For today, and for all the days motherhood can feel like a thankless job, I want to say thank you.
I want to scream at the top of my lungs THANK YOU!
Thank you for creating my future daughter in law.
Thank you for giving her your sass, the same sass that is driving you mental on a daily basis as she says no to everything, and throws tantrums because you accidentally touched her hair. Thank you for creating this strong, unique individual, because my son will need her to set him straight some day.
Thank you for loving her unconditionally, because she will be able to pass on that unconditional love to someone who might not feel they deserve it when they do. We all do.
Thank you for creating the friend my daughter will bring home to our dinner table one day. Thank you for slaving away in the kitchen so that your little ones get something nutritious on their plate every night, even if half of it ends up on the floor and the other half goes in the garbage. I know they aren’t thanking you, but I am thanking you. Because when your kids come over in their teens, they’ll be more likely to eat the food I’ve taken the time to prepare for them. They’ll slowly learn how to fuel their bodies with love and kindness. One day they will appreciate how your efforts nourished them, and made them capable of walking to the bus stop, staying awake through History class, and making it through soccer practice. They won’t say thank you today, but I will.
Thank you for taking time for yourself, and if this is the reminder you needed to take that time today, let me repeat: take time for YOU. Because by recharging your own batteries, you’re teaching your kids not to be martyrs. You’re showing them what it means to love yourself. You’re modeling the behavior that will equip them to handle the real world. You are to thank when they figure out how to be the best versions of themselves, because you’ve made it possible to put forth your own best self.
Thank you for losing your temper sometimes. Thank you for letting your emotions run wild in front of your children every once in a while, and teaching them that humans are emotional and flawed. They will grow into more compassionate adults, and they’ll be more likely to accept my kids into their circle of friends even though they are flawed too.
Thank you for worrying all the time about whether you’re a good mother. For stressing about how much you don’t do, instead of realizing how much you do do. Thank you, because it gives me the opportunity to forget about myself for a second and be a friend. It gives me the opportunity to give you a big hug, and to remind you that worrying this much is the only proof I need to know that you are the best mother.
Thank you for venting to me, even though you’re embarrassed and don’t want to seem like you’re always complaining about motherhood. I know how much you love your kids, you don’t need to remind me. I know you gush about how cute their bums are when they’re in the bath. I know you have a song for them that you’d never sing in front of anyone else. I know you carry them into bed with you when they’re sick even if they get snot all over your pillow. You don’t have to tell me all of that, you can vent away without judgment. Thank you for your honesty, because it makes me feel honoured to have your trust. It also makes me feel sane and validated and understood, because I share in all of it too.
Thank you for getting up every day, and doing it all over again. Even when you don’t feel like it, even when you grumble through it. Thank you for enduring. For teaching your kids to be resilient, and wilful, and dependable, and unrelenting. You are bringing up the people who will be our teachers, our nurses, our caregivers, our plumbers, our farmers, our scientists. You are creating the lawyers who will fight for our rights, the activists who will change our world for the better. They don’t know it yet, but they are learning through you. They see your face every morning and they see you continue even when you’re angry, even when you’re exhausted, even when you’re crying. Thank you for pushing on.
They may not know how to say it yet. And if they do, it still doesn’t mean you get to hear it when you need it. So let me say, from the bottom of my heart… Thank you. Thank you. Thank you.