Last night as I scrubbed Olivia’s hair in the tub and she was shrieking that I was killing her, I found myself thinking, “Kiddo, when you have no idea how much I do for you and how much I love you.”
For the record, I wasn’t scrubbing hard, but she thinks that any water in her face when I’m rinsing her hair is drowning her.
Once my thought about how much we moms do for our kids and how much we love them, I thought of my own mom and how much she did for me and my brothers.
It’s probably stupid but it occurred to me for maybe the first time ever that my mom loves me and my brothers as much as I love my girls. She sacrificed, she worked so, so hard, she stayed up late and got up early to make sure that we never felt deprived. And she did all this mostly alone. She and my dad divorced when I was eleven. My dad only moved three houses away but my brothers and I never once stayed overnight with my dad in all the years that went by after the divorced. So my mom never, ever got a break.
And she never complained. At least not so that we could hear.
We went about our lives thinking that laundry got done all one its own, food appeared on the table as if by magic, the dishes were done by fairies and there was always enough money in the bank to buy groceries and shoes and school clothes/supplies each year.
Now I know. I know what she did for us, behind the scenes, making sure we could just be kids while she managed the house, made sure we were fed and clothed and clean and healthy.
This week has been tough with Alyssa’s muscle strain, Olivia’s double ear infection, laundry, dinners and lunches and breakfasts. So much to do and still we need to fit baths in there and snuggles and bedtime stories.
And I have a partner who helps as much as he can; as much as the girls will let him.
My mom did it all by herself. My dad, Lord love him, even when he was around, wasn’t much help around the house or as a parent. Sure, he worked and provided an income but…my mom was our rock.
And I see now how much she did, how much she gave, how very much she loved and still does love us.
Even if my girls never have kids of their own and never really know how much I do for them, how much I love them, that’s okay. Because I know…and that’s enough. Motherhood is no about the accolades. It’s not about recognition. It’s about loving and nurturing these little people as they become bigger people and hoping you’re doing enough to turn them into good people who can change their world, even just a little, for the better.