Dear Mum Who Feels Unappreciated,
There is post after post on the difficulty of raising children full time. Most of them try to laugh it off, even many that I have written, because a spoon full of sugar helps the medicine go down. And sometimes raising our precious bubs feels like swallowing a cup of Buckley’s. But after the laughter dies down we are faced with another nap cut short by the meowing cat and a night ahead that could leave us within an inch of sanity.
Not only can this be one of the hardest things we have ever done but often it is done in the dark, behind the curtains of our homes and like one of those covert operations that high level CIA never get credit for…even their families are not always entitled to the depths of their situation. And that my dear mother is how we sometimes feel.
Our families are the ones we want to be appreciated most by. The ones we sacrifice so much of ourselves for. We compromise, adjust and neglect our basic needs to uplift them and show them our deep love. And you know what, we are fine with that, aren’t we 🙂 We don’t mind eating later to make sure the kids are settled. We don’t mind waking up multiple times for our teething baby or toddler having night terrors. We don’t mind adjusting our schedule so the sick baby can nap awhile longer? And we don’t mind even putting careers, hobbies or showers on hold to see our children through these fleeting years. So what is it that bugs us?
The lack of thanks. The lack of understanding. The lack of appreciation.
But as I am sitting here I wonder. Motherhood, parenthood, is an undercover job. Even our other partner does not fully understand our sacrifices and our needs, just like we do not theirs. Our children have NO CLUE, just as we didn’t while we were being sacrificed for by our parents. Does my husband expect me to know what it feels like to do manual labour all day and then come home being pestered to wrestle, play hockey and soccer? No. Do I even appreciate how hard it is for my transforming preschooler to listen, learn and obey as he is growing to understand this world? Not always.
So I am making up my mind to not expect to be overly appreciated for a job that only I truly understand to it’s depths. It is not fair to my family, or to myself and I want to encourage you to do the same. Because really, we do what we do because we love our husbands and we love our children. Feeling under appreciated reeks havoc on our mental health, leaving us bitter, drained and often angry.
So here it is Mum. You are doing an amazing job. I appreciate your hard work. I see you waking up all the freakin time and when morning comes your squint, start the coffee and want to do anything but prepare breakfast for the energetic ones responsible for your lack of sleep. I see you struggling to teach, guide and prepare your children for the next stage. I see you researching options and trying to make respectable decisions though sleep deprived and over caffeinated. And you know what I also see? I see a mother who adores her family. I see a mother whose heart is yearning to love on them in tangible ways, like preparing their favourite meals that may very well be rejected. Like staying up a little bit later to make sure your partner has clean clothes for the morning. Like getting bills paid on time to set up your family for success. Like taking the time to teach your children to tidy up, get dressed and eat their meals by themselves to enable them to grow into independent humans, instead of just huffing and doing it for them.
Now, we are appreciated 🙂 We will always be noticed by each other. So want to join a challenge with me?
I just read this AMAZING article and I encourage you to read it too because it explains more in depth why it is so powerful to be grateful or seek out things we are grateful for. Inspired, I want to do a happy challenge for the next month. It is dark, dreary and chilly here in Ontario so just the time that most of us get blue, feel sad and want to feel sorry for ourselves. Let’s change that 🙂
One month, everyday. Find that one thing, share it and live like it. Share this challenge with your family, your friends and we can change the atmosphere in our homes.
We know we love what we do, despite how challenging it often is and if you read the article you will understand how feeling sorry for ourselves triggers the reward centre in our brains (like chocolate or cocaine)…so I want to stop that.
I may not always be appreciated but I choose to be grateful.
Love, Appreciation & Understanding,