My parenting story isn’t cute anymore. It’s true. I’m in those years of parenting that just are nitty-gritty-not-redeemable by instagram, even with a filter. It’s the middle years and the teenage years and the young adult years and friends, it just isn’t that cute.
It’s a great deal of no sleep, but not due to waking babes, but me sitting up waiting for them to return.
It’s a great deal of worrying and wondering and hoping and homework and tests and sitting in a car while your heart is pounding out your chest while you’re yelling “brake brake brake!”
It’s a great deal of amazing talks and deafening silence. Oh the silence. No one told me about the silence. Who would have thought that there would be a day when I wished for a bit of noise?
It’s a great deal of feeling alone and wondering, just like you did when they are young, if you are making the right choice. The choices, the choices, that part never seems to end. You make one choice only to find another. And then there are their choices too.
It’s a great deal of waiting and cheering and hoping and trying and worrying and letting go and being brave. So much brave.
And it is just not cute.
There are no longer cute sleeping toddlers or fun crafts or goofy faces. There are no longer the fun costumes or times pushing swings at the park or all of them in the car, strapped in, with silly songs on.
Hah, now the music is their music and the memes things that I’m like, “I just don’t get it….” because well, I really don't see what has them rolling in laughter.
It’s just different.
And just because it’s different doesn’t mean it doesn’t matter. It matters so much even if it isn’t as Instagram worthy. It matters so deeply in the most un-cute way.
It matters in that I am still their mom.
Their constant, their safe place, their go-to, their person.
You see in all of motherhood it is the simplest things that matter so much – the showing up, the loving, the dealing, the listening, the giving, the caring. It’s the sleepless nights and waiting for texts and loving so deeply.
It all matters.
Years ago I wrote about why being a mom is enough. It still is, even if it isn’t cute or adorable or any of that. It matters just as much and in it all you are enough. You are still enough, more than enough, in this most unseen and often lonely place of motherhood.
You see the truth still stands.
They need you.
They need you in your tired, imperfect, showing up, loving them unconditionally, setting the rules, being their mom way.
Maybe you are more tired or the pics are just you or you are feeling alone. But you see, you are the pulse, the life, the love.
You are enough.
It’s a season. A new season. And even though it looks differently, it doesn’t mean it doesn’t matter. It is just different, with love that deepens and pride for them that grows. It may not be as adorable, but oh my goodness, the depth and the ups and downs and letting go – it is all there.
This season, this not-so-cute season matters.
And so do you.
who still is hoping for sleep…that part stays the same.
Rachel Marie Martin is the founder of FindingJoy and author of The Brave Art of Motherhood - where she celebrates the power of showing up and provides moms with the steps they need to celebrate their stories and find joy again. The personal stories, coupled with real advice have motivated millions of moms to fight for their hearts and to dare to be brave. Click here to grab your own copy and reclaim joy in your life and to learn to celebrate all the days you keep going.