This is for all the mother’s who DIDN’T win Mother of the Year
All the runners-up and all the wannabes.
The mothers too tired to enter or too busy to care.
This is for all the mothers who have sat up all night with a sick toddler in their arms, wiping up vomit laced with two minute noodles and cherry Kool-Aid saying, “It’s okay honey, Mummy’s here.”
This is for the mothers who gave birth to babies they’ll never see, and the mothers who took these babies and made them homes.
For all the mothers who run carpools and make cookies and sew Halloween costumes, and all the mothers who DON’T.
What makes a good mother anyway? Is it patience? Compassion? Broad hips? The ability to nurse a baby, cook dinner and sew a button on a shirt all at the same time? Or is it heart?
Is it the ache you feel when you watch your son or daughter disappear down the street, walking to school alone for the very first time? The jolt that takes you from sleep to dread, from bed to crib at 2 a.m., to put your hand on the back of a sleeping baby?
The need to flee from wherever you are and hug your child when you hear news of a school shooting, a fire, a car accident, a baby dying? – I think so.
So this is for all the mothers who sat down with their children and explained all about making babies. And for all the mothers who wanted to, but just couldn’t.
This is for reading “Goodnight Moon” twice a night for a year. And then reading it “Just one more time.”
This is for all the mothers who mess up. Who yell at their kids in the grocery store and swat them in despair and stomp their feet like a tired two-year-old who wants ice-cream before dinner.
This is for all the mothers who taught their daughters to tie their shoelaces before they started school, and for all the mothers who opted for Velcro instead.
For all the mothers who lock themselves in the bathroom when babies keep crying and won’t stop.
This is for all the mothers who show up at work with spit-up in their hair and milk stains on their blouses and diapers in their purse.
This is for all mothers whose head turn automatically when a little voice calls “Mum?” in a crowd, even though they know their own offspring are at home.
This is for mothers who put flowers and teddy bears on their children’s graves. This is for mothers, whose children have gone astray, who can’t find the words to reach them.
This is for all the mothers who sent their sons to school with stomach aches, assuring them they’d be just FINE once they got there, only to get a call from the school nurse an hour later asking them to please pick them up…right away.
This is for young mothers stumbling through diaper changes and sleep deprivation. And mature mothers learning to let go.
For working mothers and stay-at-home-mothers. Single mothers and married mothers. Mothers with money, mothers without.
This is for all of you. Hang in there.
(Thanks to Baby Sense for publishing this poem in their most recent newsletter – I couldn’t resist sharing it!)