Sometimes I think we picture a “mother’s love” as evening snuggles on the couch with Goodnight Moon, or making cookies on a rainy day. When we don’t get to those things as often as we’d like, we feel we’ve failed. Those things are a mother’s love, but there are so many other ways that we “love” that goes unsung and unappreciated. I have friends who love their kids in the most heroic and the most ordinary ways, and their kids may never know or understand their depth of sacrifice.
Today I want to honor you and all the ways your love goes unseen.
When my friend pumps every two hours to try and maximize her milk supply for her infant; that is love. When she still doesn’t have enough, and her baby is allergic to formula, so she combs every internet forum she can find looking for donations; that is love.
When another mom shows up on her doorstep with bags of her own milk because she deeply gets it; that is love.
When my friend carefully cooks veggies and and purees them for nutrition rich foods for her kids; that is love. When she has an essential oil she applies to every ailment; that is love.
When my friend struggles to function because of chronic illness and she can’t do much, but she does what she can; that is love. She may think of all the things she hasn’t done or she can’t do, but what she does already is overcome adversity for the sake of love.
When my friend went back to school after her divorce and started up a new career to provide for her children; that is love. When she comes home with sore feet and a fried brain to take care of her family; that is love. Even if she feels tired and empty; that is love.
When my friend who struggles deeply with depression and anxiety decided to take medication so she can take care of herself and her kids; that is love. (I’ve done that too).
When my friend goes to counseling because she knows taking care of herself and being a whole person is important for her kids too; that is love.
When my friend wept because of infertility and held negative test after negative test in her hands; that is love. It was love for a baby she didn’t know yet. When she went through IVF and after more struggle had her first; that is love.
When my friend carried someone else’s children because they couldn’t carry their own; that is love.
When my friend homeschooled every one of her kids from the beginning to the end because it’s something that really matters to her; that is love.
When my friend cares for her kids that have a range of disabilities and sometimes she struggles to just get through the day (but she does); that is love.
We all love in different ways, many of these things I have not done. I haven’t ever (not even once) made my own pureed baby food or homeschooled all four of my kids. We love differently; but our love is real and it isn’t limited to lullabies and snuggles.
There are all kinds of ways to love.
Love isn’t always fuzzy and warm; sometimes it’s hard work, tears, and sacrifice. I celebrate you today for all the things that go unseen. Sometimes we love through saying “no”, through nutritious meals, through sleepless nights, and through endless mountains of laundry.
I know I haven’t even begun to list the ways we love.
Chances are, you are way too damn hard on yourself; but today, hear this: You are a badass mama and what you do matters.
You are not failing; you are amazing. Don’t let any whisper tell you differently.
Tell me, what are the ways you love?