World’s Toughest Job

few years ago, Mullen, an advertising agency, posted a “Director of Operations” job listing. This job required availability over 135 hours a week, knowledge in psychology, medicine, personal finance, culinary arts, and transportation, but no salary, no medical benefits, and no appreciation.

About two billion people in the world have this job: a mother.

Two weeks ago, we celebrated and devoted Mother’s Day to them. Keep in mind that not everybody has this privilege. Some may have a great relationship with their mothers, others may have a distant one, and some may not have a mother. But for the ones who have had or have a mother present in their lives, is an expensive Hallmark card or a bouquet of flowers enough to thank them for working the toughest job in the world?

It was not always this way. In 1908, Anna Jarvis started the first Mother’s Day events to honor her own mother, and in 1914, Congress recognized it. The floral and greeting-card industries soon erupted with commercials and advertisements of the holiday. Angered by the commercialization that undermined her original intentions, Jarvis spent the rest of her life trying to abolish the day she founded.

I agree. Too absorbed with my finals, I have not been calling my mom often enough to thank her. I have come to realize that Mother’s Day is usually the only day I reserve for cooking brunch, writing heartfelt letters, purchasing sweets and flowers, and thanking my mother. I should be thanking my mother every single day, rather than only on Mother’s Day, for her kindness throughout the past 365 days. So for those with mothers, instead of scrambling to buy a cliche Hallmark card or box of chocolates, think about what you have done for them the past year, and thank them for what they have done for you the past year.

Looking back, I see that my mother performs little acts of kindness for me on a daily basis. There are much too many thanks to box them into one day of celebration.

Here some of the many little things I would like to thank my mom for.

Thank you mom for:

1. Teaching me how to thank.

2. Reminding me to eat my vegetables.

3. (*Spoiler Warning) Being my Santa and my Tooth Fairy.

4. Wiping my nose, bottom, and tears.

5. Coming to every single one of my school events and soccer games.

6. Spending nights helping me with homework and being patient even when I storm away in frustration.

7. All the “I told you so” moments.

8. Checking out all the books you see other kids reading at the library because without that I would not be the writer and reader I am now.

9. Always taking pictures of me (even when I push you away in embarrassment) because when I look back at them, I realize that you saved the most important events in my life.

10. Home-cooked meals.

11. Watching the movies I love (even though you always fall asleep).

12. Being my go-to second opinion when shopping.

13. Listening to all the stories my brother and I bring back from school.

14. Brimming with positivity and texting me words of encouragement.

15. Working around the clock.

16. Teaching me to stand up for myself.

17. Catching me when I fall.

And most importantly, in this world, if there is one person who would put me ahead of themselves, it would be you.

Thank you so much for all the little things and the big things, Mom. I love you.