I was recently listening to an audio program in my car (I have been on a personal development kick lately), and the author of the program had a clear message: In order to increase success in your life, find the one thing that only you can do. Then do it often, and do it well.
I immediately interpreted this as a lesson meant for financial success and attempted to apply the principle to my job. I thought about it for weeks and came up empty-handed. Given that my job duties are legally mandated by the state of California, I don’t have too much leeway with what I do on a daily basis. Deadlines are deadlines.
Then one day while I was driving to work after a particularly long night with a sick baby, I realized that there are thousands of qualified people who could do my job, but to my children, there is only one mother. The question I had been trying to answer wasn’t about my job; it pertained to my life. Being a mother to my children is the one thing that I, and only I, can do. There is nobody else in this world who can calm my children when they want their “Mamá.”
The night before, my sweet R had a nasty virus and was struggling to breathe, sleep and eat. I was up for hours, snuggling, rocking and comforting him. After making peace with the realization that sleep was not on the menu for me that night, I realized how privileged I am to be my children’s mother. I am blessed to be able to comfort them when they are sick, and I am grateful that I am the one they come to for comfort and love. This job, although it doesn’t put money in my physical bank every month, by far is the most valuable job I do. It puts “money” in the bank of love my children know and in the bank of support and encouragement they feel as they grow up and learn about themselves and the world around them.
My discovery led to thinking that this applies to all mothers. You are the only one in the world who can be the mother of your children. No one else in the world knows your children like you do, and no one else can care for them and love them like you do. You are their comforter, caregiver. You get up with them at midnight when they need to be fed or soothed. And then again at 2am, 4am and 6am. You change their diapers and try 18 different ways to soothe them when they cry. You encourage them to be independent. You praise their accomplishments, believe in them, and teach them to believe in themselves. You love them even when they act like they don’t love you (but they really do). You are a giver of hugs, snuggles, magical healing kisses, and unconditional love. You are a superhero. You are an incredible blessing to them just because you are YOU. You are their mother, and you are perfect for the job because you are THEIR mother. And they need you exactly the way you are.
Today, take pride in the unique talent you have to be everything your children need. Praise yourself for everything you do right, and learn from and let go of any mistakes you might make. Give yourself grace, and make sure your children know just how much they are loved.
Today I am grateful to be called “Mamá.”