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My Four-Year-Old Told Me I Never Work

posted October 12, 2014 by Moms in Tow (Kara)

By Elizabeth Morales

Driving to the doctor the other day, Marshall started fretting about having to start preschool next month. (He tells me at least once a day that he is not going back to school). Then, he started voicing his worries about having to go to kindergarten in another year. All of a sudden, he was declaring that he did not want to be a grown-up, because that's when there won't be any room for him in my car. 
What a sad thought for my little boy.
I told him there will always be room for him in my car, no matter how big he is.
Next, that squirt said what really inspired this post.  He told me that when he grows up, he doesn't want to go to work. 
My instant reaction was to say, "Marshall, everyone has to go to work."
Guess what he told me then?
"You don't have to go to work.  You never work."
Laughing to myself, I asked him what he thinks I do instead of work.
He said, "You just go places."
"Places, like where?" I asked.
"Just places, like stores...and places to buy food...and toys." 
Reese tried to come to my defense and tell him that I used to work.
I didn't need the sympathetic "used to work" explanation from my eleven-year-old. This was not going to be a "moms work just as much as anyone else" speech.
Actually, I was really loving this conversation. It was sweet and funny, and just cute. Asking a four-year-old what his mom does all day is very entertaining. At least he didn't say I do nothing. To be honest,  I do spend a huge amount of my time going places. 
Not just to stores to buy food and toys like Marshall thinks, but to doctors and dentists and schools and sports and parks and friends' houses and movies and the library and the bouncy house gym and just places.
That is my life. My mom life. My life as our youngest son knows it. Does my car get really messy and loud toting four kids around all the time? Of course it does.   Do I drive on auto-pilot to the preschool and baseball games and the soccer field and art lessons? Without a doubt. Am I stopping at the store at least four times a week to pick up more milk and socks and deodorant and goldfish crackers? I do not see an end to those days any time soon.

Honestly, I am happy that I'm the one who is driving them places. I love the chats we have while they're in the car with me. I love that I know what everyone needs from the store. The hugs and thanks they give me make it worth it. 
It's a very rare occurrence for me to be driving anywhere alone. Believe me, I absolutely love that, too! Any chance I do have to drive alone, I usually take Mark's car. It's so much cooler than mine because it's not a mom-car full of car seats and books and rainbow looms. When I'm alone in Mark's cool, red car, I open the sun roof, blare the radio, and sing!  I don't worry about anyone's sensitive ears or face being hit by the wind. It's just me. For once, it's just me. I often forget what it feels like to think about just myself. Those ten minutes it takes me to drive from home to the store are pure freedom. Well, that is until I pull into that familiar store, march down the cracker aisle, and pick up another package of goldfish. 

Elizabeth Morales is a teacher turned stay-at-home-mom to four hopping children. She and her husband have been parents together in Indiana, Michigan and Japan, where she has learned to juggle being a mother, wife and community leader. She is the author of Mama Loves You and Chocolate, Too and writes for Lakeside Living Magazine. You can find more of Elizabeth's inspirations and imperfections of modern motherhood at and on Facebook (

Filed under: Featured Blog

  • October 13, 2014 at 8:07am
    by Paige Lamb-Vander Molen

    Always a fresh look at the many “jobs” of a mom.  Great piece Elizabeth!

  • October 13, 2014 at 10:11am
    by Stacey Ellerman

    You always have the most positive outlook on everything. I absolutely love how you can stop and take in those moments and have fun with them!!  Your stuff is so fun to read!!!!

  • October 13, 2014 at 11:49am
    by Angela Kozinski

    Many of us “just go places” moms are challenged to find balance in the minivan marathons and the “husband’s car” escapes!  Here’s to enjoying the moment!  And here’s to you, Elizabeth, for sharing your insights.  Love it!

  • October 13, 2014 at 12:19pm
    by Cathy L.

    I love this.  They really have no idea what we do besides “go places,” and sometimes that bothers me, because I do A LOT with little impressive tangible evidence of that “doing.”  They only know when we DON’T do something.  It’s a cliched joke, but it’s true.  This weekend I slacked, didn’t DO a whole lot, and now I (and everyone else in my household) is paying for it.  Thanks for the encouragement.  Now I have to get off the computer and go places.  ;-)

  • October 13, 2014 at 11:03pm
    by Amanda

    Love it!  Totally thought it was going to be a “moms work just as much as anyone else” post.  And while that’s true, I love your positive spin on it.  Going places is such a HUGE part of being a mom.  And driving with kids…AAAGGGGHHHH.  Sometimes it can be the straw that breaks the camel’s back (or the whine that gets on mom’s last nerve).  I have to tell you, my 40-minute commute to my part-time job can be tiresome, but it does give me a chance to blare the music and roll the windows down! It’s a good release!

  • October 15, 2014 at 8:46pm
    by Jenny White

    love it!

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