By the time 4 o'clock rolls around, a typical mother has answered tons of questions and made thousands of tiny little decisions. The one decision that could throw her off a cliff is that age-old question: What's for dinner?
I once saw an illustration of the wiring in a man's head and a woman's head. The man's head had a wire and a small box. They were able to remove one thing from the box and think about it and leave the rest of their thoughts in the box. The woman's brain had all this tangled circuitry with wiring so dense you couldn't find an end. Lights were flashing on and off, and number signs were counting down. There was a big flashing neon sign in the midst of all of it with one simple word on it: NO.
To give you an idea, here's a sampling of decisions that mothers must make every day:
Do I get out of bed as I should, or play sick?
Should I just spray air freshener on Stephanie's gym clothes, fold them, then pretend I actually washed them?
Library books are due. Should I try to return them today, or just pay the late fines?
Should I try to get to the store before everyone gets up to buy milk, or just sneak in dry milk?
Should I punish Alvin for not finishing his book report, or help him with it?
Should I come right out and ask my husband if he still loves me like he did when we got married, or assume that he would tell me if he didn't?
Do I go see about that odor in the basement, or pretend I don't smell it?
Should we buy a new car, or keep limping this one along?
Do I make the boys clean their room, or just do it for them and spare myself the drama?
Should I ask Penny how things are going with her boyfriend?
Am I a bad mother because we've had take-out two nights this week? Can we get by on just one more?
Should I eat this candy bar to hold me till the kids get dropped off at school?
Can I get away with lying about being busy, so I don't have to entertain my mother-in-law tonight?
These are the questions she asks herself before she's even opened her eyes.
The thoughts, questions, quandaries, and decision-making goes on all day long, every day, and sometimes don't quiet when she closes her eyes at night.
Now, I don't share this with you to enlighten you. I know the mothers live and fathers are probably fully aware. All of this is to share one little secret with you. After a day of answering questions like —
Why is the sky blue?
How many nickels are in an hour?
Why does Josh's navel stick out?
Where does chocolate milk come from?
What is a testicle?
Why is my hair blonde?
Should I go to the dance with Peter who asked me first or Sam with whom I'd rather go?
— the last thing she wants to answer is, "What's for dinner?" This universal daily question makes women everywhere want to crawl out of their skin, run away with the circus, jump off of a cliff, or pray for some terminal illness.
I don't know about other women, but I think it would be such a refreshing change to hear, "Mom, would you make some of that delicious tuna casserole I love so much?"
I would cook almost anything if someone would just make that decision for me. So, ladies, tell me if you agree. If you do, print this article and post it on the refrigerator. Who knows? Maybe it will be one less question and decision that you have to make each day.