Motherhood is an exhausting job, yet often one that comes with little recognition for the many tasks required in a single day.
• Feed them breakfast
• Find shoes, backpacks, and coats
• Pack their lunches
• Morning carpool drop off
• Well-child checkups at the doctor’s office
• Pick up some groceries
• Nap the baby while putting groceries away
All that happens before 11 am rolls around. The afternoon usually takes a similar path of non-stop movement.
- Make lunch
- Wash the dishes and the laundry
- Pay the bills
- Scrub the toilets
- Change at least 4 diapers by 3 pm
- Vacuum up the Cheerios from the living room floor
- Get the dog to the groomer
- Take a welcome gift to the new neighbor
- Stop at the post office
- Pick up the kids at school
- Help with homework
- Start dinner, eat dinner, leave the dishes for later
- Kiss the hubby as you rush out the door to dance lessons
- Back home for bath and story time
It’s finally 8:00, the house is quiet except for the occasional call of, “I’m thirsty!” or “I’m scared!” or the occasional random question, “What happens when you eat a booger?”
You dream of resting, sitting down to enjoy your favorite show and a bowl of that ice cream you have kept hidden in the freezer—behind the bags of broccoli.
As you start to scoop your ice cream, you notice the dinner dishes waiting in the sink. It will just take a few minutes to load them and wipe the counters, you reason. You notice your plants are starting to droop a little, better take a minute and water all of them. As you start into the living room, you spy the toys littering the carpet. Quickly you scoop them up and head for the toy basket. “Ah ha! That’s where the baby hid my sunglasses”. Heading to your purse to put them away, you see that permission slip waiting to be signed before school tomorrow. Better get that done and into the backpack now. Where is that backpack, you wonder?
About this time your guy flips off the TV, tells you he’s tired and heads towards your bedroom. You assure him you will be right behind him, making it a point to head to bed at the same time each evening. You just need to check the doors and turn off all the lights. Looking in on the children, one needs to go to the bathroom, another needs to be covered up. They look so angelic sleeping peacefully. Quietly you turn to exit the room, whispering a prayer of thanksgiving as you go. As you step through your bedroom doorway, the baby starts to stir. Better change and nurse him if you want any sleep tonight. You start to say goodnight to your guy when you realize he is already softly snoring, having given up the idea that you would be joining him in a few minutes.
Then it hits you—as you sit here in the dark again, you feel so alone. You are worn out, exhausted from a long day of meeting everyone else’s needs. Your heart bitterly grumbles as you look over towards your guy, grumpily forgetting how hard he too works to make your family run successfully.
In your weariness, your brain screams, “It’s just not FAIR!”
That age old thought comes to mind, the one where you start to daydream about just how your family would get along without you here each day?
Oh, you don’t want to leave, it’s more like you want to feel justified that someone sees how much work you do. “Does anyone really see HOW MUCH WORK YOU DO?”
Yes mama they do… I promise they do.
Your man sees the all the mornings you get up and depend on a second cup of coffee to keep moving after rocking a crying baby most of the night.
Your baby wakes up dry and well fed, knowing the comfort he felt that mama was close by during the long, lonely hours of darkness.
Your children confidently get ready for school each morning knowing mama has clean clothes, food, and all the supplies they need to get through the day.
Yes, they see you. They may not know the words to say to make you understand how grateful they are for the loving home you provide for them, for the safety net away from a harsh world where thankfully mom can still make all things better, or for meeting the needs they didn’t even know they had. They just know they feel secure.
So, as you wonder what they would do if you weren’t here, make sure you finish your thoughts with a mental picture of your family falling apart. The many moving parts of this family that are held together with the glue of love, a mother’s love.