I watched a woman drive her van into the parking lot of the local grocery store. I was there waiting in the car for my wife to come out and this lady pulled into the spot in front of me. She opened the driver’s side door slowly as though her arms were weighted with lead. She emerged with her head hanging a little low. She pushed a button on her key ring to activate the opening of the side door. My window was open a crack and I heard the sound of a baby cry. The woman then stuck her head in the side door and after a few moments materialized with the handle of a baby seat in her left hand, a whimpering toddler positioned on her right hip, and another toddler walking closely by her left side. From where I sat, I could sense the woman’s feeling of exhaustion. Frankly I was tired just watching her.
Motherhood is grueling. I’ve concluded this by not only talking to many moms but also by witnessing my own wife as a mother. Being a mom to children under five can be especially draining. I remember vividly the times I experienced changing diapers, chasing after little ones when something breakable was within their reach and wiping more runny noses than I care to count. It’s flat out demanding, even when there are two parents functioning well as a team.
I’m focusing specifically on moms today because, well, it’s their day! I also believe that many moms bear a very heavy load when it comes to caring for the children. Even for a guy like me, who came alongside his wife in sharing the parenting duties, I think many small tasks would never have been completed if not for her. If she hadn’t filled in the gaps, my adult children would still be wearing toddler-sized clothes and eating with their fingers.
An at-home mom rarely leaves the environment in which she works. Therefore tasks are staring her down at every turn. She never really knows when to call it a day. The same is true for moms who work outside the home. They end their day at the office and then come home and transform into mommy. For both, the tasks are never-ending. Even when they go to sleep at night, they do so knowing they may have a middle-of-the-night interruption because someone needs a glass of water or has an upset tummy.
I think moms are incredible for many reasons, although not everyone will agree. Just ask a teen boy who’s frustrated by a nagging mom who insists he wear a coat. Teen girls don’t always appreciate Mom’s protective nature as they battle to define appropriate clothing for school. Not every moment is picture perfect, but the overall effect of Mom’s love and care is eventually recognized and appreciated as a major part of the strong foundation of a kid’s life.
Even today, many moms won’t have time to read this article so it might be someone else who tells them about it. And here’s what I want all moms to know. I’m proud of you for your commitment to be there for your kids and to provide care, comfort and love for them. It’s part of the fabric of our life and the backbone of our society. My hat is off to you and although you can’t see me right now, I’m giving you a standing ovation.