This is my daughter, Kayla, with her husband and their four kids.
(I know…the kids are adorable, right??)
For those of you who don’t already know, Kayla’s a regular contributor to this blog and a huge part of my coaching business. I think she’s pretty amazing! In fact, if I had to rate her, I’d give her a 10 out of 10.
I’m not the only one who feels that way, either, but I’ll get to that in a minute. First, I want to tell you about a conversation she and I had recently.
It took place right after the new year. Kayla called me one day and said, “All of my friends are posting about their accomplishments from the past ten years. When I look at what they’ve done with their lives, I feel like I haven’t accomplished anything.”
I sensed that this was not a Mom moment, but rather, a “Coach Sandy” call, so I listened to what she had to say.
“I mean, I know I’ve had four kids, but that’s ALL I’ve done! I don’t want the next decade to go by without accomplishing something significant.”
I thought about her comment before opening my mouth. I knew what she was saying, but I sensed a teaching moment coming on. Maybe it was a Mom moment, after all!
“Wait a minute,” I said, a bit of sarcasm in my voice, “are you telling me that all you did in the last decade was create human life four times?”
She was not amused.
“I know what you’re saying, Mom,” she answered, “but seriously, my friends have kids, too. And they did a bunch of other stuff besides that. And it’s not like I had to do anything to get pregnant.”
I left that one alone.
But here’s the thing…
My daughter is the mother of four adorable little people. They are crazy and rambunctious–and I love them with all my heart. Not only did she grow these little humans inside of her body, but she also lost a significant amount of sleep while feeding them and caring for them in the first years of their lives.
On top of that, she’s been teaching them to walk and talk and be kind to other little people. She does crafts with them and reads to them and holds impromptu dance parties on a regular basis. She bathes them. She feeds them. She dresses them. She gets them to school and their extracurricular activities. Her life is devoted to helping these kids grow up to become responsible adults who contribute to society.
If you asked any one of her four children about Kayla’s accomplishments, I’m pretty sure they would give a glowing review!
But I understand how Kayla feels.
I remember the days of being stuck at home with very little adult interaction. It was hard to carry on conversations at a toddler-to-preschool level for twelve hours a day. There were days I wanted to rip my hair out. There were days I wondered if I was going insane. There were also days when I just wanted to run away from it all!
But there were other days that were cherished.
Those were the days that mattered–the days that made it all worth it.
Like the day I stood by and watched as my baby took her first wobbly step on her own.
Or the day my toddler came inside with a dandelion, wrapped his little arms around me and said, “I love you, Mommy!”
Or the days when we were “snowed in” and played games and drank hot chocolate and just enjoyed each others company.
Those days didn’t necessarily make the monotony any easier, but from where I’m sitting today, I can say it was all worth it.
Kayla isn’t the only one I’ve heard these complaints from. As the social media craze of listing the accomplishments of the last decade spread like wildfire, I’ve heard it over and over again from my clients.
And yesterday, I heard it again.
I find it sad that society has created such a stigma around motherhood that creating human life and raising responsible children seems to have no value in our minds–even the minds of those of us who are doing it.
And that needs to stop!
If you’re a mom with small children and you feel like you aren’t accomplishing anything, this post is for you.
Because here’s the truth.
You have one of the hardest and most important jobs on the earth.
You are raising the next generation, the people who will someday rule the world.
And that’s an accomplishment worth noting.
I get it.
You don’t think you’re enough.
You aren’t getting the accolades you need in order to validate the exhaustion you feel.
You want to do something that proves your ability to do more than have sex and talk to three-year-olds all day.
You want to feel worthy.
Chase your dreams.
Be an example of what’s possible to the little people in your life (and the rest of the world, too!).
Create the life you’ve always wanted in the decade to come.
But do me a favor and don’t discount the accomplishment of motherhood. Because no matter who you are or how many kids you’ve been blessed with, you are tasked with one of the most challenging jobs ever. The job of creating and raising another human being.
And in my eyes, that’s an accomplishment worth noting.
I’m pretty sure the little humans in your life would agree!