For a while now, I’ve been teaching my kids the joy of sarcasm. Okay, they don’t love it yet, but I do.
For example, when I refill a juice cup or bring something from the other room or perform some task they’ve requested, I exclaim, “Oh, thanks Mom! You’re the best mom ever!” to a mostly stone-faced audience. I’m starting to get eye rolls from my daughter. I do this mostly in jest, to remind them to say thanks, but honestly, I do it also to remind myself that I’m doing a good job.
As moms, it is so easy for us to get down on ourselves, to focus on all the things we are doing, and “shouldn’t” be or aren’t doing and “should” be or aren’t doing well enough. It really is exhausting to keep up. Most days are filled with running here or there and dropping this one off or picking this one up (or keeping everyone home and managing virtual classwork and Zoom calendars), maybe even while managing a full-time job. And in the midst of all that “doing” it is so easy to get distracted. We forget to remember that we are doing it. Maybe not perfectly, all of it. But we are doing it. We are managing the schedules and the classwork and the calendars and the jobs. But more than that, we are managing little hearts and minds.
I was reminded of this when my daughter surprised me with a card the other day. She is very into making cards and drawing pictures these days. This had many hallmarks of her usual art – a unicorn, rainbows, and hearts, but on the front, you’ll never believe what she wrote. Her sweet little hands knew what I needed to hear: “Best Mom Ever.” I laughed when I picked up the card. And then I cried a little. Because on the inside of the card she drew a picture of us holding hands. While my mind is constantly keeping track of a million details, silently shaming myself when I let one of the many balls in the air drop, she’s just thinking about how much she loves me, and that she likes to hold my hand.
So, to any mommas out there feeling a little beat down or discouraged today, to you I offer this reminder – You are the best mom ever. Not in a comparative or competitive way, but for your little crew, there is no one more suited for the job of mothering them. You love them and teach them and feed them and snuggle them and guide them and listen to them and encourage them. And they see it. And whether they remember to say it or not. They, too, think you’re the best. mom. ever.