We are mothers. We are women. For being the fairer sex, the ones without the cajones, we sure have a helluva lot of balls in the air.
We are the lovers of our littles. The trouble-shooters to the tweeners. The taxi to the teens. The makers of the meals. The logisticizers. The former girlfriend to our spouse. The currently covered in spit-up. Or eye rolls. Or maybe noise. The noise. NOISE. NOISE. NOISE.
Mothering is not a walk in the park. It is all-encompassing. It can become your whole identity. It can complement your current life. Or it can completely uproot your firmly planted plans and move you to a whole new place.
But. Once you’ve decided to do it, to mother, to parent . . . you must do it. There are no return tickets. There is no refund. There is no way to say, “I am not passing go. I don’t want the 200 dollars.” Once you have your place in the ‘hood that is made of mothers, you gain permanent status.
Your status as a mother is not dependent on what you feed your child. Or what they get to poop in. Your status as a mother is not deemed by your number of wake-ups during the night. Or the number of hours you spend chasing away monsters. Your status as a mother can not be gauged by the totaled minutes you are in the presence of your children each day. Your status as a mother is not ever going to be defended by your ability to buy certain things for your children. Your status as a mother is truly measured in one way: LOVE.
We look around at what everyone else is doing. We try to assess if we are keeping up with the Jones’ when we don’t even like the Jones’. We hem and haw over what everyone will think if we go back to work. If we don’t go back to work. If we never wash our hair. If we do our makeup every day. If our 10-year-old is in the smart group. If our six-year-old has more or less tantrums. We take every ounce of motherhood and break it down to try to figure out that line of perfection. And perfection doesn’t even exist.
But love does.
Love is, I believe, evidenced in that we are even deciding to become a mother. And then, making choices in how mothering looks to us. Love shows up in the moments we take a breath just as much as it does in the moments of motherhood that can take our breath away. Love can be seen in our choice to scold our children, or hold our children. It can be found in gifting independence and in being hands-on. It is heavily prevalent in the moments that we tell them they need to go to their room. Just as it is right there when we lay in their bed just a little longer than we should at the close of the day.
Love is the one thing that is universally presence in all mothers. And I’d bet my bottom dollar that you are killing it at loving your child every day.
We need to know this, mama: loving our children looks different to everyone. And because of that, each of us is able to help steer these humans who have been entrusted into our care into beautiful, unique humans. But not perfect. You can try with all your might but perfect to the world and perfection to you, they will always look different.
The choices we make in motherhood are because we love our children. Not because we don’t. We owe it to our hearts to know the difference. And to celebrate that mamas are navigating their own motherhood path one day/hour/minute/second at a time.
Stop second-guessing your gut. Stop letting Lucy down the street get in your head. Stop letting a mom blog derail your current trajectory. Or the court of public opinion make you feel like you are a failure. We are mothers. We are women. For being the fairer sex, the ones without the cajones, we sure have a helluva lot of balls in the air. And it’s up to us to decide how we run our circus act. And which balls just have to fall.
Love your babies and your children and your people like only you know how. Love them well. Love them fiercely.
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