Moms don’t retire


Moms don't retireThis is the year my mom decided to retire from the job she’s held for the past 30 years. It was a decision she considered and reconsidered, and in the end she just felt like the time was right. She’s a little worried now about how she’ll fill her days—she wouldn’t mind doing something meaningful, but she also doesn’t want to be committed to a particular schedule. She wants to experience the freedom of retirement.


Moms don't retireThis is the month my mom spent more than two weeks at the hospital with her oldest daughter. It’s not an uncommon situation—my sister has been mentally handicapped her whole life, and my parents have navigated through a necessary series of medication changes, each of which has had physical, emotional, and/or mental side effects. My mom serves as her daughter’s personal historian and advocate in a healthcare system that is sprinkled with an ever-changing mix of people who are caring, rushed, knowledgeable, oblivious, tentative, overbooked, mystified, well-meaning, narrowly focused, cheerful, and sincere.


Moms don't retireThis job of caring for my sister is one she’ll never retire from. Moms don’t retire. No matter how difficult the conditions, how long the hours, how low the pay—she will always mother this child who needs her. Sure, she’ll always mother all of her children in some way or another, but her role with us changes over the years. Her role with my sister doesn’t.

Mothers Day

To women everywhere who remain committed to the calling of motherhood—even when the job turns out to be more than you expected—perhaps a “Happy Mothers Day” seems like small compensation. I agree. You deserve more.

But that’s sort of the essence of motherhood, isn’t it? You know that you deserve more, but you don’t think about that. You just do the job. Because you love it. Because you love us. And you show us what true love is.

Thanks Mom.

Happy Mothers Day.


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10 thoughts on “Moms don’t retire”

  1. Melanie – I so appreciate your vulnerability as you share your story with us. Your mom is a gem and a great example. Thank you.

  2. God give us mothers a gift, no matter how long those hours are they are our gift from God, no matter how tired we are taking care of our gift God gives us the strength, God knew your mother would love and cherish all her children. But knew she was the one for Brenda. Hope you all have a great Mother’s Day .

    • People have often told me, “God knew what He was doing when He gave Brenda to your parents.” They usually mean that Brenda is blessed to be entrusted to parents who care for her so deeply. What they don’t often realize is how much we have been blessed in return. :)

      Happy Mothers Day to you too, Melanie!

  3. What a fitting tribute to your mom! It has been a privilege to be her friend for so many years.

  4. Hi Melanie, what a wonderful tribute to your Mom, I am sure she is a woman of great strength. Yes, being a Mom of four, a mother’s love is unmeasureable. You and Brenda are Blessed with a great Mom. Happy Mothers Day to you all and congratulations on your Moms retirement. I have so much admiration for you and your family.

    Bev Simmons

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