Dear Mom of these children,
Let me tell you why I thought you needed a present from me too. Moms usually focus on what they can't do and what's left undone, like why the car never stays clean or why they can't find that stupid matching sock or why the UPS man comes while they are wearing Dad's Ford t-shirt and a maxi skirt. Because you normally pull out the symbolic "guilt bat" and beat yourself up, let's take a minute to celebrate what you HAVE accomplished in the last year or two.
Like the times...
*You cleaned cottage cheese out of your toddler's hair.
|Cottage Cheese styling session|
* When you yelled and apologized.
* The times you hid vegetables by putting them through the Vitamix first.
* When you admired their pretty picture they drew and displayed on the fridge.
* How about your record time in making the "fake house" before company comes?
* Your "relaxing" bathtub time included one or more littles jumping in with you.
* Not being able to sleep because someone was sick.
* Worrying about not being good enough for your little family.
* Attempting yoga, with little people jumping on you.
* How about dishing up your lunch way after the kids, and they come to eat yours after you made them something else because they said they didn't like it?
* Those nights you woke up with three kids and a husband in your bed.
* You remembered to switch the laundry sometimes before it smelled in the washer.
* The times when you didn't even look at yourself in the mirror until 5pm.
* Nursed the baby while walking around the house, while doing dishes.
* Carried the baby in a wrap while you took pictures.
* Throwing yourself in front of the tv to save your kids from a Victoria's Secret commercial.
* Attempting that arm-knitting tutorial to teach your daughter, only to realize you don't have time to be tied up.
* Choosing healthy food because you choose to love your body instead of paying attention to the scale.
* Googling stuff for your son, like "are dragons really real?"
* The many, many times you stared at one of your sleeping children and thought how beautiful they looked.
* Letting go and having a complete meltdown in front of someone who you tried to pretend to.
* Telling your husband thank you.
* Giving your husband a hug.
* Making your husband lunch.
* Being so pregnant that you pay your kids to pick up things for you.
* Trying to play tetris by fitting five kids in a house the size of a matchbox car.
* Enjoyed nature and focused on our beautiful world.
* Encouraged your kids in going for their dreams, telling them they can do anything they put their minds to.
* When your son suggested his plan of building "cat armor" for the fighting tomcats. And you suggested "building a cardboard prototype first" before he asked Grandpa to weld it out of metal.
|"Cat Armor" Armor was carefully removed, cat remains unharmed.|
* Tried harder to talk positively about your body in front of your daughters.
* Smiling and nodding when the hundredth person in Costco creatively stated that "you must have your hands full".
* Smiling and nodding when your kid let you know that Dad said it was okay for them to wear this.
* Smiling and nodding when well-meaning people offered advice.
* In fact, a whole lot of smiling and nodding. More instances to even count.
* Saving the baby from a toddler wanting to ride him like a horse. * How about the multiple times you threw yourself on your bed and cried because it was too much?
* Or the times you ugly cried to your husband?
* You endured hours of Disney Pandora.
* You cried when the kids opened the door and the mail lady saw your messy house and possibly you in your underwear.
* You paid bills on the phone with an automated system and kids screaming in the background.
* You even hid the noisy toys on top of the fridge.
* You had multiple days where you had peanut butter/snot/puke/glue on your clothes.
* You cleaned cottage cheese out of your toddler's hair.
* You took a "five minute" phone survey to be nice.
* You made funeral potatoes even when you were busy and had to plan way ahead.
* Occasionally you forced yourself to pray for help instead of throwing a fit.
* You tried harder to recognize God's hand in your life.
* You felt gratitude.
* The many instances where you knew that angels were helping you.
* AND to top it off, you almost gave birth to 9lb 2oz baby, in a minivan, on the freeway.
Even now, you are reading this, thinking of the times you didn't do those things, the times you zoned out, got depressed, gave up, panicked, compared, complained, screamed, and failed. Oh, you failed many times, but you got back up. You kept going. You kept caring. You pushed through the anxiety, the fear, the hopelessness, the lack of sleep, the judgment and expectations you put on yourself. And guess what? You made it. You are still here. Your kids love you. They probably won't remember all of the things you didn't do. They will remember YOU. They love You. Not because you dress nice or look nice or have it together. But because you are their Mom. Heavenly Father gave them to you. Even in your imperfection, you are perfect for them. So, let go of the expectations of others. Stop fretting about what everyone else thinks and live the life you are meant to live. Discover your divine purpose. You have unique strengths. God has a plan. Now is the time to feel love, giving, and peace- and that includes within yourself.
P.S. There is a year's supply of Dove Chocolate in your freezer. You will probably need it.