The Labor of Love That Is Motherhood

Mom’s the word.

Well, at least this week it is.

And pretty much every week if you have a preschooler.

“Mom. Mom? Mom! Mommy???  Mom!!! And, my personal favorite, “MomMomMomMomMomMomMomMomMomMOMMMMMMEEEEEE!”

(Keep breathing, kid.)

Moms all over the world will be celebrated Sunday with sappy greeting cards, overpriced flowers, social media tributes, and every imaginable type of chocolate. (If anybody asks, I favor Swiss. But since I doubt any of my offspring are flying to Zurich this weekend, I’ll happily settle for a box of Sno-Caps.)

Come Sunday, some moms will be blessed with brunch reservations (in states that have lifted COVID restrictions). Others, breakfast in bed. Some will be recipients of fine art. Others will get homemade-handprint-fingerpaint masterpieces (which they will cherish and preserve like an original Renoir). Some moms will get jewelry. Others, a cherry ring pop. Some will nearly faint at the gift of surprise visitors from farflung places (“Mom, I’m home!” will elicit sweet bliss from mamas whose birdies have flown the nest) or a brand new vacuum (personally, I think a new Hoover is a terrible idea, but I know a few moms who’d be genuinely overjoyed by strong suction and assorted attachments). Others will feign delight when they get a bottle of Eau de Toilette. Again. (Side note: At $90 an ounce, one chooses to say toilet water in French, so as not to feel swindled.)

And then there’s the crown jewel of Mother’s Day bounty. Only a few highly favored and fortunate mothers will be given this most elusive and indulgent gift:

P & Q.

As in:

Peace and Quiet.

A long-anticipated trip.

Or nap.

Or a leisurely stroll around Sam’s Club… sans kids. (Retail therapy, wild freedom, and samples of bison burgers and cinnamon waffles all rolled into one glorious outing. Practically a spa day… without the robe and slippers.)

The “mom job” is the veritable zenith of multi-tasking. It requires versatility, creativity, grace and grit. It entails wide-ranging responsibilities, ever-changing demands, gut-wrenching setbacks, grueling hours, and a vast and varied skillset. According to Business Insider, the “average” mom (as if there were such a person) works 94 hours per week and could command over $113,000 for her services in the marketplace. (I’ve been a mom for more than 27 years, so I’ll be issuing an invoice for a cool $3 mil. In my dreams.)

Here’s the reality of motherhood…

It’s actually (approximately) 28 jobs, including (but not limited to) the following:



Coach/referee/cheerleader (sometimes all in a period of sixty seconds).



Personal chef.

Program director.

Travel agent.

Tour guide/lifeguard/playground supervisor.

Scheduler. (And issuer of repeated reminders.)

Stylist/wardrobe consultant.

Laundress. (A ceaseless, stinkin’ dirty job. Can I get an amen from all the football/hockey/soccer moms out there?)

Teacher/tutor/academic advisor.



Project supervisor. (This particular job strikes fear in the hearts of fourth-grade moms everywhere.)

Driving instructor. (Sheer terror.)

Wendy Holtz
Wendy Holtz
Wendy Holtz is a Midwestern writer, teacher and speaker, mother of five, and exceedingly grateful recipient of God's grace. A self-described "reclusive extrovert," Wendy adores people and parties and the happy chaos she calls home, but frequently and desperately seeks the stillness, nearness, and fullness of God in and through scripture, nature and artistic endeavors. A graduate of the Medill School of Journalism at Northwestern University, Holtz worked in advertising before taking a 20-year mommy sabbatical to raise five extraordinary human beings (and do approximately 9,437 loads of laundry). Over the years, Holtz has taught a variety of Christian education classes and Bible studies, mentored some remarkable young women, and facilitated dozens of interactive marriage workshops with her husband and soulmate, Steve. Holtz is the author of Treasure Hunter: A Field Guide for 12 Spiritual Expeditions and the keynote speaker for Treasure Hunter retreats and day trip expeditions. In her writing and teaching, Holtz passionately conveys her mission and message, taken from Psalm 16: In God's presence, there is fullness of joy.  You can connect with her on Facebook, Instagram or Twitter... or read her blog here:

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