To the mum who just wants to feel appreciated
It was a cup of milk that tipped me over the edge. I know they say there’s no use crying over spilled milk, but I couldn’t help it.
My three-year-old had accidentally knocked a cup of the stuff over as he sat at the table eating his tea. He was inconsolable because his favourite Batman t-shirt was now covered in it. He was upset because he didn’t want to wear a wet t-shirt and was trying to pull it off and getting stuck. But then when I offered him a new top to wear he had a meltdown that he couldn’t wear the Batman one. As much as I tried to explain to him that it was dirty, he just wasn’t having it.
The milk had also spilled onto his big brother’s dinner plate and he was also freaking out. The milk was dripping onto the floor. The floor I’d swept and mopped earlier that day.
I looked around at the carnage in my kitchen, the dishes piled high, the machine full of washing from yesterday that I hadn’t had time to hang up. I looked around at my kids getting upset about nothing really worth getting upset about, and my eyes just filled with tears.
It wasn’t just the milk, of course.
It had just been that kind of day.
A mission getting everyone out the house and to school. Feeling like I was failing at even the simplest tasks because there were no clean school socks for my son. The public tantrum from my youngest about not wanting to come home from the park. Wiping down the kitchen table and stacking the dishwasher every couple of hours like some kind of groundhog day. Putting load after load of laundry into the machine, hanging it out to dry, ironing it and putting it away. The after school grumps. The asking and asking to put toys away. The complaining they don’t like what’s on their plate for tea when I know that they do. The husband out late after work and missing bedtime for the second night in a row. The kids having a meltdown because daddy’s not there. The kids squabbling non-stop. Me shouting at my kids because I just couldn’t take it any more…and then feeling terrible afterwards.
It was about so much more than the milk.
It was about me feeling like a failure of a mother.
Feeling like nothing I do is good enough and feeling completely unappreciated.
The realisation that while I love my little family more than anything else in the world, and that all of this is part and parcel of being a parent, some moments, some days, are so bloody hard.
Sometimes it feels like you are the only one who is aware of how much you do for your kids and your family.
Sometimes you just want to feel appreciated.
Sometimes you just want someone to say thank you once in a while.
I remember reading once that the biggest de-motivator in the workplace is employees not feeling appreciated. Staff were more likely to quit if their boss didn’t acknowledge their hard work or say thanks for a good job once in a while. Employees are more likely to graft away for a business if they feel like what they do matters.
And so it is with parenting.
Sometimes, all you want is someone to notice what you are doing and tell you you’re doing an awesomely.
That’s all I really wanted that day. Someone to say “some days are challenging… but you, my dear, are amazing.” (There are days when Cardiff Daddy does say this to me… but like I said he was out the house so much that particular week I don’t think he realised how I was feeling.)
I presume you are reading this because you have days when you feel this way too.
So in case no one has said it to you recently… thank you.
To the mum who is feeling like no one notices what you do, day in day out, thank you for doing all of it. The house would likely fall apart with you.
To the mum who has cleaned the kitchen table and floor five times in one day because your toddler thinks throwing food on the floor is funny, thank you. It’s relentless but you are doing an awesome job. And he won’t always throw his food on the floor.
To the mum whose kids moan about everything you make, thank you. Thank you for keeping the cupboards and the fridge stocked and for filling your kids with nutritious food and not letting them starve.
To the mum who had to deal with a child’s public meltdown and the judgmental stares from passers-by. You are rocking this motherhood thing. Even the days when you feel like you are not. There are a thousand mums who have been where you are now and who are most definitely not judging you.
To the mum who played pretend shops all day to the point she was losing her mind. Thank you. Thank you for helping your little one use their imagination and creativity. Thank you for helping them make sense of the world around them.
To the mum who genuinely can’t remember the last time she peed without an audience or someone clambering all over her. I hear you! All you want is two minutes alone. It won’t always be this way, I promise.
To the mum up all night with the baby and who is so tired she can barely see straight, thank you.
To the mum who comforted her child when they came home upset from school because another child was mean to them. It’s so hard when someone hurts your baby. But your baby knows they will always be safe in your arms. Thank you.
To the mum who is juggling looking after her kids and the household responsibilities and her job. With the colleagues who don’t understand why she has to leave early and the child who doesn’t understand why she can’t always do the pick up or come to all the events. Thank you. You are doing an amazing job.
To the mum who doesn’t work because she is a stay at home mum and who wonders where ‘the old her’ went. Not to mention her ‘me time’. Thank you. You are still you. Things are just a little crazy right now. Please tell those around you that you need some time to yourself away from the kids and the house. You deserve it.
To the mum who wonders if anyone actually notices that she did the dishes, the vacuuming, the washing and the drying. Thank you.
To all the mums who feel under-appreciated, under-valued, overtired. Thank you.
You ARE appreciated.
You are wonderful.
Can you relate? Let me know in the comments below, on the Cardiff Mummy Says Facebook page or by tweeting me on @cardiffmummy
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This post my darling needs so many thumbs up.
Its so hard sometimes when you literally feel like you can do nothing right & that no one appreciates all the hard work you go to BUT theres always someone who appreciates you its just hard to see in the negative stress filled fog sometimes.
I have had days recently where I’ve been so lost with how to deal with B that I’ve nearly cried, I felt like such a failure & definitely felt like NO ONE was appreciating me.
I always go out of my way to smile at mums who look like they are having a day like that & if they appear to be welcoming of it, I give them a little pep talk x
I wish I could put into words how much I love this post, so beautiful, so raw and so honest. You are truly rocking being a Mum, but not only that, you’re reminding others that they are too. Sometimes we just need to hear it, sometimes we just need to know we aren’t alone and feel that someone gets it because after all it’s never about just spilt milk.
Wow, i feel like i could have written this myself. Sometimes i feel like this is the hardest job i have done and the most unappreciated that i feel (and i have had some demanding jobs in my past!) This is such a lovely post and i think so many mums can relate to this. We do the most mundane jobs and feel no satisfaction doing them but you’re right, what would our houses be like if we didn’t do what we do! x
You, my dear, are amazing. This post resonates with me from when mine were younger.
My youngest child is now 10 so I’m not going through the same thing right now, but I do remember it I used to feel like a boss if I managed to get four hours sleep. Looking back, I remember feeling helpless so many times.
As they get older, parenting gets less messy. Also, I frequently find myself missing the toddlers who threw food around (who knew you’d miss that??) and the endless hours playing cars.
Oh my goodness I am sure there are plenty of Mums out there who need to bookmark this post on the days they are feeling completely rubbish. This is such an important reminder that everyone is just doing their best and their best is enough. Well done on sharing!
Thank you! Thank you for writing this post! 🙂 There are many many days when I feel like everything in this post. There are times when I feel like no-one notices unless I don’t do something. If the dishes are washed nobody notices but if there are no clean cups/plates/cutlery its the end of the world. 🙁 So thank you.
What a brilliant post. I just want to give you a massive hug!
I have had a couple of those recently. Tantrums have firmly set in and when stood in the middle of Boots with an 18 month old kicking away on the floor I really needed someone to tell me it was all ok!
Thank you for writing this. It’s so true some days can be flipping hard can’t they!! We definitely don’t get thanked but I try and take the cuddles as thanks and hope they’ll say it when they’re older x
Rest assured that even those of us without kids know how hard you work. Motherhood cannot be easy but you’re doing a fab job of it!
This was an amazing post! Moms are strong but even the strong need reassurance and acknowledgment that they are doing a darn good job. Thanks for sharing!