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Keven Moore: This Mother’s Day let us celebrate the first true safety professionals — our Moms

As we all pause to show our appreciation to mothers this Sunday, it occurred to me how mothers are the true risk management and safety professionals in most families. That includes my household, and I have 30 plus years of professional experience.

It’s been said that “fear is the father of courage and the mother of safety.” There is no greater warrior than a mother protecting her child. Just look at any momma bear defending your cubs.

The mothers that I know manage risk by constantly identifying, analyzing, evaluating, and treating it while balancing the day-to-day activities of running a family. Mothers with toddlers may complete two dozen safety inspections and three dozen toybox safety talks over the course of one day.

(Image from Wikimedia Commons)

By definition, a safety and health professional is a person who prevents harm to people by applying principles from engineering, education, psychology, physiology, enforcement, hygiene, health, physics, and management. All are characteristics of an effective and loving mother.

Mothers are typically the glue that holds a family together, and the heart of a mother is like a rare jewel.

It’s a full-time job that extends well past the service contract of 18 years, and it comes without any financial compensation. It’s an occupation that breaks just about every single Department of Labor Law known to man, but most mothers are willing to sacrifice their time and energy for an occasional hug and butterfly kiss — just some of the perks that come with the job.

As glamorous as that may seem, it’s not a job for the weak. If injured on the job, there isn’t a worker’s compensation or Aflac policy to fall back on. You are required to work seven days per week, 365 days a year. There is no vacation time or sick leave in your position. And if you ever need a night off, it is typically your responsibility to spend your own money to hire a temp to fill the role for a few hours of rest and relaxation.

Depending on how much your children like to sleep, on average the expected start time is 6:30 a.m. and it normally doesn’t conclude until 10 p.m. However, mothers continue to be on-call throughout the night, and if you have a child under the age of one year, you can expect at least two periods of active duty during late-night hours.

Many mothers will tell you that they are okay with these early morning feedings and they don’t need to sleep like a baby. Instead, they just want to be able to sleep like their husbands.

It’s been said that if a mother feels like she is going crazy, then she must be doing it the right way. But when someone without kids tells them they are exhausted, they have been known to burst out in uncontrollable laughter.

God created families and gave mothers a unique place in that family unit. They are usually the more nurturing of the two parents and their job description is endless. Fathers may be better equipped to physically defend and keep a family safe, but mothers are the ones who cultivate, encourage, and raise their children while protecting them from evil and any harm.

(Image from Wikimedia Commons)

Throughout their tenure, they are expected to act as daycare personnel, taxi drivers, cheerleaders, janitors, housekeepers, chefs, tutors, storytellers, personal shoppers, mediators, judges, nurses, nutritionists, psychologists, party coordinators, athlete coaches, counselors, fashion designers, financial officer and advisors, security guard, in addition to a risk manager. The remarkable thing about this is that many do all these things tasks while working another full-time job and putting up with their significant other.

As a son, father, and risk management/safety professional, I would have to classify the position of “Mother” as one of the most treasured but sometimes underappreciated jobs in the entire world.

Mothers are the fiercest creatures on this earth and have been known to grow fangs in the blink of an eye. Just like a grizzly bear protecting her cubs, when thinks that you are endangering her young she will maul you to death without even flinching. She can then show up at a PTA meeting 20 minutes later wearing a smile on her face with an abundance of charm.

This overprotective spirit is legendary, and the Mel Gibson character William Wallace in the movie Braveheart wouldn’t be able to hold a candle to some of the mothers that I have known. I have seen many mothers get in the face of men twice their size without the least bit of fear just to correct and re-educate a bad coach, teacher, neighbor or even a stranger.

For soon-to-be mothers, this safety mindset begins immediately upon learning of their pregnancy. They will give up unhealthy habits and vices for the interest of their unborn child. Most will avoid second-hand smoke and will even ask for job transfers to avoid hazardous work environments. Most will alter their diets, sleep patterns, prescribed pharmaceuticals, and over-the-counter medications and avoid unsafe activities for the sake of the safety of their unborn child.

Keven Moore works in risk management services. He has a bachelor’s degree from the University of Kentucky, a master’s from Eastern Kentucky University and 25-plus years of experience in the safety and insurance profession. He is also an expert witness. He lives in Lexington with his family and works out of both Lexington and Northern Kentucky. Keven can be reached at kmoore@higusa.com

During this initial phase of motherhood, many endure morning sickness, backache, varicose veins, sudden urges to visit the lady’s room, tiredness, dizziness, fainting, carpal tunnel syndrome, and extreme discomfort from the increase in size.

Then comes the actual act of childbirth — and I can tell you that it isn’t for the sissies. After witnessing three childbirths myself, I have learned that any broken bone, strain, sprain, stubbed toe, flu, cold, or hurt feelings that you may have will never compare, so I will just gracefully declare mothers as the titleholder and will move on.

As true safety professionals, mothers have the urge to wrap their children in bubble wrap on their way out the door to school or to play. Most have researched and completed background checks on every teacher, Sunday school teacher, coach, Boy or Girl Scout troop leader, and neighbor within a two-mile radius.

Most mothers have also learned to put the fear of God in their children with just a stare or a certain look, and most have been known to remind their children that “they brought them into this world and they can also take them out.” I have even heard a couple of mothers that have had to notch it up a bit, by providing a simple reminder of how “mother hamsters will often time eat their young,” which always results in immediate compliance.

Once the job has run its course, many mothers will temporarily lose those safety professional instincts when they decide to push their grown babies out of the nest. They do so in the best interest of their adult child, with hopes to teach them how to fly on their own. Many wonder why a mother would do such a dangerous thing, but she was never too far away, relying on faith and praying, just hoping that you the child would come back to visit her the very next day.

Not any one style is perfect, and most mothers may have dropped an accidental curse word every now and then in front of the kids, but this only proves that she is human. Most mothers are flawed and are not exactly perfect all the time, but when you factor in all the circumstances that they had to endure, most did a pretty good job.

If you are married to an awesome mother or if your mother is still in your life, make sure you take the time to show her your appreciation this Mother’s Day. Take the time to give her an extra-long hug, look into her eyes and thank her with the utmost sincerity, and tell her that you love her and appreciate her keeping you safe. That is the reward she needs.

God Bless Mothers.

Be Safe My Friends!

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