Happy Mother’s Day, Mamas!
I have lots of feels about this day, and I don’t totally understand all of them. In a full disclosure these are just MY feels, and not meant to be offensive.
I don’t love the constant Internet dialogue of “this is the hardest job ever.” I loath the posts that beg for readers to feel sorry for mothers, because when we feel sorry for someone, we look down on them, ultimately think less of them, and we think “thank goodness that isn’t my reality.” These sentiments are such a tremendous discredit to our relationships with our children.
Mothering is super hard! Yes, you are correct. However, any meaningful work I have ever done has been super hard, and mothering has an advantage that as Internet mothers we don’t write about often enough, we don’t talk about often enough. In between making sure we limit screentime, and provide nurturing and enriching environments ALL OF THE TIME…we somehow have lost the greatest gift, or at least the Internet has forgotten.
Mothering has 10,457 moments in a single day that reward the most valuable work we do, and no other work I have had has ever given me this many accolades. These moments make our work the most powerful, and create the most poignant privileges of our lives. I’m not approaching this as some sanctimonious “motherhood is a gift” nonsense, but I am suggesting that motherhood is most simply our reality, and maybe we need to change our rhetoric. It’s neither an honor or a burden, it’s just regular things everyday, that as mothers we do because it’s the right thing to do, and simply put, it’s our job. We get to smile at the 10,457 moments no one sees, but we get to, because we are moms. We get to smile at them between every tantrum.
And shit, this year has been rough. I have cried in my beer more times than I care to admit. My co-parent has worked for over six weeks straight without a day off, and I miss having a second parent. We spent most of April sick, and Saturday morning started way to early. I HAD to get out of bed to feed my tiny human breakfast hours before I wanted, and I had to make two bagels because the first had peanut butter on it, and even though she said that’s what she wanted, she actually wanted cream cheese, obvs… because she is two years old and is a mini dictator. But then we snuggled for a few moments and she read me a story, and for like 5 minutes and 20 seconds I was awe struck with this tiny human for this moment. What job, what meaningful position reminds us so frequently that we are awesome, and we are doing something right.
Later, she cried all the way to Target because I put her crackers in the wrong snack cup. The injustice, people. I bribed her to stop screaming at me with a chocolate milk from Sixbucks. The chocolate milk was purchased, and two minutes into her beverage she asked, “mama I share sip with you, it’s delicious.” I realized, wow, I’m raising a tiny human who wants to share her treat with me, her momma, and that’s pretty awesome. In this fifteen minutes of exhaustion that was my moment. (Have no fear, friends there was obviously an epic meltdown leaving Target because I wouldn’t buy my two year old lipstick.)
Even later I had the privilege of listening to tiny human laughter, as I snuggled a friends newborn, and cheered to Mother’s Day. It lasted a whole 30 minutes. #winning
My dear friend earlier this week wrote that she wanted to have a moment that didn’t feel like the only thing her family was doing was yelling at each other. She framed this sentiment in between beautiful pictures of her children, and finding the moments that didn’t suck. (She’s a rockstar.) Despite a lot of yelling, she was finding her meaningful moments, and that was powerful. She was celebrating her work, even though it wasn’t always awesome. (Thank you friend for your wisdom, and keeping it real.)
The sentence held my heart. I realized this is where I was at, and I felt like this was my season of a lot of yelling, and maybe meaningful work has bad days.
I realized that sometimes this is mothering, and sometimes its not glamorous, and some weeks we catch puke in our hands, and spend a lot of time yelling. But, that is simply the reality of this work, and not every moment is going to special, and some of them are going to be hard AF. It’s meaningful. And it isn’t really an honor, and it isn’t really burden… It’s just our job… The most meaningful work will we do. We will raise tiny humans, and some days we will be rockstars, and some days we won’t be
I have feels about Mother’s Day. I simply anticipate being let down, because shockingly my tiny humans will behave exactly like tiny humans EVEN ON MOTHERS DAY, and our family will gamble at a family fun day or a family fail day. And that’s mothering. There is not any other date on the calendar that we expect praise or gratitude for doing this work. We do it because our tiny humans depend on it, and we love them with our entire beings, so we obviously wake up everyday and love them, and work for them, even when it’s hard.
It’s nice to be recognized, and it’s important to say thank you to the people in your life who work hard at their jobs. But Mamas’, we do this everyday.It is always Mother’s Day if we find the moments between the tantrums, the sarcasm, the TWO bagels, and we find the moments that fill our cups to make our meaningful work awe inspiring. Sometimes it’s just a sip of chocolate milk.