A friend told me the other day that moms should get trophies. I so love this idea! What would your trophies be? If I could send an actual trophy to you, I’d send a few. If people get trophies for sports, dance, business of the year, acting and art, surely moms could. This mothering gig is long! It takes endurance and strength! And no, this is not a participation trophy! These are hard won, with blood, sweat and tears.
So today make a spot somewhere in your home. And take a minute to imagine some trophies there. Not because you’re a bitter woman who needs them. But because you’re a mighty woman who’s earned them.
The Birth Trophy. OK I just looked this up. So the closest sport to giving birth in my opinion is running a marathon. I’ve given birth to four kids and would never run a marathon. But I don’t think there’s any other event that comes close to the length of time it takes to give birth right? Maybe it’s apples and oranges, I don’t know. But the winner of the Boston marathon gets $150,000!! So I’m pretty sure it’s fair to give you a “Birth Trophy.” Yes you get the baby. And yes that’s worth more than any amount of money. That’s not my point. My point is to be freaking proud of yourself for bringing life into this world!
The Adoption Trophy. I am involved in an organization called ‘Welcomed’ that supports foster parents. I am in awe constantly of the strength,courage,love and general ‘badassery’ it takes to foster. And I’m also aware that these moms don’t want the credit. They just do it. It’s hard and so needed. If you have the ability, please check out www.welcomed.org and help.
The Sleep Deprivation Trophy. Sleep deprivation is a very common and effective tactic used to torture humans. If you want to get your enemies to comply keep them up for a long time. Maybe get them up every hour or two for 6 months to a year, maybe even two years. Oh wait, that’s what every mom does all over the world the first year of her baby’s life!
The Negotiation Expert Trophy. You are mom. You make rules. The children don’t want to follow those rules. Depending on the level of sleep deprivation, you are amazing at negotiation. “Two more bites of peas, and you’ll get dessert.” “Brush your teeth or you’ll have to pay for part of the dentist bill.” “Go to bed right now or you’ll go to bed early tomorrow night.” “Don’t swear at Grandma’s house or I’ll kill you.” “If you get a speeding ticket you pay for it.” “Stop arguing with your sister or you’re going to sit and hold hands on the stairs till you get along.” “You have to be in the photos or no one will know you exist.” (I used this one once. It just seemed like a smart thing to say at the time… I may have been sleep deprived.)
The Empty Threat Queen Trophy. “I’ll cancel your birthday!” “I’ll leave you home with the neighbor while we go on vacation.” “I’ll stop this car and make you walk home!” “You’re never coming out of that room!” “If you don’t finish Algebra, you’ll never find a job and make it in life.” “You’re grounded for the rest of your life!” “If you don’t finish your veggies, you’ll never grow.”
The Comfort Trophy. All the crying. All the band aids. All the scrapes and bruises. All the hurt feelings. All the fights with siblings. All the lost favorite toys. All the bad dreams. The lost friends. The failures. The misses. The mean girls. The bullies. The ‘terrible’ teachers. The consequences they didn’t expect. The times they are wrong and sorry. All the comfort.
The Never Quit Trophy. You wonder all the time if you’re enough. You see how your flaws are showing up in your kids. You know you’ve failed many times. You wonder sometimes if they’d be better off with a different, kinder, more sane person. But you keep going. You don’t quit. You can’t, they’re depending on you. You keep learning and growing and showing up. You may stay in bed crying for a day, but you get up and keep going.
The Working Mom Trophy. You go to work, then come home and do all the things. You have two full time jobs. Work is actually a vacation. You spend Saturdays doing laundry and cleaning. You feel bad when you’re at work because you should be home. And you feel bad when you’re at home because you’re cooking, cleaning, paying bills and mowing the lawn. You wish you could be a stay at home mom sometimes to see your kids more.
The Stay At Home Mom Trophy. You must do all the things at home, have less money because you’re not working, and always be so grateful to be home with the kids. You are grateful. It’s just hard waking up every morning with “Baby Shark” stuck in your head and always announcing when you have to go potty. You find yourself talking to everyone like they’re three. You’re incredibly lonely sometimes. On the bottom of this trophy is a little quote, “Hang in there, it goes fast, they’ll be in school before you know it.” A study once added up the price of all the things a stay-at-home mom does during the year and it equaled over $100,000. You wish you could go to work sometimes to help out with the finances, because nobody from that study ever sent you real life money.
The Continuation of Weirdness Trophy. This is the award for making sure your kids are as weird as you. Whatever flavor of weird you ascribe to. Your children are Star Wars geeks, or they know all about Native Prairie plants, or they speak some German. Mine are surprised other kids don’t know about all the personality types. Maybe it’s going to renaissance fairs, or 70’s rock music. May your children wave their “weirdness flag” proudly!
The Mom Enough Trophy. This is the one trophy out of all of them that I wish we could all have in our homes. This is the one that gives you permission to sit and appreciate this powerful position that you hold as mother. This honor that has been given to you to change your little corner of the world. To acknowledge how hard you’re trying. How brave you are. The work you do to be a better mom, a better spouse, a better person. I used to call my mom when my kids were little and whine about feeling useless. I wasn’t accomplishing anything. Not that I could tell anyway, between the diapers, crying, feeding, cleaning, and exhaustion. My mom always told me, “You’re changing the world, you have the future generation right there in your home.” She bought me two copies of the book, ‘Mothers Leadership and Success’. She’s right. Of course she is, she’s a mom. You and I, as moms are changing the world. And surely that, is enough.
You may never get an actual trophy. But this Mother’s Day, please consider every scribble drawing, card with a poem that doesn’t quite make sense, phone call, email, and bouquet of flowers, your trophy. Think about all the things you do and have done right, and know that you are enough. Be so proud of you, the mom. You got this.
If you’d like to join me via email, there’s a growing community of amazing people who are doing great things and being enough, including some incredible moms. Join here