A friend, who has a toddler and a hip baby, recently asked me how I got from where she is to where I am. My daughters are nineteen and sixteen. They are capable, lovely young ladies, who seem to need me less every day. My young friend, expressed feeling tired and sometimes frustrated with the daily-ness of her life. Like many young mothers, she feels guilty every time someone reminds her to “enjoy these moments because time goes by too fast.” Fortunately, I still remember the days when the journey of motherhood seemed endless. But I also recognize in the big picture of motherhood, my daughters went from toddler and hip baby to young women way too fast. As we sat and talked, I was able to offer this young mother friend a few things I’ve learned about being a mom. Being a mom means… there are days when your turn to shower never comes, you leave the house without combing your hair, your laundry does not get done, your house is a mess, and goldfish crackers become a meal. Being a mom means… you take a shower, put yourself together, and then your toddler gives you a fabulous, sticky-handed hug that leaves your arms, back, and hair covered in a sticky residue. In those sweet moments, you realize being showered and put together are over-rated. Being a mom means… you may never find the missing sock, the elusive puzzle piece, or the doll’s shoe. You may even find yourself in public with not only a shoeless doll but a shoeless child. Being a mom means… messing up and being willing to say, “I’m sorry, I did my best, please forgive me.” It means taking the time to listen, knowing when to speak, and learning to pray without ceasing. Being a mom means…taking the time to know not only your child, but their friends as well. Being a mom means…holding your child and comforting them when life is hard and telling them things will work out for the good. It means realizing the small stuff can be the big stuff and allowing your child to determine the magnitude of a situation and then responding appropriately. Being a mom means…there will be days when every ounce of energy is drained from your body and other days when you feel as if you could conquer the world. Being a mom means…you’re the most popular mom in the world, and without warning, you become the least popular mom in the world. During both of these times you believe that you did and are doing what was right and best for your child. Being a mom means…knowing when to be fiercely protective, and knowing when to trust God to do it. Being a mom means…equipping your child to succeed, holding your child close, and knowing when to let them go. Being a mom means…wanting the best for your child, admitting you might not know what that is, and trusting God does. Being a mom means… holding your child close, being willing to let them go and believing they’ll be able to handle it. Being a mom means… one day, you take a look at the child you love and are amazed at what God was able to accomplish in spite of your inexperienced mothering skills. As I sat with my friend, I realized what a gift and blessing the journey of motherhood has been for me. Mothers, let me encourage you whether you are a working mom, stay-at-home mom, single mom, married mom, divorced mom, young mom, or older mom…what you do matters. Even though there will be days when you may feel small, remember you are part of something much bigger than you can imagine. Being a mom means there will be days when you fail, but God never will.