Sunday, May 10, 2015

An Open Letter to Moms

Dear Moms,

This is for you, because it's Mother's Day and maybe you get flowers and you will get hugs and you will be told you are loved. You also get up early and dress the kids and comb their hair and make the beds (maybe) and wish the house could clean itself and play mediator over who gets that one (out of like two hundred-thirteen thousand, nine hundred eighty-two) little set of hotwheels, and you will make sure lunch plans are underway (or fix it yourself, which wouldn't be unusual even if it is supposed to be your holiday).

Maybe you had a chance to step in the shower. The kids pound on the door every thirty eight seconds and tell you they really need crackers and raisins and drinks and big brother stole their car. And you come out to find the toddler got into the fridge and the big brother raided the game cabinet, the contents of all of the above being strewn... well, everywhere. And your husband wanted to leave in thirty minutes.

The littlest is teething and irritable and pitching fits and somehow that one little person can make the whole universe shatter. Right on top of your head. Which is easy enough to recover from, providing you get twenty-three seconds to catch your breath and pull yourself together. But who are we kidding? Mothers aren't always afforded the leisure of twenty-three spare demand-free seconds. So here you are, snapping at the people you love the most because you weren't born an octopus with enough limbs capable of getting the screaming child comforted, the older child more raisins, clean up the coffee you just spilled and recover from stepping on that lego all in one fluid motion, and you really just can't have that conversation about child training right now, honey.

You will worry, like you do every day, that maybe you're spending too much time at work, or on trying to keep the house relatively livable, or on that laundry--darn that laundry! Or finishing up that project that takes twenty seven thousand times longer simply because there are kids to keep alive. Therefore you are not spending enough time with the children. These cute little heathens you call your own are surely neglected and now they might grow up to be bank robbers.

So you remind yourself to speak gently, to give hugs, to tickle, to spend time, to make them feel loved. You pray for patience.

People close to you might like to point out how much more clingy and weepy your children are with you and only you... and they are never that way for them. Are you possibly permitting them to manipulate you?!?! You wish they could understand how that very uniquely created and precious child lived under your heart. From even before his very first heartbeat you were the sole nurturing source of nourishment. You filled each and every little need he had from moment one. He has been, by the very design of creation, conditioned to believe that you literally are his everything! Why do you think your kisses are so potent? Because you are his mom, and you are amazing that way.

Like every day, you are doing your darndest. You constantly try to convey to your children that they are loved, you work hard to teach your children about life, and keep them at least a little bit civilized. And maybe you were lucky enough to marry the best daddy in the universe yet there's really nothing that eases the load of responsibility you carry heavily on your heart. God gave you these button-nosed little individuals and He sent them to you with this deep undying maternal instinct that doesn't always satisfy status quo. In the public eye you will be scrutinized, criticized, offered unsolicited advice, and quite frankly you feel judged. Constantly. You don't know what people say behind your back and you're okay with that. But since you're following your gut and the unique individual needs of your children, your friends, your family, the strangers in your path, they all have opinions on how you're doing it wrong.

But let's face it, Moms, you are amazing. Your job is relatively thank-less. You fill a thousand roles just by being Mom. Every day you fall down, but you pick yourself back up, because you are courageous (and because it dawned on you that throwing in the towel just creates more laundry). You're strong, you're brave, you're beautiful. You're mom. To the world maybe you're just another person, but to the little persons in your life you are everything. And that is as it should be. You are mom. You are loved more than you know. You are doing a great job.

So take a moment and breathe in this amazing life you have. And by breathe in, I mean being strangled by smudge-nosed little monster hugs. And remember you are so blessed. No matter what, the hearts in your keeping are the best gifts you could possibly possess.

I want every mom who reads this to know that you've got this. Maybe your life doesn't feel as photogenic as pinterest, and maybe your children don't behave the way your friends' children do, and maybe you're just not feeling it today. That's okay. Give yourself the same grace and patience you strive so hard to give your children. Be thankful for today. Know this, you are doing a great job.

Happy Mother's Day!

With Love,
A Fellow Mom

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