It wasn't my crowning moment as a parent. I was desperately trying to get out of the house with two little ones, a feat I had only accomplished a few times on my own. After all, these things take practice, and patience, and sleep; both of which were in very short supply. I had been asking Jude, for what felt like hours, to get his shoes on. And Ronan was already strapped into his carseat, of which he is not a fan, and so the soundtrack to this little encounter was a crying baby. I finally hollered to Jude, "That's it, I'm leaving!" To which he responded, as any four-year-old new brother would, with a full on melt down, complete with hysterical crying. I rushed to him, gave him a hug, and said, "I'm sorry, baby, I'm not going to leave without you, I just really need you to listen to me and put your shoes on."
My very wonderful neighbor across the street witnessed the whole scene unfold. Instead of ignoring my plight or judging my harsh words, he offered this phrase: "Mothers are miracles!" It bounced lightly across the street and wrapped me in a gentle hug; one that allowed me to laugh at my situation and give myself a little grace. Mothers ARE miracles. Always. Not just when the house is clean and the children are happy and well behaved. And not because they "do it all"; after all, the most miraculous bits will never be found on pinterest. Mothers are miracles just for showing up. For loving with all their heart and doing their best. Even when their best involves shouting and tears and apologies. And even when the only thing that gets accomplished all day is that everyone's nails get clipped.
It's a mother who can love their child fiercely, even when they don't like them very much. It's a mother who can find a whole day's worth of joy in one baby's giggle or a preschooler's job well done. Mothers shake off sleepless nights and face the day even when all they want to do is hide under the covers. They wipe the sleep from their eyes and go to work so their children are provided for; or they stay home and read Brown Bear Brown Bear until they want to throw it across the room. It's a mother who can find their sense of humor even when they have no idea where their patience went. It's a mother's embrace that can make a child feel safe and loved and at home. It's a mother's voice that can calm fears and stop tears and buoy spirits. It's a mother's intuition that can anticipate needs, read the subtle signs, and provide just what is needed at that moment. All of these things are amazing, awe inspiring, and miraculous.
Did you grow a life with your body or within your heart? Do you love that child everyday? Do you kiss boo boos and read stories, even when your eyes are heavy with exhaustion? Do you feed and cloth and worry over your child? Do you make them laugh? Then you, my friend, are a miracle.
So the next time you find yourself replaying your day and focusing on all the things you did wrong; or crying in the bathroom because you're the one who needs a time out; or when you feel the need to look at your motherhood journey through harsh and critical eyes, remember this: Mothers are miracles. Say it loud and often. Share it with a mother who looks like she needs to hear it and to another who seems to have it all dialed in. Mothers, each of us, all of us, are miracles.