A Mother's Day Memo

May 10, 2020

As much as I love my children the days of motherhood can be dreadfully long. With five young children, I often lay exhausted in bed at night and wonder, “Did I do enough?” There are always things that I didn’t get to on my to do list, goals that somehow went unaccomplished, and ways I feel like I fell short. If I’m not careful an evening of perceived failure can turn into a day or a week of unmet expectations. This Mother’s Day, the message I want to hear, and the one I want you to hear is that YOU ARE ENOUGH! What you do, and what you get done is enough. It is plenty. And IT IS GOOD!

There are two sides to this holiday we call Mothers Day. On one side are the millions of beautiful, loving, and strong mothers and on the other, is everyone else going to great lengths to honor and please us on our special day. Every year I can feel my husband’s stress level increase, as the day grows closer. If there were a bubble over his head it would be a jumbled mess, or dinner reservations, the elusive perfect gift, kid’s handwritten cards, and a thousand question marks. I chuckle to myself, but I feel his pain. I remember being a child and loving to get my mom a gift. I remember sitting at the table at her favorite restaurant with my dad and brother. And I remember the smell of fresh flowers, in the blue vase on the dining room table. As beautiful as these days were, and as much as I’m sure mom enjoyed them, my view has changed a bit since I’ve become a mom.

Like me I bet my mom would have loved some time alone and to not feel guilty about stepping away from her responsibilities for a brief moment. I love my family with all of my being and cherish every second I have with them but sometimes I NEED time away to refresh, regroup and recharge. What makes us great moms, our selflessness and perseverance, can be a great detriment to our own health if we don’t take any time for ourselves. Most of us don’t take that time because we feel guilty for abandoning the family or even worse, we have become so accustomed to the constant buzz of the home that we are afraid to be alone in our thoughts. Busyness becomes a convenient barrier keeping us from confronting our insecurities and thus preventing our victories.

What makes today special is that it presents an opportunity for us moms to reset the clock in whatever area we are struggling in. I love the effort my family puts into making everything just right. For some, gifts and dinners, on this day are paramount. For others, being able to take a solid nap, go to a movie or breakfast in bed makes them feel most loved. For me, hearing words of affirmation from my husband and children fills my heart with joy and renews my resolve in the mission of motherhood. God made us all as wonderfully different as our languages of love. It’s important that those who care about us know our language. And the only way our families will know how to best love us is if we are honest with them in times of strength as well as exasperation.

Moms, no matter how you feel about the job you’ve done, I want you to know that for your family, NO ONE else can do what you do. No one brings to your children what you bring. There is VALUE in how you run your household. Tonight when you lay down, worn out from the day, rest in the knowledge that what you’re doing is enough. And it is GOOD! Happy Mothers Day!

-Kirsten Watson

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