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06th Sep 2015

Why Mothers make better world leaders (5 over-skilled reasons why)

Grace Vaughan

In between all the trivial things a mother has to think about – is there enough milk for the morning? Do I have my child’s immunisation card with me? Will I ever see my waist again? I do on occasion get to think about other stuff – like the state of the world and how as a lowly mother I could contribute more.

Surely mothers have skills? So I pull up a pew at my humble little kitchen table with a cup of coffee and write up a comparison of skill sets between a typical world leader/politician and a good-enough-mother (nobody’s perfect), and it dawns on me that mothers already possess the skills to solve many of the world’s biggest problems – war, homelessness, poverty and greed.

Experts in any crisis, it’s a no-brainer that mothers are natural born leaders, and to be really modest about it, overqualified to boot. But regardless, she would do the job on condition her remuneration package includes unlimited hugs and kisses.

Here are five other skills a mother could bring to the table:

1. She holds her own purse strings

When it comes to budget, she’s truly accountable for all ingoings, outgoings – and any shortcomings, she’ll tighten her own belt first so that no one starves. If there’s no budget left, she’ll magic one up – sell all her wares if needs be – from her tatty runners to her Jimmy’s (Choos – a hark back to those squandrous days of unmotherdom) they’ll all be re-homed on eBay, Donedeal; wherever she can flog them, until the only real treasures she has left are her precious children – and still feel rich.

2. She speaks from her own heart

When all’s not rosy on the earth’s big garden she’ll hug you, say reassuring things like, “it will all be better in a minute, I promise.” You won’t hear her spout empty clichés like “lessons are being learned” or we’ve “a lot done, more to do” – and if you did hear her utter such meaningless drivel you can be sure they came straight from her own heart (not from some overpaid spin-doctor whose greatest contribution to the world is to bamboozle).

3. A natural mediator

No advisors required to tell her what to think, what to say, how to sell it. A mother doesn’t need to win any crowd, go knocking on bedroom doors canvassing for love. She’s a mother – she deals with disgruntled little people every day, and they’re a much tougher crowd. Not one question will she dodge no matter how uncomfortable the question may be – like when her child asks “does Uncle Kieran have a willy?” (while Uncle Kieran is sitting right next to you). You can’t fob them off with “I can’t comment on that until a thorough investigation or tribunal into the matter is completed, and the Willy Report published.”

4. She’s there!

Not hiding behind some PA where no-one can reach her, pretending to have some prior engagement other than a quick trip to the loo – to spend a penny – not squillions to fly off to the Cayman Islands to make arrangements that nobody else is in on, much less agrees to. The mother clinic stays open 24/7, 365 days a year with the odd sabbatical. What she does not do is hole herself away and pontificate from a wall-to-wall marbled mansion about things she knows nothing about.

5. Innovative, creative and slightly mad (in a good way)

She has to think on her feet because she doesn’t sit down from the moment she gets up to the moment she goes to bed. If the car breaks down, there’s no ministerial BMW’s tearing around the corner to escort her kids to school. She’ll walk them to school if she has to – tell them noble stories of how their ancestors used to walk to school in their bare feet – so they feel lucky to have shoes and to be able to walk. And now she’s getting mad because her son’s shoes remind her of the little shoes in the picture she saw of a small dead boy washed up on some cold shore like driftwood because his family were forced to flee from a war situation. But what’s the point in getting mad, she tells herself when she can use her initiative and delegate. If mothers can sacrifice a couple of shoes to make sure their children have a home and don’t go hungry why can’t other world leaders do the same? Pope Francis has a closet full of ruby slippers lying behind Vatican walls that he admits to not wearing. If Dorothy’s went for 600,000 dollars at auction – Lord knows how much his collection would fetch if he were to put them on eBay. Enough to feed a lot of starving children anyway.

Yep, I do believe I just emailed the Pope my proposition.