The Family Table

Educating Families About the Benefits of Family Meals

Tip of the Week: Mother’s Day

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Thank you for your sacrifice. Those are words I have heard several times since last fall when my son deployed on a combat mission to Afghanistan.  And I appreciate hearing those words – having a child in danger has been more of a sacrifice than I anticipated.

When I wake up and hear the morning news broadcasting soldier deaths in Afghanistan, it feels like my heart stops until I hear from my son again. I don’t think I have talked to my son once since he deployed that I haven’t sat down and cried after the phone call ends. Hearing his voice makes it all hit home; that he is in a combat zone, and there is nothing I can do to protect him.  My sacrifice pales next to my son’s though: he puts himself in danger every day, lives in terrible conditions, and has given up a year of his career, and a year with his fiancée, family, and friends.

While I may be making a different type of sacrifice this year, what I have come to learn in 25 years of parenting seven children, is that motherhood is all about sacrifice. We sacrifice our bodies, our time, our money, our energy, and sometimes it feels like we have sacrificed our sanity. Mothers give up basic privacy, clean cars, and sitting through meals without jumping up to help a child or clean up a mess. We spend our time cooking dinner, checking homework, grocery shopping and cleaning; instead of whatever exciting things we could be doing (I have been a mom for so long I can’t actually remember what those exciting things are, but I would settle for being able to read a book – alone).

There are rewards for all this sacrifice – great rewards. From the daily smiles and hugs, to the big rewards when we see our children graduate or get married. There is nothing else I have accomplished in my life that will ever come close to being a mother to my children.  The sacrifices we mothers make are why our children feel loved and cared for. Once a year we have a day to honor mothers, and our children will give us cards, and flowers they grew at school in styrofoam cups, and maybe we will be taken out to brunch. And it’s nice, it really is.

But mothering isn’t just one day a year, and we shouldn’t acknowledge mothers just one day a year.  So, to all you moms out there, today and every day, thank you for your work, your worrying, the family meals you cook, and the sleepless nights. Thank you for your sacrifice.

Holli-Seabury-2012

Holli Seabury, CEO, wife and mom of 7

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