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  • How Becoming A Mom Is Like Being Elected President

    February 2, 2009

    I was looking through some pictures the other day from when Sean was first born and what I was struck by is how much younger I looked only five short years ago.  And how tired I look now.  And then I was reminded of how young and vibrant and hopeful each new president looks when they take office and how four years later, they’ve aged a decade.

    And then it dawned on me that becoming a mom is not that much different than being elected president.

    You go into it all fresh faced and hopeful and it’s not long before the honeymoon period is over and the world is questioning and criticizing every decision you make.

    You go into it convinced you can change the world and it’s not long before you realize that there is only so much you can do when no one will cooperate.

    You go into it with your all out liberal or conservative ideologies and it’s not long before you find yourself somewhere in the center so that you might get something done.

    You go into it thinking you understand the magnitude of the task, but once you get there you realize you’ve underestimated it by a power of 10.

    Nothing you’ve ever done before can prepare you for what lies ahead.

    Seven days a week, 24-hours a day, you’re on the clock.

    There is a great deal of heartburn and the pay is lousy.

    You won’t really know if you’ve done a good job until about 20 years after the fact.

    It’s a remarkable opportunity and worth every wrinkle and gray hair.


    1. Jeni says:

      …but presidents don’t get the same benefits a mother gets – peanut-butter-scented hugs & sloppy kisses & wild giggles & wrestling matches…

      Oh I don’t know. I’ve heard Putin giggles and smells a little bit like peanutbutter.

      February 2nd, 2009 at 7:59 pm

    2. Liz says:

      LOVE this post! It’s so true… so true.

      February 2nd, 2009 at 8:15 pm

    3. Christine says:

      What a great analogy! I blogged about being compared to Mr. Obama a few days after the inauguration. There are indeed quite a few similarities! Loved your perspective!

      February 2nd, 2009 at 8:27 pm

    4. RefreshMom says:

      Great analogy. Maybe it is time for a woman president; if she’s been a mom she’s already ahead of the game.

      I think you are right. Whom would you recommend?

      February 2nd, 2009 at 9:06 pm

    5. Gretchen says:

      Putin giggles and smells a bit like peanut butter.

      Classic. Classic is what that is.

      I’m constantly amazed at how quickly my kids have grown and changed, and then I look in the mirror, and I’m always surprised that I’ve changed too. Other than being haggard, I feel the same. 🙂

      February 2nd, 2009 at 9:13 pm

    6. Jennifer says:

      Great post! There are certainly similarities. Add in dealing with the in-laws and how they think you should raise your kids vs. the President dealing with all the other countries and how they think he should run this one!

      February 2nd, 2009 at 9:29 pm

    7. Roxanne says:

      This also applies to teachers. Oh my. .. does it ever. And, unfortunately, each summer vacation brings back a little pep to our step so that we face each new school year with the same hope and zeal. . .only to be completely overcome by October.

      February 2nd, 2009 at 9:47 pm

    8. Sarah at themommylogues says:

      I completely agree, but have a few questions. Where is MY staff? Where is MY cook? MY housekeeper? MY driver?

      February 2nd, 2009 at 9:58 pm

    9. Stephanie says:

      I really love reading your posts, you are so wise, hopefully someday I can be as wise as you!

      February 2nd, 2009 at 10:47 pm

    10. Iota says:

      Yes, I agree with Sarah a couple of comments above. Where are the staff?

      I’ve tagged you on my blog. I’m not sure if this is your kind of thing, but I think you might like it. I won’t be at all offended if you don’t pick up the tag.

      February 2nd, 2009 at 11:15 pm

    11. Meg @ Spicy Magnolia says:

      Oh my goodness! I’ve only been into this motherhood thing now for 2 weeks and can attest to this post…lots of adjusting going on in this household, that’s for sure! Thanks for the constant reminders that it’s all worth it! 🙂

      February 2nd, 2009 at 11:24 pm

    12. Kelly @ Love Well says:

      There are some days I love being the leader of the three world.

      And other days, I feel led to demand a recount.

      Beautiful, perfect analogy.

      February 2nd, 2009 at 11:32 pm

    13. Heidi says:

      We also go into motherhood making many promises that get broken within days. Like:

      I’m going to use cloth diapers. (The only cloth diaper we ever used were burp cloths.)

      My child will never wear cowboy boots with shorts in July.

      I will never feed my children milkshakes for supper.

      My child will never watch tv, eat sugar, or have a toy gun….

      I will never sit in the bathroom and pretend I don’t hear my child knocking on the door.

      February 3rd, 2009 at 12:21 am

    14. Minnesotamom says:

      I have aged incredibly in the 17 months Anja’s been around. But you’re right–worth every wrinkle, every sagging pore, every under-eye circle.

      February 3rd, 2009 at 12:23 am

    15. suburbancorrespondent says:

      Okay, then, I want my 400K a year, please.

      February 3rd, 2009 at 12:48 am

    16. Faerylandmom says:

      Can’t think of anything clever to say, but I can’t just NOT comment.

      This post is spot on. And elicited a smile and a tear from me. 🙂

      February 3rd, 2009 at 1:47 am

    17. Brigitte says:

      Ha, I thought it was only me who noticed how fast presidents age. Mr. Obama already looks a tad grayer than he did in the fall. Of course, I have also acquired a lot of gray in the last few years (though I prefer to think it’s silver).

