A Little Thankfulness for the Thankless Mom

November is the month in which most American families celebrate the Thanksgiving holiday. A holiday full of warmth, family, friends, and an abundance of food. It’s supposed to have that proverbial table that’s long enough to seat everyone and make them feel invited. Dishes are passed around, willingly shared, as everyone lists the reasons for which they are grateful. A prayer is said to the heavens above and everyone eats until they are full. Sometimes, afterward, there is a gathering of football fans in front of the television set.

In a perfect world, Uncle Roger doesn’t mention that the women who’ve cooked all day should also do the dishes and Aunt Edna squeezes you into a hug, listing some positive attributes she loves about you instead of commenting on the fact that you have no ring on your finger or that you’ve gained four pounds since last year.

I don’t know if I’ve described your Thanksgiving or if I’ve even described mine. (‘Cause Aunt Edna always announces to everyone that she doesn’t like my makeup and that she can’t believe I still haven’t lost all of the baby weight…) However, I think I’ve described the general holiday festivities that most of us celebrate, or the one, at least, we wish were were able to enjoy.

But this isn’t a perfect world.
And I am a Mom, which means I have one of the most fulfilling roles in this imperfect world. Also, one of the most thankless.

Anxiety in Motherhood

I am thankful for the many blessings that I have, don’t get me wrong. I believe gratitude is the best attitude, which is a philosophy of mine that is tough to uphold whenever you’re a person who trips over her own two feet and can’t wear white because you’re a walking magnet for hot black coffee and marinara sauce if you wear it (you hear that, Aunt Edna? I’ll never wear white)!

This is mostly me: “Oh yes, I fell, but where would I be without gravity? I am so thankful for it and my bruised bum is reminding me RIGHT AS WE SPEAK!”

Also maybe me: “It burns so bad and this coffee just ruined my shirt, but I’ve been taking my coffee for granted lately and it reminded me just how thankful I am that it exists!”

Okay, that last one was a lie.

I would never say that because spilled coffee is one of life’s greatest tragedies.
Plus, you know, I AM A MOM.
When do we ever have hot coffee?! (Insert laugh here).

So, before any of my fellow mamas head in to the festivities this Thanksgiving, infinity scarves draped just right, to stress over stuffing, placemats, and facing Aunt Edna … I thought I’d write out a list of things moms do for the holiday to make sure it is enjoyable for which they probably ought to be thanked but most likely will never hear the thanks extended.

  • Mama, THANK YOU, for waking up early to cook and bake so many delicious things.
  • Mama, THANK YOU, for buying those casseroles and ordering that turkey because you never had the time to cook them and you just wanted to enjoy the holiday. You earned the money to purchase it and you worried over each and every item to make sure it was perfect for the gathering
  • Mama, THANK YOU, for carrying all this food to the in-laws’ house to make sure you did your share since your house was too small to hold all of the guests in it. You still helped to host this, you’re still gonna fold those napkins, you still made it happen.
  • Mama, THANK YOU, for dressing yourself in your finest fall fashion to put your grateful feet forward, in turn, dressing all of your little people in their finest fall gear to make sure they’re in those pictures later. They only get so many Thanksgivings and you helped them make sure those memories will be looked upon fondly. You dressed yourself and all of your little people which is its own commitment, but maybe you had to help dress your husband/partner, too.
  • Mama, THANK YOU, for foregoing that turkey-induced nap so that your baby could take his. You are probably exhausted from today but you keep up with the routines in the midst of fun because even then, you’re worried about what’s best for your little one and you’re going to do that before thinking of yourself.
  • Mama, THANK YOU, for the multi-tasking you’re doing today. You’re monitoring kids at play, you’re cleaning, you’re decorating, you’re serving, you’re not clapping back at Aunt Edna’s criticism about your Pumpkin Pie filling coming from a can. How do you do all of the amazing things you do?
  • Mama, THANK YOU, for cleaning up everything you spent hours putting together in the matter of minutes.
  • Mama, THANK YOU, for putting the many leftovers away in neat containers to make sure they don’t go to waste before you even get to wash out the gravy in your hair and sit down.

In this season of thankfulness, let’s try to remember to be especially grateful for those tiny tasks of love that mean the world to us but often go unnoticed and remain thankless.

Blessings to you all, Happy Thanksgiving, may the rest of your year be plentiful!

Heather Westbrook
Heather is "Mom, Mama, Mommy" to her 15-year-old son Camiron, 8-year-old-son Owen, and 9-month-old baby Griffin. She was born in Eunice, Louisiana and has lived in New York, Alabama, and Lake Charles, Louisiana before settling in Baton Rouge 5 years ago. She is a Veteran of the U.S. Army and a former Flight Attendant who graduated from FAE in Orlando, Florida as Valedictorian of the program. Heather is employed at Willie's Restaurant on Coursey as a FOH Manager. Heather is a bibliophile who is obsessed with reading and a cosplayer whenever she can find the time, focusing on Comic Book Supheroes, Star Wars and Harry Potter. She loves to write, a true passion of hers. She also enjoys running, crocheting, and drinking coffee!


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