I don’t think you can help but use your parents as role models of How Things Should Be.
Especially when your life ends up paralleling theirs in many ways.
Internet, I hit the parental jackpot. Believe me, I’m reminded of this every single day. But lately, I’ve been thinking a lot about my mom’s status, not as a mom or a working woman, but as a fellow doctor’s wife.
Right off the bat, I want to be clear that I LOVE my father. He is – and always has been – a wonderful parent. He’s kind, and funny, and smart. He’s a great cook and he’s good at fixing everything from cars to fences and he laughs loudly and unabashedly at funny parts of movies and he’s kind (I know I already said that last one, but it’s one of his best and most important qualities).
My Dad was always there for the important stuff – piano recitals, graduations, breakup-induced crying jags. He helped me with math homework and brought home pizza on Fridays and made the Christmas roast and sat next to me at church and taught me how to ski and water-ski and so much more.
But if I think of the day-to-day workings of the house, my mom did the bulk of the work. My mom did most of the cooking when I was growing up. She kept the house spotless. And let’s face it, she took care of my brother and me the majority of the time.
It’s got to be lonely, spending all your free time with two kids, often while your husband is caring for other people’s kids. But I don’t remember ever hearing one word of anger or resentment or frustration. (The only thing that bugged mom was when patients would call our house. Or when the hospital would call looking for my father… when he was at the hospital.)
But there were countless nights when mom went to bed alone. Or when she eventually put Dad’s dinner in the fridge for him to eat when he finally came home. So she’d come home, wrangle two kids and their homework and their kid drama, make dinner, clean up the dishes and the kitchen, put the kids to bed, and go to bed. All by herself.
I hope this doesn’t come off as negative toward my father… I mean, he is a doctor. This is what doctors DO. It is The Nature of Being a Doctor. And, like I said, I never felt LACKING in the father department. Not one bit.
But it just amazes me that she was able to do it all, so calmly and easily. And – on top of all that – she did it while holding down a very demanding job. Seriously. My work – which is stressful and time consuming – does not hold a candle to my mother’s high-stress, high-pressure career.
She is definitely a role model for me. She is the ultimate powerful, independent, successful woman and caring, dependable wife, and bona fide Super Mom.
I hope someday I can be just like her.