Moms, I see you.
I was never told that being a mom would be easy but I also had no idea how much it would challenge me either. Whether you’re a stay at home mom, a working mom, a single mom… being a mom is challenging, exhausting, all consuming, and yes… rewarding. But I don’t think moms get offered enough opportunities, or grace, to admit that it is, in fact, incredibly hard work.
“Moms, I see you, I honor you and I respect the hell out of you. We are all in this together no matter how different our circumstances are and I just hope that hearing this will remind you that you are not alone."
I'm so grateful to be a mom, to have the blessing of my children in my life, but I'm also learning that it takes a great amount of grit, a steady determination to stay the course and not lose your mind, and an expansive, endless supply of love.
I do not in any way want to seem insensitive to those who are desperately trying to have children and facing their own challenges. I, as well as many other mothers I’m sure, do not take this role for granted and would not ever wish to seem ungrateful for the opportunity to be a mother. And to the dads, many of whom do a great deal to support their families or who find themselves in the role as mother and father – taking it all on solo or primarily on your own… I see you too. I see you all and I respect where you’re at and all that you’re carrying. But, for this post, I am speaking mostly to the moms, with young children, who are in the trenches right now. The moms who are trying to juggle it all with the purest intent to give their children a childhood full of warm and loving memories and the innocence they deserve but who are also being blindsided by the reality of what it takes to accomplish that alongside running a house, keeping a job (or running a business), and holding on for dear life to any shred of personal freedom or self care they can get.
This is not going to be a post with any tips or advice for how to better organize yourself or manage it all because we’re all dealing with different circumstances and truly you don’t need anyone trying to shame you into thinking you aren’t doing a good enough job already…because you are doing a great job. That’s what I want to tell you. I want to tell you that I see you, and I value you and I can appreciate how hard you're working to make a positive impact in this world by way of what you are instilling in your children.
And what you're instilling in them has nothing to do with how clean your floors are, how fresh their laundry smells, how delicious your meals are, or how organized you are. Rather, it has everything to do with the way your children see you commit every single day to putting their needs first. It’s in how they watch you struggle sometimes (or often) to manage it all, but that you still keep showing up. Every single morning you wake up and you show up. You do what needs to be done and you do it with an incredible amount of heart because you love those little people more than anything you’ve ever loved in your life, more than you could have ever imagined you were capable of loving at all.
But just because you love them that much doesn’t mean they don’t also regularly drive you to the point of wondering “what did I get myself into?". I know I consider that thought pretty often after being asked, on average, 1,236,742 times a day for a snack, or “something to do”, or after enduring the sibling arguments, whining, and being woken up 5-10 times a night. But there are also moments of great achievement when I realize that I did something near impossible, like potty training a toddler while simultaneously virtual teaching a kindergartener and first grader… through a pandemic. ( I actually feel like that might be the single greatest achievement of my lifetime.)
Despite the moments of wanting to pull your hair out, there are plenty of rewards that come along with it too. There are those moments of complete and utter joy when you realize how awesome your little people really are, how much they are learning and growing into kind and good people and how you have something to do with that. One of the greatest rewards I have found is the moments when I realize that the good stuff I am trying to instill in them in the midst of the chaos is actually sticking.
There are many rewards and reasons why being a mom is a worthwhile endeavor... but it's also ok to talk about the parts that are hard. We hear older generations telling us often how fast it goes and how much we will miss it. I am sure that is all true, but it’s also 100% ok to say that it’s hard to see that right now, that it’s hard to appreciate that right now, because right now you are in the thick of it.
Please remember that you aren’t perfect, and you know what? You aren’t supposed to be. Social media or even just in the way you compare yourself to your friends and family may lead you to believe that there are a ton of moms out there who have their shit together in a much better way than you do, but I promise you… they don’t. They may look like it but the truth is they are battling the same juggling act that you are and they feel like they’re drowning too, especially after 2020.
Moms, I see you, I honor you and I respect the hell out of you. We are all in this together no matter how different our circumstances are and I just hope that hearing this will remind you that you are not alone. You will get through the thick of it and you will be stronger because of it. And it’s ok to say its hard because it is.