Motherhood Does Not Determine Your Worth

It’s Mother’s Day. A day of celebrating women, their miraculous ability to love others and the gifts of life they bring in millions of ways every single day.

In the mix of the brunch and spring flowers though, something always feels uncomfortable to me. Something that nestled itself deeply into my bones within days of bringing home our baby nearly 10 years ago, haunting me still.

My worth is not determined by my motherhood.

As a mama dedicated to raising kind humans, I want you to know I truly believe motherhood is by far one of the most challenging and rewarding parts of me. I don’t take it for granted. I know it’s an honor and a blessing.

On good days I want to walk around with a “World’s Best Mom” mug glued to my hand, and on most days I want to crawl in a hole every time someone shouts “mommy!” It’s so easy to sink my value into whether I’m “winning” at something I ultimately have so little control over … someone else’s life.

When I separate myself from the emotions of that roller coaster, though, it always comes back to me so clearly. Winning or losing, motherhood is not the only part of me. And I firmly believe it’s not the only part of you.

It’s hard on days like today, though, not to use the feedback we get as a barometer for our value. After all, a quick 20 minutes of social media scrolling at perfectly lit images of perfectly matching families - mamas basking in their motherly glow, touting the gifts of others grateful for their love - feels a bit like report card day.

But for every mama in just the right attire, I know there’s gotta be a mama like me out there. I know that she may have spent too much time preparing brunch and little to no time preparing herself. I know that she didn’t have the perfect dress, because she still can’t stand the numbers on the tag. I know that the first words she heard this morning had nothing to do with Mother’s Day and everything to do with the struggle that is mothering.

And what I want her to hear is that sometimes mothering is straight awful and overwhelming and exhausting all at once.

Motherhood is relentless in its pursuit of making us feel not enough.

But motherhood does not decide our worthiness.

So to all my mamas out there who didn’t get as much as a card today … it hurts, I know, and I’m with you.

To all the mamas who loved, lost or struggled so hard for the feeling of motherhood … I see you, my heart breaks with you, and I’m sending great big virtual grandma arm hugs.

To all the mamas out there who spent days ironing and prepping to get it just right so you could have just one day of feeling it all come together … I’m so happy for you. It is a feat and should absolutely be celebrated.

And to each and every one of you … you are loved and worthy, just exactly as you are.

kate j