The second he closed his eyes, his tiny hand grew limp and let go of mine. I tip-toed out of his room, carefully avoiding freshly built train tracks, perfectly lined up hot wheels, and the pile of wet clothes from our sprinkler play.
I had to smile at how much I love being a mom. Honestly, even on the bad days – I’m crazy about it.
This thing called Motherhood is my whole life.
No matter what else I venture out to accomplish in my days – my children will always require encouragement, time, and heart.
I’ve been showing up to this gig for the past 17 years and have grown to respect my mission and the responsibility God graciously handed me.
After having tiny ones grow into men (insert a bathtub of tears).
After piles of papers and years of waiting to travel across the world to welcome a little one through adoption – and spending days on the phone with government offices.
After having four babies take up residence in my body for nearly 4 years of my life and remaining in an unending season of “uncomfortable”…and loved every minute of it.
After the sacrifice of sleep, of a clear mind, and the deprivation of hair cut appointments and lunch dates with friends.
After suffering the loss of miscarriage before our eyes had the joy of meeting, feeling confused, and hurting for answers (I wrote this for you).
After ALL of that history, our stories are packed with purpose.
You are a seen Momma.
I escaped to my chair outside near the rush of the river and the sun in full glory. God met me there and brought to mind the value of our roles as mothers and the true purpose behind our mission from conception to graduation and on into grown up years.
He reminded me that our assignment as mothers is to be present in the time we spend with our kids, parenting their hearts, guiding their steps, and trusting them to God.
We get to be the first, longest, loudest, and probably the most repetitive voice on earth in the life of our kids. They thrive with our cheering, correcting, and counting the days together like each one matters.
The homework (us pretending to get it).
The cooking (and how fast it is devoured vs. how long it took to make it).
The sports (all the practices, games, and capri suns).
The tears (all of the defeats).
The cracking-up (and how funny farts are always- why?).
The driving (how we slam the brakes from the passenger seat).
The friends (how we love the good ones like our own).
The heart breaks (how our hearts shatter with theirs).
The victories! (and how excited we get for those wins).
The souls (how we talk to God about them and pray for their whole life).
The stories (all the times we fell asleep in toddler beds).
The play mobile (and how we step on it).
The injuries (serenity now).
The pep-talks (when we cheer for them but really are speaking to ourselves).
The disagreements (when we can’t take another sentence and say things like, “no more words”).
The eye-rolling (when daughters try to take over).
The birthdays (the home-made cakes we attempt right before the party).
The driver’s license (how much of a basket case we are the first go-round).
The talking (talk to momma all day long…we just might not be 100% listening).
You guys…the world’s opinions on how we should mother or how pretty we portray our family life to friends, small groups or the online community, will not matter as we launch young adults into the world.
None of it.
What matters is how we actually showed up in the lives of our kids day by day.
You are a valuable Momma.
All of the days I’ve completely failed my kids, Jesus picked up the pieces and rescued me (and them) from myself.
Raising up the next generation will impact for decades to come because we did the hard labor of serving others before ourselves.
Carry on beautifully today,
you exhausted first, second, and third time moms,
you mother’s making cold de sacs cool,
you moms praying to see a heartbeat,
you moms of teens oozing life,
and you now empty nester moms (come over if you are missing the chaos!).
Your hard work carries deep meaning and should be compared to no one else.
You are a chosen Momma.
Enjoy your nap, your day off, your cute handmade cards and re-gifted presents from small daughters, the hugs from teenage sons, and the gift of doing all the normal stuff for those who call you Mom.
I am proud to be on this journey with y’all.
This article originally appeared at The Night Howells.