I know what it's like, mama. Going through the motions of motherhood. Pouring the juice. Changing the diapers. Finding the binkies. Picking up the toys. Washing the green bowl continuously to ensure the tantrum about not having the right bowl stays far, far away. And not feeling the desire to take care of your kids today, or feeling like you don't have the energy to do it all. Doing it because you have to, because, without you, they'd be lost. You question how much patience you have inside you—especially when they eat your last Reese's Peanut Butter cup (the one you were saving for nap time). Maybe it was the trauma of birth, the lack of sleep, or the stress of conquering breastfeeding . Maybe it's that all your littles destroy the house in two seconds like toddler tornados after you've spent all of nap time tidying up. Maybe you haven't taken a breath in weeks. Maybe you're lost in your thoughts because you're craving an adult conversation. Maybe you believe that you're the only mama on this planet who is feeling alone.
Whatever the reason, you're on autopilot and you're merely trying to keep everyone fed, clean, and alive. You may be wondering what happened to you. You used to dress fashionably and not sport pureed peas, carrots, or spit-up. You used to smell like a bouquet of flowers, not like a dirty diaper that's been hiding under the crib for weeks. You used to go out and have fun, and now "fun" is sleeping for days. You used to have riveting and stimulating conversations, now you feel like a broken record. You're drowning in the tidal wave of motherhood. It's okay, mama, we all have those days. You're not doing anything wrong. Just because you get frustrated with your kiddos doesn't mean you don't love them. Love doesn't always feel good. Sometimes it's really hard . Like, I-haven't-slept-in-three-days hard. It doesn't make you any less of a mom.
If you're taking care of your kids—feeding, changing, solving conflicts, giving hugs and assurance—you love them. It's true, the time with our children is short. Others will tell you to enjoy it, to cherish every moment , to soak it in. But you don't have to, mama. If you're just surviving (especially with multiple kids who are pulling you in every direction), it's okay. And sometimes the days are just too dark, the emotions too mountainous, the children too loud, the arms too tired from holding littles all day, to revel in and soak up the moments of childhood. That grueling, yet seemingly mindless and tedious work you're doing—finding binkies, washing dishes, solving conflicts, changing diapers—that work matters. So. Much. And any work that matters changes you, but it doesn't always feel joyous. Most hard work often doesn't feel that way. But it's valuable. Let this be your aid on those autopilot days—the work of motherhood matters. Our work matters when no one is looking or appreciating what we do. And more importantly, you matter.
Remembering this can make those autopilot days more palatable. We carry the heavy burden of raising humans; of teaching them right from wrong, walking them through their fears, searching for the lost shoe, teaching them to love, all while trying to learn these more of these things ourselves. We don't have to pretend we have it all together. We're afraid at times to discuss our struggles , our worries, our lacking skills, and especially about how some days we don't want to carry the load of motherhood anymore. We don't want to talk about how we just blurted, "Go to your room!" to our son because he tripped his sister, instead of bending down to properly discipline. But instead of being afraid, let's fiercely encourage each other. Let's bare it all, and admit that we're on autopilot, too, and hear and tell the words of truth we're so hungry for: "Your work matters. You matter." A mother's work is endless, and our days are not perfect. Let's help each other remember the importance of our work, together.
One day it will all feel easier, more normal, more balanced. It won't be this way forever . But today, you're on autopilot. You just need to make it through to nap time. You're counting the minutes to bedtime. You're maintaining during the 'witching hour.' Thriving may not feel possible today. Surviving seems doable. And that's okay. I'm right there with you. Your work matters. You matter, mama.