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This goes out to the tired moms. The sad moms. With love and encouragement. I’ve thought about writing about this for a long time, but wanted to be sure I could be honest about the dark while still reassuring you that you will get through it to the light again.
I love being a mom. I love my husband. I love my kids. And even so, there have been days during these last crazy twenty years when I was so tired and so sad that I just didn’t know how I was going to keep going. Some dark, tired days.
The good-tired days were when I could call a girlfriend and say, “my life is crazy my life is crazy my life is crazy” and she would understand and we would laugh and I would keep going.
But there were dark, sad days too. When life was too heavy for me to make that phone call. (Why is it the hardest to call when I need help most?) When work wasn’t going well (the pressure, my God the pressure); when every room in the house was a mess; when I had made some spectacular parent fail (way late to daycare, screamed at the kids, forgot kiddo’s event at school – like his BIRTHDAY). When there wasn’t enough money, or milk, or time and the thought of making dinner just about killed me.
At my worst, I worried about being a bag lady, my children gone, my husband gone, the house taken away. Not rational, no, but who ever said our fears had to be rational?
If you are there today, for whatever reason, you are not alone and you are not a failure. Even though I know it’s hard, pick that phone up and call your BFF or your mom or a therapist – whomever will help you carry that burden for a little while. Write down five things you are grateful for. Go for a run; even if it’s late, even if you don’t have the right running bra, even if you don’t want to, move your body for 20 minutes, it’ll help. Prayer helped me too; there have been worried nights I prayed myself to sleep because that was the only way sleep would come. And Cheerios for dinner are fine. Really, better than fine.
There is no magic pill for this, Mamma. This is life. It is hard sometimes, we screw up sometimes, the pieces don’t fall into place sometimes. It doesn’t make you a failure, it makes you human. There are ups and downs and unexpected turns.
I want you to know that it will be alright. Here I sit, twenty years along that rollercoaster. My kids still love me and my husband still loves me and we still have the house. I have far, far fewer dark days now – probably because I can see that my kids are turning out to be good people. And they can help with the dishes and the laundry now, no small thing.
Ask for help. Sit with gratitude for a moment. Move. Pray. Cut yourself some slack.
And keep moving. One foot in front of the other. You can do this.