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.
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!
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