Let’s face it, Mom’s just know how to get things done. It’s because they have to, they have no choice. In many cases they are the ones making the lunches, waking the children, getting them breakfast, playing referee between those same children who are eating breakfast, making sure they put on some sort of clean clothing, tie their shoes, get their teeth brushed (on a good day) and scooting them out the door all within a forty minute time frame.
Impressive? No…we are just doing what we need to do to start our day. We are making sure that our kids learn that it is important for them to show up at school, on time (in most cases) because that is what is expected of them. Then it’s our job to go to work, whether it is in a corporate office or studio or classroom or back at home. We go about our day, meeting our obligations because that is what we are supposed to do, honor our commitments.
I got to thinking the other day, in light of this government shut down, what if Mom’s went in and took over Congress? I mean, it couldn’t hurt to let them try…you can’t tell me that it’s not time to explore all of our options.
Mom’s are pretty impressive as individuals and when you get a group of them together, look out! They can move mountains! I know women who can go to work (both in and outside the home), plan a dinner for twelve at the last-minute, head a school committee, run a clothing drive at church, get the kids to the various activities at the assigned times, grab a run, and hit the grocery store all in ONE day while staying within their budget! That’s more than Congress has done in this entire session!
Mother’s are skilled negotiators using the “if then” method. “If you put on your tennis shoes instead of Mommy’s red wedges I will give you some Skittles.” Bribery, perhaps but you can’t tell me that trying to get a three-year old to do something that he or she does NOT want to do isn’t like negotiating a peace treaty in the Middle East! But, aside from the occasional bribe and a little begging and pleading, we set expectations up for our children. If those expectations are not met there are consequences. For example, if they don’t clean their room they don’t go out to play. If they get a bad grade on a test they lose TV. If they stick a piece of a foam ball up their brothers nose they get to take them to the ER and sit for ten hours while all of the real emergencies go ahead of them (I’m kidding on that last one, sort of).
My point is we are teaching that there are consequences for actions or lack thereof. It seems to me that Congress has not been held accountable for any of their actions and it is time for a major time out!
We all have to work within a budget on a daily basis. If you spend more than you have well, then you are stuck waiting for the next payday to be able to get what you need. You can’t write a check and have nothing in your account and expect the bank to say, “Oh, that’s ok, we’ll take care of that for you. Not a problem.” No, they slap you with a bounced check and an overdraft fee and an irritated husband (not provided by the bank, in case you were wondering). You work within what you have to meet your needs and hopefully have a little extra for some fun. And if you don’t you make your own fun. That’s just the way it works.
I am forever saying “be nice to your brother or sister” and when they ask why I just reply “because you have to.” One of the main rules enforced in Motherhood is PLAY NICE. We don’t want to hear the bickering and the crying and the calling of names from our children or their friends or random kids on the playground and we certainly don’t want to hear it from grown men (and women) who we have put our faith in and elected to office.
Mom’s are also very good at getting kids to clean up, making it a game for the younger ones “who ever picks up the most blocks wins” or an ultimatum for the older ones, “sure you can watch Iron Man III, if you pick up your room” again we are back to the old “if then” statement. I learned that in math, many moons ago, I’m not sure if it was Algebra or Geometry, neither were my strong suits. But the meaning of the “if then” statement is clear, if you do this, then this will be the result. It’s not a difficult concept to grasp. Example: If Congress put the needs of the country before their focus on personal gains and agenda then we wouldn’t have almost 800,000 Americans sitting at home watching The View today. Simple equation.
So here’s my proposal. Get two mothers from each state and put them in The House Chamber, give them an agenda, some coffee and bottled water and a time frame. Then watch them work.
They will have in the back of their heads that they need to get home to the kids so they will want to get things rolling. They will also have on the front of their minds that they are doing this for the future of America, the children, so they will want to have their best interest at heart. They will ask for no money or tax deductions (maybe a little parking voucher would be nice) and they will talk and they will listen and they will put others above themselves because that’s what Mom’s do.
They will talk about realistic solutions to real problems, problems that their neighbors and friends are affected by and that they hope that their children will never have to experience. They will listen and understand and maybe even cry a little because that’s what Mom’s do. And at the end of the day they will have hope for a better tomorrow because of what they accomplished today. And they will pick up their coffee cups and water bottles and crumpled napkins and put them IN the garbage cans and pray that they made the right choices for their broken and hurting country.
And then they will return home and tuck in their sleeping children, kiss their foreheads and stare at them a little longer than usual. And they will pray. Pray that God saw what they accomplished in the day or week that they were together and that He will bless the work and the Country that they love. They will pray that the Congressmen and women will learn from what they were able to accomplish.
It’s really that simple. The pages and pages and pages of laws and amendments have killed enough trees. I think we need to put a great big sign on the walls of Congress with an excerpt from Robert Fulghum’s All I Really Needed to Know I Learned in Kindergarten. It’s what we are taught at the beginning of our journey but somehow forget along the way…
1. Share everything.
2. Play fair.
3. Don’t hit people.
4. Put things back where you found them.
5. CLEAN UP YOUR OWN MESS.
6. Don’t take things that aren’t yours.
7. Say you’re SORRY when you HURT somebody.
8. Wash your hands before you eat.
10. Warm cookies and cold milk are good for you.
11. Live a balanced life – learn some and drink some and draw some and paint some and sing and dance and play and work every day some.
12. Take a nap every afternoon.
13. When you go out into the world, watch out for traffic, hold hands, and stick together
The most important of which is #13. We need to start looking out for each other again because it’s just the right thing to do and because your Mom said so.