I see you there. It’s the Monday following Mother’s Day, and you woke up with a heavy heart instead of one filled from a beautiful weekend.
You know better than to compare yourself to the photos you see on social media, but it’s hard not to feel a little twinge as you scroll through other moms’ photos of bouquets, brunches, and smiling faces.
For whatever reason, your Mother’s Day wasn’t what you hoped.
Maybe you spent the day taking care of sick kiddos or were sick yourself. You’re tired and discouraged and don’t understand how strep or the tummy bug or every other sickness always seems to know when you have a special day planned.
Maybe it was your first Mother’s Day after a big loss. The joy you should have felt was replaced with the pang of missing your own mom or child or someone else dear to your heart. A fog of grief clouded the day, and you counted down the minutes until it was over.
Maybe you didn’t feel appreciated or seen in the way you deserve. You do so much for your family, and you wonder if they even recognize your sacrifices. It’s the one day of the year you hope to feel special, but that wasn’t what happened.
Maybe you’re a single mom, and there was no one to help your kids plan something special for you. It was just another day, and even though you tried to power through with a smile you just felt empty inside.
Maybe it was something else entirely, but at the end of the day, yesterday wasn’t what you hoped it would be.
I know you’re grateful to your core to be a mom, but you still feel let down, hurt, and exhausted . . . then guilty for feeling those negative things in the first place.
All of those emotions can coexist—and in case you were wondering, you’re not a bad mom for feeling any of them. Your disappointment is valid and I don’t want to take away from that. Period.
I also want to applaud you, because even after a day intended to celebrate you—to celebrate us—goes differently than you wished, it doesn’t diminish your worth. That’s pretty powerful.
As I sat with my own son in the ER yesterday, feeling puny myself and hoping for answers and treatment to relieve his miserable symptoms, peace surrounded me.
Yes, we had to cancel the plans we had with our extended family. No, I didn’t dress cute or feel particularly beautiful in my baggy sweatshirt and sweats. Yes, I wish we had been able to sit around relaxing and laughing while the cousins ran and played. No, it wasn’t my favorite day ever.
But even in the imperfection, my heart whispered this simple truth: what an honor.
What an honor to be the one my kids seek for comfort when they feel terrible.
What an honor to pour my heart and soul into a job I believe in so very much.
What an honor to have such an impact on the three most beautiful humans on this earth in my eyes.
What an honor to be “Mom.”
Life isn’t perfect, and motherhood is bumpy and winding and filled with potholes and rough patches. This is the most challenging job we will ever have, and we absolutely deserve to feel celebrated for all we pour into it.
But one day—good or bad—can’t define our journey. Our worth as mothers isn’t shown by one day on the calendar each year. Instead, it’s reflected by the sum total of a million tiny moments, seen and unseen, each and every day.
So if for whatever reason you didn’t feel these things yesterday, let me be the one to tell you now:
You are strong.
You are beautiful.
You are such a blessing to your family.
Your hard work is so important and valued beyond measure, even if you don’t always feel appreciated.
And you, my friend, are an incredible mom. No imperfect Mother’s Day can ever change that truth.