15 Moms Share Things They Never Get Thanked For

Being a mom can feel like a thankless job.

Many moms do so much for their families with little recognition.

Here are some things real moms do that they do not get thanked for. Perhaps you could surprise the mom in your life with a thank you message today!

Emotional Labor

Things to Thank Mom For - Emotional Labor
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Mothers are known for their selflessness, always putting their children’s and family’s needs before their own. They are the backbone of a family. Yet, despite all the love and care they give, mothers often need to be more appreciated.

One thing that mothers never get thanked for but should be is their ability to provide emotional labor. Emotional labor is the work that entails managing, addressing, and resolving emotional needs. It includes remembering birthdays, playing mediator, and being a sounding board for family members.

These tasks may seem small individually, but they add up quickly and affect mothers’ well-being. As a single mom of three kids, I experience this firsthand daily. I frequently sacrifice my needs and emotions to support my children, which many mothers often do. I always make sure everyone in the family is okay, even when I have a million things on my plate.

Tiffany Grant, Money Talk With Tiff

School Meetings

Things to Thank Mom For - School Meetings
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Mom’s never get thanked for all those meetings with guidance counselors, social workers, education assistants, principals, and teachers to ensure their children’s IEP (Individual Education Plan) is followed.

I have a son on the Autism Spectrum and a daughter with ADHD. Both needed support to succeed in school. However, coordinating assessments with doctors, follow-up, and implementation takes a lot of work.

I worked from home so I could always be available to fight the fight when standards started to fall. I don’t regret it for a minute, but I have to say, a bouquet of flowers, a box of chocolates, or a simple ‘thanks, Mom’ would do!

Margarita Ibbott, DownshiftingPro

The Food

Things to Thank Mom For - The Food
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Moms do so much for their families, and many of these deeds go unnoticed.

For example, dealing with food! The meal planning, list making, grocery shopping, putting away groceries, making meals, cleaning up meals, wash and repeat.

Not to mention the fact that it’s often hard to cater to everyone’s likes and dislikes. Oh, and did I mention unloading the dishwasher every single day?

Karen Kelly, Seasonal Cravings

From Babies to Adults

Things to Thank Mom For - From Babies to Adults
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I’m a mother of five. I have three biological children and two born with an egg donor and surrogacy. They range in age from 9 months to 32 years old.

There are so many things mothers never get thanked for but should. Here are the top ones that I have experienced:

  1. Changing a million dirty diapers.
  2. Getting up multiple times at night and functioning all day on little sleep.
  3. Having years of poor sleep. Between breastfeeding, sick babies, children that don’t sleep well, and potty emergencies, moms never get a good night’s sleep.
  4. Being a taxi service. Moms do taxi service for their kids for approximately 16 years. It is draining.
  5. Moms are master organizers. They plan meals, activities, vacations, travel arrangements, birthday parties, doctor and dental appointments, visits with family, play dates, and more.
  6. Body changes. Moms never get thanked for what they put their bodies through during pregnancy, birth, and breastfeeding.
  7. Laundry. Piles and piles of laundry that never end. Moms take care of it all.
  8. Meals. Kids can be picky. Moms make meals for adults and children and juggle all the idiosyncrasies.
  9. Moms never get thanked for giving up their social life. After babies come along, most moms have little time (or energy) for outings with their friends.
  10. Sex. Yes, I said it. Sex is sometimes the last thing on a new mother’s mind. Her energy is drained. Her body doesn’t feel sexy. And, yet, she still finds time and energy to be intimate with her partner.

Ruth K. Mielke, Writer

Staying Up Late

Things to Thank Mom For - Staying Up Late
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Mothers never get thanked for getting up in the middle of the night for their newborns. And mothers never get thanked for staying up late to make sure their teens have come safely home. And there are so many things we do over and over again that never get any thanks.

But when we remember to nourish ourselves with gratitude for the opportunity to repeatedly transform ourselves from takers into givers through caring for our children, that can fill us up throughout our days.

Even when children don’t appreciate what their mothers are doing for them, when we appreciate the many ways in which caring for our children elevates us and refines us into better people, the gratitude we feel within is overflowing.

