Dear overwhelmed mom,
I see you. I watch you from behind my own tasks and responsibilities and know that someday that will be me. I will feel the demands of little arms reaching up and wanting this and thinking that you are there to please them forever. I will feel the demands of running a home and a full time mom job 24/7.
But I also see you when you stop and put on smile and for just a second become fully invested in that little voice below you. No matter what’s going on in your mind. That makes me smile.
Because when I peer back in my past, and you know what I remember? Not the food, not the clean house, not the perfectly scheduled school year. I remember the times my mom stopped what she was doing and we dropped all of our responsibilities to go sit outside. I remember happily sitting on a swing with her as she made up songs on the spot about the beautiful day we were sitting in. There were also times when the supper dishes were left dirty in the sink so we could go on a family walk. It didn’t matter if there was dirt on the floor. It didn’t matter if we didn’t get math done that day. (Probably because I avoided it like the plague) It just mattered that we were spending time with you and your undivided attention. We don’t know about all the responsibilities you carry in your mind. But we do know that we love you and all we want to do is spend time with you simply doing things together. We don’t realize the pressures you feel each and every day. But we do realize that the best thing that happens to us is when you slow down and just be with us.
I remember when my mom became a little kid with me and played pretend. I cooked her food and giggled at her pretend eating as she joked with me. She came to my level instead of demanding my little brain understand she was too busy to play with me.
I loved it when she came to jump on the trampoline with us, or joined us in the swimming pool for an afternoon. She always had a new game, exercise, or new swimming stroke to teach us that somehow didn’t seem like a lesson, but an adventure.
Your attention is the best gift we could get.
Every minute you take to spend with us is noticed. Even if we don’t seem grateful for it the next minute. There are so many of us who don’t have that minute with you.
I promise that everything will be ok. The earth won’t stop if you pause for a minute. Dirt doesn’t multiply by the second. (Although it might multiply by the hour) I know there are so many things you’d like to be getting done and knocking off your list, but instead of a full list of crossed off items, the currency you’ll be dealt at the end of the day is smiles, happy hearts, and memories that will last for years.
Finally, I want you to know that even if they didn’t realize that you gave up some of your treasured free time to serve them, or if no one was grateful for the sacrifice you made for them. If they instead demanded more when you felt like you had nothing left to give. Whatever it is. It still matters. Because even if your family doesn’t appreciate or acknowledge your actions, it has served to mold you and make you into a better mom than you were a few seconds ago. There is still a reason for keeping on and pushing forward into a life of secret and un-thanked service. It is molding you into the mother that you will be known as. It’s a process of refinement by fire. And you’re in the best kind of company in this kind of refinement. Don’t let poor responses discourage you from making more good choices and willing sacrifices. So today, before we commit to anything else, let us love more fully, more sacrificially, and more grace-filled than before. Knowing that all of us are looking for the reward that is more exceeding and abundant than we can ever imagine.
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