No one decides to become a mother so she can get recognition. The truth is, motherhood generally doesn’t come with accolades, awards or bonuses for good performance. You don’t collect a paycheck for it and you never get time off from it.
Most of the time the rewards for motherhood are non-monetary but simultaneously priceless. There is no amount of money in the world equivalent to watching your child learn and grow, give you an unprompted hug, or tell you that you’re the best mom in the world (even though you know better).
But still, making the transition from a successful full-time career to full-time mom who works from home whenever I get a minute was one of the hardest things I ever did. Recently, I had a particularly challenging morning when everything seemed to be going wrong. I thought to myself, “you know, it would really be nice to just hear ‘thank you’ every once in a while.”
That got me thinking, when was the last time I thanked my own mother for everything she’s done for me? Did I say “thanks” after she sacrificed sleep to nurse me back to health every time I got an ear infection as a child? Did I thank her when she stayed up all night to sew costumes for my sisters and I back when we sang and performed together? Did I show her my gratitude for holding me and letting me cry on her shoulder after my first real breakup? Did I tell her thanks for the many times she drove me to my first job and back because I didn’t have a car? I can’t recall if I told her how much it meant to me when she would proofread my college papers or read my poetry and get teary-eyed because she was proud of me.
So, to my own mom, I want to publicly say thank you for serving me. Thank you for giving me such a beautiful example of what motherhood means. Thank you for putting your own aspirations and dreams on the back burner so you could devote your time to raising nine children. That’s a huge feat.
And to all mothers, everywhere: Thank you for everything you do. Sometimes we forget to say it, but we appreciate the sacrifices you make. You may not know it yet, but you’re changing the world each exhausting, diaper-changing, shower-foregoing, love-giving day at a time. (Peterson is a Serve Daily contributor.)