juggling act necessitates a need for motherly help like never before.
I’ve always been close with my mom, frequently relying on her for emotional support, touching base via phone or email at least two or three times a week and seeking her advice on personal matters. Honestly, I just plain old enjoy her company. The same goes for my husband’s mom, who has seen us through some tough times and, like my mother, is a fantastic grandparent.
Through my 20s and early 30s, whenever either my mom or mother-in-law, both of whom live out of state, would come for a visit, I’d look forward to it. My husband and I would come up with a few activities and entertainment ideas we figured would be fun to try. I’d plan out our meals or decide which restaurants we’d take our guests to. Their stays with us provided a few days of fun and relaxation.
Now, though, there’s a little more to it. As I learn the ropes of parenthood while striving to prioritize my professional responsibilities and keep my house semi-organized and stocked with provisions, I yearn for my mom and mother-in-law to come help me make sense of the whole mess I call life.
Things are a little hectic for me right now. My daughter was sick early in the week, and my husband is sick now. I have several special-project deadlines to meet at work in addition to my regular newspaper responsibilities. I’m logging extra hours at the office and largely ignoring things like laundry, meal preparation and other basic household chores. I need to find time to grocery shop, pay bills and catch up on correspondence. All hope is not lost, though, because my mom and dad are coming for a one-night stopover Thursday, and my mother-in-law will arrive Friday and stay with us over Memorial Day weekend.
My folks are driving from Missouri to the Florida Keys for a friend’s wedding, so they’re spending one night with us before they get back on the road Friday morning and finish the last leg of their trip. My husband’s mom plans to log a few days of quality time with us, spoiling her granddaughter, revisiting Savannah’s attractions and, of course, enjoying some good Southern cuisine.
I can’t wait to see our moms. I know we’ll have fun and, perhaps best of all, their mere presence seems to bring about some semblance of order. Moms are great because they’ve been there and done that. They know what it’s like to work, raise a family and maintain a house. Moms don’t ask how they can help — they just jump in and do it.
Although my husband and I always encourage our mothers to sit, take it easy and enjoy their vacations, they always insist on getting into the thick of things. They arrive and before I know it, laundry is being done, the dishwasher is being loaded, meals are cooked or paid for, my daughter is entertained and working her way through a seemingly endless supply of gifts and new clothes, the dog is walked and even major projects are being tackled. New garage-door openers are being paid for and installed, my husband and I are sent on “date nights,” yard sales are being organized and the pantry is being cleaned out. When my daughter was an infant, these two life-saving ladies saw to it that she was fed, clean and comforted while I, blessedly, enjoyed naps.
I’m telling you, it doesn’t get any better than having a mom around. My mother and my mother-in-law know how to whip a chaotic situation into shape and knock out a to-do list like nobody’s business. I’m in awe of their efficiency, expertise and willingness to roll up their sleeves and help like it’s no big deal.
And when the house is straight and clean, everyone is fed and my toddler is down for the night, there’s no one with whom I’m happier to share a bottle of wine and good conversation than our moms.