I remember I broke down in tears after I gave birth naturally to my first child. I had worked so hard and had been so strong that the tears of relief literally came rolling down my face. Today, I look at my boys. We are well into teenage years and even though the hardest years might yet remain, I could almost cry in relief because those early years were just. so. much. To all of you moms with young kids and babies… now that I’m on the other side and have regained (some) sense of sanity, know that you are amazing. You pick up the same toys day in and day out. You hold the hand of a new walker and let them go up and down the stairs fifty billion times. You listen to the same incessant chatter and even though you feel like you might lose your mind, you smile and encourage the novice talker. You sit and endlessly keep a drawer from shutting on their little fingers just so they can learn how to open and close. You have the strength to get through the mundane, the love and loyalty of a mother bear, and the patience of a saint. The bad thing is, you don’t feel like it. You end so many days feeling like a failure, like you did nothing worthwhile, like nothing got accomplished. All I can say after being a stay at home mom for fifteen years so far, is that everything will one day be worth it. You’ll see a picture of your teenage boys sleeping in a truck after a long hunting weekend and every little mundane task, and every never ending day will be so, so worth it. Give yourself room to acknowledge that you have a very. hard. job. Respect yourself enough to take the time you need to regather, and love yourself enough to be kind. The world can be cruel enough without your own self-condemnation. I know that everyone says this, but you will blink and they will literally be grown. But contrary to what others may say, I don’t find it sad or remorseful. I find it beautiful. I love seeing my kids grow into their own person. I love having real, tough conversations with them. I love seeing their passions and even their pains. It all reminds me that as a mom, I have been allowed to co-create another life, another real, live, struggling person. It is humbling beyond belief. I know that I still have a very long way to go. But for tonight, I can fall asleep believing in my heart that every seemingly pointless moment was all beyond worth it.