When my son wakes up in the night, my husband gets up and changes him while i get myself ready to feed him. The routine is the same: Ryan lifts him from his crib, turns on the hall light which allows him enough to see by but not enough to wake up the baby even more. I scoot over and pull up the boppy pillow that we keep next to bed, tuck a cloth down my shirt to catch any leakage from the other side and then wait to be handed the baby. While the baby eats, Ryan climbs back into bed next to me and falls back asleep.
After ten minutes I'm often the only one awake. My son will have his arms around my neck at that point, his head resting on my shoulder as i gently pat his back and Ryan will have his arms wrapped around my leg, a gesture he has adopted as his own personal way of saying goodnight again after he's returned to bed.
It strikes me in those moments that I don't know where the world would be without women.
How it is possible that in our history there is oppression of women is beyond me. Look at how we're needed, look at how we provide. I am a source of endless emotional strength, nourishment and care. I am the source of boundless compassion, kindness and an overflow of love.
I don't say these things to sound obnoxious or self-promoting, i point them out to illustrate just how a mother and a wife a contribute to a family (not that this is the only way in which we contribute, of course, but it strikes me as one which is so often overlooked as being fundamentally important).
We provide that warmth in the nighttime. We provide that place of stability and care. Mothers are the ones still awake in the dark for others to cling to and to turn to for security. We are the ones who are there when you wonder if you will always feel love, if you will always feel emotionally safe, if you will always have someone to admit your fears to. We are the ones who will be there in those times of need and as long as you treat us well and show us kindness, love and respect, you will always have us as that place of hope, as that person to hold on to in the night.
Imagine a world without the nurturing kindness of a mother. Imagine a world without the loving understanding of a wife. Imagine a world without the gentle compassion of a girl. What kind of world would that be? How could anyone ever take those things for granted? How could anyone ever not fully appreciate all of the ways in which women have helped to bring security and peace of mind to so many in this world?
Women do so much all the time. They give compassion, they give kindness, they give trust, they give hope, they give strength, wisdom and insight and yet somehow it seems as if it is easy to overlook them, easy to disregard them, easy to take them for granted.
Think about what your life would be like if you were missing the women you have in it right now. Imagine how it would be different. Imagine who you would be if you didn't have that woman to turn to or to reach out to when you needed to. Imagine if you didn't have that shoulder to rest your head on at night.
Make sure you let those women in your life know just how much they matter to you. Chances are you don't show it nearly enough.