What you’re doing matters.
Don’t just brush off that statement. Read it again:
What you’re doing matters.
Absorb those words and know they are true. Don’t just let them float aimlessly around in your mind, but place them in your heart. Because what you are doing really and truly matters.
I know that’s hard to remember or understand in the midst of a tantruming toddler who doesn’t understand why five cookies don’t constitute a good meal. Or when you have dark circles under your eyes, greasy hair, unshaven legs and sour milk has become your eau de parfum. Or when you must clean up the kitchen. Again.
Being a mom is exhausting. It’s not always easy. But it matters.
We often think of love as a sweet, beautiful and awe-inspiring. We think of those moments at the end of the movie when the couple embraces under an umbrella in the rain. Or, we think of cute, furry kittens and all their sweet softness. But, love isn’t just a warm, fuzzy feeling. It is an action and a choice to show up, to dive in, to be devoted to someone else’s needs. It’s not just a flood of feel-good hormones. It is a relationship built during each diaper change, each storybook reading, each late-night feeding and each rocking chair moment.
Each of those moments matters. Your choice to show up and be present is teaching your little one a valuable lesson: they are loved. They matter to you. They are safe and secure in your arms. You are their shelter.
I know there are those days when you’re not sure you can change another diaper. You’re hands are cracked and bleeding from washing them so often and your mind is foggy from lack of sleep. You don’t know if you can go another night without at least five solid hours of restful sleep, though 12 would be even better. All you want is a shower. A nap. Clothes free of spit-up stains. The ability to grocery shop without a meltdown in the cereal aisle.
Motherhood is tough. It will test you to your very core. You will see sides of yourself you didn’t know existed. Sometimes that’s good. Sometimes it’s not. You will be challenged in ways you didn’t know possible and in ways you will never fully understand.
But don’t give up.
Take a deep breath. Take a time out if you need it. Take a nap if you can. Just keep going.
Even in the midst of those difficult days, there are silver linings. Look for them:
The new skills.
The unprovoked hugs.
The wet, squeaky kisses.
The belly laughs.
The moments they call you “mom.”
It’s easy to get lost in the frustrations and the exhaustion, but the truth is you are rearing the next generation of leaders and world changers. With each diaper change or each moment of correction you engage in, you are setting them on a path for the future. Okay, so that may sound like a huge responsibility. But, you were made for this. You have the unique ability to speak into, care for and love on your child like no one else. Embrace that calling and focus on it when the days get long and tiring and you just don’t feel like explaining to your toddler why he can’t watch another episode of Caillou.
Focus on those silver linings, those blessings of the hardest role you will ever play. Believe that what you are doing matters. Because it does. It matters right now. It matters tomorrow and beyond. You’ve got this, Mom, one diaper change, one late-night feeding, one storybook, one cuddle, one belly laugh at a time. All of it matters. And so do you.
Tell us, what are your silver linings? Especially on those days when you need to be reminded that what you are doing matters, what makes it all worth while?