This post is sponsored by Pampers. All opinions are my own.
The birth of my 2nd child, my daughter Sophie, on November 16, 2006.
Mother’s Day has always been a good day for me, but it wasn’t until I had a few under my belt that Mother’s Day was really meaningful.
You see, it took me a year or nine to believe I was worth the celebration.
I loved my kids with all my heart (still do, I swear!), and I loved being a mother, but there were also things I DIDN’T love about motherhood—and at times the guilt over those moments I didn’t love would consume me. I found myself unable to “cherish every moment”—moments filled with projectile puke all over the back of the car, poop blowouts 3 minutes before we were to leave the house, and times in the middle of the night when I felt sick from exhaustion with a baby who needed to nurse every 45 minutes as soon as MOM was fast asleep…
I didn’t cherish those moments.
So, while I accepted the Mother’s Day accolades and celebrations, I still wasn’t quite sure I deserved them.
And then, my second child was diagnosed with significant developmental delays when I was 7 months pregnant with my third. I was devastated, and scared, and slightly bewildered. and MOST of all, I didn’t have ANY idea what do do.
I remember the time shortly after my 3rd child’s birth as a time of being crazy overwhelmed and scared for my older daughter. But man, did I love having a new, sweet baby.
More than ever, I was sure I wasn’t good enough, wasn’t mom enough for my daughter. SURELY God should have given her a better mom?
But quickly, I yanked myself out of that line of thought. I was all my daughter had, and I was going to do my BEST to do right by her, to give her what she needed to reach her full potential. And so I did. I DUG DEEP. I nursed my newborn while I helped my 4-year-old with her speech and occupational therapy homework. I nursed him in therapy waiting rooms, while she spent time with therapists. I packed them both in my minivan and picked up my first-grader at school. The mundane little moments piled up, and though I didn’t cherish them all, I cherished the PROCESS.I worked and worked and worked and mothered and mothered…and I delighted in my child as she progressed. As she overcame her delays, one by one. And I cherished the RESULT.
My daughter and me when she was just about caught up with her development, Mother’s Day 2012
So when Mother’s Day 2012 rolled around, when my little Sophie was finishing preschool STRONG and fully ready for kindergarten, it had already HIT me. I had an epiphany that spring that led me to be able to enjoy that Mother’s Day, to really celebrate myself, like I never had before.
You see, I realized that I had helped my daughter do something REALLY big…by doing a lot of LITTLE things. The car rides, the book reading, the many therapy games we played…they all added up.
And all those things I felt BAD about not loving, but did anyway? Cleaning up puke, rocking a baby in the middle of the night, gentle but messy diaper changes, and dressing a squirmy child to protect them from the elements? All those little things added up, too. Every little gentle touch, whether I LOVED it or not, was done IN LOVE….and every little touch MATTERED.
My oldest! The kid who made me a mom!
All of that mattered just as much as helping my daughter overcome her developmental delays. I’m just sorry it took going through such a trial for me to realize it.
When I saw this video from Pampers, honoring moms on Mother’s Day for doing ALL those little, unseen things (especially the ones that happen in the middle of the night!!), I was reminded of my epiphany, my heart-change.
I was reminded that on Mother’s Day 2012, 5 years ago, my 9th Mother’s Day, I truly was able to relax and be celebrated.
Because that was the year I realized that you don’t have to LOVE every moment of motherhood to be an amazing mom.
What you have to do is show up in the big AND little moments, because your children need you for one just as much as for the other—and Mamas? I deserve to be celebrated this Mother’s Day—and so do you.
Every moment with these three matters!
Happy Mothers Day, dear Mamas! You are amazing, and every little thing you do MATTERS.