To the mom who’s about to break,
How are you? I mean, how are you for real? I know you tell your coworkers, the cashier at the grocery store, and your parents that you’re good… No, really I’m fine. I’m just tired, you say.
I can see you’re struggling and just know it’s alright. I am too.
It’s only 9am and you’re exhausted.
Your days are long. Like really long. You’ve applied dry shampoo every day this week and you’re roughly two days overdue for some solid sleep. And by “solid sleep” you mean only waking once in the middle of the night to grab a bottle, or breastfeed, or soothe a crying toddler. Once, if you’re lucky.
You’re nearly falling asleep at your desk and your body seems to be unaffected by coffee at this point. The little time you have in the morning consists of gathering loose ends to send your child off to daycare. You walk out the front door without eating breakfast, again. Your stomach is screaming, but your mind whispers, “later.” The routine seems endless and it’s only turning you into a numb, senseless zombie.
I’m not going to tell you that this moment will pass or to hold it together, because I know you’ve heard that more than enough times. It’s more like a routine that you’ve trained your mind at this point. I won’t lecture you on how you are the mold of the house or the core of your family. Quite honestly, you already know that and so does everyone else around you.
These are the hard days. These are the days that you question your sanity, patience, relationships, and sadly, your faith.
You wonder if anyone else understands.
Every other mom you see at Target is brushing by you with her cart of young children, snug into a petite outfit, curls bouncing on her shoulders with a smile on her face. How does she do that? How does she have time? I can’t even find a quiet minute to brush my hair. What does she do differently? Why can’t I pull myself together like that? Am I failing as a mom because I don’t do what she does?
You try to see the light at the end of the tunnel, but then think to yourself, how freaking long is this tunnel?
These are the days that exercise leaves your mind as quick as the thought crosses it. You lost any energy when you were forced out of bed at 5:30 this morning.
These are the days that friendships and lunch dates become, yet another chore. Once you leave the house, you’ll subconsciously ask yourself why you’re risking lounging in your pajamas to put on uncomfortable skinny jeans and a tight blouse for a sandwich and coffee.
You wonder how your mom-friends on Facebook are running errands and attending appointments while preparing a five course meal for their husband later that evening.
I’ve been there. I’ve felt what you’re feeling. I still do some days. Lonely. Empty. Hopeless. Anxious. Exhaustion.
And honestly… you’re about to break.
I won’t tell you to ignore what you’re feeling or remain calm or… whatever everyone else tells you.
Go ahead and crumble. Drain the tears and let your body release the pressure that has built up over all these months. Sometimes we get so wrapped up in our daily activities that we’re numb to our feelings. We’re told we need to be strong because we’re moms and that’s what moms do. Sometimes we forget that we have feelings. So, let yourself break.
Sweet mama, just know it’s OK to allow ourselves to soak in the hard moments and let ourselves unravel for a moment. But, only for a moment. Don’t stay in this mentality. You are not broken. Broken doesn’t define you. You just feel broken.
But, here’s the beautiful thing about motherhood – your kids adore you. They really think you are something special. Your kids aren’t ever going to be perfect and neither will you. They’re going to test your patience, but the crazy part? They have no clue when, how or why they’re testing your patience. Your kids don’t know that you are so incredibly exhausted that you’re not listening to one word they are saying. But, they do know that you’re a damn good mom. They know you get down on the floor and play with them. They see that you make them yummy breakfast and supper and let them stay up past their bedtime, regardless of your zombie-like state. Your kids know you love every fiber of their little beings. They can feel it.
Motherhood is so incredibly inconclusive. Being a mom requires your attention from the moment you rise until you close your eyes at the end of the day. But, look at you go. You’re crushing mom life. You may be ready to break, but you sure as hell don’t show anyone your weak side.
You mask the chaos and the emotions that follow. You’ve mastered concealer to hide the dark circles under your eyes. And you show the world that being a mom is more than just showing up. It’s about being present, forgetting about all of the lists you created for the day. It’s about creating memories with your little people, who will eventually, no longer be little.
So, go ahead and break, mama. Crumble. Just don’t stay there. You have little eyes watching you and little hands ready to scoop you up and love you like tomorrow is not promised.
Let’s be mom-friends!