I just read a post that has me bawling. It was simple and heartfelt and it addressed the one thing moms always wonder. Do I make a difference?
So many days, as a stay at home mom, you wonder if anyone notices. You start to think that it’s only noticed when you don’t do it. No one sees the trash piled up two feet past the lid. But you do. No one sees the laundry on the floor. But you do. No one sees the dishes loaded into both sides of the sink, covering the counters, and in the living room. But you do. I’m sure this goes double and triple for single moms.
You’re the one expected to make sure they look like someone loves them when they leave for school. Some days that means being the most hated living creature on earth solely for reminding them to brush hair, brush teeth, or put a coat on. You sign papers, write emails to teachers about extra credit, and buy poster board for science projects you’re convinced only happen to increase the divorce rate and make lawyers richer. I don’t know how you single mothers do it. You spend endless hours researching quick, easy, healthy meals that kids will eat only to concede to pizza night after 3 hours of couponing and shopping. You pack healthy, well planned out, balanced lunches only to be asked not to because only geeks take their lunch. You try to have healthy snacks waiting for them after school only to find them munching a cupcake and gets on the bus from a birthday party.
You’re the most hated, out of touch, lame, stupid person ever because you don’t know the names of the boy band of the century of the week, and you didn’t wash the jeans she was going to wear to the dance, and you made her friend go home because you didn’t know friends were coming over at all. This is why it is so important to have mom friends.
You’re the only one who knows how to change a diaper, or find a bunny, or sing “row your boat.” you’re the only one who gets up with the fevers, poking, nightmares, scary sounds. You’re the only one still expected to be a fully functioning adult on two hours of sleep.
You’re the one expected to bolster your partner. You balance the account, clip coupons, and sacrifice your own comforts so he can have a new pair of shoes for work. You take the crying baby out of the bedroom so he can sleep. And despite being a mombie , you still want to be a loving wife, but usually fall asleep while he’s in the bathroom.
I get it. i do. You feel like you’re losing yourself. You’re just a live in nanny, maid, cook. You remember a time when you worked and had a title, a paycheck and a little respect. and if you’re a grandmother or mom mom doing all this, you have my utmost respect. You feel an obligation to do and be everything for everyone and feel the guilt of a thousand moms on you if your greatest accomplishments are the kids are alive and you got a shower. You put so much on your own shoulders that hearing your tween daughter scream at you that you just don’t get it as she stomps off literally crushed you. Her words have more weight than she knows. And as she sits in her room pouting, you sit on the couch trying to play like Queen Elsa, “conceal, don’t feel, don’t let them know.”
I know. Other moms do, too. We’re all just too damn proud and stubborn to say “help. I’m drowning.” instead, we say, “sure, I’ll bake 300 cookies for Christmas and make 10 hats and scarves and pairs of socks and mittens for the clothing drive.” But there is an upside.
You’re the one who gets to see the firsts, steps, teeth, words, kiss, boyfriends, teachers, best friends. My favorite is the first picture with little stick figures drawn and clumsily written, ” I love mom.” And when the best friends and boyfriends become jerky jerk faces, you’re the one with chocolate chip cookies and hot chocolate. When teachers have trouble reaching them, you help because you know how they learn. You’re the one that plays their favorite CD in the car and washed the one direction shirt just in time.
Your face beams with pride at every concert, fair, and meeting when you hear, “oh you’re her mom. She’s such a great kid.” you’re the go to mom when the teachers need a chaperone or volunteer. They don’t even mind if you bring the baby because he’s so cute and well behaved.
And at the end of the day, your husband loves you. Undyed, unwashed, tangled, pony tailed hair, unbrushed teeth, dark circles under your eyes. He loves you. And he understands that cosleeping and breastfeeding and cloth diapering is important to you. He does his best to understand. Sometimes that means taking the baby so you can get 2 hours uninterrupted sleep.
Some days, it may seem like you’re the cheese in the farmer in the dell. You are not alone. You may be a train wreck like me. And that’s ok. At least we have each other. And I’ll tell you, you’re doing good, mama. Keep up the good work.