I sat down here to write this on a whim. Well… Actually you might call it inspiration because right now that Mama I’m talking to feels like she’s me.
Maybe she is.
And maybe I’m writing this to myself on here so that you can use this letter and rewrite it to YOURself. I don’t care if you have one or 16, it’s hard being ‘Mama’. I sat down 2.5 hours ago and wrote the first sentence. At that point I hadn’t showered, and had mainly only picked up the kitchen, made breakfast, changed a diaper and put away the rest of the laundry I folded at 12:30am last night (this morning). Then my sweet little terror who has been fighting a cold for the last couple weeks wanted up. So I put the laptop aside, picked him up and put him in my lap on the couch. My 14.5 month old, who hates being held in any form of ‘still’ position, suddenly wanted to cuddle. As I sat there with him laying on my chest and playing with my tank top strap, I fought feelings of guilt for not working or cleaning or doing more laundry or figuring out supper, and then emotions of how I should be soaking up every moment of this fleeting preciousness, because that’s exactly what it is – fleeting. It wasn’t but a few short months ago my little man was dependent on me to get him where he wanted to be, and now he is squealing joyfully as he walk-runs everywhere. A lot of times, we Mamas have to struggle with our emotions and feelings of inadequacies more than anything else we have to deal with in life. So here’s to all of us.
Dear Burnt-out, Frustrated, Exhausted, Lonely Mama,
I see you. You’re not invisible.
You’re not just a tool, used to make food, pick up, clean, fold clothes and change poopy diapers.
I know it’s hard. I know it hurts sometimes. I know it’s lonely. I know it’s exhausting. I know it feels like you never stop working, but looks like you never started. I know the incredible range of emotions you feel every day pushes you from the heights of joy to the brink of despair. I know it makes you feel crazy, and foolish for thinking this life is anything but perfect.
There’s a reason you’re here, in this place in your life. Your little one/s need you more than any other woman in the world. They got their smarts, smiles and even sass, in large part, from you. You were put into their lives for a perfect reason. They were put into your life for a perfect reason. There is no one they need to call ‘Mama’ more than you.
I feel what you feel. I know it’s like there’s no one out there who could possibly relate to you, but I can. It’s hard being Mom. It’s even harder being Wife when you’re also Mom. I know how you struggle to juggle what and who comes first and when. I know you feel like a failure to your husband, and like things will never be back to normal with him.
I know you dread turning into a bitter, mean, unhappy, nagging woman like many you’ve seen and even grew up with. I know sometimes it feels inevitable. But it doesn’t have to be. God created you to have a spirit of power, and love, and a sound mind (2 Timothy 1:7).
It’s ok to cry. Cry out to God. Tell Him what’s on your heart, what you’re feeling, why you think you’re unworthy. Then ask Him to help you to see the truth, who you really are and what He really created you to be. Ask Him to help you find and feel peace. Look up these verses and meditate on them:
And finally, relax. Breathe. Smile. Think of how beautiful this raw moment in time is. Think of all the happy, good things going on, even if it’s just the complete and utter joy your little one has when they finally crawl over their overturned scooter and get their butt in the divot just right. The tiny palms clapping together without fingers touching and the squeals of delight… oh what could be better, Mama?
I know this doesn’t fix everything. Maybe it can calm your mind a little and put a smile on your face, but in the meantime, stop neglecting to take care of you. Pull your hubby aside. Tell him you’re hurting, or lonely, or depressed, or all the above. Ask him to help you. Open up to him so he knows what’s going on and what he can do to help you NOT be burnt-out, frustrated, exhausted and lonely. If that’s not possible, tell a friend. Go on play-dates and mommy events. Whatever you do, don’t hide. Pretending like everything is ok, but falling apart inside will do nothing to help you and will most assuredly come back to hurt you, your sweet littles, your family.
Remember, your kiddos were blessed with the best mom in the world. You are her. Be her.
Love and hugs,
Another Mama Who Knows