Feeling a little overworked and underpaid for all that you do in your home? Do you ever want to scream these words:
“Why don’t my children appreciate anything I do for them???
I don’t know a single mother who HAS NOT uttered (or thought) that sentence! Mother’s are probably thanked less than any other person alive for all that they do. Now, before you go thinking that this is just a post by a mad, grumpy mom, let me reassure you this is not the case. Read on.
Last night I was at my mother’s house and we were visiting late into the evening. My mother’s life is a very busy one, so getting any time to visit with her is precious. With our 2 blended families, she has 15 kids and she is also currently caring for her elderly mother full time. In addition to this, she still has 3 children at home, a weekly church assignment, and a husband and home to care for. I was at her home because I had taken over for the night caring for my grandma so she could have some much needed time away. We laughed as we related how even though we are in different stages of life we still have 1 definite thing in common! We both appreciate and understand what it feels like to have children who may not appreciate all that we do for them. Do any of the following scenarios sound familiar?
- Your kids (and maybe even your husband) so nicely manage to put all of their dirty clothes on the floor….exactly 1 foot from the laundry basket.
- Speaking of laundry, does anyone in your house know how to empty their pockets or separate their underwear from their pants? NO one seems to in my house!
- Markers were left out for the toddler to find and draw beautiful masterpieces on the walls and that new slip cover on your couch (that was bought to cover previous art work)
- You feel like the sewage pied piper as you continually flush toilets all day every day. (on a positive note, you know exactly how regular all of your children are)
- Half Eaten Dinners are replaced 1 hour later with “starving” children who just can’t seem to be in the mood for anything but snacks and junk food.
- You know you just bought 2 whole sets of new silverware and plastic ware but for some reason they are nowhere to be found…that is until you find the spoons and knives protruding from the ground in the backyard and the plasticware full of cat food in the garage and chocolate chips in the play kitchen. YES!!
- Your children expect you to be perfect at cooking and listening and driving them where they want to go, but they would rather you be incompetent at checking homework, chores, and time on digital devices.
- You’ve clearly stated that after 8:00 is your personal time but, for some crazy reason, everyone remembers everything they needed to tell you that is absolutely critical or an emergency during this time.
- A trip to the bathroom in the middle of the night turns into a trip to the ER as you trip and fall over the 2 kids sleeping on your floor who managed to sneak into your bedroom in the middle of the night. (and you thought Legos were bad!)
- All efforts to keep the house in order finally have been thrown to the wind and you just throw everything down the stairs into the basement and every closet and crevice possible when someone shows up at the door. (and secretly pray they don’t need to use the bathroom while they are there)
- Have you ever uttered these words, “Wait! Aren’t their TWO parents in this house? Why does everyone make a B-line straight for MY side of the bed every night?”
Yep, but only because it’s true! It’s amazing how overly used mothers are and yet they keep going….every day. They are like the toy with a life time warranty, only, eventually children grow out of their toys, but they don’t grow out of their mothers. This is a GOOD THING! I have pondered MANY MANY times since becoming a parent 11 years ago, “Why don’t my children appreciate ANYTHING I do for them?” There are many reasons, including the fact that children have to be taught to work, taught to appreciate what they have, taught to be grateful, but what I believe is that they HAVE NOT EXPERIENCED it yet. I know that when I was a kid, I had NOT A CLUE what my mom was really going through because I had never been a mom! All these thoughts went through my mind as I was on my hands and knees scraping cheerios of the kitchen floor for the hundredth time and I started crying. They were not tears of frustration or sadness but of GRATITUDE. Gratitude that my mother had also sacrificed the same for me. I know, as a child, I didn’t care if my room was clean or not. I didn’t care if my dirty clothes made it in the basket (only if I got caught!) or if my friends or the music I listened to was of the utmost quality. All I cared about was…ME! I see my mother through a whole new lense now. The mother that I despised and that sometimes embarrassed me as a teenager is now a saint in my eyes (I can see her rolling her eyes right now as she is reading this and maybe even feeling like she doesn’t deserve a comment like that) Regardless of how she feels about what kind of parent she was and is, I know she did (and is still doing) the best she knows how and it is an inspiration to me to do the same. In her honor I have come up with 10 things EVERY child should thank their mother for every day:
1. Thank you Mom for going through 9 months of pregnancy and an excruciating labor and delivery…just for little ole me!
2. Thank you Mom for NOT letting me starve!
3. Thank you Mom for washing my clothes so I don’t smell like the trash dump everywhere I go.
4. Thank you Mom for changing over 5,000 diapers just for me, and then cleaning up my “misses” for a year while you potty train me!
5. Thank you Mom for reading to me, singing to me, and running to me every time I needed you.
6. Thank you Mom for not letting me do everything I want and get everything I want. Heaven knows how I would have turned out!
7. Thank you Mom for living on an insanely small amount of sleep!
8. Thank you Mom for loving my Dad.
9. Thank you Mom for taking me out into public (even though I embarrassed you a countless number of times. I promise NEVER to throw Legos at the cash register lady EVER AGAIN!)
10. Thank you Mom for letting me LIVE!
Yep! You can pretty much count on your kids NOT thanking you for these things while they are young and in your home, but when they leave the nest and make lives of their own, and maybe even come to know what it feels like to be a parent themselves, they will never forget. Pat yourself on the back MOM! You’re doing ok! You’re doing the best job on earth, the job of being a mother! The hand that rocks the cradle, rocks the world!! And when the frustration hits a peak and you are feeling under appreciated, underpaid, and just plain run over, get a babysitter, take a night and just have fun. You deserve it!
When is the last time you told your Mom Thank You?
If you need a good laugh (and cry) I highly recommend you watch Mom’s Night Out. I just recently watched it and it had me laughing so hard I was crying…because it was so close to home. Loved it so much!