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Rent-a-Mom December 23, 2022

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I have a business idea that, if I had the energy to build from the ground up, would make me a zillionaire.  Get this: Rent-a-Mom. 

There have been times when I wished I could have called the good ladies at Rent-a-Mom when my kids were sick at college and just needed a good in-person momming and I was too many hundreds of miles away to be effective.  Sure, I could call and Zoom and send soup via DoorDash, but it’s not quite the same as being able to put a cold washcloth on their fevery little[1] heads and tucking them in nice and tight.

There have also been times when I wanted to call those same ladies for a good butt-kicking.  “Excuse me, young man, but you have finals tomorrow[2] and Life-360™ says you didn’t get home until 2am” doesn’t have the same impact from 800 miles away.[3]  I probably wouldn’t ever really use that service if it were available, but I’d think about it a lot.

You’d need different kinds of moms on staff for different kinds of situations.  You’d need the “poor little lamb” mom for illnesses and injuries.  You’d need the “suck it up” mom for a kid whose whining had gone on a little too long and needed tough love to move on.  The “drill sergeant” mom for kids who need to be kept in line.  And, of course, the “been there done that” mom who could give credible relationship advice.

I’m serious about this being a good business idea.  Subsidiaries could be Rent-a-Big-Sister and Rent-an-Auntie for those situations you don’t want a mom for, because goodness knows you’d never admit the underlying facts to your mom, but you do need an older female relative to help you out.

It’s not just the college market that would utilize these services.  I know lots of people my own age[4] whose own mothers have passed away or are otherwise unavailable who occasionally need a mommy.  I had the flu last week, and as much as my husband did his best to take care of me, it just wasn’t the same.  I wanted my Mommy.

And yes, I know.  I’m romanticizing the idea of mommyhood.  None of us are perfect mothers, and none of us had perfect mothers.[5]  Everybody’s mommy comes along with mommy-baggage that’s embarrassing, that makes us revert to our angsty teenage selves, and that has a recipe we had to pretend we liked lest we hurt her feelings.  So it will be okay when some woman from the Rent-a-Mom agency we’ve never met before comes into your bedroom and judges the damp towels on the floor and the unvacuumed carpet and the nightshirt you’re wearing with a stain on it.  It will be just fine when you feel awkward and aren’t sure what to say when she tells you that you’re hungry when you really aren’t and makes you wear an itchy sweater.  She’ll mess it up from time to time, just like Mom always did.  It’s all just a variation on what the woman who raised you would have done, for the low low price of whatever we determine the market will bear.

And when we cry because we miss our actual moms, she’ll be there to put an arm around us and stroke our hair and say, “Poor little lamb.”    

[1] I say ‘little’ but the truth is that the shortest of my two babies is at least two inches taller than me.

[2] Confession: I don’t usually know when my kids’ college finals are with that kind of precision. I know when finals week is because of the school calendars, but they don’t give me details and I’m too afraid of looking like a stalker to ask.  So long as their grades remain good, I worry from a respectful distance.

[3] Yes, I know that another very real option is to recognize that the umbilical cords were cut 18 and 21 years ago, respectively, and they’re going to have to make it on their own at some point.  This is true, and for the most part they do.  However, I’d like to think the knowledge that I am out there, somewhere, is a motivating factor in each of their lives. 

[4] For example, me

[5] Except you.  I know you did.  Your mother is, was, and always will be perfect in every way.

If you enjoyed this and want to read more like it, visit Lori on Twitter or on Facebook or read her award winning books.  Her newest book, a Foreword INDIES Gold Medal award winner, “If You Did What I Asked In The First Place” is currently available by clicking here.


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Lori Duff

Lori B. Duff is an award-winning author who practices law on the side.  Her latest book, "If You Did What I Asked in the First Place" was awarded the Gold Medal for humor in the Foreword INDIES awards in 2019. You can follow her on Twitter at @LoriBDuff and on Facebook. For more blogs written by Lori, click here. For more information about Lori in general, click here. If you want Lori to do your writing for you, click here. If you want Lori to help you market your book, click here.

Rent-a-Mom December 23, 2022