OK, OK, I know. It is way past Mother's Day and we all know that that is the ONLY day that we can show our appreciation for moms, but I just have to say it again. Moms are awesome. Period.
Why this sudden surge of pride for mothers, you ask? Well, this past week I have been sick. Dog sick. Laying-in-bed-can't-get-out-or-I-will-pass-out sick. FOR THE WHOLE WEEK. Usually, I can bounce back after a day and just deal with the symptoms until they go away. Usually, I don't really get ill. I can't. I'm a mom of three toddlers. It's just not allowed.
BUT, this week it sure happened. I couldn't do my usual routines, the laundry, the lifting, the diaper changes, the on-going potty training, the discipline, the cooking, the cleaning. I couldn't read books to my kids, I couldn't play with them, or even sit with them while they ate their meals. I was pathetically ripped from my mothering role by a virus and that gave me a little perspective.
Being a mom is an incredibly physical job. Especially for the mother of toddlers, you are constantly moving, lifting, bending, twirling, reaching, on the floor and up again. ALL THE TIME. You have to be in order to engage with your kids, to keep them safe and to keep them functioning even on the most basic level. You have to mentally keep track of all the things—I mean ALL THE THINGS! Everybody's schedules, likes, dislikes, poop-cycles, sippy-cups, diaper bags and favorite toys. You have to be a multi-level negotiator, thinking fast to prevent major breakdowns and hour-long tantrums. All this is piled on top of the hope/pressure to be the most loving, fun, and pinterest-ready mom on the block. Sigh.
People ask me how I do "it". How do I take care of these three boys that are basically the same age and still survive. I think the thing is, if you are a mom, you just...do. You do what it takes. Maybe you develop a tougher skin, or your priorities change out of necessity but you do what it takes to make your family work the best way you know how.
It was so interesting to see what it was like to be taken out of the game, to be benched, momentarily from my role and see what happened. And no, the world did not disintegrate and there was no major disfunction that could not be overcome by putting my kids in front of yet another Daniel Tiger, but everything was on hold. We weren't thriving in our world, we were treading water.
Today was the first day that I have felt even slightly myself. Like it wasn't the most difficult thing in the world to unload the dishwasher and cook oatmeal at the same time. The small victories today coming back from the land of sickness, made me realize how many things I do every day without even thinking about it. And these things aren't glorious, or anything worth pinning a medal on my apron for, BUT they make my life, my family life...work. And work well. AND for this, you people everywhere, I declare that I am awesome. That all moms are awesome. Because we make the world work and we make the world better through our mothering.
So today, even though it is not Mother's Day, thank your mother for what she did everyday to keep you alive and thriving. If you are a mom yourself, do a super hero stance in front of the mirror and say it these words, "I AM AWESOME." and believe it. Because you are.