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Sunday, May 14, 2017

A Mother's Day Note to Self

On those days when you feel like you're failing at motherhood (and maybe life, too), try to remember that you come from a long line of fiercely devoted moms and grandmas... Women who loved their children with abandon, with joy, with a love stronger than all the forces that tried to stop it. You have this love pulsing through your veins. You have this faith entwined in the roots of your family tree. You have this steely resolve locked in your marrow, encoded in your DNA.

Embrace the struggle. It is worth every stretch mark, on your body and on your heart. It is worth every hour of lost sleep. It is worth every tear, every headache, every ache and pain. Your children are worth all this and more. Keep loving them as only their mother can. They will NEVER have another mom. You are the one, the only one. Cherish this special job the Lord has given you. Step humbly and bravely into this refining fire. Squeeze all the memories out of today's adventures, swallow that nectar, and let it fuel your tomorrow.

Your great-grandma did. Your grandma did. Your mom did. And now, it's your turn. 

Chase your kids around the backyard. Read them Goodnight Moon before bed. Be their jungle gym and their tickle monster. Give them piggyback rides and back scratches. Bake them M&M cookies. (Maybe even let them eat a few before dinner.) Sing to them the old songs, the old poems, the old rhymes... the ones you learned by heart before you could read a word. Do everything your mom did for you. Do everything they will do for their children someday, unconsciously, automatically, from an alchemy of instinct and memory.

You say you can't do it all. But look, you're already doing it! Don't give up now. Don't listen to the lies in your head. Open your eyes and stare into the depths of your children's. See how much they trust you? See how much they need you? See how excited they are just to be near you, to feel you wrap them up in a cozy mama hug? Listen to the melody of their laughter. Study their magnificent miniature fingers and toes. Inhale their sweet tangled hair. Being a mom is tough, but loving your kids is easy. Your heart made that decision long ago. Now follow it, like a path in the woods, and just see where you end up. Your knees might get scraped, your feet might get blisters, your face might get sunburned... But it is worth it. If your children know their mama loves them, no matter what, then it was all worth it. And if that is true, then you most certainly have not failed.