The View Looking In
Moms wear many hats at all times. They may be stay at home caretakers or the breadwinners, dream weavers or cheerleaders, emotional soldier or the softest snuggler. We are often tireless supporters and the miracle workers. And although we may remember moms for their big accomplishments, it's more likely we will hold onto the little details such as her art for cutting the crust of pb&j's, contagious laugh, or the way she always paired her lipstick with her outfit. Even though we may not be able to recall the days when we could shower or pee with the bathroom door closed, we are truly in the "best times of our lives."
The other night when checking in on a new mom who had just given birth she expressed that she was struggling with breastfeeding and exhaustion. Her appetite was non-existent and she felt overwhelmed. When asked how the baby was, she replied wonderful...amazing. While the sink is full of dishes and you haven't showered in two days or eaten a meal sitting down, asking how the (mother) is can move mountains in that moment. As moms most of our focus and attention is on our children. Mostly everyone else’s focus is on our children too. Sometimes mothers need just as much "holding" as the babies. She’s often doing the most.
This year Katie will be celebrating her third Mother's Day while Amanda is celebrating her second. Our paths to motherhood were not the same, our birth stories couldn't be more polar opposite, our daily lifestyles look very different and our parenting techniques are individualized to meet the needs of our children but at the end of the day we are both great moms. We often see motherhood painted in two distinct separate columns: the moms who work and the moms who stay home. The working mom is often depicted as career driven, putting their profession before family and having minimal time to spend with their children. The stay at home mom gets categorized as unmotivated, lacking ambition, and unfulfilled in her daily endeavors of household management. Like most things in life there is no black and white in mothering. There are grey areas and blurred lines. No clear path that wins you Mother of the Year. Instead there are tiny moments of happiness, sadness, guilt, fear, anxiety, accomplishment, doubt, love, and laughter no matter if you work full time or stay at home with your kids or a mixture of both.
This is just a friendly reminder this Mother's Day that at the end of the day the most important thing is raising kind humans and leaving this world a little bit better than we found it for them. It won't matter if you worked 80+ hours a week or handmade all the Valentine's Day gifts for your kids class. YOU ARE STILL THE BEST MOM FOR AND TO YOUR CHILDREN. The fact that we worry as parents if we are doing enough or being good enough means we are good parents. We've yet to meet a mom who is so self-assured that she is doing everything right. If being a mom these past two years has taught us anything it is to give ourselves grace. Grace when we lose our tempers. Grace for our bodies that have given and sacrificed so much. Grace for the new person we have become while mourning the parts we have lost. Grace when we are full of self-doubt. Grace if we fail knowing we will try again. Working moms and stay at home moms are in this together. If we continue to classify ourselves we give others the power to confine us. And we are limitless!
The grass is always greener on the other side unless we choose to water and nurture our own. Most moms, regardless of their working status, become the default parent. A default parent is the one who handles (or is expected to handle) most of the responsibilities of the children. For some reason uterus seems to equate to default parent. We aren't spouse bashing here, but let's be honest, at the end of the day we both know we bear the brunt of parenting even though Katie works full time and Amanda is a (mostly) SAHM.
So this Mother's Day you deserve all the love, attention, and pampering as the damn Queen of England! Because you are a queen Mama even though your crown may be crooked at times. That is REAL LIFE motherhood. No bullshit. It doesn't matter if your days are filled with board meetings or boogers because you are amazing MAMA.
HAPPY MOTHER’S DAY TO ALL THE SPECIAL CAREGIVERS IN OUR LIVES!
XO - Katie & Amanda