As a new mother you’ll be asked, “What did you do today?” While you’re stumbling for the words in your lack-of-sleep fog, let me step in with a few suggestions...

  • Did you wake before you were ready, dragging your sleepy self to the side of the crib where you smiled when your little one’s eyes met yours?
  • Did you hold her in your arms, nourishing her body with warm milk, her soul with your warm gaze, all while wishing you could crawl back into your own warm bed?
  • Did you change her diaper many times and feed her again and again?

That’s tiring and also loving and that’s the job of mothering.

  • Did you feel your heart break each time she cried? Did you smile when she seemed comforted by your presence?
  • Did you spend each moment of the day knowing where she was and keeping her safe? Did you wonder how you’d go on without her?
  • Did you count the moments until nap-time, then stand for a moment beside her crib and marvel at the love you felt as she lay sleeping?

Those things are draining and also heart-warming and they’re the job of mothering.

  • Did you pick her up and rock her gently while making mental lists of all that you need to get done?
  • Did you strap her onto your body so your hands were free to cook a meal?
  • Did you talk to her patiently while stepping into the shower because you couldn’t take her with you?

That’s wearisome and also caring and that’s the job of mothering.

  • Did you play and read and sing and hold and feed and rock her, all while managing the job of daily living?

That’s exhausting and also bonding and that’s the job of mothering.

Mothering happens moment by moment, day after day, year by year.

Then one day, you’ll send this human being out into the world knowing that your mothering - your mistakes, your moments of showing up even when you didn’t feel like it, your big and small glories when you were getting it right - will have been enough. At that point a whisper in her ear will say, “I am loved” leaving her with a desire in her heart to pay it forward.

What did you do today? With a tired body and a heart bursting with love, you did the job of mothering, and that’s a gift to the world.

- Amy

About Amy Canby

Hi there, I’m Amy Canby. Motherhood has been my greatest joy and my hardest job. I’d love to help you navigate your parenting journey with what I’ve learned along the way. Learn more about my infant care services >


  1. Jennene on April 3, 2019 at 12:34 am

    This is beautiful! Brought tears to my eyes in a good way. The acceptance that we can still mother while it is exhausting. Those moments add up and motherhood is a growing experience. Such a loving and reassuring message.

    • Amy Canby on April 3, 2019 at 1:20 pm

      Thank you Jennene. As mother of twins you were likely doubly exhausted with your offering of two gifts! Well, three really. We could never forget your third gift!😘

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