Bracha Goetz, Goetz Book Shop

Meal Management

Things to Thank Mom For - Meal Management
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There are so many things that moms do not get thanked for, but a big one is managing meals. Everyone in the family eats three meals a day and most times, mom is organizing them all.

It takes a lot of time to figure out what to cook each night for dinner. It’s a lot to manage what is in the house for the family to eat for breakfast and lunch and to make sure that there is something that everyone likes.

And especially if you have picky kids, moms may be figuring out ways to make sure their kids are still getting the nutrients they need. This could mean cooking 2-3 different options at any meal.

Managing meals as a mom is something that is constantly overlooked.

Stephanie Eddy, Dresses and Dinosaurs

Being Present

Things to Thank Mom For - Being Present
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I know so many amazing mothers now who are putting in the time and effort to dig deep, become introspective, more emotionally intelligent and heal what is needed. They do this work for themselves, of course, but also for their families, especially their children.

Whether through therapy, coaching, meditation, or some combination, the results are the same. A mom who is able to be more present have improved emotional regulation, improved confidence in herself, and more compassion for her children.

This work is important and worthwhile but far from easy. It may not be talked about often and definitely isn’t acknowledged enough. So to all the moms out there doing the inner work, I see you and thank you.

Arielle Martone, Find Your Way Mama.

Mental Load

Things to Thank Mom For - Mental Load
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One of the things mothers never get thanked for is the mental load we carry.  As a mom, we often are the ones to hold things together for our family. We make the grocery list and meal plan, keep up to date on doctors’ appointments, and worry about milestones our children should be meeting.

As children get older, we worry about which activities they should be involved in, how their academics are progressing, and when we have to meet with teachers. Even with incredibly helpful and willing partners, it’s often the mother who does the planning and has to think through the to-do list for the family.

The mental load a  mom carries may go unnoticed because it’s not something anyone else can truly see. But this mental load is no small thing. It’s why moms are the ones who are always accused of worrying too much because we are the ones keeping the family on track.

Kassie Hanson, Talk 2 Me Mama

Making Food Only the Kids Like

Things to Thank Mom For - Making Food Only the Kids Like
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I have three kids, ages 30 through 12 and I don’t expect thanks for much, but one thing I consistently wish I would get thanked for is making food my kids love that I think is gross. I hate eggs. I hate egg salad, deviled eggs, boiled eggs, and runny egg yolks. The sight and smell – ugh.

My two youngest kids love eggs everything. I can make the perfect poached egg and a killer egg salad sandwich, and I make a tray of deviled eggs for every major holiday. I do it because I love my kids and I don’t expect to be thanked for mixing an egg with mayo (which I also hate) but it’s been the one parenting chore I hate and it would make my day if someone said “thanks.”

Jill Robbins, Ripped Jeans and Bifocals

Staying At Home and Breast Feeding

Things to Thank Mom For - Staying At Home and Breast Feeding
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I’m a mom of two toddlers. Here are some things mothers never get thanked for but should be.

Breastfeeding and pumping

Feeding human milk to kids through breastfeeding and pumping is hard work. (This is not to discount moms who use formula because I do believe fed is best). When it comes to breastfeeding you have to deal with soreness, shoulder pain, and someone attached to you 24/7. With pumping you’re attached to the pump 24/7.  Instead of getting support for breastfeeding their kids, mothers get shamed for it (especially when feeding in public).

I’ve been told to stop because my baby was getting too old (he was only 3 months old). I’ve even been told that my milk was not filing enough because he was a “big boy”.

Being a stay-at-home mom

If you’re a stay at home mom, you’ve probably been asked once or twice what you do all day.  It may come from your family members, friends or strangers. If you’re unlucky, that question will come from your spouse.

There are so many misconceptions surrounding stay-at-home moms that make them feel unappreciated daily. It would be great to hear words of encouragement and thanks more often.

That’s why I created Hope Like A Mother. A blog that celebrates the life of stay-at-home moms, and provide the tips to save money so they can keep staying home with their kids.

