There are a lot of things my sons will know about me. They will know how much I love them and they will know how valuable they are to me. They will know that I will always accept their kisses even if they are dirt covered or taste like snot. They will know that I think they are smart, kind, and talented. They will know that there isn’t anything in this world I wouldn’t do to protect, nurture, and develop them. They will know that I don’t like to share my drinks with them because food floaties gross me out. They will know that they can come to me at anytime for anything and I will be there for them. They will know that I value honor, honesty, compassion, and generosity above all else. At the end of my life they will know these things and many more about the mother I was to them…but you know what? There are a lot of things they won’t know about me.
They won’t know how many nights I sat up by their bed watching them until I thought my eyes might bleed to make sure they breathed.
They won’t know how many times I held them and cried as they cried asking myself if I really did want children…asking myself if I really COULD do this…asking myself if this is the life I wanted.
They won’t know how many times I had to sit them gently on the floor and walk away and collect myself because I didn’t know if I could handle it much longer.
They won’t know how many nights exhausted tears ran down my face and collected on their little bald heads as I walked and walked them because they just wouldn’t sleep unless I held them and walked.
They won’t know how many times the sound of their cry was just about enough to send me over the edge.
They won’t know how many times I wished I could have a pause, a moment, or a do over.
They won’t know how many days I wanted to shut myself in a dark room and never come out.
They won’t know how many moments I felt like all this work just might not be worth it.
They won’t know how many times I was too proud or too scared to ask for help because “I was the mom — this was my job.”
They won’t know how many times I didn’t want to hold them for another second because my arms and my heart were just too tired.
They won’t know that if it wasn’t for their dad and his constant support and help that I couldn’t take care of them – emotionally or physically.
They won’t know how hard it was to manage emotions, relationships, motherhood, and a household.
They just won’t know.
But I think I’m okay with them not knowing. I don’t feel entitled to their praise. I don’t need them to appreciate “all I did for them”. It’s in those late moments that I find peace, in those weak moments that I find strength, in those hard moments that I find my way. When they look at me like I am their beginning and end – it’s worth it. When I am sitting in a messy heap of scattered mom in tears on the floor and my toddler walks over to me and kisses my head and says “I Lah Loo Momma” I know I can make it. I know I can handle it. I know that this is the life I want. When my infant dreams on my chest and giggles as he sleeps, I know in that moment that the sleepless nights won’t last forever but if they do it’s okay because those dream giggles are sweeter than any slumber I could ever get.
Motherhood is hard. Know one will ever know every moment that makes up my motherhood — but I will. I will know all the pain and exhaustion and frustration but I will also know all the love and joy and silent wonderment.