Mothers are appreciated for many reasons: our nurturing tendencies, our ability to multi-task with multiple children, our quick reaction time for when they vomit in the car, the fact that we can problem-solve when our kid poops in the bathtub… But what often goes unnoticed is our stealth.Seriously, we’ve got incredible stealth. Here are just a few examples:
1. The Sneaky Chef: We sneak vegetables into our kids’ foods.
Any good mom understands the importance of eating fruits and veggies; unfortunately, some kids don’t get it, or they just don’t care. After all, they feel invincible. So, many moms have devised great — and often covert — ways of “adding” veggies to their children’s foods. Strategies range from pureeing them into a pasta sauce to blending them in a smoothie. There are even cookbooks that offer tips. It was only until recently that my boys learned that spinach was the reason why their “mean green” smoothies were green.
2. The Sneaky Room Invader: We check on our children without them knowing.
New moms quickly learn stealth maneuvering skills. I have yet to meet a new mom who hasn’t at least once checked on her sleeping baby to make sure he/she is still breathing. The art is being able to sneak into the dark room, lower the ear to the child’s chest, confirm the breathing, and sneak out…without waking the child. One time I held my hand a breath away from my son’s face just to make sure I could feel his breath. When he sneezed and woke up, I knew I’d have to improve my stealth skills.
3. The Sneaky Teacher: We help with homework even if we might not be “helping.”
There may come a point when your children are learning things in school that you either forgot or never truly got. Of course, sometimes we don’t want them to know that we don’t know the answer, so we act like we know…and we do our best. The moment my son told me that his teacher marked wrong one of the math word problems I had helped him with, I realized that he would soon figure out that his mother, despite all my talking and encouraging and calculations, may not always have the right answers.
4. The Sneaky Actress: We act like everything’s fine, when it’s not.
Moms need to shelter and protect their young children from the harsh realities of this world. This can include our emotions in some situations. For example, when a bungee cord hook was snapped and stabbed my 5-year-old son in his eyeball, my first desired emotion: to hysterically freak out and run away. Of course, instead I heard myself saying, “Don’t worry. Everything will be fine. The blood isn’t coming from your eyeball…it’s from…um,…a scratch.” Somehow I managed to hide my sobs and control my shakiness as I drove him to the hospital. I’m pretty sure I deserved the Oscar that day.
5. The Sneaky Thief: We sneak our kids’ food.
Some of us moms like to “borrow” from our kids’ plate. This is especially true when we’re at a restaurant and it looks like the child is finished, and we sneak that French fry. We don’t want the entire box of fries – otherwise, we would have ordered it for ourselves. We just want a taste…or two. Halloween candy is my weakness.
6. The Sneaky Helper: We help the Tooth Fairy.
Mothers are very helpful. In fact, we like to help the Tooth Fairy, even if it means “assisting” as much as possible. As my children age, they go to sleep later and sometimes it’s hard to know if they are, in fact, actually sleeping. The challenge is — for the Tooth Fairy, of course — how to sneak in, get the tooth from underneath the child’s pillow, find the note, leave her own note, and exit without being caught. I do try to make her job easier by telling my kids to make sure their notes are prominently displayed and that their tooth might be more accessible if it was in an envelope taped to their door.
7. The Sneaky Maid: We make it seem like our house is clean 24 hours a day.
Anybody with young kids will tell you that they like to make a mess. And sometimes, before that mess is cleaned, there is the occasional visitor who unexpectedly drops by. Even in the one minute it takes for us to run from the family room to the front door, most of us are good at throwing the bowl into the sink or covering a mound of laundry with a towel before answering the door. Of course, when we have adequate notice and clean our entire house before the guest arrives, and we hear the question, “Wow, your house is so clean…is it always like this?” some of us just have to smile and say, “Well, we try our best.”
Motherhood is filled with all kinds of emotions, experiences, and adventures…some good, some not so much. But at the end of the day, sometimes you just have to laugh at how serious we take it…even if you have to laugh in secret.