Sure, Mom was there to carry us around for nine months and bring us out into the world, but does she really have to be there all the time? Does she have to stick around for the next couple of decades while we go about living life as teens, as adults? Here’s a comprehensive guide to getting through each day without Mom:
WHAT MOM DOES: OUTLINING THE TASKS AT HAND
First we need to set clear definitions of the things Mom does at home so that we can have a vivid picture of what we should be doing for ourselves when she’s not around. If we move out of the house, for example, and she doesn’t get to tag along, then at least we’ll have an idea what kind of things we should expect to be doing for the entire duration of our time away. Or if it’s the other way around, and she’s the one who moves out of the house (or out of the country), then at least the To Do list won’t come as much of a shock.
Aside from taking care of the kids, helping with homework, feeding the pets, cleaning the house, washing the clothes, answering phone calls, and being emotionally present for everyone else other than herself, Mom does virtually nothing else. Simple, right? Nothing we can’t do for ourselves.
LIFE WITHOUT MOM: A STEP-BY-STEP GUIDE
Below are some very easy tips and tricks to help you along the day without Mom from the very moment you wake up until the time you go to bed:
Step 1: Waking up. Unless you have a separate bedroom, you’ll have gotten used to waking up with Mom right beside you. But since she’s not there, then that only means you’ve got the entire space to yourself. Awesome, right? The moment your eyes open you can spend the next 30 minutes tossing and turning and rolling across the bed trying to get rid of that lingering drowsy feeling without having to worry about rolling over or hitting anyone in the process.
Step 2: Breakfast. Since Mom’s not there, don’t expect anyone to wake you up for breakfast. Don’t get your hopes up by fantasizing about the smell of bacon and eggs or pancakes in the morning. Sure you can toss and turn all you want, but remember, there’s still some cooking to do afterwards. If you wake up late — which, by following Step 1 above, you are more likely to do — then of course breakfast will come even later. So try to train your stomach to get used to the brief hour of hunger before you can eat anything substantially nutritious.
Step 3: Getting ready for school / work. If you catch yourself in a hurry trying to get all your stuff together, then you should have thought of that and prepared them all the night before. Don’t expect anyone to remind you that you’ve forgotten to bring your lunch, or any kind of food for that matter. Also, before you leave, face the mirror and give yourself some inspiring words like “You can do it” or “Make good today” to help you along.
Step 4: On the go. Given that you haven’t forgotten to bring your cellphone along with you, don’t expect any text messages from Mom throughout the course of the day. The same thing is true in reverse. You can pretend to text Mom and tell her about the events and activities of your day as they happen, but let’s face the truth: She’s never going to get them. Now would be a good time to practice self-talk. Contrary to common belief, talking to oneself is actually a healthy exercise.
Step 5: Groceries. I know, Mom was always the one who bought the groceries. Sure, you had tried to chip in and pay every once in a while, or carry the bags after you’ve gone through the checkout counter, but the real job is getting stuff to put inside that cart. If you hadn’t already made a list of the things you’re going to need at home, which is exactly what Mom would have done, then try to do it mentally instead. Remember to always include fruits and vegetables (because Mom says they’re good for you), bread (for when you’re too lazy to cook breakfast after tossing and turning in bed), milk (Mom says it’s good too), toothpaste (don’t forget to brush your teeth before you sleep), soap (take a bath every day even when you’re not told), and some other things you might need. You can go ahead and put in some junk food or cans of soda or tons of candy, but remember, Mom’s not going to be there when you get sick from eating them all.
Step 6: Dinner. So you’re tired after a day’s work and you know there’s nothing in the fridge waiting for you when you get home, and Mom’s not gonna be there either to greet you with a steaming bowl of hot soup and a warm, home-cooked meal. What should you have for dinner, then? Here are four options to choose from: (1) Order take-out. Go to the nearest fastfood drive-thru and get yourself a speedy combo of burger and fries, (2) Drive home without making any stops and snack on what’s available — biscuits, bread, or whatever you have in stock, (3) Drive home without making any stops and open the first can of Spam you see, and (4) Drive home without making any stops and make a healthy dinner nonetheless. It should only take at least an hour and a half more until you can eat if you pick the last option.
Step 7: Getting home. Face the truth: Nobody’s going to open that door for you and welcome you with a warm hug. So get your keys ready when you’re nearing the house. If you’ve forgotten to bring the keys because Mom wasn’t there to remind you before you left, then that’s a whole other problem which we aren’t going to address here. When you get home and open the door, it’s going to be pretty dark inside the house. No noise or chatter will be bothering you, except the occasional hum of the fridge. Turn on the lights and put the keys in their usual place, put your bag where it ought to be, and lock all doors. At this point, that self-talk could come in handy again. If you’re not too tired you can watch a movie or your favorite TV show, or you can go online and see what your other friends are doing with their family. If you are too tired, you can just crash in the bed (or the couch), give yourself some affirming statements like, “You did well today” and “I’m glad you got home safe” and pray before you go off to dreamland.
Step 8: Chores. You can do chores on the weekends, since nobody’s going to be nagging you about cleaning the house everyday. If you want you can have at it every once in a while, picking up things on the floor that shouldn’t be there. If you want to have a little fun while washing your clothes, you could try splashing some water on yourself and pretend that you’re having a little water fight with Mom. When cleaning the windows, try wiping them with a damp cloth for two or three rounds before you stop — that’s the way mothers usually go about that job. Arranging things is another story. Make sure everything is in its proper place, and if you should stack some things together see to it that they fit perfectly, as in a puzzle.
Step 9: Activities in between. Here are some things you could do by yourself without Mom and still have a great time:
- Watch your favorite TV show. Laugh and cry alone.
- Gain a new skill. Play the piano. And then congratulate yourself.
- Write a poem or an essay, read it to yourself, and celebrate a job well done.
- Go to the mall and buy anything except clothes because you’re more likely to pick ill-fitting and unflattering ones.
- Go to the movies and always be on guard for strangers who might sit beside you and be creepy.
- Go to church, sit with strangers, and act like you’re with such interesting and cheerful company.
- Apply for a new job yourself.
- Quit your old job yourself.
- Talk to yourself (I cannot stress this enough).
- If you’re happy: Thank God. Laugh and jump and shout and talk to yourself about it.
- If you’re excited: Thank God. Laugh and jump and shout and talk to yourself about it.
- If you’re shocked: Spend a moment of silence and later talk to yourself about it.
- If you’re dumbfounded: Spend a moment of silence and later talk to yourself about it.
- If you’re worried: Pray and talk to God and yourself about it.
- If you’re disheartened: Pray and talk to God and yourself about it.
- If you’re lonely: Pray, pick a corner in your room, and cry your eyes out.
- If you’re sad: Pray, pick a corner in your room, and cry your eyes out.
- If you’re angry: Talk to yourself or pretend to talk to the person at whom your rage is directed, and smash a few things here and there.
- For every other emotion in between: Act the way you normally would; just make sure no one sees you so they won’t think you’re stupid for laughing or jumping or shouting or staring blankly or talking, alone.
In a nutshell, that’s basically everything you need to get you started living without Mom. The steps are very simple, and can even be perfected with adequate practice.
THE BOTTOM LINE
Life sucks without you. Thank you for being present, even when you’re far away.
Happy Mother’s Day!