      February 3rd, 2009 at 5:16 am

    18. Alice says:

      Luckily for us, we don’t have to go up for reelection. 🙂 I like to think of Mom as less President and more Dictator-for-Life.

      February 3rd, 2009 at 7:30 am

    19. Sue says:

      Remarkably similar! I heard that a mother loses three years off her life for every male child she raises. I guess I am at minus 9 so far!

      February 3rd, 2009 at 8:39 am

    20. HarryJacksMom says:

      So true and so funny and so wise…maybe you should run for president, especially if you already have the knowledge, experience and gray hairs 😉 Happy week!

      February 3rd, 2009 at 9:05 am

    21. Margie says:

      You’ve heard the old saying that you never stop worrying about your children? Well, it’s true. And wait until the grandbabies come, you worry about them too. That’s when you really get gray and wrinkled. But it is worth every stinking minute. 🙂

      February 3rd, 2009 at 9:51 am

    22. Beverlydru says:

      My definition of Good Writing is when the author draws an important but previously unrecognized thought from inside of the reader that allows her to have an “a-ha” moment and an immediate connection with the writer. You, Antique Mommy, are a Good Writer.

      February 3rd, 2009 at 10:10 am

    23. Tom says:

      I’m there too. The slideshow screensaver that pops up on the PC here when it’s idling cycles through some older pictures of myself, pre-Michael, and it’s easy to see the difference. I insist I had more hair then, and less paunch.

      February 3rd, 2009 at 10:34 am

    24. Beck says:

      I looked like a BABY myself when I was pregnant the first time. it’s kind of funny.

      And your poor presidents DO age so fast! The only difference in our pm is that his hair appears to be getting more and more plastic every single day – perhaps it’s not as hard of a gig.

      February 3rd, 2009 at 11:03 am

    25. Jodie says:

      Amen! Amen! and Amen! Well said AM. Well said.

      February 3rd, 2009 at 11:58 am

    26. Jodie says:

      I linked to ya today:

      February 3rd, 2009 at 12:11 pm

    27. Nette says:

      20 years after the fact, knowing if you did a good job……how true!!
      The pay is lousy……exactly.

      I say all of the time, “If this were a paying job, I would have quit long ago.”

      February 3rd, 2009 at 2:00 pm

    28. Paulla says:

      Excellent analogy!

      February 3rd, 2009 at 2:07 pm

    29. Molly says:

      Oh, well said, well said.
      I’m leaving this post up for my husband to read! 🙂 (He’s NOT the president. 🙂 )

      February 3rd, 2009 at 2:09 pm

    30. Jessica @ A Bushel and a Peck says:

      This could not be more true. Love it.

      February 3rd, 2009 at 2:29 pm

    31. Melissaand3boys says:

      So true in so many ways. I always feel some sympathy for presidents knowing that in a mere 4 years they’ll look a decade older.

      I’ve always wondered if my own aging process was accelerated by becoming a mom or if the timing was somewhat coincidental (I’m an antique mommy, too), But while I’d never give up being a mom I would never want the job of president. Give me those handprints on my freshly cleaned windows, crumbs and legos everywhere, chocolate kisses, and even the eyeroll every now and then. I’ll take those anyday.

      February 3rd, 2009 at 3:15 pm

    32. MM says:

      Beautiful. Perfect.

      February 3rd, 2009 at 3:54 pm

    33. Laura says:

      So true, so true. Mine are 15 and 17 and I’m still wondering if I’m doing it right!
      Good luck, and keep your sense of humor.
      Hugs, Laura

      February 3rd, 2009 at 3:58 pm

    34. Blog Antagonist says:

      Oh yes, very true. The parallels are remarkable. I always said I would never in a million years be President and I stick to that resolve. The verdict is still out on the parenting gig. I’ve yet to really decide if I’m fit for the job.

      February 3rd, 2009 at 4:33 pm

    35. k says:


      February 3rd, 2009 at 4:48 pm

    36. Maria M (Conversations with Moms) says:

      Great analogy. I must make my husband read this one.

      February 3rd, 2009 at 8:10 pm

    37. paige says:

      Hopefully we don’t have to wait 20 whole years to see some of the fruits of our labors.

      February 3rd, 2009 at 8:22 pm

    38. Stretch Mark Mama says:

      My 7YO said to me today, “I can’t wait until I’m the parent and can boss everyone else around.”

      Mmm-hmmm. I had to tell him about the “not listening to a word he’ll say” part too.

      I remember in my pre-kid days thinking that working with kids was like working with little adults. Give the instruction, the kid does it, the end.


      February 4th, 2009 at 3:26 am

    39. Anne says:

      My sister reommended your blog to me. I have really liked what I have read so far! This post is great. I just posted a picture of me on my blog after 99 months of being a mom. I definately look older than I did 8 years ago. But I guess I am older, and wiser – yeah, that’s right.

      February 4th, 2009 at 9:10 am

    40. zoom says:

      Excellent post. Great comments.

      February 4th, 2009 at 10:58 am

    41. BecomingMe says:

      Loved this. So very true

      February 5th, 2009 at 12:10 pm

    42. Jenni says:


      February 5th, 2009 at 2:15 pm

    43. Susanne says:

      Rock on! Seriously. You hit the nail on the head.

      February 9th, 2009 at 4:43 pm

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