laura packardIt happens every year.


            And for the life of me, I just can’t figure out why.  Whenever they come out with the “Top Ten Most Dangerous Jobs List” every year, it always leaves me wondering who “they” actually are and what type of qualifications “they” possess to come up with the list in the first place.

            They certainly haven’t stared down fear as they look into their own tired eyes through the bathroom mirror while cleaning their kid’s projectile vomit from their face, arms, and legs, knowing it will be a mere 24 hours before they’ll be right back in the bathroom, but this time lying on the cool tile floor, sick as a dog, in between the toilet and the sink.

           Have they ever changed a diaper on a freeway or ripped open 17 juice boxes and served 40 snacks from the front seat without a seatbelt, extra napkins, or a “thank you” or a “please”?

            Have they ever been hit in the head with a baseball, a Frisbee, a half-dressed Polly Pocket doll, and a fat piece of orange sidewalk chalk – all at the same time – simply trying to navigate their way, in peace, from the driveway to the mailbox for their People magazine?

            No.  I don’t think so.  If they had, Motherhood would make the Top Ten List every stinking time.

            What I do find fascinating about these lists y’all – besides the fact that whoever makes them probably sits around and watches “Deadliest Catch” and “Ice Road Truckers” all day – is how a mother’s job is similar to every single one of these dangerous occupations. It’s actually uncanny. 

            Let’s take a look at a few, shall we?

            Garbage Collector:If your job is to hang off the back of a three ton truck barreling down the road at 60 mph, it’s probably pretty dicey, wondering if you’ll fall off and all.  But if you’ve ever emptied a stuffed dirty diaper bail on an empty stomach and 3 hours sleep, chances of fainting, then tumbling down the stairs and hitting your head on a remote control airplane are greater than, or at least equal to, plummeting off a garbage truck and into the street.

            Wild Animal Tamer:No one wants to tussle with a hungry crocodile; I’ll be the first to admit that.  But y’all can’t tell me wrestling a 50-pound, over-sugared, over-tired toddler out of the pool at lunch time doesn’t require a lot of skill. Please. Not to mention, I have seen moms do it with a baby on their hip, designer sunglasses atop their head, and a full glass of iced tea in their hand – without even one spill. 

            Truck Driver/Taxi Driver/Chauffeur:This one to me is a no-brainer.  Especially, since we share the same roads with them anyways.  But truck drivers, well, they’re cruising solo, for MONEY, in the safety of an air-conditioned cab way up high out of reach of paper airplanes and empty goldfish pouches.  And if they’re taxi drivers or chauffeurs, they have the privilege of rolling up the window partition thingy that separates them from their passengers, or can at least kick them out for being rude and yelling at the top of their lungs “please, pull over, I have to PEE! PEE!  PEE!” or “Stop touching me!” over and over and over again while you just trying to make it a few miles down the street.

            Fisherman:I have no doubt that’s a scary job, being out on a small boat in the middle of a vast sea.  But how about being alone with a preteen or teenager after school sitting around the kitchen table?

            Mom: How was your day?

            Kid: Good.

            Mom: What did you do in school?

            Kid: Nothing.

            Mom: So how did you do on the science test?

            Kid: Can we stop talking now.  It’s exhausting and “Deadliest Catch” is on.

            I know fisherman put their lives in danger every day so we can eat, but at least they get something on their line every now and then.  Moms fish all day, every day, and rarely reel in anything but an empty table five minutes after dinnertime, a stack of dirty dishes, and eight loads of smelly laundry.

            So, now do you see what I’m talking about?  Being a mother is one of the toughest, most thankless, most mind-boggling and exhausting occupations out there.

            Moms are the unsung heroes, the battered and the bruised, the very ones who take a licking and keep on kicking.  They are the soldiers that keep marching on.

            But if you ask anyone of them, they’d probably all tell you the same thing.  They wouldn’t trade their job for anything in the world.

            Happy Moms Day, ladies!  I know it’s a tough job, but someone has to do it.  Actually, literally, the whole world does, or we would cease to exist as a species . . .

            So pamper yourself every once and awhile and keep on keeping on. 

            See you in the trenches.