I don’t know how to describe the noise.
Sometimes it feels like I’m in the middle of a room full of needy people all complaining, whining, grumbling or upset with me. Don’t they see it’s just me? Where’s the empathy? And as one’s voice raises or one flops to the floor because of spelling words another joins in and there I am in the middle spinning under frustration and feeling like this motherhood thing is just way too much.
Tonight, after they all went upstairs, I screamed out of sheer frustration at my dining table.
I know. We don’t admit that we break, but I will, because perhaps you will feel not alone.
It was almost as if all the pressures—the kids, the spelling words, the multiplying math facts for eight, the teenager complaining about his internet gone, the pressures from work, the mess in the kitchen, all of it—it pushed me, like a steam pot, to capacity.
So I just sat there with all that frustration in the world and just felt like I couldn’t do one more thing.
I want to be brave.
I want to be the mom with the negotiating skills, who calmly helps with spelling words that have no pattern that frustrate my first grader to tears, who doesn’t get exasperated, but truthfully, my friends, I feel broken so many days as a mom. I feel like I’m barely making it through and that so much of motherhood is me yelling hurry hurry up we’re going to be late and backing out of the driveway only to find that the last one out forgot to shut the front door which leads to all the kids late in the car getting upset that the door isn’t shut.
Why is it that some days I cannot seem to get to nine pm without feeling like I’m going to lose it?
I just wish I had some magic parenting pill of awesome.
And then, then like now, I feel like the bad mom. You know? You know I want to be the cool mom-just like I mentioned above, but most of the time I feel like I’m the surviving mom. Always at the break of stumbling and falling flat on her face. Racing to get this done, making dinner that most people don’t like, getting frustrated because someone snuck lemon ice that I had hid in the freezer for myself, exasperated with work, worried about money, wishing for more sleep but then when I lay down to sleep my brain races with all the places that I fell.
I hate this feeling.
Maybe you, too, get it. Maybe you are sitting there reading these words and thinking to yourself no way – I thought I was the only one who cried in the pick-up line at school. Or that you thought you were the only one who had nights where you just go in your room and cry. Or days where you feel alone. Well, if nothing else, I’m here to tell you that you are not alone.
I think that you are the most brave thing in the world.
It is unbelievably brave to mother when one is at their capacity.
We just don’t remember that type of bravery. Sometimes we hold out thinking that the big noble things in life are the examples of brave. We honor those who make gigantic impacts. And that? That is why, with tears in my eyes, why tonight I want to tell you something.
You are brave.
Just like me. You see, on my table is four sheets of spelling words. Two are crumbled, but two have them written out. I stuck it out. There is a math sheet filled in with all that math facts for eight. The middle schooler is taking a shower (thank goodness). The kitchen is almost clean. The backpacks are by the door. The kids are in pajamas.
I did it.
Do you see that power, sweet mom? Do you see that right now that you did it today? You made it through even when you thought you couldn’t. You motherhood those kids under crazy circumstances. Sure, you might not have been perfect, but life isn’t about perfection. It’s about embracing you in the imperfection and trying and loving and giving and being brave.
So to you, thank you. Thank you for being brave. And thank you for reminding me that I am not alone. I think the sweetest things that we can do as moms is to remind our friends and those close to us that they are not alone in this mothering journey. Whisper those words, share those words of bravery, don’t keep them to you. Because chances are, there is another mom, another friend sitting in her home wondering if she’s enough, worrying that she’s alone, and you? You have the amazing ability to tell her these words.
Carry on brave, mother.
You are strong, beautiful and full of vision.
You are giving, loving and enough.
You are a life giver, a friend and worthy.
You are beautiful in all you do.
You are brave.