Think about any profession or business. Chances are, much of the real work gets done when there’s no one else around to see. Grocery stores do most of their stocking after hours. Teachers do their grading and lesson prep after students go home. Doctors conduct research and scrutinize test results before the sun comes up; musicians practice their instruments long after the sun goes down. As a financial advisor, I often build financial plans and study investment analysis after my office is locked up for the night.
In the pursuit of excellence, most of the heavy lifting goes on "behind the scenes." But since we don’t see it, we often don’t think about it – and thus, we fail to appreciate it.
Lately, I’ve been thinking about all the work that goes on "behind the scenes" to make society function. It made me realize something: We don’t appreciate our mothers enough. Truly, we don’t! Because no one works harder "behind the scenes" than mothers.
Don’t get me wrong – almost everyone loves their mom. And it’s not like motherhood in general goes unnoticed. That’s why we celebrate Mother’s Day, after all! But so much of what moms do takes place when we’re not looking. For example, let’s imagine all the things our moms were doing when we weren’t around to see, because we were at school, at practice, or in bed. I bet the list would look something like this:
Wake up before everyone else.
Organize family schedule for the day
Work her day job/run her own business
Clean out refrigerator
Go grocery shopping
Put away groceries
And that’s just morning through early afternoon!
Figure out how to get us to our doctor/dentist/orthodontist appointment on time
Figure out how to get us to our soccer/dance/gymnastics/band practice on time
Meet with PTA/coordinate fund-raising for our band/team/dance squad
Get dinner started
Wash laundry.Fold laundry.Spend an hour trying to match each pair of socks.
Help with homework
Lay out clothes/uniforms for tomorrow
do anything we were supposed to do but didn’t
Study for her degree
Get everything ready for tomorrow
Of course, this doesn’t even describe half of what moms do behind the scenes. In all likelihood, our moms also spent each day:
Wiping down kitchen counters. Making beds. Paying bills. Signing medical documents, permission slips, and registration forms. Planning family vacations/fun activities for us. Breaking up fights. Reminding us to be polite. Loading the dishwasher. Unloading the dishwasher. Researching new recipes. Reading books on how to be an even better mom even though she was already perfect. Tearing the house apart to find that one missing book of ours that was due back at the library yesterday. Feeding/walking/washing pets. Clipping coupons. Wondering if she was a good enough mom. Organizing playdates and birthday parties. Learning new skills. Saving every spare dollar for Christmas. Turning off every light we left on. Writing thank you notes. Remembering every food preference, allergy, and intolerance.
And of course, worrying, worrying, worrying, worrying. About us.
That’s what moms do. All after hours when we’re sleeping soundly in bed. All behind the scenes when we’re not there – or simply not paying attention.
The next time you go somewhere take a moment to think about everything going on behind the scenes. I bet it will make you even more appreciative of how hard people work even when we can’t see it. And for this Mother’s Day, take a moment to think about everything your mom did behind the scenes, too. Because when we do that, we realize how much mothers do for us, even when we don’t notice or appreciate it.
When we do that, we realize what true love really is.
On behalf of everyone at, Guilford Financial Group, Inc., we wish you a very happy Mother's Day!
1 “Mothers Day Behind the scenes”, BMG. Matthew Bailey, www.billgood.com