I was up late last night thinking about all the details of the day and each of my kids. I was worried about my college kid, who was traveling over 1,000 miles away, and my high school kid, who was asleep in his bed, both for various reasons. There’s always something to worry about when you’re a mom, no matter how old your kids are and whatever parenting season you’re in.
As I began thinking through all the memories of my life as a mom, I took a deep dive into the countless details through all the blurry days, weeks, months, and years since I had kids. There were so many challenges and so many triumphs that evolved through it all. I sat there in the quiet of my home with one lamplight on, silent and still as I reflected on it all. Within me erupted a strong sense of wonder, realizing more and more how being a mother is such a beautiful and sacred, hard and exhausting job. It always has been and will always be. All that moms do is nothing short of miraculous, really.
We don’t often think about every single thing we do for our kids because we are just too immersed in it all. It’s also pretty much impossible to calculate and document everything anyway. But if you would take a few minutes to simply think through all the tangible tasks and diligent duties you constantly do and every life lesson and daily living skill you continue to teach. If you can imagine all the guidance and counsel and emotional nourishment you give your kids to ensure their well-being while they’re slowly maturing- you would be amazed at all you do too. Seriously.
Consider all the responsibilities and commitments, the passion and perseverance, the devotion and determination, and the sacrifice and strength that being a mom requires of you. We have a job that far exceeds our human capacity. And yet, we wake up every day to respond to the mission we were given no matter how exhausted and discouraged, overwhelmed and overworked we might be. What we do is nothing short of miraculous.
Let me lay out the life you’ve lived and prove to you that YOU are doing more than what most mere mortals can do- all in the name of motherhood. And since we are in fact, still human, we don’t do anything perfectly, but we still get up every day and do what we can, when we can, with all we have to give. And that is the undeniable, unequivocal calling of being a mom. We are all just imperfect women rising into our role that demands innumerable challenges on this endless journey of raising our kids- and we are all desperately trying to figure it out along the way. And that’s what we’ve done and what we do and what we will continue to do for the rest of our lives.
I know you don’t have time to read this. I know you have somanythingstodo. I know you are too tired or busy, distracted or frustrated, or just plain don’t care. Believe me, I’ve been there. But I urge you to consider just some of the reasons why you deserve recognition, if only to believe in the miraculous work you do once again. You may have questioned if you’re doing it right and sometimes you might wonder if you’re failing your job. We’ve all felt utterly incapable and incompetent and made some massive mistakes along the way. But this job isn’t on a pass-or-fail basis, motherhood is a lifelong endeavor that keeps growing right along with us.
For starters, you have worked tirelessly to meet your kids’ basic needs, and that in itself is an incredible feat. You’ve served tens of thousands of meals, shopped for food, packed lunches, made breakfast, cooked dinner, and doled out snacks all their lives. You’ve done hundreds of thousands of loads of laundry (No exaggeration) full of stinky clothes and dirty towels, stained sheets, and sweat-soaked athletic wear. You’ve washed millions of dishes (fact) and picked up that many cups and plates, random belongings, and tons (literally) of trash. You’ve kept up with all the routine tedious tasks to keep your house clean and in some semblance of order. You’ve worked so hard all these years, to create an organized and comfortable home for your kids no matter how messy they continue to make it and no matter how downright exhausted you’ve been.
You’ve organized family schedules and detailed plans full of practices, competitions, tournaments, rehearsals, performances, social events, doctor appointments, meetings, trips, and school activities. You’ve bought gifts and school supplies, and new clothes for every season. You’ve filled out countless forms for schools and doctors, and every activity your kid’s been in. You’ve volunteered hundreds of times to fulfill your parental obligations. You’ve paid activity fees, school dues, and all the endless (No end in sight) bills that come with raising kids. You’ve sacrificed all you can to ensure your kids are mentally and physically healthy while pursuing all the various extra-curricular activities they love to do.
You’ve taught your kids how to manage their schedules and develop decent social skills. You’ve taught them about budgeting and time management, how to clearly communicate, and take care of themselves. You’ve helped them learn the importance of responsibility and accountability, self-drive, and hard work, along with so many other things they’ve needed to learn.
You’ve instructed, disciplined, modeled, and listened- over and over again on repeat.
You’ve stayed up through all those long nights caring for your sick kids and lost more sleep with worry or dread. You’ve woken up before dawn to get them off to where they need to be and you’ve stayed up late to make sure they’re home safely. Your days and nights are always on call, ready to dive in and do the work of a mother whenever you’re needed.
You’ve sacrificed so much of your time to show up for everything that matters to your kids. You’ve cheered them on and been their biggest fan. You’ve given countless rides, transporting them everywhere they needed to go, and idled for too long waiting to pick them up. You’ve spent days and even weeks supporting your kids at out-of-town competitions or special events on countless occasions. You’ve helped them develop perseverance and fueled their determination with praise and careful intervention while they worked hard to excel in their areas of interest.
You’ve consoled and encouraged, supported, and guided your kids through various tests and trials and victories too. You’ve held it together when your kids needed you to be strong despite wanting to fall apart in heaving sobs. You’ve bit your tongue, held your breath, scolded and reprimanded, and given consequences and fought hard to stick to them. You’ve tried to understand your kids through every phase they’ve been through and you continue to meet them where they are every step of the way. You’ve believed in all their talents and strengths, built up their confidence, and affirmed their potential to be successful in all they dream to be.
You’ve been by their side through the really dark days and did everything and anything to help them survive. You’ve felt crushed and heartbroken, relieved and elated. You’ve been betrayed and deceived, disgusted and enraged. You’ve stuck it out, pushed through, sucked it up, shook it off, forgave a lot, and battled with and for your kid. You’ve surrendered it all and given up when it was just too much, but not for long before you picked yourself back up and wiped yourself off, and stepped back into the ring of life with your kids once again.
You’ve endured illnesses and injuries, mental health issues and accidents, colossal mistakes, and reckless behavior. And you kept loving your kids through it all. You’ve managed the stress and strain of college decisions or career searches, independent living locations, or any other options your kids pursue after high school. You’ve prayed that you’ve prepared them enough for their future and you’ve endured the excruciating process of letting them go.
It’s a wonder we keep waking up to do it all over again. It’s a life that takes us to the end of ourselves and asks us to do more. Being a mom demands a supernatural strength that comes from a power beyond ourselves. This miraculous gift is birthed and fed through the unending, immeasurable, immovable love we have for our kids. It’s this love that won’t quit no matter how utterly exhausting and extremely difficult it gets. It’s this love that breathes life into our wilted bodies and strength into our weary hearts. It’s this love that is cherished and celebrated from the depths of who we are as moms.
So, remember dear mom, ALL you do is nothing short of miraculous. And remember dear mom, why you do it because that is nothing short of miraculous, too.