I don’t have a boss. And I’m glad I don’t. Because if someone came to evaluate my motherhood, I’m not sure they’d keep me on.
But if I did, what would they see? How would I score?
For starters, the sink is overflowing. Didn’t I just do these? I’ll just pop them in the dishwasher.
Nope. It’s full and dirty.
Hampers are all spilling onto the floor. Laundry baskets need to be emptied. The dryer is full of wet clothes, and there is a basket full of mending.
A pile of forms needing my signature. Folders of homework need my help. Oh, shoot. We are on snack duty, and he needs a poster board. Tomorrow. And it’s bedtime.
There is a stain on the carpet. The couch cushions need filling. The windows are smudged. And the bathroom needs a good scrubbing.
My son needs to go back to the dentist. My daughter needs new glasses. I need to see a dermatologist. And it’s been a year since I’ve had a haircut. My sweater has a bleach stain and my leggings should have been washed the last time I wore them.
I’m afraid it’s true. I would not score highly.
Moms are on a hamster wheel of the mundane. We do the things no one notices until no one does them. The behind-the-scenes, heavy lifting, scheduling, memory making, and double-checking. All the while, it looks like we do nothing. The days are long, they say. And yes they really are.
Then, the years are flashes. Gone by before we can blink twice. He is six. She is four. And we are cleaning out the baby stuff never to be used again. I thought life would slow down when they got bigger, but the needs just changed. And I’m still the mother.
Some days, I would get lost in the laundry, the diapers, and the tantrums. Where was I? Where was the woman who dreamed of a life full of professional ambition? Because it’s hard to find your purpose in a sink full of dishes.
Though there is no boss in motherhood, we are often our toughest critics, giving ourselves failing marks in every area and rarely giving grace.
Here, there are no certificates, no degrees, and no trophies.
There are just endless numbers of tasks we complete that no one is counting.
And yet, when my son started reading, when my daughter rode a bike, or when we snuggle down for movies on Friday night, I remember this is all so fleeting. The hardships don’t come to stay and the joy is hard to keep, making it all so bittersweet.
The job of motherhood is never done, and it can never be measured. But the best moms are the ones who show up day after day. The best moms aren’t perfect, but they vow to do better than yesterday. And Mama, if that’s you, you deserve the highest rank. No matter how many dishes are piled in your sink.