I just want to tell you, mom, that you’re doing a great job. Really. You are.
Those little faces with the big eyes that were so full of tantrum-y anger just moments ago will soon look at you with nothing but love, and yours will reflect that. The roller coaster that these little ones have us riding is exhausting: from hugs and loves to wild tantrums to practically dying of thirst and hunger to dancing, all in about three minutes. I once read that a former Olympian followed and mimicked the motions of an active two-year-old, and that he only lasted about 10 minutes before collapsing from sheer exhaustion. I wonder how long he would’ve lasted if he had somehow been able to mimic the emotional journey of that two-year-old. They move from feeling to feeling effortlessly, with ease and full confidence in what they’re experiencing.
And us mamas? We’re just along for the ride.
Of course we can mold and shape gently and hope and pray over our babies, that they would grow into their personalities with grace. But really, when they’re two and finding their voice, we’re at the mercy of their coaster.
And you, mama – even though today (or yesterday or last week) was rough – you are doing well.
You, who follow that roller coaster with love and snacks. You, who hands out hugs and kisses when they’re needed but not necessarily asked for. You, who is the only one your little wants when they get an owie.
You, who plans meals and day trips and activities and schedules. You, who juggles plates upon plates and manages to make it look easy. You, who keeps the night watch with the baby and greets the toddler at sunrise.
You, who is surviving solely on chicken nugget scraps, overripe bananas (because they’re all that’s left in the fruit bowl) and strong coffee. You, who shops exclusively on the Target clearance rack while her children have designer wardrobes. You, who considers solo grocery shopping a sweet break.
You, who remembers to include herself on the calendar (because you know without the life jacket of a good girl’s night out, you may start to drown). You, who remembers your family’s birthdays and husband’s family’s birthdays. You, who sends a text to a friend on a whim, just because, and makes her day.
You, who sings along in the car with Raffi and the Okee Dokee Brothers (even though all you want is gossip talk radio). You, who makes more small sacrifices in a day than others make in a month. You, who – today alone – has crunched on Cheerios and stepped on Legos and squished in something unidentifiable.
You are something else, mama. You are irreplaceable to your brood, even on those days. You are a calm in their storm, a rest on their roller coaster. You are the glue that holds the pieces of your family together.
You, who are all these things and more, are doing a wonderful job.