To all the mamas I know – and don’t:
This started as a post on how to help your family practice gratitude.
No sooner than writing the first line, however, it occurred to me that you are the being that deserves to receive gratitude.
Whether you have one child or six, you’re probably not aware of the extent to which you provide for your family every.single.day.
Stop to think about what you did today alone. From meals to transportation to managing morning “drama,” how many times did you put your own needs on the back burner in order to help your children?
You thought nothing of letting your breakfast get cold in order to feed the baby or clean-up spilled milk. You didn’t think twice about holding your pee to find your child’s stuffed animal or comfort a scared child when she awoke unexpectedly at 3 am.
Aspects of motherhood are extraordinary, but let’s be real, a lot of it is tedious and unglorified. Most of what mothers do is “invisible.”
Alison Lutherman wrote a poem called Invisible Work, which gets at what I’m trying to say. She writes:
You bring him to the park,
run rings around yourself keeping him safe,
cut hot dogs into bite-sized pieces for dinner,
and there’s no one
to say what a good job you’re doing,
how you were patient and loving
for the thousandth time even though you had a headache.”
This isn’t meant to make you feel sorry for yourself or conjure up resentment and blame, it’s more of an attempt to say, “I see you, I appreciate you, I am you.”
So on this Thanksgiving, and always, may you take a moment to appreciate your tireless efforts, endless love, and unwavering commitment to your child’s well-being.
And may you pause to pay homage to all the moms on the planet who, like you, have been isolated, wiped out, and afraid, but dedicate themselves over and over to mothering with love and strength.