Which is tougher:
Being a mother or being a wife?
Looking after little ones … or looking after one big one?
As women, we have a terrible tendency to mother our guys. It’s impossible to resist. We take one look at them and see all the ways in which they need a female influence. They need home-cooked meals, clean underwear, and someone to get them to the doctor when they’re ill.
Men need us.
Otherwise, they’d use the same toothbrush for years. They’d use body moisturizer on their face. Mold could polka-dot the shower curtain, and they’d never notice.
Men are harder to mother than children. They don’t obey. Whereas kids know that Mom is always right, men put up a fight. They know they’re not supposed to drive so fast or drink so much or go out on a cold night without a coat, but they ignore us.
We could make their lives so much better…
If only they’d accept we’re always right.
Men don’t always value mothering women as much as they should.
Few leap at the chance to date a woman with children. For all those Hollywood “yummy mummies,” real mothers are more likely to be tired, frumpy, and stained with spit-up.
Maternal isn’t a synonym for sexy.
But it should be.
In celebration of those wonderful maternal instincts every woman has (even if she just puts them to use on her Shih Tzu), here are 3 reasons why men should be kicking themselves right now that they haven’t fully appreciated the mothers among us.
1. Mothers are conscious.
Women with children know something:
They know just how powerful their influence really is.
When you have children, you start to realize how every little thing you say and do affects them for life.
The first time you see your child mimic the way you behave when you get angry, or repeat the words you use when something bad happens, you’re horrified. You swear you’ll never do that again. You can’t afford having your children grow up to be just like you.
As a parent, you’re aware that everything you do and say teaches your children about appropriate behavior. So you do your best to be their role model. You treat everyone politely, say please and thank you, and remind your children daily how much you love them.
As you become conscious of how much your behavior impacts your children, you realize that it extends far beyond that. Your behavior impacts everyone who comes into contact with you.
Even your significant other.
Maybe you used to get angry in your past relationships. Maybe you used to shout, or blame, or accuse. But now you realize you wouldn’t want your children to see you acting that way. You wouldn’t want your children to think that was normal relationship behavior.
So you try to be a role model in your relationship, too. You work at watching your tongue, keeping your temper under control, remaining unfailingly polite, and generously administering hugs and words of love.
What man could resist that?
2. Mothers keep it simple.
Few mothers have the time or energy for game-playing.
Life’s pretty simple as a parent. Your days involve some combination of food, work, play, chores, love and sleep.
You feed your kids, you go to work, you play a bit, you do the chores, you give cuddles and kisses, and you get everyone to bed.
There’s not much room in there for partying, or taking duck-faced selfies, or spending hours at the mall. Not much room for Pilates classes or expensive lingerie or holidays in Tahiti, either.
So maybe real men wouldn’t be interested. But maybe they don’t know what they’re missing.
Real food? Regular bedtimes? Kisses and cuddles?
That’s the stuff life is made of.
It endures long after hangovers become old. And it still looks good 20 years later.
3. Mothers can handle commitment.
How many relationships have you seen where Boy meets Girl, Boy and Girl fall in love, Boy and Girl have a big fight, and Boy and Girl post selfies of their hot new hookups mere hours after updating their Facebook status to single?
If there’s one thing mothers get, it’s that you have to slog through the hard parts.
You can’t just dump your kids off with Grandma because they’re making faces and ignoring you. You have to stick with it, learn better ways of communicating, and grow together.
Maybe there will be years when you can’t stand the sight of your kid, and he can’t stand the sight of you. Every conversation erupts into an argument. He tells you he hates you and can’t wait to leave home.
But you’re the parent.
So you keep putting his meals on the table, washing his dirty gym shorts, and praying for a miracle. You’ll get through this. There is no other option.
It’s the kind of love that’s all too rare.
If only all of us felt love that unconditional in our romantic relationships.
If only we knew that whoever we chose to be with would have the courage, patience, and fortitude to love us forever, no matter what happens.
And that’s why mothers rock.
Mothers get love. They get that it’s work. They’re used to hard work. They don’t give up easily.
One last thing:
Even though it looks like she gets all the love she needs from her kids, you’re welcome to give her a little love, too.
Those who give the most love don’t always get a lot of it back.
That’s why she needs you. An adult male who appreciates her with adult eyes. She probably doesn’t get a whole lot of that in her everyday life.
Mothers need love, too.