to the mom wondering if it matters

It matters. Here’s why.

The other day my eight year old came in the house crying. His new jeans, without holes in the knees – which mind you typically lasts only a matter of days before he just happens to dive in the grass – now sported a big gaping hole with a bloody skinned knee poking out.

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His tough demeanor was gone. Now he was just the boy, the boy in need of his mom, and someone to quickly stop that bleeding. As I stood there dabbing that knee and picking out gravel and trying to calm down the hysterics I remembered. I had this vivid memory of sitting on my parent’s counter, crying terribly, as my mother did the same thing to my skinned knee. I remember sobbing and listening to her try to calm down my own hysterics.

It’s okay, Caleb. You’re tough.

Gradually the sobs subsided and the tales of bravery and running and scootering on a road that had gravel and salt left from the winter emerged.

Thanks mom.

And he was off.

All of the drama. The tears.

And I was left in a bathroom with a pair of jeans that now had a hole and blood stains. With foot prints on the tub and a towel on the floor. With three bandage wrappers sitting on the counter and a tube of antibiotic cream waiting for its cap to return. And me. With my tshirt and hair in a pony tail and jeans. While dinner cooked on the stove and my tea kettle whistled. With ear buds and my cell phone on the counter and someone already calling mom from the living room for me.

That’s motherhood.

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Oh, you and I can dream about the days that we thought motherhood would be. About the moments at the table doing crafts and organized rooms and moments of bliss. But, even though motherhood is sprinkled with them here and there and tucked into corners so much of motherhood is racing to the door when the child is crying, dropping what we’re doing, and running down to the road and picking them up.

It might not feel like it’s enough. Or that it truly matters. You and I might race through life with our hands in the air and wish for a moment to breathe.

You might feel unnoticed.

You might feel like no one cares.

You might wonder if it all even matters.

No one sees those moments in the bathroom.

Those times where you tediously scrape and pick out pebbles from your child’s knees. Or the times in the middle of the night where you sleep on the floor next to your three year old’s bed holding their hand because they had a bad dream. They don’t see you wandering through the grocery store with a list in hand and a budget in your head and you saying no to things even when you wish you could say yes. They don’t see you in the laundry room folding clothes and digging through the basket in the morning trying to find that matching sock. They don’t see you online trying to understand the new math way of dividing so that you can teach it to your frustrated fourth grader who is waiting for you.

They see you. On the outside.

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But you? You on the inside?

You in the everyday. That sometimes get lost in our busy world of agendas and places to go. But those everyday moments – they are the moments that build your motherhood story. They are the times when you become stronger and braver. They are the times when you say no to sleep and yes to rocking. They are the times when you read the story just one more time or walk to the kitchen to bring water up to the six year old’s room at bedtime. They are the times holding a neb mask to a fast, calming down fears, holding hands in the store, laughing at cartoons, dishing up spaghetti, wiping away tears, and doing a whole lot of ordinary.

They are the moments that make motherhood.

They are the moments that when you and I are grandmas that we will laugh about and share. They are the things that we’ll look back and remember and sigh and think about. They are the things our children will remember.

I don’t remember how I fell when I was seven.

I do remember my mom.

I remember her hugging me.

Wiping my knee. Telling me I will be okay. Just like I did with my Caleb. Just like you do.

My knee has no scars from that fall.

But my heart remembers.

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Sweet mother. Sweet, sweet, sweet mother don’t discount the ordinary. Don’t just think it’s something that you just do because moms just do those things.

What you do is amazing.

It’s not a little thing. Those moments build a life. Nurture a child. Tell others that they matter. They are moments of love. Of giving. Of being a mom.

That is what life is about. Not about perfection and having our act together all the time. It’s about the little things. About loving. About being real. About being okay with not knowing the answers. About being.

Keep on keeping on. And in your heart today, today as you go through your day filled with ordinary moments may the truth that those ordinary things are truly the most beautiful moments of motherhood fill your heart.

