My Least Favorite (Unspoken) Duty


Okay, we all know that Moms have many unspoken duties that are not necessarily written into The Motherhood Contract. You ladies DID sign your Motherhood Contracts, right? Now we know some duties just come with the territory, like “Boo-Boo Kisser.” Every mom kisses boo-boos. And, then there’s the “Head-Holder-as-my Child-Pukes.” Another given. Of course, this job ceases when your teen comes home smashed after “it was just a party.” Uh-uh, that child is on his own then. And, when the kids are little, you are their “Teeth Brusher,” “Butt-Wiper,” and “Potty-Training Cheerleader.” Those are all built-in responsibilities of being a mom.

What I am talking about are ones you didn’t think about while you were basking in the glow of your first pregnancy. Like “Bug Killer.” It never dawned on me that I would have to smush every single bug that got near my toddler. The big bugs? Okay. I don’t mind smashing a giant roach that’s darting across the floor. That falls under sanitation and fear suppression. My toddler had such an aversion to ants, gnats, microscopic insects that only she could see, I began to feel guilty about all of the killing. I was sure I was upsetting the balance of nature.

Another duty I never thought of was “Sticker Scraper.” I don’t know why but the teachers in my children’s preschool gave out Dora the Explorer and Disney Princess stickers for the most minor accomplishment like shutting the door before going to the bathroom. Every morning when strapping my darling into her car seat, I would notice another sticker plastered to the window. Of course, by the time I got home that day, I had forgotten about the most recent sticker, and so they turned into a strange collage of girl heros, flowers with faces, and crown wearing women. One Saturday morning, it took me hours to scrap off the mural of characters. I used every product that promised easy removal of adhesive: Cooking oil, Goo-Gone, rubbing alcohol,… There was nothing easy about this. I finally resorted to a combination of Fantastic and razor blades. Unfortunately, when my son went through this stage with Skylander stickers, I could not use the same technique because he plastered them all over his new dresser. Needless to say, they are still there. So, no, I did not count on being a “Sticker Scraper” and yes, I am resentful.

I certainly am not fond of being the “Mystery Food Identifier,” primarily because my family is proficient at shoving Tupperware to the back of the fridge. It seems that every week I am pulling out some plastic tub, opening it up hoping not to catch some airborne disease, wiggling the tub trying to figure out what this mystery meat or veggie was: Pork or chicken? Hard to tell with the slime. Green beans or asparagus? Um, not sure what kind of mold goes with what kind of green vegetable. Monterary Jack or white chedder cheese? I guess it doesn’t matter since they all hit the garbage can anyway. It’s just an extra duty that makes me gag.

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