A mother of a toddler told me with pride, that she has the most amazing little family. She has a great job, a beautiful home, but she is so exhausted, she doesn’t have the strength to enjoy her family and her blessings. She just wants to spend her weekends crying. Her to-do-list is just so long, that it is sucking all the energy out of her, and the drops that are left over, are sucked in by worrying if she can do it all!

There is a mother out there, who works long hours, so she can buy her child expensive toys, even though she realizes that what the child really needs, is a mother who is happy and present.

There is a mother out there, who acts like she’s SuperMom. She makes it in time to daycare, excels at work, cooks organic food, recycles, takes care of all the hobbies, bakes for the school meet, practises yoga, answers her work e-mails at night, so she has a bit of extra time for her kids tomorrow. She cries herself to sleep.

There is a mother out there, who worries that her child’s life is happening without her. She worries that her child will say his first words without her. She fights the clock every day to make it in time to pick her child up from daycare. She has her child’s picture as a screen saver. Every time she looks at her phone, her heart aches with longing. To be there.

There is a mother out there, whose life is Facebook perfect. She is so happy and successful. She scrolls down her own feed to be able to believe her own happiness. Because she is not happy, but she must carry on, like everybody else does. Everybody else looks so happy on Facebook too. So must she.

All these mothers are crying inside. They realize they can waste their own lives pretending to be happy, pretending to be doing the right things, but they can’t waste their children’s life. When the child is born, nothing will ever be the same again. We continue having the same set of obligations and expectations from work and society, but we just cannot perform the same way anymore. When we become mothers, we must stop performing and start living according to our values.

We cannot live for our children, we must show our children how to live.

We must re-evaluate our lives and decide how we want to use our precious time. We want to set an example for our children. We want to laugh, be present and do simple, ordinary things with our children. Even though our work culture expects us to have superpowers and manage everything and then some, we as mothers must be mothers first. Mothers, who put their children first but who also work and hopefully love their work too.

No paycheck equals the worth of spending quality time with your child.

(Studies show, that fathers of small children work the longest hours. In my experience many fathers are crying inside too.)