I think we mothers could do better at honoring motherhood ourselves if we had just a little help from the people around us—you know, mostly the ones that we spend the better part of our lives cooking, cleaning and caring for.
Holding our own calling in high regard is next to impossible when we feel like everything we do goes by unnoticed. And, honestly, the people that we work the hardest to serve may never appreciate what we do for them—no, not even if we make our sweet spouses watch the children all week long.
For some reason, this week, Hayden has stopped saying “Daychew” (Thank you) and replaced it with “Daychew, Mommy.” My husband can be really great at noticing and getting a lot of the small things. But usually we mothers have to settle for much smaller or more indirect forms of gratitude.
I think that there are two aspects to feeling this direct appreciation, which we may only get on Mother’s Day. They are: seeing that our families value what we do and seeing a demonstration of their appreciation for this.
I know on the surface, these look like the same thing—but they’re not. It’s not easy, but you can certainly have one without the other: a friend or family member who recognizes that being a mother is important, but never seems to understand why you’re not available at the drop of a hat or just not the same as you were before. Another who praises your mothering skills but derides your choices (to stay home, to breastfeed, to work—you name it).
For us to feel appreciated, I think we need to be able to see that the people who are most important in our lives—the ones that we are nurturing every day—understand that this is an important work, but a lot of work. They see that we have made sacrifices to have children and lead our lives this way.
They see our love in the things that we do for them—and they show their love and appreciation in the things that they say and do for us.
And you know what, husbands, children and family members? You don’t have to do that just once a year.
What do you think—how can our friends and families show us that they appreciate what we do for them? (Or, if it’s an easier question: what do you want for Mother’s Day—and every other day of the year?)