Mothers - Recognizing Their Invaluable Roles And Reciprocating With Kindness

13 min read AUG 29, 2023

Today we’d like to highlight a very special role and those special souls who fill it.

Yes, today we will examine the role of mothers.

In doing so, it is my hope that we will all have a renewed sense of appreciation for, as well as a desire to show kindness to, each and every mom in our lives.

Oftentimes I’ve found there seems to be a pervading misconception about the overwhelming plate we mothers carry.

Yep, I’m a mom.

So, as a mother, while this will be a slightly different introduction than those we typically put before you, I’d like to open our time here today by sharing a personal account regarding that often overwhelming plate that I have a feeling many mothers can fully relate to:

As a stay-at-home mom, I was recently (and rather rudely) asked the following question: “what do you do all day?”

Sadly, this isn’t a new line of questioning. It’s one many mothers hear, no matter whether they work outside of the home or not.

But, this particular time I found myself in tears the next day as I looked back to examine only 12 of 24 given hours:

My morning began as I awoke to the sound of my alarm clock. It was roughly 7:30 am.

I hadn’t even had time to use the restroom before my son came in to tell me: “Mom, the toilet in our bathroom is overflowing.”

I rushed into the bathroom, fixed the toilet, then proceeded to clean up the mess.

Next, I immediately started a load of laundry with the dirty rags/towels I used to clean up the bathroom, and on my way to return our ‘rag bucket’ to the cabinet under our kitchen sink, I was greeted with the sight of the dirty dishes left by my husband from when he got home from work in the middle of the night.

The dishwasher was nearly full, so I loaded those dishes into the machine and started it.

By this time, my kids were eating breakfast, so while they ate I prepared all of the last minute things they needed to start their school day, such as assignments, quizzes, and tests (we homeschool).

Then, as they started their school day, the nagging pain in my bladder reminded me of the “chore” I’d neglected upon waking.

At this point, I brushed my teeth, changed my clothes, and went for a quick walk before starting my day.

I had planned to shower upon my return, but in the mere 30 minutes since I’d been gone, my daughter’s school video (dvd) stopped working, so I spent the next 40 minutes wearing a tech hat…one I most certainly do not wear well.

At this point, it was now 10:30 am, and I hadn’t even stopped to drink my morning glass of lemon water.

I also work from home, (as a writer, obviously) so I changed out the laundry, started another load, then sat down with my laptop as I sipped my water.

Unfortunately, this particular day came with multiple distractions, so I didn’t finish writing until after 5:00 pm.

With dinner on deck, I decided to delay the meal long enough to tend to any school details for my kids such as helping with any concepts not fully understood from the day’s video sessions, grading assignments, and collecting items needed for upcoming projects and reports.

During this time I also finished the laundry and tidied the house.

Then, though a little later than usual, I cooked dinner.

After my kids and I enjoyed our meal, I went to put away some laundry in my bathroom linen closet, and in doing so I happened to glance into the mirror…oh yeah, I hadn't even showered yet, and it was already after 7:00 pm!

And, as many moms likely know, this phenomenon is not at all unusual.

In fact, I’d say now is the perfect time to take a broad look at what life looks like for most mothers around the world…

Details Within The Duties Of Motherhood

You’ve likely heard that moms wear many hats, often taking on multiple roles amidst her daily duties, but when it comes to motherhood, there’s so much more to this story.

Mothers are, first and foremost, caregivers.

  • A mother’s body is battered, stretched, and eventually broken to bring life into this world.
  • Her body is often used to feed and sustain her infant children.
  • Mothers, on average, lose an entire month’s worth of sleep just in the first year of life, caring for their newborn children.

As you can see, from early on, the stage is set for mothers as vitally important caregivers for the family.

It’s likely due to this seemingly preset role that most mothers are also the on-call nurses and doctors of the family.

Her roles here commonly include:

  • ensuring each family member receives adequate nutrition in the meals bought and cooked
  • kissing ouchies
  • scheduling medical and dental appointments
  • making sure teeth are brushed, bodies are clean, etc
  • nursing illnesses with soups, extra snuggles, and healing motherly wisdom
  • making sure her children receive needed sunlight and movement

Then, a mother’s nursing duties don’t stop with physical demands as most moms play the role of a therapist too as she fosters, nurtures, and aids in the development of her childrens’ emotional wellbeing…even into adulthood.

Teaching young children, even teens, to appropriately handle emotions, lending guidance, teaching, advice, and support are critically important tasks which a mother engages in seamlessly throughout any given day.

