Editor's note: This post originally appeared on Molly Bice Jackson's blog, Hope Smiling Brightly. It has been shared here with the author's permission.
I should make more money.
I should get sponsors on my blog.
I should make my blog look better.
I should be in a show.
I should work on my website.
I should invent something to make us rich!
I should open a performing arts studio in Park City, Utah.
I should volunteer at the ski resort on the weekend so we can get free passes.
I should write jingles for a living —I'm so clever with lyrics.
I should get an agent.
Oh, I should focus on a career in public speaking.
If I worked really hard and made more money, I could hire a housekeeper and that should be motivation enough.
I would love to go to grad school. I should get my master's in education ... or business. Ya.
I should be way more crafty and stylish.
I should be a mom. An awesome mom.
Don't make me get out of bed. I'm too tired. I've been fighting this stupid cold for over 10 days and haven't had energy to run let alone be an energetic mom. Please. Just let me sleep longer.
Shower, get dressed, do hair and makeup. Miracle.
Kids fed. Mommy fed. Cough, cough.
Get stuff together and get out the door. Cough. Slight headache. So tired.
Stop at the store and manage to make it out with only one bribe toy item (water gun I'll return it tomorrow while he's at preschool and he'll be none the wiser). So tired. Cough.
Stop at the library and return items. Librarians greet us all by name and recommend books for me. They help with the kids and let us checkout as many cartoons as Peter wants. Cough again. Can I go to bed now?
Go the field house and let Peter run wild. Shoot hoops with him and have races while Zoë sleeps in her car seat. Still coughing. Still tired.
Strike up a conversation with the women's Olympic bobsled team. (Have I mentioned I love Park City?) Peter woos them in a major way. I now have new friends to watch during the next winter Olympics in Russia! Super nice, STRONG, fun women. Peter invited them to his Lightning McQueen birthday party. Laughing and coughing.
Run around the track with Zoë in one arm while chasing Peter. Stop at rowing machines. Play. Row with Zoë on my lap while Peter "coaches" me. Run further around the track to punching bags/boxing area. Hold Peter up with one arm while he punches the bags and hold Zoë with my other arm.
Do squats with the kids hanging on me. They laugh as they see their reflections pop in and out of the mirror. UP. Down. UP. Down. I'm giggling but tired.
Perfect stranger (60 years old? Male. Bright yellow jacket. Tall. Salt-and-pepper hair) walking around the track stops and looks me straight in the eyes and says:
"You're an awesome mom."
Tired, coughing mom is speechless and confused for half a second. Then I suddenly gush, "THANK YOU!" with an enormously genuine smile across my face.
"No, thank YOU," he says, as he continues his walk around the track.
And off goes the stranger. And there I stand, covered in children, wondering what just happened while tears roll down my cheeks.
I told you so. Keep going. Keep trying. Keep loving.
YOU, the person reading this. You are an awesome mom.
Molly Bice Jackson is the author of the blog www.hopesmilingbrightly.com and the founder of www.agoodgrief.com an online support community for hope after loss. She resides in Park City, Utah, with her husband and two living children. She is an avid runner, singer, dancer, actress and public speaker.