Moms don't need to be judged. Ranked. Ordered. Categorized.
I think moms just need to be embraced.
No matter what the story.
Sometimes we look at motherhood at we try to define it based on externals. She's a stay at home mom. She works. She only feeds organic foods. She homeschools. She does this or that or this or that or this or that and start the again cycle and repeat.
Let me tell you - honestly, those things don't define motherhood.
Motherhood isn't about all the crazy things that we could be doing. Motherhood really is defined by what we are already doing. Sometimes it is throwing on our boots and going out in the cold and playing with our kids in the snow even when we have a million and five other things we could be doing. Sometimes it is about tucking our kids into bed at night, whispering prayers with them, and staying up late working so that we can pay the bills. Sometimes it is about being grateful for the food in the pantry, being okay with serving the applesauce, and simply doing the best we can do.
Motherhood is full of moments.
Little thing matter moments.
And these moments are those moments that cannot be ranked. They are the moments that each of us has in our every day normal. You have them. Right now. You have them when you wake, in the middle of the day, in the crazy chaotic times at dinner, and the peaceful evening simple moments.
Those moments are not dependent upon the external factors that sometimes we like to judge each other with. And sometimes that judging isn't even intentional - it's a judging we do ourselves and on ourselves. We'll scroll through facebook or pinterest and wonder why our homes don't look like theirs. Or we'll see the crafts, the projects, the cool glow in the dark things that we can make with thirty-two easy and not supposed to be messy steps, and we'll look at our stuff that we've done and we'll lose the power in it.
There's no grading system for motherhood.
There's no higher level for completing 14 awesome craft projects with glitter by three in the afternoon. Or making meals that look like faces and sculptures so our kids will eat them (cutting bread into triangles is a cool enough feat sometimes). There's no reward structure set for moms that states that we need to compete against each other to achieve this ultimate hypothetical motherhood perfection ideal.
It's so enough.
You right now really are doing what you need to do. You wake up, you love your kids, you take care of your kids, you try to make today better than the next, you switch that laundry and fold those socks, you make the meals, you drive to classes and you give of yourself. Sometimes it's a giving in a life that is so far from perfect that it makes you want to throw your hands in the air and yell it's not fair. Sometimes it's simply a life that is simple and normal and peaceful and you wonder if this is all there is. And sometimes you are content, bored, tired, eager, joyful, and simply thankful - even if the room that you cleaned at nine am is a mess at nine fifteen am.
Motherhood is a rich collection of different stories from many different people. It's a beautiful tapestry of moms that work, moms that stay at home, moms that vaccinate, moms that don't vaccinate, moms that are single, moms that are married, moms that are divorced, moms that eat only organic, moms that love the convenience of boxed food, moms that are grateful to simply have food, moms with babies, moms with toddlers, moms with middle schoolers, moms with highschoolers, moms with kids that are gone, moms who homeschool, moms who send their kid to private school, moms who send their kids to public school, moms who simply need a friend, and well, we're all just moms.
The external variables don't define mom.
Let's stop comparing the differences all the time and begin to embrace each other for what we do. You need to do that. I need to do this. And on and on and on for each mom - unique. You need to be proud of who you are - right now. You are a mother who is doing awesome things in the midst of sometimes simple things. Or hard things. Or normal. Or so on.
Listen. For real.
Cutting snowflakes matters. Making pizza matters. Finding missing socks matters. Taking temperatures matters. Listening to stories matters. Writing notes matters. Driving to classes matter. Folding clothes matters. Counting to ten again and again matters. Laughing matters. Rocking babies in rocking chairs matters. All of that normal everyday motherhood stuff matters.
We all do that stuff. We all have moments with our kids where we just want to run around the house and yell and scream and throw our hands in the air and say enough. We have those moments sitting in the bathroom on the floor and we're holding a sick four year old. We have the beautiful moments of loving on our kids and watching them late at night and just being so grateful that we're a mom.
You want to read something powerful? On my facebook page I asked you all to describe motherhood in one word. And this is what you all said. These are the words that defines moms. They're your words and not mine - they're the words from your hearts. They're a beautiful tribute to the multi layers of moms.
Bottom line? You are not alone.
You're a mom that is real. Enough. All of the above. Read those words from your fellow mothers. Mothers in the trenches. Mothers running victory laps. Mothers who love their kids who keep on trying. Real mothers. Just like you.
Right now. Today.
That's what matters.
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All photographs used by permission and credited to Hannah Nicole.
Images and original content are sole property of Rachel Martin and may not be used, copied or transmitted without prior written consent.