Hey there, Mama,
If you have been a mom for a few days, months, or years, you share a common bond with every other mother who has walked this earth; you have days when you don’t think you are going to be able to pull it off.
You have moments when you think, I just can’t deal today.
You have mornings and afternoons when you are counting down the seconds until bedtime. You even think about getting in your car and driving away; sometimes for a little respite, and others for a long, solo vacation.
I know this because I’ve been to all those places many times over. I’ve never talked with a mother who didn’t share these feelings either. And there is nothing wrong with feeling that the weight of motherhood is too heavy to carry sometimes. It is normal, it is expected, and you are not alone in having these confusing, dark emotions twisted around the very thing that has made your heart grow with so much love and affection that it has changed you from the inside out.
These days feel like a dark chasm. They affect everything — your children, your marriage, and you. They can make you feel unworthy and ashamed. They can leave you with so much guilt you literally feel hungover and heavy as you crawl into bed and vow you can and will do better tomorrow.
But what you need to remember is it is just a bad day. You aren’t a bad mother. There is a huge difference.
You need to realize just because you take a break it doesn’t mean you are unworthy, neglectful, or lazy.
Because motherhood isn’t a pretty picture all the time. Being a mother means you keep going even when you don’t know if you can.
Being a mother has its peaks and valleys. It ebbs and flows and can make us question why we even thought we could bring another person into this world.
Being a mother means you are judged and ridiculed, and your biggest critic is yourself.
You might think you won’t make it through today. You might believe you aren’t cut out for this job. You might compare yourself to a fellow mother and let it get the best of you.
But one thing I know for certain is you will always pull through for your children. You will finish every day and get done what needs to be done, and the rest will settle to the bottom and slip through the cracks for another day.
You will worry. You will try to do better. You will beat yourself up. You have the best of intentions many mornings only to feel defeated by lunchtime.
But you need to do something else, something that is so important. Something I can tell you will make the biggest difference because I had to learn the hard way: You need to take the time to make sure you can keep giving to others by giving to yourself.
Self-care is the biggest necessity of motherhood, yet the hardest thing for us to do. But I want you to do it; I demand it.
You need to ask for what you need. You need to say when. You need to recognize yourself and the way you feel before you hit your breaking point, so you don’t get there.
I don’t care how you do it or what that looks like, just please do it. Stop putting it off. Stop making excuses. Stop feeling as though you don’t deserve it. You do; we all do.
You make sure everyone else has what they need without giving it a second thought, and you need to give a tiny bit back to yourself. Stop making excuses just because you love those kids so damn much you almost feel like you should never need a break. Everyone needs a break sometimes.
And remember, you are going to make it through the day, you always do, and those kids know how much you love them. And at the end of the day, nothing else matters.
A fellow mom who has been there many times.