Over the past several years I’ve written dozens of letters and articles to mothers. They’ve been open letters talking about our fears of failures, our worries, our wonderings if what we’re doing really matters, our successes, and our giving of self. These simple notes, filled with words of bravery, encouragement, and we’re in this together let’s pull up our bootstraps have reached over a million readers.
They’re not full of quick fourteen easy steps in three weeks spending only two hours a day ways to becoming a perfect parent. They’re not lists of things we should be doing or shouldn’t be doing or forgot to be doing. Instead, they’re full of words celebrating mothers and declaring that normal moms, real moms, in their imperfect yet very much trying lives, are actually truly enough.
So I wrote about why moms are enough early one July morning in the Starbucks where I love to write. It’s a cool Starbucks – it’s the place where they know my name, they know my drink, and more than that they’re my friends. I sat at my round table, the table where I always sit, and I poured my heart onto the dashboard on my screen. I wrote about why moms are enough – enough in their every day normal diaper changing, wiping noses, driving to soccer lives.
And that post Why Being a Mom is Enough post went crazy.
They really were simple words. Words declaring the truth about motherhood.
Words about why what you are doing today, in your normal every day motherhood life, truly makes a difference. Yes, of course, you could argue with me that it is just doing the dishes, just washing faces, just vacuuming the floor, just folding socks, just reading the same book again and again, just doing anything in the crazy role of motherhood.
There really is no just.
We just live in a culture that has tended to take the normal beautiful motherhood moments and has added layers of to-do lists to them. No longer are there just simple birthday parties – now there are boards and boards and boards on Pinterest telling us as mothers how to do the perfect birthday party.
The boards are good.
But, they are just boards full of ideas. Just like there are books, magazines, blogs, Facebook updates, television shows, podcasts, classes, and more telling us different ways to become better, to do more, and to help with the parenting journey. The information is good. It’s great. We can learn from it, but we must remember the truth.
Your kids will remember you – not the perfect birthday party, perfectly decorated room, perfect schedule, or whatever thing that we think we need to complete to be a good mom. They will remember you. They will remember the times where you sat with them in the car and talked to them and built them up before they started that new class. Or the nights that you stopped and rocked the baby to sleep. Or the little hugs before class, the making of the peanut butter and jelly sandwiches, the notes on the fridge, the cheering from the sidelines, the loving even when you felt like crying, real life, real giving mom moments.
It’s not the stuff.
It’s the giving of self.
It’s the normal you are enough moments of motherhood that matter. They are the moments that I celebrate. They are the times that I write about in my Dear Mom Letters. I don’t want to celebrate perfection – I want to celebrate real.
I want to celebrate you. And the mom next door. The mom working two jobs. The single mom. The new mom. The mom exhausted but still smiling. Mom. All moms.
Real mom, you, right now, are enough. You are enough even when you feel like you don’t measure up or that you’re failing or you don’t know what to do next. You are simply enough.
Isn’t that a freeing thought? Isn’t it a beautiful thing to realize that so often those little things that you do are truly the big beautiful things of life? Those rocking chair moments, the tucking them up in bed, the mixing of chocolate into milk, all of that matters. So incredibly much. Those are the being a mom enough moments of life.
So sweet real mom, my heart for you today is that you can begin to be reminded about how what you are doing right now in your perfectly imperfect life makes a difference in the life of a child. Your child. So hold your chin up high. Butter that bread, pull the t-shirt on over their head, tie the shoes, buckle them up, grab your latte, tuck them in bed at night, and just keep fighting.
You are a brave mother.
And you are most certainly enough.
What little thing that you do every single day do you think you’ll remember once your children are grown?