The way your child’s eyes light up when you pick them up from school.
How you know just the right way to tuck sheets up and where to put the kisses goodnight.
The infinite number of toilet paper rolls, paper towel rolls, or anything else that needed to be replaced that you replaced without announcing to everyone you replaced them again.
The silly pictures that you take with them just because.
The time you wouldn’t leave the doctor’s office until you had an answer.
The hours spent scouring the internet trying to find an answer.
The parenting books that collect dust on your shelf because you don’t need them anymore.
All the shirts with spit up on the shoulders and snotty nose wipes left there because you just hugged them when they needed you.
How you stay up late and wash clothes that are needed for the next morning.
The hours pacing around and around and around with a colicky baby.
The hours spent trying to figure out how to deal with a colicky baby.
Push after push after push on the swings on the park.
How you can Macgyver almost anything.
The projects helped with – science, history, book, and on and on and on and on – and how you almost kept your patience the entire time.
All the board games, legos, dolls, and other things you played again and again.
When you felt alone or tired and just wanted to stay home and you still loaded them in the car and drove and drove and drove.
The times cleaning the wrappers, junks, paper and all from the car that just gets left.
All the beds you’ve cleaned underneath.
That you have the passwords to every kid’s site memorized.
That you remembered to write down the one’s that you forgot.
All the questions you have answered.
Let me repeat that – all the millions of questions you have answered that begin with why.
All the times you’ve uttered just one bite or just one try or just one pedal or any time you’ve worked and worked and worked to help them learn.
The shirts tucked, coats buttoned, shoes tied, and pants zipped.
Your hand in their hand as you cross the street.
You running behind a bike as they finally get their courage leaving you in the dust yelling look up look up and you did it you really did it!!
The knees bandaged under your hands.
The tears wiped away and hands in your faces and words of you can do it again said.
Your hand in their hand as you say goodbye and leave them at a college thousands of miles from home.
The times you’ve snuck in and just watched them sleep.
All the books, toys, and things that are all over your home that make a mess but make you a family.
The tears that you’ve shed behind the bathroom door.
The tears that you’ve shed in the car.
The tears that you’ve shed standing at the sink while someone pulls at your leg.
The tears that you’ve shed because you want to be a good mom.
How only you can find the missing item that vanished.
The notes written to the teacher.
The times spent sitting in a chair meant for a seven year old across from their teacher.
The times spent filling out college applications and you felt brave.
All the balls thrown, piano keys pressed, markers colored, and times spent investing in them.
All the toilets scrubbed, hair pulled from drains, vomit cleaned and other gross tasks that you just do.
The fact that dandelions (or any flowers really) are picked and given to you.
The fact that you put those dandelions above your sink.
The sweet hugs in the morning as you wake your slumbering little ones.
That even when they’re old that when they’re sick they still just want mom.
That you show them the rainbow every time after it storms.
The times you sit at the table helping with homework and it feels like torture but you just sit there.
When you give extra food because they’re still hungry even though you’ll be hungry.
The patience it takes to grocery shop with a toddler in tow.
The super duper patience it takes to grocery shop with a toddler and a newborn in tow.
The extra super super patience it takes to shop with a tween.
All the times cooking in the kitchen making dinner out of nothing.
Haircuts, nail trims, baths, and all that grooming stuff.
The times you sit in the haircut place and tear up when your five year old returns looking so much older.
How your hug and kiss makes whatever get better.
The times you curled up in that toddler bed when they had a bad dream.
How you sleep half asleep in case they wake up and call your name.
The lack of sleep that you’ve learned to survive through.
That you’re the only one who can pack lunches, get them ready, and out the door in 8.3 minutes if needed.
The times sitting on the sidelines.
The times where you say I believe in you when they had forgotten how awesome they truly are.
The courage to deal with slammed doors and I hate you’s and all of that hard stuff.
All the times when you stay up late waiting waiting waiting for them to return.
All the days spent worrying, trying, stumbling, and trying again.
The fact that on their phones you’re the only one labeled mom.
All the clothes that you’ve made go from inside out to right side in.
The I love you’s said over and over and over.
The fact that you are the only one in the whole world your kids call mom.
That even though the list is full of normal that it is extraordinary.
You make a difference.
Don’t ever doubt that.
You. Are. Wonderful.
thank you. i needed this today.
Golly, that is beautiful, relatable on so many levels, and leaves me on a Kleenex search. Luckily, because I’m Mom, I know just where we stashed all the extra boxes! Thank you for a much needed boost.
Thank you I got a 1,2 & 3 year old an it’s hard really really really hard but reading this made my night so again thank you
so needed this this week. Sigh.
i think this is one of my favorite posts….
And it never ends – just watched my beautiful grandchild sleep as I babysit while my over-worked, over- stretched daughter has a well-deserved evening out with her partner. I love how his little face lights up when I visit, I love that my girl asks for advice (even though she doesn’t take all of my ‘wisdom’), I love watching her be a more patient Mum than I think I ever was. Have I made a difference? I look at my girl and her growing family and think, yes.
This was really very beautiful. And such a plant thing to read as I lay in bed surrounded by my guys in quiet, though not quite put together completely house. Thank you! 🙂
So beautiful thank you.
This is very beautiful. Thank you.
Love this so much!
I will be sharing with my preschool families. They need to know how much they make a difference….and it doesn’t come from a store!
this came to me at the best time. My mom fell and broke her hip yesterday and we are in for a long long road to recovery. What a great reminder of all that she has done for me and my brothers as I now become her caregiver.
So many of these are so true in my own life. It is always nice to have a reminder. Thank you for sharing. Might sneak up to my kids room now just to watch them sleep. 🙂
Thank you. You brought tears to my eyes after a trying day looking after my sick son, I’ve got snot on my t-shirt, I shared my dinner, mummy cuddles made him feel better and watching him sleep makes it all worthwhile!
Sarah – you make a difference. Without a doubt.
thank you! My son is having a lot of speech problems and we have appointments everyday. This made me feel amazing. Might even if dropped a tear or two.
I needed this today. Thank you for such a beautiful piece of work. You have touched my heart.
How you cry before you got to the end of this article because you didn’t realise how badly you needed to hear something like this right now. 🙁
Love this list. Drops of Awesome!
This is an amazing read and something any parent, not just a mom, would need to read from time to time. It is amazing the difference that you make to that one (or multiple) tiny people.
Thank you…cried through this whole post. I so needed to hear that today.
Bless you Kelly. Today, right where you are. Thank you for being you.
Things have been really difficult lately and this post was a great reminder of me as a mother and all that I love doing for my kids! And that nothing or no-one can take that away from me! I read your posts everyday and I just want you to know how your stories inspire me to be the best mother I can be and to not let others steer me away from that! P.s. I had fallen over a year ago and sent my son with his dad til I got back on my feet and now is fighting to keep my son from me, and has allowed his fiance to put things in my son’s head…we have court soon and this post came at the perfect time, because I was beginning to doubt my mothering since I had to give him to his dad but it was for his best interest at the time, and now thanks to you I have my memories of all I have done and sacrificed for my kids and they love me no matter what and know that I was and have been there for them no matter what! Keep ur words of encouragement coming because u have helped alot of women and still will for ages to come! Have a blessed day!