There is you. Giving yourself. Minute, by minute, by minute, by minute until those hours add up to create a day which adds up to create a week which adds up to create a month which adds up to create years which add up to create a life.
I'm talking about simply being a mom.
I'm talking about getting up in the morning, slapping your face with water, looking in the mirror, sighing, brushing your teeth (maybe), and picking up that toddler and wandering into the kitchen and pouring cereal in bowls, rinsing dishes, kissing the top of their head, and waiting for your coffee to brew.
There isn't much glamour.
There is you. Giving yourself. Minute, by minute, by minute, by minute until those hours add up to create a day which adds up to create a week which adds up to create a month which adds up to create years which add up to create a life. A beautiful life filled with ordinary enough mom moments. Somehow in this mixed up media world of things to do and places to go and dreams to follow the beauty of simply being a mother is completely lost.
Being a mom is enough.
It's enough, I say.
Sometimes we want to look to those big things and use them as a grade for success. We look at the cool science fair projects where our child got the blue ribbon. But, honestly, we miss the hours of interacting and holding glue sticks and looking up things and laughing side by side. We want the trips to Disney or American Girl Doll and discount the time spent in the backyard. The bar of success and joy and happiness gets pushed so high by culture that the little things, the enough mom moments, are lost.
Do you know what matters?
The other day my 15-year-old came to me and told me she missed me. Missed me? I couldn't believe it. I was a bit incredulous, actually. I told her about the trips to the movies, the trips to the yogurt bar (are those places ever cheap? I mean, seriously, $24 total for four containers of yogurt with a variety of too heavy toppings? End rant.), shopping together, getting Starbucks, and all of that. She looked at me and told me that's not what she meant. She told me she just wanted me present during the day.
Like stopping my crazy busy mom and work agenda to look at the graphic design she made on the computer and really looking at it and trying to appreciate her talents. It's about me taking 30 minutes to play cards at the table with them and not checking email constantly on my phone. Email can wait 30 minutes. They cannot.
It's in not worrying so much about the laundry and instead just letting that go and being thankful for a family to do laundry for. Just being there. Cooking together. Laughing. Giving of myself in the simple things.
The things that don't get celebrated on Pinterest that much. "They're the just a mom" things that I write about and celebrate. They're the things that most people probably won't see.
They don't see you stand in the bathroom and gather your resolve every morning. They don't see those of you who mother alone without much support. They don't see the trips to the car back and forth and back and forth.
They don't see you counting to 10 a dozen times before noon. They don't see you look at the bank account and sigh and try to figure out how to make three meals with what's left in your pantry. They don't see you walking into the principal's office, doctor's office, friend's house and defending your child.
They don't see bandages placed on knees. Kisses on foreheads at night. Pillows pushed just the right way and blankets tucked to the perfect demands. Laundry folded and folded and folded.
Tears that sting your eyes as you keep going. Dinners prepped over the stove. Times of laughter over silly things. Hair brushed and pulled back into pony tails. Prayers over wandering teens.
Prayers over little babes. Nights spent sleeping in a chair holding a sick child. Days where the house is a wreck but you're reading books. The brave smile on your face when you're weary.
Those things matter.
Those things are the little things that add up and and up and up.
I say those things are enough.
Don't be weary, dear mother, in trying to keep up with a supermom agenda.
There is no supermom, really—that whole supermom who has everything together is just a fallacy. There are real moms. Real, authentic moms who admit that they don't have it all together but keep on fighting. Scared and tired moms who keep fighting. Moms who are overwhelmed by keeping up with littles all day long. Moms like you and me who sometimes feel lost in a world of outward accomplishments.
A mother isn't based on external perfection. A mother is the person, the woman, just like you. The woman with little ones in her care that she loves, and sometimes wonders how she loves them because they're driving her batty, but still she does. She fights, gives, prays, works, and doesn't give up even when she wants to throw in the towel.
That's you. Today. Tomorrow. Yesterday.
I say that is enough.
It is more than enough.
You are amazing.
This article was originally published on Finding Joy.