KALIS: Move over Olympic athletes, make way for moms

Jul 17, 2012


Who wouldn’t want to watch several moms battling it out in the 400-meter baby carrier vacuum push, with babies strapped to the front of them and vacuums set on high plush?

What about a 50-meter underwater swim; each mom with a kid clinging to their back?

A synchronized jog-stroller routine might be entertaining, or how about an obstacle course where each mom had to hide a vegetable in a kid’s meal, apply a Band-Aid, read a book and put their kid to bed? The clincher being that the kid has to stay in bed for at least five minutes or the mom has to start over.

Seriously though, when my kids were babies, I was astounded at the things I was able to do while holding a baby on my hip. I could button my pants one-handed, make a sandwich, fold a shirt, sweep the floor and somehow get a ponytail holder in my hair. If you think about it, it’s pretty amazing. I’d like to see Michael Phelps turn a full shopping cart with one hand!

Sure, the Olympic athletes are truly incredible at what they do, but moms around the world are performing incredible feats on a daily basis as well. I mean, what’s harder? Jumping as far as you can, or putting a screaming toddler with an arched back and flailing limbs into a five-point car seat? What takes more focus? The balance beam, or trying to finish an important phone call while your inconsolable baby is having a crying fit in your ear?

Oh, Justin Gatlin is fast, but how fast can he find a binky in a jammed-packed diaper bag, or put sunscreen on a child running full tilt toward the water?

When you’re a mom, every day is a new challenge and we work hard to be up to the task. It’s no different than any of the Olympic athletes out there. It takes patience, discipline and perseverance.

We are up in the wee hours of the morning honing our skills, preparing for the day ahead. We go until our muscles are tired and exhaustion sets in. And the next day, we do it all again.

Yet there has never been a mom on the front of a Wheaties box or on the cover of Sports Illustrated. There are no medals given out to moms, although there should be (think about potty training alone).

No, we are rewarded in far better ways — with sticky kisses, bear hugs, bouquets of dandelions and pictures drawn with tiny hands.
Even though my kids are older now, there are still some days that I marvel at my accomplishments. When I finally collapse on the couch, I wonder how in the world I just got my kids from point A to point B (and sometimes points C, D and E!), each well-fed, on time, and with everything they needed. Wow, I think, have I ever put in a full day!

That’s usually about the time when I remember I still have to pick them up. I will myself off of the couch — knowing that later I may not have a medal wrapped around my neck, but I’ll have my kids’ arms instead. And those goodnight kisses are worth every bit of it, and truly all I need.

Although I’m quite positive I could kick some serious butt in a car-pooling road rally.

Editor's note: Kelly Kalis is one of our new community columnists. Her columns will appear on the Tribune's Opinion page on the third Tuesday of each month.


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