It’s not the big stuff.

It’s you. Now.

Be brave and carry on.

Thanks mom.

And that means you, too.

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So in case you wonder if it matters? Well, it does. Every single bit of it matters.

Onward.

You’ve got awesome to do.

~Rachel

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16 Responses to “to the mom wondering if it matters”

  1. April 9, 2014

    kristyn Reply

    Great article! A couple days ago I posted something similar to my friends on Facebook. As a first time mom to a now amazing one year I always worrid that not knowing exactly What to do in every situation made me a bad parent. I panicked and stressed about not having read all the right books or taken all the classes to be prepared for my little one. Having been an extreme scheduler and planner pre baby I slowly started to loose my mind when that control began to slop away. I started to unconsciously handle the loss very well. I wanted to panic when I didn’t have every baby moment right but instead I did what felt right in each situation and everything always turned out perfect. Then.one day I reached out to another bee mom seeking advice to ease my worries regarding breastfeeding and the fact that we were still up 5 times a night! She said something that really changed my attitude about how I had been parenting and taking on all these new adventures. “If it feels right, its right”. Simple words that I had been following all along but actually hearing someone say it really brought it to the light.
    After reading comment after comment and article after article putting down moms for the choices they made regarding their child seeing the words she wrote dissolved all the stress that eveveryone else’s “parenting advice ” had caused.
    We are the only.mom who truly knows our child and what will work for them. We are the only mom who truly knows all the ordinary moments our child truly needs. I have come to terms that doing whatever feels right with my daughter will truly make is both happy. Sometime she sleeps with me, sometimes in her swing, sometimes in her crib, sometimes I nurse her all day, sometimes she doesn’t need that. Going with the flow and letting her help me dictate the way our days will go has already started to mold her into an amazing little person.
    Your article definetly reiterates that great advice I got and I hope more moms can trust their instincts and.enjoy each day as it comes writing their own book remembering all their ordinary moments instead of trying to raise their children based on other peoples opinions!

  2. April 9, 2014

    Lynn Reply

    Still cleaning scrapes at this end. Yesterday was a meeting of two of the grands. One definitely got the worst of it. Looked like road rash on his face. Doesn’t look as bad today.
    Praying!
    Isaiah 49:13-16a Sing, O heavens; and be joyful, O earth; and break forth into singing, O mountains: for the LORD hath comforted his people, and will have mercy upon his afflicted. But Zion said, The LORD hath forsaken me, and my Lord hath forgotten me. Can a woman forget her sucking child, that she should not have compassion on the son of her womb? yea, they may forget, yet will I not forget thee. Behold, I have graven thee upon the palms of my hands…

  3. April 10, 2014

    Julie Reply

    Love this! This is something all mothers need to hear. Sometimes we may forget if it all matters.

  4. April 10, 2014

    Lynn Reply

    5 grands here today and no new scrapes or bruises!
    I’m always here praying!
    Isaiah 43:1-3a But now thus saith the LORD that created thee, O Jacob, and he that formed thee, O Israel, Fear not: for I have redeemed thee, I have called thee by thy name; thou art mine. When thou passest through the waters, I will be with thee; and through the rivers, they shall not overflow thee: when thou walkest through the fire, thou shalt not be burned; neither shall the flame kindle upon thee. For I am the LORD thy God, the Holy One of Israel…

  5. April 11, 2014

    Tammy Samms Reply

    I can still remember having a really bad scrapped knee from a bike accident and my Mom cleaning it so gently with a soapy washcloth. It was like she had magical powers that kept it from hurting. I was able to do those same gentle cleanings for my children’s scrapes and I hope they look back one day with the same loving thoughts that I do. God bless all the Mothers that came before us and will come after us!

    • April 11, 2014

      Rachel Marie Martin Reply

      Yes, yes, yes….it’s amazing how those little things become such impressionable memories in our lives.

      With joy.

