When I come home from work I regularly find coffee mugs, half full of delicious dark magic, in various locations around the house. I find them on the kitchen table, in the microwave, in the laundry room. Sometimes I find them right next to the coffee maker, never making it beyond their filling.
I've come to the conclusion that my wife enjoys wasting coffee (a borderline deadly sin). Either that or she is so preoccupied with other things that finishing an 8-ounce beverage becomes an arduous task.
It's likely the latter.
She is probably too busy chasing children intent on hitting each other with toy hammers. Or catching a baby that can't quite sit up on her own. She's likely trying to get crayon off the floors or making sure I haven't spent all our money on Amazon. She's often had to pick up someone from school or drop a friend off at work or take a child to the doctor.
As she regularly makes decisions based on what other people need, she sets asides the things she wants and enjoys. Things like warm coffee and exercise and not having anyone in the bathroom while she does her business.
That's how she loves us.
Moms come in all shapes and sizes. Some work, some stay home. Some are doing it on their own, some have great support. There are adoptive moms, foster moms, bio moms, neighborhood moms, stepmoms, grandmother moms.
Regardless of their specific circumstances, there is a common theme. Mothers always seem to put the needs of others above themselves. They trade what they want or need for what others want and need.
They set down their cups of coffee in order to kneel and kiss a boo-boo or in order to read a book for the 19th time since yesterday.
They trade in their careers for the chance to be home or they trade in their sick days when it's not them that has a bug (and then are forced to work when it is their turn with the illness).
Many give up their hobbies and find new ones that revolve around soccer practice and band recitals.
Moms, it seems, often trade in warm meals for cold ones by tending to everyone else first.
Most forgo any moments of silence and many trade in money that could have been spent on a new something-or-other in order to make sure the family has what it needs.
They give up sleep when their children are little and again when they are teenagers out past curfew.
I'm sure many feel like they're trading in their sanity or personal hygiene or the ability to have an adult conversation without interruption in order to be who their family needs them to be.
Moms are constantly giving, thinking of others, looking out for danger, making sure everyone feels loved, ensuring discipline is consistent, and on and on and on. Often at their own expense.
And so I just want to say thanks.
To the moms who set aside their coffee, their book, their free time, their bodies, in order to care for their families, thank you.
To the mamas doing this on your own, you are heroes and the strongest of the strong. You inspire us and we got your back.
To the moms who work, we know it is difficult to come home to be met with the demands of homework and schedules. You are resilient and we admire you.
To the mothers at home, we know it's not a vacation, nor for the faint of heart. You are wonderful and doing something many of us couldn't.
To the moms whose kids have grown, to the moms whose kids are gone, to the moms who have broken a cycle of bad parenting, you have made an impact. We celebrate you and the lives you've touched.
Moms, thanks for all you do, have done, and will do. You make this world a better place.
May you see your sacrifices as an investment. May you find all the energy, wisdom, patience, and courage you need to navigate this immense responsibility. And may you soon find the time to enjoy a warm, un-reheated, cup of coffee.