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A Motherhood Perspective for Mother's Day

May 10, 2024

by tory kolkhorst

When I was a child, I used to ask my mom and dad why we celebrated Mother’s Day and Father’s Day, yet there was no holiday called “Kid’s Day,” to which they retorted that every day was, in fact, “Kid’s Day.” I thought they were bluffing up until I became a mother myself, and quickly realized that much of a mother’s workload takes place behind the scenes and while largely unobserved, is driven by our love and devotion to our children and their needs. From planning out gifts to deliver for Teacher Appreciation Week, packing snacks and extra clothes for even the shortest of outings, throwing birthday parties, keeping mental tabs on upcoming doctor and dental appointments, signing up for t-ball and soccer, scheduling grocery pickups, doing laundry, kissing scraped knees, mending broken hearts, and everything in between – the list of invisible tasks goes on to form the foundation of a nurturing environment for our children to succeed. 

The journey of motherhood is not a linear path, but rather an adventure full of endless peaks, valleys, twists, and turns. Metaphorically, I am reminded of Montana, where our rugged landscapes are characterized by breathtaking alpine peaks, forested valleys and rolling prairies in between, with a series of twists and turns that runs through. The same sense of wonder and awe that can be felt standing atop a mountain peak in the Beartooths can undeniably also be experienced when watching our children take their first steps, seeing them look out for the underdog on the playground, getting admitted to the college they always dreamed of, and the list goes on. On the other hand, the inevitable mundanity that can set in amidst long days spent doing household tasks can feel like a solo road trip down I-90 with no cell phone service to call loved ones or enable your Spotify listening session. Even worse than banality, though, are the roadblocks, detours, and dead ends that will come along the way in the form of inescapable hardship. Navigating loss and conflict is part of life, and moms tend to take on a role parallel to that of a therapist when helping children process these challenges and eventually heal from them. Just as Montana is known for its spirit of resilience, so too are mothers.

The journey of motherhood you have found yourself in is uniquely yours and can never be replicated. There is only one of you, and albeit true that moms have unmatched grit and resilience, they are also deserving of respite, adequate sleep, self-care, and – I’ll say it as I attempt to hush the voice in my head reminding me of this thing called mom guilt – we deserve to have fun every now and then. We have all heard the saying, “you can’t pour from an empty cup,” and though we continue to give all of ourselves to our families day in and day out, regardless of how much or how little we’ve got in the tank, burnout is inevitable if we do not prioritize our own well-being and healthy mindset. After all, a healthy body, mind, and soul contributes to healthier relationships with others and sets the positive example for our children. I hope your cup gets filled, whether that be from sleeping in on a Saturday, getting brunch with your friends, singing worship songs in church, getting a pedicure, taking a walk along the rims, working on an art project, starting a new book, or simply, counting your blessings.

This Mother’s Day, may we all be reminded that the role of a mother looks different from one household or family unit to the next. Whether you are the mom of a baby born without a heartbeat, you find yourself in the trenches of newborn life or toddlerhood, you provide foster care, you’re having difficult conversations with your pre-teen about conflict in the world or within the walls of their classrooms, you’re preparing to send your 18-year-old off to college, or you now enjoy coffee dates and happy hours with your adult children – your role in your child’s life is invaluable. As your kids continue to grow older and you walk through new stages of life together or apart, your role as their mother remains the constant amidst an ever-changing world. When the children are little, round-the-clock caregiving, clutter, dirty laundry, and dishes piled up in the sink often lead to daydreams of peace and quiet in a clean house. One day we will have that. But for now, I will enjoy watching my daughter play dress-up and re-living all the classic Disney princess movies together. I will soak in quiet moments before bedtime with my 2-year-old son as he clutches his most prized possession (a furry throw blanket from Target). I won’t take for granted our car rides to school listening to VeggieTales or Taylor Swift. And I will never miss an opportunity to tell them how much I love them. Happy Mother’s Day to you and yours. 

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