Have you heard about the Pain Experience Camp? If it doesn’t sound like the kind of summer camp experience you’d like, you’re probably right. The Pain Experience Camp is put on by a hospital in China, and it’s designed for dads. Simply put, the men have electrodes attached to their abdomen, through which they receive electric shocks – in an attempt to feel what their wives feel when they are giving birth.
“The pain is intended to create more loving and caring husbands,” says the hospital’s general manager. One Chinese man, Li Mengke, received the “treatment,” and described it as creating a three-part sensation: “hot steel balls dropping on his stomach and then a hook being gouged into him, followed by the ripping of his innards.”
But here’s the thing. The electric shock is only applied to the guy for 3-5 minutes. Three to five minutes!
Big deal, I can hear most moms say. That’s nothin’.
And you’re right. But apparently it’s enough to get a taste of what moms go through. At least, it was enough for Li Mengke. After his Pain Experience Camp, he had one response. “I treated her to a French dinner,” he said.
You see, there simply is no replacing a mother.
Not that people don’t try. Nina Keneally is a real mom of two who also works as a mom. At her website, she offers to be a mom for millennials who are looking for mom-type help, without having to worry about their actual mom nagging them, or criticizing their new hair color. For $40 an hour, she will listen (non-judgmentally), help with your resume, iron your shirt, or make you a pecan pie. She will even send your real mom a present for you, if you want her to (and pay her, of course).
Of course, Nina knows she can’t replace a real mom. But she does remind us that we all need a mom-type figure in our lives. No matter how you were raised or how old you are, you still need someone to listen to you, encourage you – and, yes, even tell you that your new electric-red hair looks goofy.
So, don’t forget mom this weekend. And if your mom isn’t (or wasn’t) there for you, pray for her. Consider how you might show her some grace. Or forgiveness. At the same time, find someone to encourage you with a good listening ear – someone who will do it, not for money, but because they love you, like a mom.