We all applaud those wonderful people who stand by their mates when times are tough. “In sickness and in health” is not a joke. The caregivers of the world and  faithful family members who never fail at hospital visits and nursing home vigils are truly heroic. 

I, however, want to salute all of you out there who commit to tiny heroics every single day. It takes love and dedication to put up with the slobs and the shlubs in our families. Mothers do things without thinking that many would shudder at. It isn’t just moms who deserve a high five, but let’s face it—being a mother requires a lot of “above and beyond” kind of stuff. 

For instance, a young mother I know recently asked her Facebook friends if any of them knew any handy remedies for removing the smell of urine from bathroom drywall. Apparently, her young sons are rowdy urinators. I feel for this woman. I have a similar problem with a husband who has never learned to turn just his head while engaged in the same activity. 

Mothers never stop having to be mothers. What mother of adult kids has never had to field a late night phone call about lost love? Adult children never seem to learn how to stand entirely on their own two feet, as long as there is a mother somewhere in the wings that they can call. I remember asking my own mother what to do about spaghetti stains, when I had a perfectly good internet connection. 

Wives are also in the firing line. I could give out a few medals to spouses of men who tend to have one good joke that they pull out for every single social occasion. For at least twenty years, I have been pretending to laugh about the short man who goes into the bar. And good grief, I could write a book about snoring. 

There are just way too many television options out there today. I now spend about twenty minutes each evening, patiently waiting while my husband clicks through all of them before deciding what to watch.  Some of my friends report that due to the zillions of shows available these days, their mates find it hard to watch just one at a time. My friends have to adjust to keeping track of multiple plot lines, as their spouses click around frantically trying not to miss anything. We deserve recognition for this. 

Today’s wives and mothers have the same problems that have faced women over the millennia, but we have the additional burden of trying to save the planet along with everything else. My mother just bought things. She didn’t have to worry about the packaging being toxic to ducks, or that the errands she was running in the station wagon were inflicting damage to the ozone layer. She didn’t worry that the clerks in the drug store were having their rights abrogated. Geez. 

Am I a little grumpy today? Yes, indeed. I just discovered that my husband has some sort of ear infection, and he needs for me to put drops in his ears twice daily. I have to try to get the coffee stains out of my best shirt without using hot water in the washer. The eggs that are on sale are probably from caged chickens, and my daughter has left a message on my machine wondering if I would please search the attic for her old Malibu Barbie. 

To all of you out there with a to-do list, a hope for the future, and  smelly bathrooms, I salute you. Keep calm and carry on!

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