Wednesday, June 8, 2011

To the Moms: You are Irreplaceable

Something I struggle with as a mom is finding value in what I am doing. Many days I feel like Bill Murray in Groundhog's Day, doing the same tasks over and over again with little to no variation day-in and day-out. I wake up, fix breakfast, get everyone dressed, put one down for a nap, do some laundry, clean the kitchen, and on and on. If you're a mom, you catch my drift.

Some days I think I could go on vacation and hire someone to do my job. She'd probably be a much better cleaner than I am. Maybe those cobwebs in our storm windows would finally disappear.

I feel replaceable at times, like if I weren't scrubbing dried banana off the floor or washing dirty diapers, someone else would be. It's not like I need a college degree or an advanced skill set to be a mom. I mean I have a master's degree in English, and when have I ever had to rely on old Chaucer? Someone else with more experience, greater patience, or better mothering instincts could do this job a zillion times better than me.

And yet if I were to step out of my worn-out flip flops and into my daughter's jellies for a minute, I would see that at least to her I am irreplaceable.
Yes, someone else could read books to her, but they wouldn't get the voices right.
And someone else could fix her breakfast, but they wouldn't know she likes cinnamon and a handful of frozen berries in her oatmeal.
And someone else could sing her songs before bed, but no one would be able to sing her the special song I made up just for her.
No, I am irreplaceable.

The world tells us moms that we need to do more, to be more, to have more; it makes us hypercritical and self-loathing. It tells us we aren't good enough unless we do "x" and leaves us with a void inside that we strive desperately but unsuccessfully to fill. But the world is a very unhappy place.

To our kids, we are perfect. There is no need for us to change a thing. We don't need to be thinner, fitter, more glamorous, or funnier. In their eyes, we can do no wrong (at least until they're teenagers!). In their eyes, there is no one smarter or more beautiful. We just need to love them and show them how special they are to us.

Stop doubting your value as a mom and realize: To your child, you are the center of their universe, and, yes, you are irreplaceable.

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