You know that you're enough, so I'm not going to tell you that. You know that this too shall pass, and you probably feel like you have no right to even tell anyone how you're feeling because you don't want someone to be confused and think that you aren't grateful for your children or that by feeling this way that you somehow take your children or your moments with them for granted.
I know you don't take the kids for granted. I know you don't take the moments for granted. I know you are grateful. But I also know that you miss yourself. I know that you struggle with being depressed and happy at the same time and man, it's so confusing. I know that you want to scream at doing 400 dishes a day, that Mt. Laundry might as well be called Mt. Never Ending Treadmill and that you just wish you could be a "normal" person (i.e. showering more than once a week) again.
Dear mama, this is what you need to know. This is what I need to know. And this is what we need to remember, and remind each other of daily:
- Your children think you're beautiful.
- No one else knows how messy your house is.
- Your kids don't care how messy your house is. (oh, the irony)
- If you're like me, you just can't accept the fact that your house is going to be messy while you have young children. Instead, work on accepting the fact that you're just going to feel crappy about how the house is while you have you have young children.
- You still have the same smile that your husband fell in love with.
- You can own your new "mom" identity.
- You don't have to let go of who you used to be. Just because you haven't ran a marathon in 2 years, played piano in 6 months, aced a college exam in 10 years, or learned a new skill that didn't involve your offspring in...a long time..., doesn't mean that those things aren't still a part of who you are. There are seasons, and just because the corn isn't being harvested now, doesn't mean it isn't growing or that it won't be planted again. And if you decide to grow squash next time instead of corn, it's ok. Your entire life makes up you, not just the present.
- It's ok to rest.
- It's ok to have a bad day.
- It's ok to love and hate what you're doing, where you're at, and to be frustrated by the fact that you can't change it.
- And it's ok to admit that none of these things mean that you don't love your kids more than all the other moms in the world. In fact, they have no effect on the fact that you are a rockstar mom or that your kids are going to grow up, call you blessed, and talk about the awesome memories they have of childhood--because they are going to have them.
Maybe motherhood of young children is like childbirth; it's excruciatingly difficult at moments, but after it's done, you somehow become oblivious to the difficulties you went through and just remember the amazingness of it instead. Because let's face it, it is amazing hearing a person read for the first time. To see them discover their toes. To hear them say "I love you". The fact that we know what our baby needs by the way she cries. To be the one he needs in the middle of the night. That they want to tell us EVERYTHING. That is amazing.
And you, mama, are amazing, too. Keep your eyes above the waves. You're gonna make it, and you're gonna do great.