THE BLOG

When You Feel Like You Don't Make a Difference, Remember This

02/06/2015 09:38 am ET | Updated Apr 08, 2015

The way your child's eyes light up when you pick him up from school.

How you know just the right way to tuck sheets up and where to put the kisses good night.

The infinite number of toilet paper rolls, paper towel rolls, or anything else that needed to be replaced that you replaced without announcing to everyone you replaced them again.

The silly pictures that you take with them just because.

2015-02-05-makeadifference1.jpg

The time you wouldn't leave the doctor's office until you had an answer.

The hours spent scouring the Internet trying to find an answer.

The parenting books that collect dust on your shelf because you don't need them anymore.

All the shirts with spit-up on the shoulders and snotty nose wipes left there because you just hugged them when they needed you.

How you stay up late and wash clothes that are needed for the next morning.

The hours pacing around and around and around with a colicky baby.

The hours spent trying to figure out how to deal with a colicky baby.

Push after push after push on the swings at the park.

How you can MacGyver almost anything.

The projects helped with -- science, history, book reports, star student posters and on and on and on and on -- and how you almost kept your patience the entire time.

All the board games, Legos, dolls and other things you played again and again.

2015-02-05-makeadifference2.jpg

When you felt alone or tired and just wanted to stay home, and you still loaded them in the car and drove and drove and drove.

The times cleaning the wrappers, junk, paper and everything else from the car that just gets left.

All the beds you've cleaned underneath.

That you have the passwords to every kid site memorized.

That you remembered to write down the ones you forgot.

All the questions you have answered.

Let me repeat that -- all the millions of questions you have answered that begin with why.

All the times you've uttered just one bite or just one try or just one pedal, or any time you've worked and worked and worked to help them learn.

The shirts tucked, coats buttoned, shoes tied and pants zipped.

Your hand in their hand as you cross the street.

You running behind a bike as they finally get their courage, leaving you in the dust yelling look up look up and you did it you really did it!!

The knees bandaged under your hands.

The tears wiped away and hands in your face and words of you can do it again said.

Your hand in their hand as you say goodbye and leave them at a college thousands of miles from home.

The times you've snuck in and just watched them sleep.

2015-02-05-makeadifference3.jpg

All the books, toys and things that are all over your home and make a mess but make you a family.

The tears that you've shed behind the bathroom door.

The tears that you've shed in the car.

The tears that you've shed standing at the sink while someone pulls at your leg.

The tears that you've shed because you want to be a good mom.

How only you can find the missing item that vanished.

The notes written to the teacher.

The times spent sitting in a chair meant for a 7-year-old across from their teacher.

The times spent filling out college applications when you felt brave.

All the balls thrown, piano keys pressed, markers colored and other times spent investing in them.

The worry.

All the toilets scrubbed, hair pulled from drains, vomit cleaned and other gross tasks that you just do.

The fact that dandelions (or any flowers really) are picked and given to you.

2015-02-05-makeadifference4.jpg

The fact that you put those dandelions above your sink.

The sweet hugs in the morning as you wake your slumbering little ones.

That even when they're old, when they're sick, they still just want mom.

That you show them the rainbow every time after it storms.

The times you sit at the table helping with homework and it feels like torture but you just sit there.

When you give extra food because they're still hungry even though you'll be hungry.

The patience it takes to grocery shop with a toddler in tow.

The super duper patience it takes to grocery shop with a toddler and a newborn in tow.

The extra super super patience it takes to shop with a tween.

All the times cooking in the kitchen, making dinner out of nothing.

Haircuts, nail trims, baths, and all that grooming stuff.

The times you sit in the haircut place and tear up when your 5-year-old returns looking so much older.

How your hug and kiss makes whatever get better.

2015-02-05-makeadifference5.jpg

The times you curled up in that toddler bed when they had a bad dream.

How you sleep half asleep in case they wake up and call your name.

The lack of sleep that you've learned to survive through.

That you're the only one who can pack lunches and get them ready and out the door in 8.3 minutes if needed.

The times sitting on the sidelines.

The times when you say I believe in you, when they had forgotten how awesome they truly are.

The courage to deal with slammed doors and "I hate you"s and all of that hard stuff.

All the times when you stay up late, waiting waiting waiting for them to return.

All the days spent worrying, trying, stumbling and trying again.

The fact that on their phones you're the only one labeled mom.

All the clothes that you've made go from inside-out to right-side-in.

The "I love you"s said over and over and over.

The fact that you are the only one in the whole world your kids call mom.

2015-02-05-makeadifference6.jpg

That even though this list is full of normal, it is extraordinary.

You make a difference.

Don't ever doubt that.

You. Are. Wonderful.

~Rachel

Find the original at FindingJoy.net and join the Facebook community celebrating moms at Finding Joy.

Also on HuffPost:

Love In One Photo