To the mom sleeping during soccer practice: I understand you

You’re taking care of yourself and your child right here in this photo.

To the mom sleeping during soccer practice: I understand you

Glennon Doyle, one of my idols, shared this image on Instagram of a very tired mother at her child’s soccer game. She will be referred to here in this essay as “Awesome Lady”.

On this Thursday morning: I give you MY NEW HERO: This soccer mom at my kid�s last game. Whilst all the other moms stood on the sidelines with great concern and worry and volume: this hero laid her body down on the ground, her head down on her purse, and her jacket over her face - and napped. Every once in a while, the sideline would wake her and she�d raise her arm and say: yay. I love her. Her entire existence said: I�m showing up for my kid. But I�m not gonna pretend I�m not exhausted about It. TO WOMEN WHO FREAKING REST WHEN THEY�RE TIRED.... Let us know them. Let us raise them. Let us be them. I would like to formally nominate this Soccer Mom Hero as the President of the Women Who Have Run Out Of Effs To Give Club. I will be Secretary in Charge of Meetings. There will be no meetings. I salute you. #OOFClub

A post shared by Glennon Doyle (@glennondoyle) on

This photo made me feel so. much. Awesome Lady is sooo tired. I just want to hug her and look her in the eyes and say, “I understand.”

My family is currently struggling with sleep in our house. It feels like someone has been sick on and off and off and on since before the holidays. So like, mid-December. And it’s almost February. Let’s just say I’ve had many pity parties for myself, because it seems like the germs are never ending and they’re out to destroy any semblance of a sleep groove we’ve ever had going on in this house.

Now, the sleep gods decided to see those germs and kick things up a notch with the start of our newborn’s four month sleep regression. We have had a lot of action in our home at the 2 a.m., 3 a.m., 4 a.m. hours lately.

(It’s a wild time to be in the Temple family.)

But even though we’re tired, SO SO tired—we must march on—mustn't we?

So, I just wanted to say, Awesome Lady, I salute you. I bow down to you.

You rule for so many reasons.

You realize your needs. You’re exhausted but you need to get your child to their game. So, you get them there then you take a rest.

You’re not just standing on the sidelines commiserating with other parents about how exhausted you are. No. You are an example to us all about realizing, acknowledging, and then—ACTING on fulfilling your needs. You’re taking care of yourself and your child right here in this photo.

You are there for your kiddo. Maybe you could have had someone else get your child to their game, or maybe no one was around to help you out. Either way, you got them there and something tells me that I’m sure they felt your presence.

You are supportive. Something also tells me you’re the kind of mother who doesn’t miss much that’s going on in your kid’s lives. You’re bringing them here, there, and everywhere. You’re helping with homework and projects and having their friends over. Yes you’re laying down in this picture, taking a rest—but as Glennon commented, you were still raising your arm and cheering. MULTITASKING, FTW.

I don’t know you, Awesome Lady (but I want to). I don’t know if you work outside of your home or not. I don’t know how many kids you have, or their exact ages. I don’t know how old you are, what your hobbies are, or if you have a partner or not. I don’t know if you like wine or coffee or Target or yoga pants or other mom cliches (that are all very much true for me if I’m being honest.)

But what I do know is that you are crushing #momlife. And I just wanted to take a second to applaud you and all the other moms crushing the mom life.

To the moms carting their kids all over town to play dates and school pickup and drop off and doctors appointments and music class and sports practice—I see you.

Moms making dinner for their family while writing back to emails while breaking up arguments over toys—I see you.

Moms going to bed right after they put their kids to bed because they’re exhausted and need to get a good night's sleep—I see you.

Moms who are so darn tired because they stayed up too late last night watching The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel because they’re obsessed with that show and needed time to themselves even though that meant sacrificing precious sleep—I see you.

Moms who are up nursing their baby at 3 a.m. for the third time since going to sleep themselves and are delirious and run down—I see you.

Moms who are up calming their toddler because of a bad dream or distributing medicine because of a fever or cleaning up sheets because of a bedtime pee-pee accident—I see you.

Moms who are letting their partner rest because they are selfless queens—I see you.

Moms, we’re doing it—every single day we’re doing it. We’re taking care of our families, but now, let Awesome Lady be our reminder to take care of ourselves, too.

Our families are important, but so are we. As they say, you can’t pour from an empty cup. So fill ‘er up. Get yourself some rest and some TLC, mama. You’ve got this.

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