–this is the second letter in a non-regular ‘series’ of letters I felt compelled to write. Some will be on friendship, others encouragement in mothering, and all will be straight from my heart to yours.–
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I wish I were a more selfless girl. But the truth is, I want recognition and appreciation. And someone to bring me flowers & chocolates just because they were thinking of me. I am exhausted, mothering well and working well and keeping house and making meals and remembering my extended family and remembering Husby’s extended family and planning the days and grocery shopping and calendar-ing and I am plum worn out.

But more than rest, I crave accolade. It feels nearly physical, the yearn for appreciation. It’s not that I don’t receive any! The Boy  loves me up with hugs and kisses and the saying of ‘mommy’ fills me to the brim. Husby brought me pancakes from a breakfast meeting he had, and a neighbor clipped me peonies right off her bushes. My mom sends encouraging texts and drops by to be with The Boy. And the ever-present Spirit whispers too: ‘daughter, I see you. You are doing good and hard work and I am proud of you.’

But I still pout and envy and want, and that’s just the truth. It’s not pretty {it’s pretty ugly, actually}, it’s not sugar-coated in any way, and it’s super unflattering. But there has got to be another mother out there who shares my struggle with this, and it is to her that I say:

Dear one who just needs a thank you,

I see you.

I know the butt & nose wiping you do. I know you had m&m’s for breakfast because you just couldn’t boil water for oatmeal or take out bowls for cereal that day. I know you feel overwhelmed with gratitude one minute, and are flooded with envy the next. I know you long to hear ‘thank you’. Simple as they may be, those words are power-loaded but the absence of them speaks even louder. I know you want an hour to yourself, and I know you think of your babies every second during that hour and can’t wait to be back with them. I know you want a girls night, but it’s so hard to leave when your home is finally quiet and you can get something on your list accomplished. I know how far down your own priority list you have fallen. I know you are tired to the bone and threadbare and out of encouragement for yourself. So hear me.

I see you. What you do is seen.

You are lovely and so, so important. The work you are doing – oh, is it hard work – matters deeply, even eternally. The tasks you are doing in your physical home make it the haven you desire it to be, and they matter. The meals you make nourish growing bodies and provide a setting for good conversation, which nourishes in a totally different way. Each wipe and booboo kiss and story read and sippy cup filled and floor swept and sock hunted down and bed made and dish washed… I know them. They matter.

You are so, so good at this. Thank you. I appreciate your work. Because what you’re investing in your family? We all reap the benefits of that love.

Shine on, mama.

{girl with blog}

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