My husband handed me a card that said, “To my awesome wife on Mother’s Day: You should just relax and take it easy today. I’ll take care of everything around the house!!!”
Inside: You can fix it all tomorrow.
He knows me so well. I’m a fixer.
My son came to give me one last Mother’s Day hug and he said, “Did you have a nice day Mom? I’m sorry we fought a little. Did you get what you wanted? ” I said, That’s life, honey. Yes, I got what I wanted–all of you.
He left my room and I remembered a conversation from a long time ago that changed parenting for me.
Friend: “Do you know what your kids want?
Me: “Besides cell phones?”
Friend: “Your kids want you.”
“When they say ‘Mom, watch me,’ they just want you. When they pull you away from whatever you are doing, it’s because they want you.”
I sat there, both convicted and freed by her words. They jolted my heart awake. My kids don’t need me to fix their problems, they don’t need me to provide more stuff or help them try and keep up with everyone else. I thought back to the times when I was asked to “Take a look at this,” and I was too busy to stop what I was doing. I vowed from that day forward to be present in the moment as much as I possibly could.
“God, I realize they need me, but even more, they need You. I need You because this mothering thing is awesome and hard. When I look back, I won’t remember the days. I will remember the moments. And I’m thankful for that because, believe me, there are days I don’t want to remember!”
I do want to remember the drive on the way to school this morning. The way my daughter laughed. The moment she opened up and shared her heart. The way our hearts connected. Those treasured moments make up for the rest of the day with the exaggerated eye rolls and exasperated sighs. It’s all part of this job.
Instead of asking myself “Is her room clean? Did he ace that test?” I’m asking “Did I connect with them in a way that I will remember twenty years from now? Did I listen when she called my name four times? Did our hearts meet for a brief moment? Did he know that even when I couldn’t fix the problem, I was there for him?”
At my house, rooms are still messy, floors are still sticky, and laundry still piles up. After all these years as a mother, I’ve accepted the fact that there will be good and bad days. I lose my cool, pick my battles, and say a lot of I’m sorrys. But in a few years, when my house is quiet and my children are gone, I will be able to recall the precious minutes when I stopped everything and just loved them because that’s what God wants me to do.
So, on this day after Mother’s Day remember this:
You are loved, even when they don’t say it.
You are appreciated, even when they don’t show it.
You are not forgotten, even when they seem to forget you the day after.
You are important, even when you don’t feel it.
You are shaping and molding and influencing your children for eternity, even when you mess up. Especially then, because they are watching the way you serve and love them anyway.
You are what your kids want—more than anything you can give them, they just want you.
Moms–when the flowers wilt and the chocolate is gone, when the homemade cards are put away, don’t ever forget that your small, everyday faithfulness is changing your kids’ world.
Especially the day after Mother’s Day.