Saturday, January 19, 2013

Super Mom - The Expats

This post was inspired by mystery thriller novel The Expats by Chris Pavone. Kate Moore happily sheds her old life to become a stay at home mom when her husband takes a job in Europe. As she attempts to reinvent herself, she ends up chasing her evasive husband's secrets. Join From Left to Write on January 22 as we discuss The Expats. As a member, I received a copy of the book for review purposes.

I had a difficult time trying to think of what to write for my book club, From Left to Write. We don't review the actual book itself but write about something inspired by the book.

I finished the book a while ago and wondered what to write about as I didn't really enjoy the book. Don't get me wrong, the book was good, but when you read in bits and pieces like I do, it gets difficult to follow a book with so many twists and turns.

I racked my brain trying to think of something to write about and as I pondered various ideas I got to thinking about how the main character in the book, Kate Moore, is a mom. A mom with a secret identity that she keeps from her kids as well as her husband. She plans and plots and connives and her kids are none the wiser, she's always there to pick them up after school and play games with them and feed them.

It made me stop to realize just how many identities moms have, identities that their kids and many times their spouses know nothing about.

My mom for example. I used to go off to school and I never wondered what my mom did all day. I knew she did housework because our house was always clean and there was always food on the table, but what else did she do? To this day I still don't really know.

Just like my kids probably will never know exactly what I did. I wonder if my kids knew that while they were at school their mom was working as a bill collector. Calling debtors, fighting with them to get them to pay their financial obligations. I was threatened and had things thrown at me. Once a man threw a stapler that was on the counter at me (we learned not to leave anything on the counter that could be used as a weapon.) Luckily I was quick and ducked in time to avoid getting hit.

Their mom also spent many years meeting with families who had just lost a loved one in order to organize funeral arrangements. She also arranged flowers and photos in the viewing rooms and many times helped the embalmer to casket a body and helped the funeral director to load caskets into the hearse. She even drove the limo once for the family of prize fighter Jerry Quarry who once fought Muhammad Ali. 

There are also lots of other things that I did that I'm sure I never want my kids to find out about and some things that I really wish they knew about me. But what is amazing is that there are so many moms out there doing interesting and amazing things but to their kids, they are simply mom.

One thing that I always loved about working in funeral service was hearing kids give their memories and thoughts about their mother when putting together an obituary. Many times I would hear one of them say, "Really? I never knew that about mom."

Do you know what your mom did while you were in school? Was she a surgeon, an astronaut, a baker, a business woman? Did she write a book or invent a product we all know about?

Mom's are the unsung hero's of the world, except on Mother's Day of course!

17 comments:

  1. Moms definitely are unsung heroes! You're right--most kids don't know what mom does while they're away at school.

    By the time I was 8, my mom had 3 kids. She became a stay-at-home mom. What she did? Well, now that I have kids, I have a better idea. After the 4th was born, she also watched some of the neighborhood kids before and after school. She didn't share her hopes and dreams with us. She worked far harder than she would have in conventional employment (which returned later as we started getting older). Maybe I should ask her...

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    1. Maybe you should ask her. Maybe I should ask my mom. I know that even during the summer months when I was home I didn't pay attention to what she did all day. I went outside and rode my bike and played with the neighborhood kids.

      My mom was always very craftsy and sewed all our clothing and made quilts and did tons of other projects. Maybe this is what she did when we were gone? Who knows, but she was always there for us, that is for sure! Thanks for commenting Carrie!

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  2. My mom was home...a rarity in my circles today. I remember fondly all the things she did for me, especially as I raise my own children. Thanks for bringing those memories back to the surface today!

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    1. You're welcome Jennifer. You never know how tough a mother has it until you become one yourself!

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  3. After my mother died, I found photos of her when she was going with my father and they were first married. It was strange to see her so vibrant and full of life and love. I grieved that by the time I was old enough to understand the relationship between women and men, the loving couple in the photo was long gone.

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    1. That is sad, I wish they could always have remained that loving couple in the photo. But I am happy that you and your sweetheart have remained the loving couple, much like the photo you posted on your blog that you saw on the greeting card. Love like that is hard to find and even harder to hang on to. Thank you for commenting my friend!

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  4. Even though you struggled with the topic, you did a great job of tying it in. Like you, I used to wonder what my Mom could possibly have done all day at home. That is until I became a Mom myself! Over the years we hear more about how her life was tied together in different facets. She wore many hats and prepared me in more ways than she'll ever know. Her DIY attitude, long before it was popular, has shaped my life!

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    1. Thanks Alison, I did really try to think of something to be inspired about but the book just didn't grab me. Isn't it amazing how mother inspire us?

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  5. What fascinating jobs you've held. My 7 year old used to think I clean our apartment and wash her clothes while she was in school. HA! We've talked about the work I do and she understands a little bit better.

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    1. Thanks Kim! Funny when I was about your daughters age I thought the same thing about teachers. They didn't have lives, they just sat there all night waiting for me to come back to school the next day...lol.

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  6. That is fascinating! We always view our moms and "mom", and not always as a real person with a job and hopes and dreams. Thanks for challenging me to start that conversation with my mom, and learn more about who she was when we were little!

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    1. I try to get my mom to talk about things like that but she is so the opposite of me; I'll spill my guts about anything and everything and she is very private.

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  7. I was lucky to be able to spend a lot of time with my mom at work, and she shared pretty much everything that went on around the office with me - more than she shared with my dad sometimes. I was very clear on how hard it was for her to work all day - sometimes nights and weekends - and try to keep house and keep up with us, and it made me really appreciate her.

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    1. Well you know the old saying, "a man may work from sun to sun, but a woman's work is never done." Just watching our moms and what we ourselves do we can see why that saying is to perfect.

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  8. For the first few years of my life, my mom was in university. She studied archaeology, and even went on some digs! I would love to know more about what she did. I really need to ask her. Unfortunately things didn't quite work out for her passion, but I think just having the experience of an archaeological dig would be amazing.

    I wonder how my little one will see me when she gets a bit older. (Secretly I hope she sees me as an amazing, talented artist, hehe.)

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    1. Wow, now that is exciting! You definitely need to ask her more, that's great blog fodder.

      Be sure to share everything you can with your daughter so she will know the woman you were while raising her. Thanks for commenting.

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  9. Good angle for talking about The Expats! All I knew about my mom was that on Wednesdays, the house smelled like spaghetti and meatballs, and that she played tennis on some days. I don't know what she did the rest of the time I was in school, until she started working. Then, I knew she was at work all day, looking into people's ears and fitting them for hearing aids. She would sometimes come home with good stories about her patients.

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Please leave a comment.I would love to know your thoughts!