laundry bag on ground

3 simple words to make any chore feel better

A new study confirmed what we’ve long suspected: Moms work really hard.

Researchers found that working moms clock an average of 98 hours each week—the same as working 2.5 full-time jobs. (Sidenote: As mom to a 6 month old, I noticed that the study was conducted among mothers with kids 5–12 years, most of whom probably sleep through the night.)

The survey noted that 4-in-10 moms said the week “felt like a never-ending series of tasks to complete.”

You know the drill: wake up, feed, change, feed, pack the bag, drop off, check on 14 times while at work, actually do work, pick up, feed, change, play, prep dinner, feed, bath, change, read, feed, rock, pray for sleep.

I laughed recently at an Instagram post that said: “I wish I was as tired as I was before I had kids.” There is so much to do, and the hamster wheel of chores can feel daunting at times.

But something struck me recently, and I’ve reminded myself of it each day since.

I don’t have to. I get to.

I get to get up in the morning and kiss and love my baby.

I get to care for his every need, and enjoy his giant smile in return.

I get to go to work to help provide for him.

I get to clean up in a home that I get to live in.

I get to cuddle him close, while the world sleeps and make sure he feels safe and loved.

It’s a simple shift, but a powerful one.

Whatever your day looks like today (mom or not!), try it out: “I don’t have to. I get to.”

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Christin Thieme

Christin Thieme is Editor in Chief of Caring, where she tells stories about people of all experiences—the unbelievable and every day—who each have something special to share with the world. (Even if they don’t know it yet.) Whether she’s interviewing a best-selling author, a government leader in Cuba, a single mom in Los Angeles or a coffee farmer in Vietnam, Christin believes all of us simply need someone to recognize (and wordsmith) what sparks in our story. Christin holds a master’s degree in specialized journalism from USC’s Annenberg School for Communication and Journalism and taught journalism as an adjunct professor at California Lutheran University for four years until bringing home her own live-in student. She’s host of the 5-star Do Gooders Podcast and holds a first-place prize from the Evangelical Press Association. When not writing about other people (or herself in the third person), she’s often playing trash trucks at home with her two boys.