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The Mommy Rhythm

It’s what makes you, unconsciously, rock back and forth, shifting your weight from one foot to the other, cradling your little baby, while waiting in the one out of 32 currently open grocery store lanes.  

It’s what lets you ease your minivan onto the highway at the precise merging speed while refereeing a third row seat argument, holding the bucket for the barfing kid and calling the doctor’s office to let them know you’re running late for your appointment because Johnny chose this morning to see what would happen if he held a jar of strawberry jam over his head without tightening the lid.

It’s what makes you pick up the phone and call the Bus Stop Mommy up the road to learn she’s having the worst morning of her life. And you’re just who she needed to talk to

It’s what makes your phone ring when you’re having the worst morning of your life to find, on the other end, the exact Bus Stop Mommy friend you needed to hear from.

It’s what wakes you up at 2:30 a.m. to make sure all the doors are locked, recycling bin is at the curb, garage door down, lights turned off and kids are still breathing.

It’s what keeps you, unconsciously, rocking back and forth, shifting your weight from one foot to the other, cradling your 12 pack of double roll Charmin, while waiting in the one out of 32 currently open grocery store lanes.   Long after your “baby” is too big to be held anymore.

It’s what finds you spontaneously standing side by side, in your friend’s kitchen sink, cleaning her window and horizontal wood blinds.  Without words, one of you takes the left side and the other, the right.  And you hand each other a fresh paper towel at the exact moment she needs one.

It’s what puts a phone between your shoulder and ear, baby on one hip and grocery sack on the other while you shut the door behind the incoming dogs with your foot.

It’s knowing where to find the one remaining unused band-aid in the house.

It’s handing a child her favorite pair of jeans before she makes it half way to the laundry room and finishes yelling, “MAWWWWWWM I’m going to DIE without — ”

It’s what keeps you rocking back and forth, shifting your weight from one foot to the other, cradling your 12 pack of double roll Charmin and  box of Chardonnay, while waiting in the one out of 32 currently open grocery store lanes.  Long after your “baby” started middle school.  And high school.  And college.

It’s what keeps you doing this Mommy Thing.  And doing it really, really well.

It–is The Mommy Rhythm.


Karen Rinehart's columns appear Sundays in the Independent Tribune. Her website is KarenJRinehart.com.


  • Karen Lynn Ford

    Thanks, Karen. Made me smile, get a little misty, and feel all mommy-ish.