Whether it’s a tearful toddler who needs the care of a mother to show them how to properly control anger and frustration, a timid teen who’s looking to their mother to quietly display confidence when facing difficult tasks, or an overwhelmed adult who still gratefully realizes the unspeakable calm brought to their heart and mind with a single conversation with grandma, the role of mothers regarding our emotional health cannot be understated.

Another part of mental and emotional health also involves how we handle daily tasks. And, when things are in disarray this can take its toll rather quickly.

Despite her already busy schedule, mothers are also commonly the ones who wear the hat of chaos coordinator.

Whether her children are young or somewhat older, moms are generally the ones in charge of the family schedule. Coordinating items such as:

  • sports practices and games
  • recitals
  • tutoring sessions
  • dentist appointments
  • doctor check-ups
  • playdates
  • birthday parties
  • teen jobs

Then, as I’m sure many of you have already been listing in your heads as you’ve been reading, moms are also often responsible for the day-to-day home tasks as well.

So, let’s just compile a quick list here of the things most moms engage in, or manage solely, on a regular basis in their homes:

Cooking/meal prep - From meals, to snack selection, and more

Cleaning - Sometimes she’s scrubbing floors, other days she’s simply picking up the same shoes, toys, clothes, and blankets on repeat.

Laundry - Do you enjoy freshly clean clothes each day, this is likely due to the work of a wife/partner/mother?

Dishes - Someone needs to do the dishes or load/run the dishwasher each and every day so you’ll have clean kitchenware to eat/drink from, and if your home operates like mine, those dishes, that dishwasher…these seem to only be visible to moms.

Refereeing - My kids surely aren’t the only ones with sibling disputes, right?

Finances - Think a balanced checkbook isn’t all that important? Many mothers also ensure their family stays in the black.

Shopping - Without the mothers in your life, you might be lacking basic needs met by her shopping trips such as groceries, clothing, home needs/supplies, and more.

Entertainer - Because no mom has ever heard the phrase “I’m bored.” Moving on…

Plumber - See overflowing toilet incident in the intro…

Electrician - Similar to the plumber hat, this is sometimes for when the lights go down in the city, sans any sun shining on the bay…etc.

Law enforcement - Mom’s often have to make the rules, enforce the rules, dole out the punishments for broken rules, and on and on.

I’ll stop here as not only could this list go on for several more pages, we also need to address a very important elephant in the room:

We’ve not even discussed the fact that many moms today also work, both in and out of the home.

- Did you know that 70% of mothers with children under the age of 18 are in the workforce today?

- And, 75% of those mothers work full time!

- 40% of households with children under the age of 18 have moms who are the primary breadwinners.

- “Women in a relationship [which includes] children are 5.5 times more likely than their male counterparts to do most, if not all, of the household work even when they are the primary income earner.”

- Including household and/or family related duties, on average, those moms who have jobs outside of the home dedicate 98 hours a week to work.

Mothers reading this, from one mom to another, I see you!

Others reading this, if you weren’t already aware of what happens in the daily lives of mothers, now that you have a brief window of insight into her roles, I hope you see her too.

So, before we close out with some ways you can show kindness to each and every mother in your life, let’s take a few minutes to further examine the vital importance of mothers.

Without Mothers…

Whether we readily admit it or not - most of our lives would suffer without the constant care, concern, effort, engagement, and necessity of all of the things mothers do on any given day to keep the lives of their families running smoothly…and healthily.

In fact, the absence of mothers in the lives of children can have dire effects. Mental health professionals detail the psychological effects of such an absence to include:

  • a lack of proper understanding of feelings, often leading to unhealthy relationships
  • difficulties with commitment
  • increased levels of stress
  • persistently negative effects on development all throughout childhood (even into adulthood)
  • negative cognitive effects resulting in poor grades or a lack of academic success
  • a greater risk of depression
  • low self-esteem
  • lack of self-control
  • an inability to bond with other women
  • increased instances of social anxiety
  • feelings of emptiness which can contribute to a lack of desire to set or achieve life goals

Then, aside from these effects that certainly may linger into adulthood, most adults can also agree that the passing of a mother or mother figure from their lives as adults can have negative outcomes as well.

How many times have you heard of families who all seem to lose touch, drift apart, or lack connection once the matriarch passes on?

Or, how many of you who’ve lost your mother, grandmother, or other motherly figure in adulthood can attest to feelings of loneliness, loss, or lacking in her absence?

When it comes right down to it, can anyone truly deny the vital importance of mothers?

And, after all we’ve covered today, is there really any debating the fact that moms, by nature, overextend themselves in the care, concern, love, governance, and guiding of their families?

As we’re answering a resounding ‘no’ at this point, let’s close out by considering some ways we can reciprocate the unwavering kindness shown by each and every mother in our lives.

