Tired, weary, beautiful mama—
I know you feel drained right now. Drained physically, emotionally, mentally. You are depleted of energy, ideas and solutions.
You are so exhausted that all you can think about is when you get to go to sleep.
You are so foggy some days, you can’t decide what you should cook for dinner.
You are so sore from hunching over during another marathon breastfeeding session or from carrying your toddler who’s in a stage where she won’t let you put her down.
You know no one said this was going to be easy, but you never realized quite how hard it would be, either.
But you are still going, still trucking along, still fighting the good fight.
You know how I know that? That you’re still going?
Because you’re a mom, and you will never be depleted of love. We may be depleted of almost everything else we have, but never this soul-bearing, all-encompassing, heart-walking-outside-of-our-bodies love.
Even when we feel like we have nothing left to give, there we go again—and give some more.
Motherhood reminds me of the book, The Giving Tree in a way. Not in the super sad feeling the book now gives me as an adult, but in the way that the tree gives and gives because she just wants the boy to be happy.
She gives him shade and something to climb. She gives him apples and branches to swing from and her trunk to build a boat. When she feels like she has nothing left, she gives him her stump to sit on—the last of what she has.
In rereading the book to my children, I find myself oddly identifying with the tree. She gives him everything she has and when she doesn’t feel like she has anything left, she digs deep within and still has more to offer.
Now, I’d argue that unlike the boy’s relationship with the tree, I get quite a bit of love and happiness back from my children. And we’re not physically giving away our body parts, like the tree (although, my 6-month-old begs to differ—she basically owns my breasts…) so our well is deep and infinitely filled with love to bestow our children. But still—there are some days when I just feel like this tree. I call it, “having a day.” When I tell my husband that we’re “having a day” he knows just what I mean.
So when you are “having a day” (you know what I mean), a day when...
You haven’t even been able to change out of your pajamas or maybe you’ve been wearing the same yoga pants for the last few days (who’s counting?)...
You haven’t showered in a couple of days and are trying to figure out when you can fit one in where you might be able to take enough time to shave your legs, too…
You definitely didn’t have time to put makeup on and a baseball cap is your hair-do for drop off...
When you have no creativity left when it comes to dinner time and serve your kiddos chicken nuggets and carrot sticks (again)...
When you text your partner to stop for takeout on their way home because you can’t even with dinner…
When you collapse in said partner’s arms when they walk through the door and relish in their calm presence and loving hug. (Oh and you thank the moon and stars above for the gift of take out meals #blessed.)
When you lose out on that $15 class you signed up for because the stars didn’t align for you to get out of the house (and you didn’t have one ounce of energy for it anyway…)
When the emails have to wait and the floors that need washing must be pushed off another day because you need to zone out in front of the TV or a good book…
When you’re having one of these kinds of days, I want you to recognize that yes—this is a day. Then, I want you to stop what you’re doing and find a mirror.
I want you to look at yourself and smile. Even if you’re crying, even if you think this is silly.
I want you to say out loud the following phrases:
I am the best mother to my child.
They picked me to be their mom.
I get to be in their lives every single day.
The role of motherhood is so hard!
But the life we’re living together is magical.
It’s okay to feel drained some days.
I will allow the love I have for my family to energize me.
I will take some time for myself however I can.
I will fill up my cup.
I am an amazing mother.
I am doing the best I can.
I am beautiful—inside and out.
Your children are loved, and you’re doing one heck of a job, mama. Don’t sell yourself short and please don’t beat yourself up. I promise to remember these things, too. Because, after all, we’re in this together.
(Oh and that tree really could have used some self-care in her life, so let’s promise to be better about that, too. Deal?)