NYT Motherlode: Why Moms Should Quit

I love, love, love Lisa Belkin, especially since she teamed up with radio talk show host Mel Robbins for an article on Mother’s Day. Specifically, on why moms should just quit.

Mel tells of the time her mother-in-law announced that she was quitting one night (Mel’s husband was 8 years old at the time), and the ensuing disbelief and eventual chaos is priceless. Some may think it’s extreme, but I do not.

You see, my mother quit once, while we were in high school. She didn’t even tell us herself. My stepfather announced that mom was going to stay in a hotel for a few days, and that we were to keep the house running and think about ways to appreciate the things she does for us after we’d done them ourselves for a while. I remember thinking, “That’s odd… but OK. I get it.” It takes that kind of removal for this kind of learning and transformation to take place.

On to the article…AFTER I say that I am fully behind the abolition of the phrases “helping out around the house” and “babysitting the kids” when referring to members of one’s own immediate family. It’s called BEING A FAMILY. That’s our job. That’s what we do.

Why Moms Should Quit

A few weeks ago, in the middle of what I now refer to as my “On the Couch” period, I gave my younger son a list. I don’t remember what exactly was on it, but I clearly recall his response. His expression said he was about to protest. He opened his mouth, closed it again, thought for a moment, then said: “All this is the stuff you usually do around here but I don’t notice, right?”

It took my breaking two ankles and spending two months off my feet to hear those words. By the time I started hobbling last week, Alex had become an ace at many of the things he once assumed just happened. A high price, but what a reward.

Mel Robbins, a nationally syndicated radio advice host, and author of the upcoming book “Stop Saying You’re Fine,” proposes a far less painful means to the same end. Well, less painful for Mom. In a guest post today she suggests that this Sunday is the perfect moment to put her plan in place.

(And, for a bonus, Ms. Robbins took a video camera around her office for Motherlode and asked co-workers what they want for Mother’s Day. Their answers, below, might serve as a guide for children and spouses who might still be trying to think of a gift.)

Side note: I am kicking myself for not getting out of my sickbed to watch this video yesterday. It has since been removed, to my eternal dismay. Mel, I will hunt you down!

By Mel Robbins 

Ladies, it’s quittin’ time. Since when is a year’s worth of laundry worth a store-bought bouquet of flowers? And three hundred dinners prepared rates only a breakfast in bed? Yes, your husband and kids are fantastic and you love them madly, but we deserve more – we deserve help!

This Mother’s Day, don’t stop at taking the day off. Just quit. That’s what two women in my life did… Read more

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