Motherhood is a thankless job. I’ve thought this phrase to myself a thousand times.
In a lot of ways, it feels true. We spend our days making meals no one will eat, and washing dishes that are full of wasted food. And there’s cleaning the house that gets destroyed again only minutes later, packing school lunches our kids refuse to eat, signing our kids up for sports and activities they’ll end up not wanting to go to. . .
It’s a constant long list of chores and jobs we have to do to take care of our family, and usually the tasks seem unappreciated.
The kids don’t care that you slaved over dinner, they’d rather have a bowl of cereal. They don’t care that you just mopped, they’re still gonna walk in with their muddy shoes. They don’t care that you put a lot of thought into their school lunch, because the cafeteria lunch looked WAY better.
No matter what you do, it will feel under-valued, under-appreciated, and unwanted.
But motherhood isn’t a thankless job, we just have to look for the thanks a little deeper sometimes.
It may not be an outright “Wow! Thanks, Mom! You’re the greatest mother on the planet and of course I will eat my entire plate of quinoa and Brussel sprouts!”, but the thanks is there.
When you’re feeling discouraged, look for the times they:
-say “I love you” out of the blue.
-ask you to snuggle them.
-want to spend time with you.
-pick a flower from the yard for you.
-color you a picture.
And so many more little gestures. These seemingly small moments are our children telling us, “I love you, Mom. I’m thankful for the loving care you give me. Thank you for loving me the way you do.”
Your baby gaining weight is a silent “thank you” for all the hours you spent pumping and the middle-of-the-night cluster feeding.
Your toddler learning new words and skills is a silent “thank you” for all the time you spent teaching her.
Your son offering to help you with the dishes is a silent “thank you” for teaching him it’s important to contribute to the household, and he knows your time is valuable.
Your teenager coming home and being excited to tell you about their good day is a silent “thank you” for being so open and ready to listen on their bad days.
Find the thanks and the appreciation in the little moments.
Reflect on them on the days when motherhood has you feeling particularly unappreciated. Those kids love you and need you so much, and that can be a big load to carry some days.
Just remember to search for the silent thank yous.
*This post originally appeared on mightymamahood.com and is shared with permission.