Keep Giving: An Open Letter to the Mamas

Smile. Smile Finley. Finley can you SMILE? I must’ve said it a hundred times.

He stared at me plainly, then ran away in a defiant move that screamed “I won’t be cooperating for pictures today.” This happens often, and it’s okay. I want him to exercise autonomy and if he’s not feeling a photo sesh, I’m certainly not going to force it. I scrolled through my camera roll and found the one photo of him with a half-smile that portrayed him enjoying himself. I favorited it for later. 

The rest of the day at the pumpkin patch was no different. He just. wasn’t. feeling it.

Skipping nap probably had something to do with it. Isn’t it funny that the days we anticipate and build up for them the most are often a fail? I circled back to the photo from earlier and went to post it. I looked at it a little differently. The picture was in no way representative of how the day unfolded. The truth was, I coaxed him into every activity. He melted down over the slightest mishap. At one point, he was so angry he intentionally face planted in the middle of the hay barn (that was almost comical). I felt compelled to tell the whole story. So I’m doing that today. 

Sometimes the days we plan and plot to be the most fun fall short. Sometimes our littles can’t appreciate the hard work we’ve put in to engage them. Sometimes our efforts to fulfill them feel fruitless and futile. It’s frustrating. It’s discouraging. And its all part of this momlife gig. We give and give and give to our kids and at times it’s as if the investment is yielding no return. 

But it is. Every attempt we make to spend quality time with our children reinforces our love for them.

Even when the immediate result is a million tantrums the lifelong affect is far greater than we can recognize in the moment. It hit me that, it was never about posting the perfect social media photo. It was about creating memories. Building self esteem. Encouraging wonderment. And mamas, every time we allow our kids the opportunity to experience something new, we are doing all of these invaluable things. I try to remind myself of that notion when plans don’t pan out the way I’d want them to. 

It is with these words that I hope to inspire you to keep giving.

Keep planning. Keep the magic alive. Worry less about the photo and more about the memories and positive takeaways. Our children will be boundlessly better for it. 


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