To you, the mother.
To you, perhaps the tired mother who wants to throw her hands in the air and have a good cry over the frustration of the day but can't even figure out what exactly made it so frustrating. To you the mother with littles who need you 25 hours in a 24 hour day. To you the mother, in whatever season of motherhood you may be in who needs a reminder about motherhood. To you, the mother, who might wonder if all of this mothering stuff really does make a difference.
Well, it does. And here is a small reminder of why.
You see, you are an amazing being. You get up before dawn and go to sleep well past the setting sun. And often, you stay awake through out the nights - waking to the cry of an infant or the whimper of a toddler with a bad dream or up watching for the teenager to return home. You, even though you're tired, wake in the morning and put a smile on your face and look at those little ones who kept you up through the night and whisper to them I love you. It's a love that isn't dependent on sleep or looks or agendas. It's a mother's love.
You cook and bake and clean and do it all again. And again. And again. So often when there's nothing in the pantry you can work your magic and pull a meal together that gets the cheers and hoorays of those sitting around your table. But you have thick skin - often the meals are met with noses turned and sighs and little ones telling you they really don't like whatever you lovingly prepared. And then, dear mother, you negotiate and barter and set limits and hope that they eat at least two bites before they wash it down with the diluted half milk half chocolate milk mixture.
You are the chief problem solver. You can handle any argument - whose turn it is to unload or load or if one kid is bothering the other way too much. You have limits on name calling, yelling, fibbing, and teasing. You have mastered the art of counting to ten - in a row. You know when to step back and climb the stairs and sit on the floor in the bathroom and count to one hundred and then come out with a renewed sense of energy. And even if you don't have you just push through. And sometimes, it means pbjs or pancakes for dinner - and then your kids think you're even cooler.
You budget and drive and clean. And laundry? You breathe it. Day in and day out and day in and day out. Those mystery and long lost socks are no match for you the sorter, folder, and organizer. And even when you get behind you still joke about taming Mount Washmore even though really, really you wish for just one week where you didn't have to fold all of those clothes. But, deep down, hidden in there, you know that this is a season - a sweet season - where the onesies, blankets, size 2T socks, soccer shorts, and leotards get to be in your wash. So you breathe deep and try to remember the value and sweetness of these fleeting years while you fold the stack of wrinkled t-shirts.
You, dear mother, are amazing. So often you look at all others are doing and then you measure yourself with a stick that is much too short. You'll look at all they do and miss the amazing things you do. No one knows your kids the way you do - their quirks, sense of humor, and how to finally get them to stay in bed. You know when to just ignore the noise and keep on talking. You know them. You go to bed exhausted and wake up tired and yet you still give and do it the next day because you love the ones who call you mom.
You need a reminder today, a reminder of your greatness. And so today, to you the chief budget keeper, problem solver, sock folder, rocking chair rocker, temperature taker, sitter up till the teen gets home, sweeper, toy sorter for the tenth time in a day, listener, driver to and fro, cooker, cleaner, medicine giver, tamer of the laundry, repeated reader of books, and giver of self you need to remember that what you are doing today makes a difference.
Motherhood matters greatly. The littles or middles or bigs in your home look at you. Their mom. They see the good - the way you give, the sweet things you do, the meals you make - and they love you. You deserve to be loved. And sometimes, sometimes they forget to tell you. Sometimes they yell at you or don't obey or say things like I hate you and all of that. Those things don't define you. Instead of quitting you just keep going. You go through sleepless nights, tight budgets, crabby kids, worry about tomorrow, homework being lost, times being sick, more sleepless nights, and all of the above plus more. Those tender hugs from years passed matter just as much today as do those moments where you want to whisper I quit but instead keep going.
That is my definition of a hero.
You are a hero.
Every single day. When you get up and rise and love on those kids and give of self. Don't ever listen to the lies of the world that tell you that you are only a good mom if you do x, y, and z. Motherhood isn't graded by the number of pinterest projects completed, or clever facebook status updates, or perfectly executed birthday parties, or the number on the scale. Motherhood isn't this quantifiable thing - it's not graded by everything you accomplish, but rather is a beautiful example of giving of self and loving even when the reserve tank is empty.
Your heart gives everyday.
So you, sweet mother, today I want you to move through your day - no matter how your day is - and remember that you are making a difference. Those kids who seem forever young will grow. And you, you are the one blessed with today and the time to walk that growing up journey with them. In all the bumps, twists, turns, and ups and downs no matter what you are their mother. And that is something to be absolutely celebrated today.
Grab your cape.
Superheroes need them.
Because that is exactly what you are.
Edited to add - for those of you who have the words "I'm failing" running through your head please read this letter that I wrote in August Dear Sweet Mom Who Feels Like She is Failing. You are not failing. Trying is not failing. Know that. And know that what you are doing matters greatly.
And, this certainly would apply to dads as well. To all of you dads - thank you. You're amazing as well.
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