This week I haven't been feeling well.  Since Monday, all I've wanted to do is retreat to my bed and not come out from under the covers until this thing, whatever it is, has passed.  And in my old life, I most likely would have done so.  But as life stands today, my time is no longer my own.  Fleeing from my responsibilities for the day is not an option.

And this has really made me think about motherhood in a way I was not capable of before I became a mom myself.

Most of the time we see a mom from the outside looking in.  We see her tend to her children.  We see her running around picking up lone socks, sippy cups, and legos.  We see her run out the door carseat on her arm and diaper bag in hand, children running behind her with dolls and untied shoe laces.  We see her drop her kids off at grandma's so she can get to work on time, but doesn't leave until she's kissed her babies.

Moms come in all shapes and sizes.  Every mom is different.  Every mom is doing the best she can.  For some that's working to put food on the table, for others it's working at home.

Throughout my life, I've been blessed with many mother figures.  Women who have made me home cooked meals, stayed up with me at night when I was sick, who have listened and encouraged.  This week has made me look at these women through a whole new lens.  It's made me regret all the times I didn't offer to do the dishes.  It's left me in awe of the fact that a woman was able to get up, get herself ready, get her kids ready, go to work, come home, make dinner, clean up, and do it all over again the next day with grace and poise.  And it's made me grateful not only for having them in my life, but for being the best examples they could be.

I know parenthood is all about example.  If we want our kids to grow up to be good, kind-hearted, strong souls, we need to be those people first.  This is a hard feat.  It takes sacrifice, courage, and if you're a person of faith, countless prayers.

Today isn't mother's day, but today I'm thinking of and praying for all the women in my life who encourage me to be the best mom I can be for my sweet girl.  I'd welcome you to do the same, and if you see a mom washing some dishes, maybe offer to take the sponge.


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