This one's for the moms who fake it until they make it

This one's for the moms who fake it until they make it.

The moms who trudge, not race, when the six year old cries out at 2:00 a.m. He can't sleep, needs a drink of water, and now he's scared. Will she cuddle? Just for a minute. And only that. Because sometimes even just a minute in the middle of the night feels like too much.

The moms who only grudgingly say yes, you can "help" when the four year old wants to empty the dishwasher and mix the pizza dough. The moms who don't delight when the flour spills everywhere, the measurements are off, and the forks rest where the spoons should be.

The moms who linger at the lunch table long enough to supervise the carrots' disappearance, then sneak off to the computer to read or write for five minutes. Just five minutes! Is that too much to ask?  Apparently it is.

This is for the moms who fiercely love--but don't always like--their children.

For those who know what a gift it is to stay home, spend time, soak in the early years, but don't always like the way that gift is wrapped--in dirty diapers and dishes, in isolated hours of simultaneously feeling like the loneliest girl on the planet and wanting just one moment of peace to herself.

This is for the moms who fake it until they make it.

You aren't alone.

You can be a good mother and not swoon every five seconds at the way your baby's head smells.

You can be a good mother and still jump at the first opportunity to run away for a few hours.

You can be a good mother and still be supremely annoyed when the toddler tosses squash from the highchair, the preschooler whines about the sandwich you served, and the second grader takes an-ever-loving day to grab his backpack and put on his coat.

You might not always feel that "mother's high", that surge of love, the what-I-wouldn't-do-for-these-children goosebumps. You might want to scream (frequently). You might want to hide (often). And you might want to give up entirely. 

But what separates you from a bad mother and makes you a good one is that you don't. You don't give up. You don't let how you feel at any particular moment dictate how you act (at least not every time). You muster up patience. You dig for perspective. And you keep on trying.

You keep on loving, feeding, bathing, hugging, training, cuddling, listening, even when--no, especially when--you don't feel like it. So that when those rare mother's high moments come, when those goosebumps finally rest on your arms--you know you've made it.

You've made it through those long and thorny valleys in between the mountain-top moments of motherhood. And if you can make it there, my friend, you can make it anywhere.

Happy Mother's Day to the moms who fake it until they make it. This one's for you.

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