Although the recent Olympic games were exciting, I believe there are far more impressive performances occurring every day by women who run a home and raise a family. I’d like to see our Olympic athletes compete in the following events:

The Grocery Store Marathon

In 45 minutes you must steer a grocery cart with three wayward wheels, an 11-month-old baby and a 3-year old toddler through the 23 aisles of a major grocery store chain without destroying a single display, bringing injury to innocent shoppers or purchasing a single toy. You must arrive at the check-out with all snacks and junk food unopened and both children contented. This event is impossible, but you must give mothers a pat on the back for continuing to try it.

The Birthday Decathlon

In this event you must host a children’s birthday party, unassisted. You invite 11 children, 15 arrive with eight mothers who want to stay and watch you make a fool of yourself. You must find three games to play at which all of the children can win prizes. Five minutes after the party begins, 12 children want a drink of punch and all 15 want to go to the bathroom. You serve refreshments. No one likes the cake. They all want to eat the candles, which the guest of honor has already eaten.

One mother remarks how lucky you are that your carpet and the ice cream are the same color. To win this event, everyone must still be speaking when they leave your house and the damages must be under $500. Tough, but there have been a few reported winners. 

The Morning Triathlon: The Shoe Hunt, The Sock Match-Up and The Hair Wars

This next event occurs daily in millions of home across America. It accounts for elevated blood pressures in mothers and premature gray hair. I also suspect it is the cause of cellulite, but there is no firm data on that one yet. 

In the Shoe Hunt, mothers must secure matching shoes and socks for all children in residence. In between preparing breakfast for the family, packing lunches for the day and dressing herself, she must conduct a search for shoes that may include the entire house, garage, backyard, and occasionally a neighboring home. 

The Sock Match-Up is a rigorous contest consisting of an excavation of all dresser drawers, clothes hampers, and sometimes the dog’s bed for two socks of any color and style that match.

The Hair Wars … Was there ever a mother who did not wish to be able to see the eyes of her teen child? Can strands of hair more than 6 inches long still be called bangs? Looking at teens today, I am greatly relieved that in addition to watching my daughter leave the house with that oh-so-popular bedhead look that I did not have to see it in shades of pink, purple or green. 

So, Moms, here’s to us. We may not earn a gold medal in the Olympics, or even the appreciation of those children we are trying so hard to make presentable. Just remember that you are not standing or begging alone – we are all right beside you, chasing the impossible dream.

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