You probably woke up early this morning. Either so you could have some quiet time before the rest of your family awoke, or because little voices were already calling “Mommmmmy!” and try as you might, you couldn’t wish them back to sleep for even a few more minutes. So you rolled over, your feet met the floor, and you got to doing whatever it was you had to do.

Because you’re a mom.

You worry. A lot. Sometimes about small things, like how many clean pairs of underwear each member of the family has left before you need to catch up on laundry duty. Sometimes your worries reside in the middle lane, where you stress over a permission slip you forgot to sign or dwell on the way you lost your temper over something that really wasn’t a big deal after all. And sometimes—sometimes those worries are big. You’re not sure how you’ll pay for that unexpected bill, or a health scare sneaks into your circle of loved ones, or your kid is falling into the wrong crowd at school. So you worry, and worry, and worry.

Because you’re a mom.

You are the keeper. You keep all of the schedules, all of the lists, all of the must-dos. At any given moment, you keep a thousand thoughts in your head as you organize and plan the existence of every day. You keep that heart-shaped rock that your little one found in the driveway, and that box of scribbled drawings that mean so much to you alone. You keep tabs on where everyone is both day and night, keeping them close to your heart and mind, always. You keep the well-oiled machine that is your family running smoothly and happily through the years.

Because you’re a mom.

You were tired today, I’m sure of it. Maybe coffee kept you going, or maybe you just didn’t let yourself stop moving for one second because you knew you’d never get started again if you did. But tonight, once you’ve convinced the little one there aren’t dinosaurs hiding under his bed, and the other that he, in fact, does not have to pee for the 27th time, and the house is finally quiet . . . you’ll find your second wind. Instead of crawling under your own covers to recharge, you’ll find yourself wiping counters, paying bills, and packing lunches. And when the clock on the wall is telling you that YOU REALLY SHOULD GET SOME SLEEP, you’ll stay up even longer to read just one more chapter of your book, or mindlessly scroll through your phone, or watch another episode of that crummy TV show you don’t really even like—all because you have the chance to relax for the first time today.

Because you’re a mom.

You give of yourself all of the time and without hesitation. You give of your love, you give of your energy, you give of your time, you give of that last bite of cake you reallllllly don’t want to share. You give so much and you rarely take, and most days you’re OK with that. Most days, you do it all willingly and generously. And when you don’t feel so generous about it, you just keep giving anyway.

Because you’re a mom.

You love a lot. And big. You do so many things that you swore you’d never do—so many things that you thought you could never do. You get discouraged, flustered, and worn down but still fall asleep at night with an overflowing heart all because they’re yours and you’re theirs, this family you’re so crazy about. Your love is resilient, and powerful, and absolutely stunningly awe-worthy.

There’s nothing else on this earth quite like your heart, you know.

Because you’re a mom.

Casey Huff

Casey is a teacher turned stay-at-home-mom. She and her husband live in rural Colorado with their two sons and two ornery Labradors. Casey blogs at Etched in Home. Her mission as a writer is to celebrate parenthood and relationships, and shine light on the reality behind it all; the good, the bad, and always the real. When she’s not writing, you can find Casey chasing her Littles around, hiding in the pantry eating chocolate, or doing anything else to avoid dealing with the always-present mountain of laundry that haunts her days. To read more from Casey, give her a follow at: Etched in Home -- Facebook Etched in Home -- Instagram