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They Say a Mother's Work is Never Done



They say a mother’s work is never done. I always thought that I understood this long before becoming one. I thought I understood what busy meant; lots of plans, many things to juggle and hold. Having to make lots of decisions. I knew what it meant to be “busy.” To dream of vacations, getting lost in the idea of road trips, afternoon naps, and long uninterrupted conversations. I had all of that. Since becoming a mother, I can now firmly and wholeheartedly say that I understand this saying like never before; for my work is never done. Even when you think it is, even when your tired bones gear up for a sweet hour of stillness, your work is still never done. What I didn’t know then that I know now is that my work is never done because I am never able to complete everything fully, and when I do I often triple doubt if it is enough. Becoming a mother means getting used to the idea of doing things half-assed; never fully complete, never quite undone. Plans don’t really look like plans anymore. It used to be where the idea of planning the day seemed hard. What should we do? Where should we go? What needs to get done? When can we chill? Now, planning looks a lot different. We wake up at 6:00am, everyday. Moving through breakfast, morning rituals, and scheduling involves intensive planning (not to mention the preparation). Preparing to be away from the house for one hour means you have to gather everything you might possibly need if the world is about to end. Let’s be honest, a few meltdowns and you completely understand what it is like to feel like your world may be ending. So you have to be prepared to loose it, because inevitably you will. What they don’t tell you is that you will have to deal with the feelings of guilt, not feeling like you made the right choice, feeling frustrated because you may have overdid it. All of this can take place after or within that little outing away. Juggling all of the waves, the ups and downs, the arounds and arounds; trying your hardest to make the most out of it. Holding it all together: the guilt, the love, the longings for more time, more help, more moments of stillness. These days, a mother’s work isn’t about getting it all done, for we now know that is impossible. Instead, a mother’s work is about getting some done, little by little, steadily and consistently. Finding love in the openings, finding joy in the acts and connection in the intermission. Each day brings about a new show, new characters and a new plot. My deepest hope is that after all is said and done, I am able to just remember my lines.

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