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My Mom Comes to See the New Baby and I Make Her Paint My Living Room

We’ve had company for the past three weeks straight as Jake and I try to settle into our new roles as parents of two. First, Jake’s mom Marmie arrived from Baltimore to be on hand in the event I went into labor on time (I didn’t). Then my mom Grandma B arrived from Montana for two weeks, during which time I was induced and laid up at the hospital for three days with new baby Katie Bea. Then my dad and my stepmom Grandma Tess arrived from Florida to spend Christmas week with us.

It was a crazy, chaotic, whirlwind month and now that it’s over and all our guests have gone home and the house is once again our own, I wish everyone would come back so we could do it all again (minus the labor). It’s times like these I’m reminded again just how amazing our families are and how lucky we are to have such help. My trio of moms and my dad went out of their way to entertain June while I was busy with the baby. They cleaned the house, cooked, washed dishes, wrapped presents, wrapped MY presents, vacuumed, collected and washed the eggs, played Candy Land, minded our crazy dog, organized our bookshelves, cleaned our mudroom …. my mom even painted my living room.

Granted, I did ask her to. I know what you’re thinking: You’re mom came to visit you for two weeks and you made the poor woman paint your living room? What is wrong with you, jerk? Isn’t she, like, in her 60s? 

Geez, that does sound pretty bad. But you have to understand something about my mom. My mom is a lot like my husband … they’re both physically, spiritually, emotionally incapable of not working (truth be known, all my moms are like this but my mom takes it to another level — like, caulking-the-bathtub-while-vacationing-at-Club-Med level). Both Jake and my mom have to be fixing, organizing, cleaning, repairing something at all times or they will burst into flames. Mom doesn’t let something as inconsequential as age stop her from retiling a bathroom. She plants shrubs to unwind. She installs trim work to find her Zen. She plunges toilets to work through aggression.

Mom might deny this about herself but the last time I didn’t give her a job to do, she had rearranged my entire house to her liking. It took me weeks to track down the cleaning supplies and popcorn. So this time, I opted to harness that insane mom construction energy and asked her very nicely if she’d help me with one big home improvement project while she was here because I knew it would be months, maybe even years, before I could get to it myself AND she’s really, really, really good at this stuff. She makes those ladies on the HGTV look like total rejects.

Whether out of good old fashioned mom guilt, affection or a grudging acquiescence, she agreed. She even took on the Herculean task of helping me select the paint color. The living room went from a feminine peaches and cream to two-tone neutral grays: Sherwin Williams Modern Gray and Mom’s own custom blend (see, I told you she was good — she concocted her own paint color while she was here!). I love how light but grounded the new color is. Sorta like Mom herself. A professional paint job wouldn’t look nearly this good.

And now my moms are gone and I’m left to embark on home improvement projects on my own … with a new baby. Yeah, it’ll be awhile before anything else gets done with this house. And Mom — to all my moms — I owe you big time. I’ll be sure to schlepp my caulking gun out to Montana. THANK YOU!

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