I start should this letter off by saying I'm NOT a mom. I've been both a teacher and a nanny so I have a small taste of your job. I truly believe you have one of the hardest, if not the hardest, jobs there is. Your hours are long and often thankless. But I hope you know that you are doing a great job. You are doing a job that matter so much. You may never get an award, or the spotlight, or loud applause, but your job is having an impact. It matters. It matters a whole lot. I realize you are going to have hard days. You'll have days where your child(ren) don't take naps. Days where you'll want a single moment to yourself.
But keep going.
Hang in there.
Perhaps a thank you here and there would be nice. Consider this a thank you note from me to you. Thank you for doing the endless amounts of laundry. Because my word....it never seems to end does it? Thank you for the bedtime stories you read. And for the making of lunches, putting together play dates, and wipe faces. You have made endless sacrifices and don't get paid a dime for your work. Thank you for showing up to motherhood and giving your all to it. Thank you for going without so that your children got what they wanted.
Promise me that you won't quit because you aren't a quitter.
There are going to be days where the tears will seem endless. Where you will be so knee deep in sleep deprivation that a 30 minute nap will feel like heaven. You are going to mess up. We all do. You'll make mistakes. You might even have deep regrets. But falling on your face doesn't define you as a mother. It's how you get up that matters. So keep on getting back up. You'll be stronger as a result.
Some days you will feel like a taxi driver or chauffeur. You will go to endless soccer games, dance classes, karate, and more. You probably don't see it yet. You are probably knee deep in the thick of motherhood. But you're teaching your children lessons they can't always learn in the classroom. You are teaching them that showing up matters. You are allowing them to learn that teamwork is important. You are reminding them if they practice enough they can master new skills. You are giving them life lessons and experiences that will carry them well into adulthood. So as you cringe over the endless goldfish crumbs in your minivan, just hang on.
Pinterest can't hold a candlestick to motherhood.
I hope you know that. I hope you know that motherhood is far more than perfectly crafted birthday parties and the best handmade valentines. Stop comparing yourself to a board of photos. Let yourself be the biggest pinterest fail there ever was. Give yourself permission to fail at that. Let yourself off the hook. Please know that doesn't make you a failure as a mother. Do you know what really matters? What matters far beyond the perfecting a project you found on pinterest? The ones who call you a superhero. The ones who know that you are the queen of the band aids. The ones who knows that there will be little notes tucked into their lunch boxes. The ones who crawl into your bed at 1am because they had a nightmare. They could care less about having the best valentines one day of the year.
You are giving your children the best possible gift they could ever have. That gift is simply YOU. Keep showing up. Keep going. You can do this. You really can do this. I know you can.
Perhaps this is the part of the letter where I should tell you that you are strong and brave because you are. I see it from afar. I wonder if you see it.
You are strong. And so brave.
Don't let comparison steal any of that truth from you. Don't look to the right and the left and wonder how you could be doing motherhood better. You're doing just fine. In fact, you're doing better than fine. You are repeating lies over and over in your head like a broken record. Perhaps its time to get a new record player and start playing truths.
The truth is simple: you are strong.
There are going to be days that feel impossible. You will want to pull the covers back on and hit the redo button in life. Days where you'll have sick kids. Days where you will want to throw the towel in Days where you feel utterly crushed by life. Days where it feel likes everything has gone wrong.
But don't quit.
You are not a quitter.
Strong has nothing to do with the size of your waist or the muscles in your arms. Strong is waking up and trying every day. It's making tiny and large sacrifice. Strong is an anthem song of trying, trying, and trying some more. It's doing your best. It's getting up even when that seems impossible.
If I were to grab you by the face I would tell you this simple truth on repeat:
you are brave. so so brave.
I know there are nights where you stay up late sewing Halloween costumes and ballerina dresses. I know there are nights where no one liked the dinner you prepared. There are days were you feel forgotten and unseen. But the truth is you are brave. I bet you don't always see it. You don't always see it. There are so many fairy tales where the prince is the hero riding in on a white horse. Maybe no one told you that your children will grow up one day and tell the stories of how you were the rescuer. You were the one that picked up the pieces of broken hearts. You were the one who sewed patches over beloved clothing. You were the one who wrestled through long hours of homework.
You are the brave one. You are the hero of the story. Brave and strong doesn't always mean big muscles and fearless attitudes. It just means that you got out of bed another day and decided to keep on showing up.
Dear moms out there, I hope you know that you are brave and strong and all kinds of lovely. That when you lay your weary head down at night you know that you matter. That you matter so much.
That is my wish for you strong and brave moms....that you see just how much you matter.
I'm cheering you on!