Paying It Forward With Kindness: Mom Style

The mothers in our lives deserve the world…they do make it go ‘round after all.

So, how can we show these women kindness? How can we let the mothers in our lives know we love them, appreciate them, and value what they bring to our lives?

I would say noticing all she does is a great start! But, of course we’ll help you out with a few suggestions for returning the kindness shown to each of us by mothers:

1- Give her grace

If you don’t think the mothers in your life need a bit of grace and patience each day, simply revisit the duties and details section above.

In days that go by in a blink, she’ll often find herself overwhelmed. Don’t add to this through a lack of grace and understanding.

Again…give her grace.

2- Give her encouragement

When you’re at work, do you appreciate a heartfelt comment, some recognition, or a token of appreciation for the effort, time, and energy you pour into your duties?

Yes, of course!

These types of encouragement are often what keep us going when work days get tough. In the workforce this is even proven to boost productivity and decrease feelings of overwhelm.

The same is true for mothers.

Moms often live in a state of perpetual overwhelm. Please, make sure you’re offering kindness and encouragement regularly as she serves you, your children, or others so selflessly.

Speak encouraging words of affection, care, gratitude, and appreciation to the moms in your life.

And, this doesn’t have to only include those mothers in your circle. While in Costco a few weeks ago, I saw a mom with three very young children in tow, each of which were either crying, pulling on her shirt, or attempting to cause mischief.

I looked over at her in the check-out line to see tears streaming down her face in obvious overwhelming exhaustion and frustration, to which I felt prompted to share: “hey momma, you really are doing a great job.”

Her tears increased, but a smile emerged as she mouthed, “thank you, I needed that.”

Never underestimate the power of encouragement.

3- Give her rest

You know what helps to ease the inevitable feelings of burnout in motherhood? Rest.

Offer to watch your friends' children (and vice versa) so the mothers in your life can get a needed break.

Husbands, take your kiddos to the park while your wife, their often tired and overextended mother, gets some time to herself.

Even making a meal for a busy mom or offering to carpool to free up a bit of her time (and yours when reciprocated) can go a long way to provide even a half hour or so of critically needed rest in the life of a mother.

4- Give the gift of care

Aside from allowing her some time to rest, make sure the moms in your life are practicing self-care.

You can aid in these practices by ensuring she has time to rest or be alone, as mentioned above. But, also consider small gifts that not only show her that you see her contributions and appreciate her, but facilitate self care.

Some options include:

  • Gift cards for hair, nail, or massage services
  • Gifting her a cup of coffee or a coffee-themed gift box (while also ensuring she has the opportunity to enjoy a mug or two in peace)
  • Cards or hand written notes to voice your appreciation for all she does
  • Bath accessories such as bath bombs, salts, oils, candles, face or hair masks, etc. (anything she’d enjoy for a nice, calming bath)
  • Random small gifts which cater to her interests including books, movie tickets, gift cards to her favorite stores, or perhaps a journal where she can spend time alone with her thoughts

5- Go the extra mile

Most moms live in the realm of the extra mile as she often is the first to help everyone else but herself. So, show her kindness by pitching in and lending a helping hand.

This can include:

  • making sure the dishes make it to the dishwasher
  • folding the load of laundry that’s been in the dryer for two days instead of reminding her about it
  • making or purchasing dinner
  • making the bed in the mornings
  • helping the kids get ready for bed or school
  • walking the dog
  • cleaning those dreaded toilets…and sinks, countertops, etc
  • running the vacuum
  • tidying the house

Obviously these lists aren’t exhaustive, so feel free to add and customize, just make sure the moms in your life know they’re loved and appreciated!

And, if I may, in closing I just want to say to all the mothers reading this -

You’re truly a rockstar! Never underestimate your value, role, or contributions to your children, your family, or to this world as a whole. The work you’re doing isn’t easy, but it’s irreplaceable, its value surpassing all expression.

So, keep on keeping on, no matter which stage of motherhood you find yourself in, even when you feel like you’re invisible - you are seen, you are appreciated, you are valued, you are truly wonderful!

Check out Lifeboost Coffee Medium Roast.

Headshot of Becky Livingston Vance
Becky Livingston Vance Content writer

Becky is a mother, educator, and content writer for Lifeboost Coffee. She has had three years’ experience as a writer, and in that time she has enjoyed creatively composing articles and ebooks covering the topics of coffee, health and fitness, education, recipes, and relationships.


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I love it that we honor Moms Day for a break.
I would advocate for the word “Lazy” to be replaced with a more neutral and affirming word! Eg: Mother’s Relaxing Day or Mother’s Chill Day, etc.
Thank you! 🙏🏻