      Rachel

  6. April 12, 2014

    Lynn Reply

    Even during the hardest trials of life the Lord is always there! Praying!
    Habakkuk 3:17-19 Although the fig tree shall not blossom, neither shall fruit be in the vines; the labour of the olive shall fail, and the fields shall yield no meat; the flock shall be cut off from the fold, and there shall be no herd in the stalls: Yet I will rejoice in the LORD, I will joy in the God of my salvation. The LORD God is my strength, and he will make my feet like hinds’ feet, and he will make me to walk upon mine high places…

  7. April 13, 2014

    Lynn Reply

    We have hope because of what happened so many years ago this week. Jesus came and suffered in your place that all who believe might share eternity with Him! Praying as always!
    Isaiah 53:1-3 Who hath believed our report? and to whom is the arm of the LORD revealed? For he shall grow up before him as a tender plant, and as a root out of a dry ground: he hath no form nor comeliness; and when we shall see him, there is no beauty that we should desire him. He is despised and rejected of men; a man of sorrows, and acquainted with grief: and we hid as it were our faces from him; he was despised, and we esteemed him not.

  8. April 14, 2014

    Kim W Reply

    I needed to read this today. I was sitting here with tears in my eyes after a frustrating day of homeschooling and wondering why I’m doing this to myself—why shouldn’t I put my son in public school?? Then some friends posted your blog on Facebook and I see it. Once again, God has used others to point out that what I’m doing does matter. That in the big scheme of life, the failures don’t matter as much as the triumphs. That he’s still my little boy, whom I love dearly, and we’ll have a better day tomorrow. That the grade doesn’t matter as much as the fact that we have spent time together, laughed, learned something and most importantly, we have shared love. Thank you for this message today.

  9. April 14, 2014

    Lynn Reply

    Jesus knows everything you’re going through! Praying!!!!!!!!!
    Isaiah 53:4-6 Surely he hath borne our griefs, and carried our sorrows: yet we did esteem him stricken, smitten of God, and afflicted. But he was wounded for our transgressions, he was bruised for our iniquities: the chastisement of our peace was upon him; and with his stripes we are healed. All we like sheep have gone astray; we have turned every one to his own way; and the LORD hath laid on him the iniquity of us all.

  10. April 16, 2014

    Karen Reply

    I remember well, 17yrs of joys, love, and trials. No new scraps my child died at 17yrs
    But I remember it was my time to shine behind my Kandace. Always proud, always there I wanted to be, I had to be as a single mom. Nothing before her nothing after but for 17 almost 18yrs I was someone special. And I thank God everyday for the gift of being her mom.

  11. April 16, 2014

    Julie Reply

    I always look forward to seeing your posts – very inspirational. I shared this post on my blog’s facebook page and twitter. Sharing the bloggy love! 🙂

    https://www.facebook.com/HomeIsWhereIBelong

  12. […] colleague and fellow mother recently sent me a link to an article that really struck a chord. So often we forget what really matters to our kids. With the “do’s […]

  13. October 7, 2014

    Victoria Reply

    Thank you for the lovely inspiration. My son is now 25 and he still calls me during the good times and bad, even though he is thousands of miles away. I am the first person he calls for advice…still. Every mom’s journey is different, but remain present and do your best. They DO see you as a role model even in the tough times. And however imperfect we all are, they learn from that too. Be honest with them, admit your mistakes, apologize when you are wrong, don’t judge too harshly, but ask questions that make them think about solutions. We all want so much to protect them from the harsh realities of the world, even when they are grown. But in reality, all we can do is walk beside them and give them support and courage, to help them become independent, compassionate, kind and strong individuals.

  14. October 27, 2014

    Bert Reply

    Couldn’t help being thankful for you as I read this, Erin.

  15. November 5, 2014

    Donna Reply

    Not all of us had Mothers like the one described. Some of us had and have bad Mothers. Just a fact of life, but I am sick of all these posts that make it seem that all Mothers are caring, some are not. Again, just a fact of life.

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