I see you. Most days, I am you.
Praying they will stay asleep until 6 a.m. Third cup of coffee in hand by 11 a.m. And ready for bed by 7 p.m., but staying up after they go to sleep to try and get caught up on all that went undone during the day.
Motherhood is exhausting. Plain and simple.
We worry about our kids day and night, it doesn’t matter if they are 8-days-old or 18-years-old.
We chase them around.
We say ‘no’ more times than we’d like to admit during the day.
We do laundry. And more laundry. And just when the laundry is caught up, someone gets a stomach bug.
We are chauffeurs.
We are referees.
We are head chef and chief dishwasher.
Is anyone else tired just reading this? Excuse me while I go take a nap.
When I was pregnant, I did all of the research—what’s the best crib? How often should he eat? No one told me I should have spent that time sleeping.
My son is 14-months-old, and he literally just started sleeping through the night this week. The funny thing is, I still get up at least once a night to check on him. Ah, the irony of motherhood.
Some days it all seems so monotonous, I’ve been there. I was there last week.
Last Thursday, I knew it was coming. I could feel it from a mile away. I tried everything I could to stop the migraine, but by Friday morning, it hit me like a ton of bricks. This was the worst one in probably 10 years. I couldn’t sit up without getting sick. I couldn’t keep water down. I had to call my husband to come home from work because I felt so bad, something I’ve never done. It was bad.
It caught up with me and it knocked me down.
When my husband arrived home, I went straight to bed and stayed there till noon the next day. I didn’t change a diaper. I didn’t get up during the night. I didn’t give our one-year-old a bath.
God bless my precious husband for taking care of it all while I was out. He works hard and does his fair share around the house all the time, but last week he picked up my slack, too. During my downtime, I realized a few things—things my husband and mom have been telling me for months.
I can’t do it all, and no one expects me to, except myself.
For some reason, as moms we feel like if we aren’t superwoman each day, we are failing. We put an immense amount of unnecessary mom guilt on ourselves. We wear ourselves out by running around so busy, trying to get it all done and never really doing one job well. We need to realize we are enough.
Whether it’s to cooking dinner, folding laundry, a night out or volunteering—say no. If I don’t take care of myself, I can’t take care of the precious ones entrusted to me.
And I realized that just because I’m not pregnant or recovering from pregnancy, doesn’t mean I can’t still ask for help.
Our kids don’t care that dinner came from McDonald’s, in fact they probably enjoy it.
Our husbands don’t care if they come home to a load, or four, of unfolded laundry.
They are happy that we are there for them. They are fed, they are loved and they have you—an exhausted mama who is doing her best and loves them more than they could ever know.
So get some rest, mama. You deserve it.
This essay originally appeared on Loving Living Lancaster.