A Mother’s Merit Badge

When the days are long and moments are frenzied, my eyes often wander to the unfolded laundry and disorganized closets and messy sock drawers and I start to feel… defeated. I feel overwhelmed and under-performing, as if my motherhood merit badge won’t be arriving any time soon – or any day, for that matter.

And then I mentally reset my mind and realize that, for motherhood, there is no merit badge. Because motherhood isn’t performance-based. It can’t be. There is no measure or metrics system that marks the end of a mother’s job – of a mother’s love. It just is. It just does.



It’s always a challenge to feel productive when parenting a baby. When you find cereal dust in the carpets you swept moments ago. When the toys are scattered from room to room, when the raspberries stain the walls, when the to do list goes unchecked for another day.

But this season – this precious, fleeting moment of parenthood – is productive. It’s incredibly so. Because Bee and I are learning alongside each other – navigating our family oceans and learning when to swim ahead or when to tread in place. How to coexist as a unit while making space for ourselves. How to simultaneously honor the magical weight of each moment while releasing all expectations of doing so. How to think and do and lead and follow. How to dream. How to be.

And although these intentions don’t come bearing merit badges, they do come bearing importance. The kind that – in the long run – turns out to be more productive than we’d ever imagined.

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