Aghogho Boccardi, Hope Like A Mother

Making Lunches and More

Things to Thank Mom For - Making Lunches and More
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I’m a mom of 3, teacher and small business owner. Some things we as moms never get thanked for:

  • Making our kids lunches.
  • Waking up and staying up all night when our kids are sick, or won’t sleep.
  • Being there at the school events.
  • Helping with school, projects, and homework.
  • Scheduling and taking them to appointments.
  • Taking them back to school shopping.
  • Planning birthday parties and getting birthday gifts.
  • Being the Tooth fairy, Santa, and the Easter bunny.
  • Having all of their meals cooked and grocery shopping, and keeping the home stocked with food.
  • Doing all of their laundry. Taking our kids to all their extra curricular activities, and scheduling them.
  • Being our kids listening ear and shoulder to cry on.

There are so many little things we do that go unnoticed. Moms are superheros and one of a kind humans! Keep it up moms!

Lindsay Stroud, Stroud’s Simply Southern Co

Making Appointments

Things to Thank Mom For - Making Appointments
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I am a mom to a 1-year-old girl and pregnant with another on the way.

Us moms are never thanked for making sure everyone’s appointments are always made! This includes doctor appointments, dentist appointments, optometrist appointments, you name it. I’m not only juggling just my child and I’s appointments, but also have to remind my husband or else he will never get them scheduled!

I feel like it’s my job to keep this family organized, and I’m not sure what they would do without me. It would be chaos in the home, I’m sure. That’s why it would be nice to be acknowledged for doing small things like making sure everyone’s appointments are always scheduled on time, but it seems like nobody seems to notice.

Aubree Watson, Generation Motherhood

Making Meals

Things to Thank Mom For - Making Meals
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I am a mom of two. As a functional medicine health coach, I am very vigilant when it comes to them having a healthy diet.

I never get thanked for preparing delicious dishes for them. I make them breakfast every morning, lunch to take to school, and always something they love for dinner. I prioritize their taste buds and nutritional needs.

As moms we tend to put our kids’ needs first. It would be nice to be thanked for the effort that goes into making these meals.

Leeann Rybakov, Leeann Rybakov Wellness

Practical Thinking

Things to Thank Mom For - Practical Thinking
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As a mother, one of the most mentally taxing things I’ve experienced is the constant state of practical thinking. It’s become second nature to always be thinking ahead, considering what needs to be done, and anticipating potential problems. From planning meals to managing schedules and navigating everyday tasks, it feels like there’s always something to be thinking about.

Deciding what to make for dinner, anticipating if my toddler will eat it, and always having a backup plan can be mentally exhausting. Even something as simple as deciding when to go for a walk can turn into a mental tug-of-war, with considerations like nap time and lunch time weighing heavily on my mind.

This type of constant thinking can be exhausting and draining, and yet it often goes unnoticed and unappreciated. It takes a lot of mental energy to stop this constant battle and allow oneself to relax.

As a fellow mom, I recognize and empathize with the mental load that comes with this role, and I hope to encourage mothers to take moments to recharge and prioritize self-care, while also encouraging others to take a moment and thank moms for this non-stop mental work that they do. It’s a gift that we, moms, have. But it can also be a burden especially if it’s not appreciated by others.

Diana Bazic, Minimalism Basics

Their Sacrifices in a Rhyme

Things to Thank Mom For - Their Sacrifices
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We change the toilet paper roll (which everyone should do);

We hug you when you’re sick although we’ll likely catch it too.

We listen to your stressful day; don’t complain about our own;

We help you find your toy although we need some time alone.

We give the fam the new clothes budget, then get whatever’s left;

We give away the last dessert while our own plate is bereft.

We drive a million miles a year to school and sports and mall;

We never sleep; clean clothes we keep because we love them all!

Leslie Buttonow, Writer

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Author: Heidi Bender

Title: Writer

Expertise: Thank You Notes


Heidi Bender is a writer and author who founded Tons of Thanks. She aims to help people write thank-you notes by providing examples and tips. She is the author of She is the author of A Modern Guide to Writing Thank-You Notes.