Mom’s Voice: In the Ring

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To-Do-ListIf my life were a comic strip, I would be in a boxing ring. Except there would be two of me.

The ring announcer would introduce us both:

Ladieeeees annnnd gentlemen, welcome to the Main Event! In this corner, weighing in about laundry not put away, garbage not taken out, and errands not done – undefeated in every fight for the last 16 years, current world champeeeeeen, Jill Never-Done-With Her-To-Do-List Fales!

And, in this corner, weighing in on all topics that are completed and totally finished, the contender, never having won a fight in her life – Jill All-Done-Guilt-Freeeeeeee Fales!

In the next section of the comic strip, the bell is rung and Jill All-Done-Guilt-Free Fales and Jill Never-Done-With-Her-To-Do-List Fales come to the center of the ring ready to fight.

Next, we see that Jill All-Done-Guilt-Free has been knocked out. She is lying flat on the mat, stars circling her head, her eyes, two X’s. Jill Never-Done remains the undefeated champion.

And so it goes, I think for all moms. The part of us that is consumed with all the tasks that aren’t done is constantly beating up on the part of us that is always in motion, doing stuff – mainly for others.

I haven’t read to Wyatt aloud in bed in weeks – oooh, a punch to the gut.

I still need to give the dogs a bath – left hook.

Dishwasher needs emptying, orthodontist appointment still not scheduled, those emails haven’t been answered – uppercut, jab, right hook.

It’s little wonder why at the end of the day, moms sometimes feel beaten down.

Of course there’s not actually a physical fight going on, just the mental blows Jill Never-Done serves throughout the day and into the night. The boxing ring moves with the fighter. Even into bed. Sometimes as Jill All-Done-Guilt-Free tries falling asleep, she’s still taking jabs late into the night.

Can the underdog hope for a championship? I think so, but it’ll take a lot of training. First, moms need to learn to defend themselves, deflect the cheap blows. Next, they need to fight back. Here’s a move rarely used, but not difficult: “I’m proud of the dinner I made.”

Take that square in the jaw, Jill Never-Done Fales.

Or how about this one: “I got everyone fed this morning (including the dogs and guinea pig), made their lunches and got them to school on time.”

Round one goes to Jill All-Done-Guilt Free Fales.

If Jill All-Done is ever going to defeat Jill Never-Done, she’s got to get tough. First step – conditioning. Become strong by celebrating small victories. Got the car washed and went to the bank – Left hook, right hook.

Jill Fales is the mother of four and author of My Laundry Museum & Other Messy Gifts of Motherhood. Follow her on Twitter @JillFales.

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