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Challenge: Gratitude & Giving

Why Moms Have to Stop for Our Mental Health

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Hey tired mama,

I see you.

I see you yawning before 7am because your kids have been up since before the sun.

I see you dragging since March because homeschool, virtual school, hybrid school, in person days...who can possibly decide all of these things while balancing the rest of life!?

I see you giving up trying to fool people into think you were awake with mountains of mascara and those golden jelly eye patches that aren't tricking anyone.

I see you microwaving macaroni, balancing budgets, and trying to squeeze the most out of every cent because Christmas and Covid are mutually exclusive and you are stretched so thin you're transparent and you just can't squeeze any harder.

I see you needing a vacation...
From the stress,
From your life,
From your kids.

I also see you feeling guilty for wanting to escape because you fiercely love your family and you are grateful for your gifts, it just all feels like too much right now.

Here's the truth, friend.

We weren't meant to live like this.

I mean, I adore my husband.
I love my kids.
No one is funnier than my BFF.

But I don't want to be around any single one of them every hour of every day,
while cooking all of their meals,
trying to teach them new things,
cleaning up after them,
and trying to keep the peace between all
people all the time.

No matter how much we love our family, our job, our friends, our house, we aren't meant to be around the same people in the same place ALL👏OF👏THE👏TIME👏

(Eh-hem, prepares best sweet, judgy grandma voice) "Back in my day, we had 11 brothers and sisters and we all learned at home and worked at home and no one had jobs outside the house."

Thanks, Nana.

But since you were a kid, moms stepped away from the stove and into the workplace.

Kids go to school (brace yourself) in other buildings.

And 100 years ago I could send my kids to milk cows and muck stalls when they woke up at 5am acting like rabid jackwagons!

Now, they just run through the house in their underwear asking for screentime and my anxiety is already on TEN.

So, here we are, friend.

And OH so over it.

Sister, none of those feelings are wrong.

They are yours.

And they are valid.

No matter what the haters,
the grandmas,
or your toxic friend tells you.

Maybe momming is your thing.

Maybe homeschooling is your jam.

Maybe making Christmas magical brings you a year's worth of happiness.

Well, honey, you sprinkle that S-H errrrywhere because we need to hang onto whatever makes us happy.

But we also have to STOP.

Stop comparing our hard.

Stop looking at what other moms are doing.

Stop worrying about what other moms can handle.

Stop blaming ourselves and feeling like failures because our house isn't as clean,
our gifts aren't wrapped yet,
our kids haven't worn a shirt in a Zoom
meeting all year,
our meals have come from the freezer
section and not Martha Stewart.

Because our lives, our kids, our partners, our jobs, our houses, our stressors, our tolerance levels...

None of them are exactly the same.

So, mama, I see you.

I'm struggling, too.

To be honest, I have been barely hanging on for a while now.

I've lost my cool WAY more than I've made precious picture perfect memories.

I've spent more time in my pajamas since May than in my entire adult life.

I've been wildly thankful for my precious angel babies and kissed their sweet blonde hair as I sniffed in their child-like goodness...

And I've also thought they'd probably think a night-time drop off at the fire station was pretty cool and I feel certain the firefighters would just give up and return them within hours anyway.

We are just all doing the best we can and each of our "best" looks different because each of what we manage looks different.

Maybe your plate isn't so full this week while our neighbor's plate is fine china and heaping with homemade delecibles, while mine is made of the cheap paper that isn't even wax-coated so the fish sticks, dino nuggets, and frozen pizza is causing my plate to weep around the edges and buckle in the middle.

Sister, I don't have an easy answer.

Gosh I wish I did.

But here's what I know for sure...

The only thing that will help is kindness.

Smile extra even when it feels forced.

Give grace when you're maxed the heck out.

Make a choice to be kind when you're tapped.

Intentionally be generous when you feel a nudge to give.

Because we already know what it feels like to be judged and made to feel like failures.

Imagine what it would feel like to extend to someone else what we so desperately need...

To feel loved,
To feel heard,
To feel appreciated,
And given permission to just BE.

Friend, I see you.

I AM you.

And I am so, so grateful for you. 💜


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