This Mother’s Day, let’s put aside the perfect Instagram photos of breakfast served in bed and fresh cut flowers. Let’s acknowledge the 47 takes it took to get that one good family photo without a spouse blinking or a baby crying or a toddler looking away. Embrace the chaos, the worry, the exhaustion, because this is motherhood. And today is your day, mama, and you are amazing.
Motherhood is exhausting.
From sleepless newborn nights to wiping toddler tears, I have yet to find a phase that doesn’t leave me run off my feet. Sometimes literally, because my youngest is a runner and a climber.
Motherhood is worry.
I worry if the kids are eating enough - are they eating the right things? I worry how my preschooler is doing socially. I worry about milestones. When am I supposed to take them to the dentist for the first time? Should they be crawling by now? Are they saying enough words? Am I reading to them enough? And that’s just the kids themselves. Then there’s worrying about work. Financial worry. Household worries. Marriage worries. Booking appointments and managing the house.
Motherhood is chaos.
Picking up crayons off the floor for the fourth time today. I forgot to put my eldest's breakfast away before we ran out for the school run, and the cat spilled her milk across the table. Endless laundry. Sibling bickering. Sibling rivalry. Kids yelling, dogs barking, phone ringing - chaos.
But in these long days, remember that the exhaustion, the worry, the chaos, is just the surface of motherhood. Because what makes an amazing mom isn’t your birth story, or co-sleeping or sleep training. It isn’t breastfeeding or formula feeding. It isn’t cloth diapers or disposables or how quickly your kid potty trains. It isn’t how many vegetables your kid ate or that you were late for soccer practice twice this week.
These are the surface, the choices, but they don’t define our motherhood. In the moment they seem monumental, but they aren’t what motherhood really means.
Strength > Exhaustion
Motherhood is the strength behind the exhaustion. Because even though in our sleep deprived states we may just want to fall apart (and sometimes we do. And that's ok too, because we come back). We remain the soft place to fall. We are the only place that the sick baby can find peace to sleep. Motherhood is softness and strength I never knew I possessed.
Worry = Love
Motherhood is the love that drives the worry. Will your child be forever changed because they didn’t touch their broccoli tonight? No. But will they be forever better for having a mother that cared enough to cook it and worry if they ate enough? Heck yes!
Remember, that love is all those babies really need, and be kind with yourself.
And the chaos?
Motherhood is.... yeah, no, it’s just chaos. But it is a temporary, beautiful chaos. One day there won’t be rock collections in every room of my home, and stickers so stuck to the floor we worry they are now a structural part of our house. One day there won’t be tiny shoes overflowing from the hall closet. One day I will have more time to dust and spend less time at the park.
I cannot always see the joy in this chaos, but I try to. I try to slow down. I try to worry less.
I think we all have key memories from our childhood. We think back fondly on holiday traditions, favorite meals, and special times with our own parents.
What is your favorite childhood memory? Think of motherhood the same as childhood. It’s a season that in many ways, at least when it comes to these long, tireless, early years, will pass. What will your motherhood memories be? And what will your baby’s childhood memories be?
I hope you have an amazing motherhood.
Happy Mother’s Day.