I tend to go overboard on holidays, but this year everything is sneaking up on me. And let’s just say that, although I’m typically all for Valentine’s Day, with a three week old at home still learning how to nurse and a four year old at home adjusting to having a three week old at home – not to mention a body that is still very much recovering from my batshit crazy delivery – I am not feeling tremendously romantic today.
I am, however, feeling tremendously grateful for a particular group of people in my life. So, on this day that’s supposed to be all about love, they’re who I want to tell you about.
You guys. Moms – they are the greatest.
I literally don’t know what I would do without the mothers in my life.
I’m talking about the moms I know:
My mother, who is more dedicated to her family than I can begin to describe.
My mother-in-law, who mothers everyone around her until they’re like a big, warm, beautiful, messy family.
My grandmothers, whose lives have asked more strength of them than most people can imagine.
The other moms in my family – sisters and aunts and cousins and on and on, who are there to commiserate and compare notes and lend a hand without judgment.
The friend moms, who drop everything they have going on in their lives to show up with food and caffeine, who never judge the laundry pile in my entryway, who ask how I’m doing and actually mean it, because they still see the person under this nursing bra and baggy maternity pants (and baggy eyes, while we’re at it). The moms who don’t mind if I lose it for a bit, because they’ve been there. The moms who, instead of saying, “have you tried…?” say, “I’m sorry, that sucks.”
The work moms – driven, inspiring women who have had my professional back through the fog of sleepless nights and daycare closures and pediatrician appointments and sudden-onset stomach flus, who have kept it real and shared their own struggles to balance things that simply can’t be balanced.
But I mean the moms I don’t really know, too:
The friends of friends moms who know enough about our fertility story to casually mention they’ve had a bumpy road, too, while we hover over the veggie tray at a party.
The Internet moms, in Facebook groups and message boards, who are always ready to pipe with a no-holds-barred review of everything from local nail salons to school programs. Seriously, people, if you own a business, the moms groups are the people you need on your side.
And the total stranger moms, who have held my screaming infant on a plane so I could take my sweatshirt off, who have helped wrestle my toddler into the grocery cart mid-tantrum, who have nodded grimly in solidarity as I abandoned half-eaten meals to whisk a poorly-behaved kid out of restaurants.
We’ve lost that “it takes a village” mentality when it comes to raising our families. But this parenting thing… it takes not just a village, but a whole, global tribe of moms who are knee deep in it with you.
So today, I’m celebrating Galentine’s Day, and I’m holding every past, present, and future mom on the planet in my big, gaudy, lace-and-sparkle-bedecked heart.
You’re all my valentine. Keep doing what you do.