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Hats Off {and On}



Every mother needs more than one closet.

Some mothers are gifted such a luxury. Even those who don’t deserve one.

Not for extra clothes and shoes, mind you. Not for changing out wardrobes for each season. Not for storing the skinny jeans and tiny-tees you’re convinced one day after starvation and 1,000 power yoga classes you’ll fit back into.


Another closet for a much more significant purpose: to hold the many hats — the insane number of hats that every mother inevitably owns and repeatedly wears.

Like every other mother I know, my hats are many.

Motherhood is like Albania — you can’t trust the descriptions in the books, you have to go there.” –Marni Jackson

Some are entirely predictable and I know when I’m wearing them: cook, chauffeur, nurse. Some are a bit more elusive, a bit less defined, and I’m switching them so fast I can barely keep up — when my “job” for the day is to scrub the cat vomit off the laminate, water any plants with droopy leaves, pick up Samm’’s ear medication at the vet, update our digital family scrapbook, pack away Anna’s winter clothes for Maddie and put Maddie’s into donation bags, squeeze in a trip to Wal-Mart for school snacks, milk, and eggs, and get both girls to their respective extra-curriculars on time and in the right uniforms.

Maybe instead of a closet for my hats, I need additional heads.

Being so many things on so many different occasions for so many different people and furry animals and vegetation gives me a steadily growing appreciation for not just other moms, but my mom.

My mother is one of those superwoman women who has spent the majority of my life doing all the many things any mother is required to do and then some and with miraculous determination putting in 40+ hours a week in a high-stress federal administrative position. I could not respect or admire her more.

If the whole world were put into one scale, and my mother in the other, the whole world would kick the beam.” — Lord Langdale

Part of her job involves sifting applications from all those folks (like my own husband just one year ago) looking for the job security and incredible benefits of being on government payroll. She even takes part in writing the descriptions for various positions, which leaves me wondering what exactly my job description would/should be.

I could fancy it up . . . computer operator, facilities planner, hair stylist, finance manager, first-aid provider, personal shopper, household organizer, and executive assistant, etc., etc.

But as I was filling the bathtub with “not too hot water and bubbles” for the girls tonight, I had an epiphany. I am “The Keeper of the Towels.” No one in this household will ever step out of a shower or bubble bath and reach for a towel that isn’t there. (OK, actually that’s not true. At least twice that I know of, Will has reached for a towel only to find an empty hook, but said towel was in the dryer and I got sidetracked fixing school lunches . . . I digress.)

My point, albeit not very well made, is that I’m responsible for a whole lot of little things that don’t seem to be worth a whole lot while I’m busy doing them.

But, let me remind you, a clean towel is priceless when you’re dripping wet and the bathroom is drafty. And, if I had to guess, I think heaven will feel a little bit like wrapping your squeaky clean body in soft, April Fresh Downy-scented cotton. It will feel like somebody cared enough to think about what you need to feel comfortable, safe, and warm. It will feel like home.

So, this is why I do what I do. Why I love it, why it makes a difference and why no job description comes close to nailing it.

For me or any other amazing, everyday, and I mean EVERY-day mom.

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Kathryn Adams is a full-time wife, mom, and lover of Jesus. She is a part-time writer, administrative assistant, and aficionado of coffee and cheap wine. She believes the world is a better place when the beds are made. You can find her from time to time at A Bold Grace.

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Hats Off {and On}

by Kathryn Adams time to read: 3 min