remember what matters most

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My husband asked me what I did for the 5 kid less (or napping) hours that I had, yesterday. I stared at him, perplexed. The question caught me off guard. He works a traditional 9-5 job, earns a paycheck, & works his ass off. How do we measure our worth, our value, our commitment, as moms? This beautiful honor of motherhood is a gift, a thankless gift & we don’t get paid money to do this important work of ours. I got stumped on how to answer his question, so I rattled off & spewed all the things I could think of that I’d done this week & weeks passed: cleaned the disgusting toilets, did the dishes at least 10 times, endless laundry, cleaned the floors, decorated the Christmas tree, perused the black Friday sales, Christmas shopped, took Hope to the dentist to get cavities filled, took kids to the doctor, picked up meds, got up in the middle of the night to rock sick kids, booked Christmas photo session, hit up the grocery store multiple times, scooped preschool snacks, checked in on friends, made milk bottles, prepared dinner, made breakfast for both kids over and over (they rarely eat the same thing), drove kids to & from school, drove kids to and from ballet, drove kids to and from soccer (both), called my mom, called my dad, scheduled kinder tours, went on kinder tours, researched kindergartens in my area, & many more things. These are all things you can’t really see, but they are important, as those  things add up to big important things.
Mamas, we are the glue. Our families do not function or work without us. Soak that in. I said all of this to my husband while my eyes welled up with tears. Our work, sweet moms, is not measurable; it is invaluable & the most important work of all. A dear friend of mine, on a day I was struggling to find my worth after recently resigning from my teaching job of 9 years to become a stay at home mom said, “Mel, you are raising contributing kids. That is enough.” It really spoke to me because us moms do so much shit and rarely do we get the pats on the back, the ‘that a girls,’ or the ‘I noticed you scrubbed our stinky ass moldy toilets & made them extra sparkly” comments. I struggle so much with self-worth, but I’ll tell you something: I work hard. We all do. I don’t work harder than a single other person, but I work hard. My work counts. My days count. I count. You count.
Can I share something my husband sent me? My husband is sentimental, at times, and it’s quite lovely. He sent me an e-mail that he ran across that mentioned what really matters to children, the gifts that they truly hold onto that money can’t buy, the absolute things they remember as adults when reflecting on their own childhoods. It made me smile because this is the list that matters to me, day in and day out. This list is what I try my hardest to do, on the daily. & I do a damn good job, as do you. Here’s what money can’t buy & here is what you are not getting paid for & here is what can’t be measured & here is most important for our children to become valuable & unique contributing members in society in the world we live in, especially the world we live in, today. Ready?! Here goes: Affirmation, Art, Challenge, Compassion, Justice, Contentment, Curiosity, Discipline, Encouragement, Faithfulness to your loved ones, Finding Beauty, Generosity, Honesty, Integrity, Hope, Hugs & Kisses, Imagination, Intentionality, Your Lap, Love, Meals Together, Nature, Equality, Opportunity, Optimism, Peace, Pride, Room to Make Mistakes, Self-Esteem, Sense of Humor, Spirituality, Stability, Time, Uniqueness, & A Welcoming Home. May you know how unbelievably special, beautiful, & irreplaceable you are, today, & every single day.

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