I like to joke that I was a really nice person before I had kids. I yelled a lot less before I had kids. I worried less. I didn’t get pushed to my limit nearly as much when it was just me and Steve–no kiddos.

When the boys were born I truly believed I could be the perfect mom. I would be patient but firm. I would be fun and easy-going. With every breath I would encourage them to be the best they could be. I never wanted to yell or lose my temper. I quickly began to see that no matter how hard I tried I couldn’t be perfect. We’d have a fun day playing at the park or a successful trip to the grocery store. We’d watercolor in the afternoon and the boys would take good naps. I’d feel like the best mom in the world! Then before dinner I’d lose my temper over something small and feel like a complete failure. The whole day was ruined. I was an awful mom.

Someone once told me not to look at parenting in one single moment, or one day. We raise our children over seasons and years. One moment doesn’t define us. And thankfully, there is so much grace.

Mother’s Day feels so different this year. I’ve been aware for a few years that I have ‘big kids’ now and not ‘little kids’. They are growing up! But wow, this year they have grown SO MUCH. They went from big kids to teenagers. They’re physically big, a lot more opinionated and so much fun. As they grow I understand now more than ever that what they need is unconditional love. Yes, the need to be fed and have clean clothes. They need to be encouraged to work hard in school and reminded to do their chores. They need structure and routines.

But most of all, they need someone who will listen to them without freaking out. They need someone to accept and love them no matter what. I tell Matthias {David is non-verbal}, “You can tell me anything and we’ll figure it out together.” He comes to me periodically and shares his heart and I do my very best to listen without judgement. I try not to give advice unless he wants it. I want to be a mom who loves unconditionally. Isn’t that what we all want most–someone to love us without judgement?

Hugs to you mama! Motherhood is crazy hard and it isn’t defined by one difficult moment. We shape and nurture our children over seasons and years and there is so much GRACE. There is love, so much love.

I wrote a little poem about Motherhood and love we pour our for our children.

Mom’s Love

The love of a mom
Comes deep from inside
It’s a powerful force
It’s the wind on your side

Her love is a gift
She gives every day
Through wisdom and insight,
Through laughter and play
On difficult days
When the going gets tough
Her words remind you
You are enough
When all else fails
When it all falls apart
Her love is like glue
Healing cracks in your heart
Through all kinds of weather
No matter the storm
Her love is a shelter
A place to stay warm
True and steadfast
A love like no other
It’s a love built to last
Thank you, moms
For the love that you show
It’s the water and sunshine
That helps us to grow