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This Writer’s Poetic Description of Motherhood Is the Most Honest One We’ve Heard Yet

We mothers often joke that we are chefs, nurses, chauffeurs, teachers, maids, and butt-wipers extraordinaire. To replace us, you’d need a whole team of project managers, snugglers, and referees just to make it through the first week. Because the truth is, Mom’s work is never done. We mother from sun up until sun down… not to mention all night long.

So when Babble contributor Adrian Wood, author of Tales of an Educated Debutante, wrote a Facebook post about just how much we do when we “mother,” it resonated with moms everywhere.

Entitled “Motherhood,” Adrian’s post begins by describing how we mother in the early morning hours.

“I had a nightmare that woke me and I rose to make my coffee,” she says. “Mothers begin. I packed lunches, put dry cereal in bowls and helped look for and talk through the debacle of a missing social studies notebook. Mothers listen. I tiptoed so as to not wake up my husband because he had a really tiring day yesterday. Mothers understand. I drove everyone to school and forced myself to go to the grocery store. Mothers persevere.”

And her list goes on. Because our days go on. And on and on and on.

Mothers juggle when they make plans. Mothers cook and hope their kids eat it and think maybe we can all sit down together for dinner tonight. Mothers cheer at karate and teach our kids to do laundry and pick up their toys.

“Mothers continue… Mothers worry… Mothers prioritize… Mothers sacrifice,” her post reads.

And at the end of the day, we aren’t done.

“I heard about the missing social studies notebook and how it had been found on a table at school,” Adrian describes. “Mothers smile. I snuggled up to my precious son who shall be four next month and in that moment autism didn’t seem so scary. Mothers learn. I lay beside him as he fell asleep and thought about the day and the gift of time. Mothers slow.”

But despite the fact that she’s perpetually exhausted and often doesn’t get a shower, she closes with this: “I will miss my birds when they fly the nest though I wonder if Amos will ever fly away. Mothers hope. I adore motherhood and all that comes with it even when I forget to remember. Mothers love.”

kids
Image Source: Adrian Wood

What a beautiful and accurate list of all we do — in just one day. Adrian tells Babble that every single one of these things happened the day she wrote this post.

“The days start too early and by nightfall, I am spent. There’s always too much to do, too many people to do for and then there’s never enough time for everyone or everything. Motherhood is always a game of choices and picking and choosing what seems right though you never are sure,” Adrian says.

As a mom of three, I can relate. I am always having to choose where and how to spend my time. Do I snuggle my 4-year-old who is suddenly too scared to go to sleep by himself? Or go read with my 8-year-old who I haven’t had time to read with the past few nights? Have I talked to my 6-year-old about her day yet? Did I turn the oven off after dinner? Better go check. Do I have food for their lunches tomorrow? Did they all do their homework? And what about me? Did I write that article that was due today? Did I work out? Did I even eat lunch today? And, like all moms, I have to choose where to put my energy in each and every moment of my day.

And then tomorrow we wake up and do it all again. Choosing, mothering, worrying, teaching, learning, and listening.

adrian wood
Image Source: Adrian Wood

In her post, Adrian references her nightly ritual of snuggling up with her son Amos, who is 4 and has autism. “I grow hot beside the little boy dressed in fleece and still, I remain. Mothers know,” she says. She tells Babble that her “nightly ritual is a treasure and because of it, I am unable to do other things, yet I think it’s most important right now.”

Because that’s what mothers do. We make the choice. We do the most important stuff right now. And the rest can wait until tomorrow.

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