Alone in the quiet of the predawn hours early this morning, I found myself in the middle of our kitchen, surrounded by princess-dresses-soon-to-be-worn, sippy cups waiting for start-of-the-day-drink-requests, a load of laundry whirling in the washer, complemented by one fluffing in the dryer, standing in front of a pile of construction-paper-cutouts in preparation for an afternoon preschool Halloween-party craft.
And suddenly, a thought entered my mind…if only someone could see my kitchen now. Could take a peak into the “behind-the-scenes” work of a mother. Of a teacher. Of a woman, in general. The “unsung hero” moments in our lives. When we realize we are in-over-our-heads-but-it’s-too-late-to-back-out-now. And you wish someone was there, cheering you on, with a hot cup of coffee (or a cold glass of wine) in hand, some warm, fuzzy slippers and a bag of chocolate, reminding you that a 12:30 A.M. bedtime and a 5:30 A.M. alarm were totally worth it all, when you see the smile creep across her sweet face. A little “You’ve got this, amazing lady,” whisper in your ear when there is no one else around.
But that’s not real-life. More often than not, as women, we do what we do because of our inherent compassion for others. Because of our desire to make others happy. To let someone know that we care. To keep things running smoothly and orderly. But it doesn’t often come without cost. And sacrifice. In the wake of every passionate woman’s trail…every career-driven, family-raising, selflessly-giving woman…lies a life unseen by the rest of the world. A backstage existence. Whom very few ever witness. A woman creating the background…the stage work…building the scenery of life’s path for all those around her.
A mother, encompassed by the remnants of her failed Pinterest-attempts. Juggling the attention of multiple, loveable, little beings. Balancing the care of her children with the silent screams of the piling housework. Trying her best not to fall into the superficial trap of comparing herself to others in our Facebook-and-Instagram-driven world.
A teacher, papers splattering her coffee table, like paint on a fresh canvas. Post-It notes hiding in each nook-and-cranny of her daily possessions. Stocking up on school supplies at every opportunity presented, to ensure she is taking precious care of her beloved students. Cutting into her own family time to respond to parent concerns. Staying up late into the night to finish cutting out the last piece of tomorrow’s reading station game, only to be up before the Sun is awake to greet her, for an early-morning meeting.
A woman, constantly playing a game of tug-o-war between career choices and home life. Caught up in the day-to-day assessing of her appearance, in light of the ever-changing judgments of society. Spending her spare moments working to discover the perfect color palette for her walls, to help guide the metamorphosis of her house flourishing into a warm and welcoming home.
You, sweet friend, are c.o.m.p.l.e.t.e.l.y. a.m.a.z.i.n.g. You are your own personal cheerleader. You do what you do out of pure and genuine consideration for others. Out of drive and ambition. Out of the greater good for society. And the desire to break the mold.
All. of. it. The Frozen birthday cake adventures. The crumb trails. The “accidental” wall paintings. The mismatched socks. The coffee mug rings. The kitchen science experiments. The laundry “redos” (because someone left a little-something-special in her pocket). The leaf piles. The Mickey Mouse pancakes. The Tooth Fairy visits. The Elf-on-a-Shelf insanity. The homemade costumes. The new-dress-purchase-is-just-gonna-have-to-wait-because-three-little-girls-need-new-winter-coats moments.
That are just between you and the Good Lord above. Our greatest, and most important, cheerleader of all.
You’ve got this!