Monday, August 25, 2014

The "Mom"ents of Motherhood

Most days, being a mom can be summed up in one word: exhausting. The spills and messes, the fights and tantrums, the crying and whining, all contribute to the complete exhaustion at the end of a long day. Being a mom can sometimes feel like you are barely keeping it together, trying desperately to keep your head above water so you can breathe, so you can make it to that part of the day where you finally get some "me time." Moms live for the me time--it's the only taste of sanity we get amid all the exhaustion.

But even among all the turmoil and chaos, the madness and uncertainty, there can be "mom"ents. Those times where, as a mom, you get a glimpse of why you do all that you do. Where you suddenly realize that you aren't failing, or sinking, or just treading water. They're not just regular moments, they are "mom"ents, because they give you the courage and strength to keep going day after day. Some "mom"ents are so big that they stop you dead in your tracks, and cause you to reevaluate everything. Today, I had a big one, and it came from my beautiful 10-year-old girl.

We were sitting in the car, waiting for her aide to get there, and out of nowhere, she says to me,

"Mommy, you are just the best mommy."

She said it with so much feeling and meaning, I knew it came from something deep inside her. I of course had to question her, because I really didn't believe it.

"What?? Why do you think I'm the best mommy?"

She didn't know what to say to that. "You just are."

And the only thing I could say to that was, "Wow, thank you!" and hold back the tears until she left with her aide for the day.

What did I do to deserve this "mom"ent? Me, in my workout clothes and pulled back pony-tail, yesterday's makeup because I was too tired to wash it off last night, who most certainly scolded her this morning while she screamed as I did her hair, who nagged her as she took too long making her lunch and getting dressed, who hurried her and her brother very impatiently to get to the car, who just last night rushed them angrily to bed because it was 9:30 and I was done being a mom for the day and even though she asked, was too tired to tickle her back, sorry. You mean that mom, who almost all the time doubts herself and her mothering ability, who worries every night while falling asleep that I've ruined my children because I yelled at them and was very impatient? That mom is the best mommy? Not possible.

This one sentence spoken by my special needs daughter has enough power to eliminate all those doubts and feelings about myself as a mom, because it was a "mom"ent that gave me strength and courage to go on. It doesn't matter how many other people tell me I'm a great mom. My own mom and mother-in-law tell me this all the time. People I know, friends, they all tell me this. And I kindly thank them. All moms say it to each other! But when you hear it from your own child, out of the clear blue, suddenly you really believe it. Suddenly you actually feel like you are doing a good job, and all those little negative feelings in your head disappear, those feelings that at times can torture you to the point of withdrawal and depression as a mother. Why do we do this as moms? Why can't we recognize all our wonderful qualities, all the endless things that we do do, instead of the things we don't?

Sure, when she gets home with her brother in a few hours, the madness and chaos will ensue. The turmoil, me treading water until I get that me time. But from now on, it's going to be different, because I know what she really thinks. That I'm the best mommy. This will keep me strong and courageous for a long time to come.

Treasure the little "mom"ents more than the chaos and the clutter. In the end, they are what really matter.


  1. This is a beautiful post. Thanks for taking the time to write it! :)

  2. You probably touch more lives than you can ever know through your writings. How wonderful that you heard this expressed from Julianna's heart. Perhaps it was enabled by the quiet time spent waiting...You truly are an amazing Mom...truly an amazing woman. I love you...