Last night I went to bed very late, put my head on my pillow, and had that moment of thinking that I didn’t get anything done all day.
I saw everything I didn’t do.
I saw that instead of reading a story at night I told the boys to just go to bed and then I sat in the hallway for 45 minutes waiting for them to fall asleep.
I saw the messy kitchen – with pans needing to be washed from dinner and a table that still had remnants from our school day on it.
I saw the laundry that I didn’t finish folding.
I saw the times that I was impatient, the fact that we didn’t get all of our spelling words done, the fact that we’re still struggling with multiplication facts, that the bathroom mirror needed to be washed, that I didn’t finish my writing that I had planned, that I needed to vacuum the living room, that I still hadn’t played the game with Brennan that he asked me to play two days ago, that the kids played too much media, and that my to-do list instead of getting shorter had actually gotten longer.
So I rested there, at 2:30 in the morning, feeling just for a bit like I couldn’t keep up. Measure up.
Then I realized – am I only letting myself see all the things I didn’t do? What about what I did do?
What about all the what feels like a million times four times where I dealt with the inevitable mom cry over whose turn it was, over if one could play media, if it was snack time, and all of that? What about the dinner prepared – even though it was just spaghetti and sauce and beans – and the lunch prepared and the kitchen cleaned at least three times?
What about the times in the backyard?
Or sitting together on the couch? Or finding a shirt for them to wear? Or picking up toys? Or talking to friends? Or talking to a women’s group who was totally awesome? Or when I answered emails? And on and on and on.
How about you?
What do you see, dear mother when you look at your day?
Do you go to bed at night looking at your day thinking that you didn’t do much?
Do you go to bed weary wondering if all this motherhood stuff really makes a difference?
Or do you go to bed, put your head on your pillow, and give yourself grace? Do you rest there and know that even if it wasn’t perfect that what you’re doing makes a difference? Do you see the amazing normal things that you do every single day?
Do you see the beauty, bravery, and strength in what moms, what you, do?
I challenge you to start going to bed and realizing that you do a great deal more than we often give ourselves credit for. You are a mother. You may work, work at home, work part time, stay home, or do a combination of all of that. But no matter what, you mother. You still have to get up, to love kids, to get them dressed, to make sure they’re clean, to make food, to help with homework, to read, to listen, to deal with tantrums and attitude, to drive here and there, to wake in the middle of the night when you’d rather sleep, and to just keep going. No matter what.
When you put your head on your pillow at night that’s what you should be thinking about.
You should be realizing that you are way more than enough and that what you are doing – those simple things that are so easy to dismiss as just a mom moments are in fact the most powerful moments in your day. Dealing with disputing children multiple times an hour is in fact incredibly draining. Who knew that much energy could be expended in trying to determine whose turn it is? Or the challenges in a four year old actually letting you get them dressed? Or in loving kids when you’re simply super tired and you just want to take a break?
I mean, just this morning I’ve already dealt with a minor meltdown over the shirt choice (is it really that hard?), that one couldn’t go outside when they wanted to, that there was nothing for breakfast, that one had to actually scrape their dish in the garbage, that the shoes didn’t feel right, that one was annoyed that toys needed to be put back in the box, and on and on. And that was before 8am. And before my coffee had brewed.
Those things that we deal with that we think are often just mom things are sometimes the most draining, most tiring, most oh my goodness I cannot believe I am really trying to reason with a three year old over shirt choice things.
They’re the real nitty gritty mom moments.
The moments that are smooshed in with real life moments – the money, relationships, working, managing a home, and doing all of that real stuff as well as trying to convince the four year old that washing hair is good and that you won’t get the water in their eyes and well, you know, mom stuff.
Don’t dismiss what you do.
Don’t look at your to-do list which probably won’t get done until you’re old and use it to qualify your day.
Look at all you do. All of your being a mom enough moments. All the times when you put the bandage on the knee, pulled the splinter out of a finger of a screaming five year old, helped your teenager with homework, folded the clothes and put them back in the drawer, buttoned up coats, talked with friends, sat on the couch and breathed moments in life.
You’re a mom.
You’re a mom with good days, bad days, awesome days, days where you want to race to the airport and take the next flight to anywhere, days with milk spilled, days where you feel like the queen of the world, days that are sunny, days that are normal, and just every day life.
In all them. You keep going. That’s what moms do.
See that today.
That’s enough, brave mother. That’s enough.