I remember once, a week after giving birth, going to Target (of course – it’s like the sanctuary for us moms) and walking to the back of the store feeling exhausted and not knowing how to get to the front again. I kind of wanted to wear a sign that said just given birth have mercy. But no one knew that inner part of my story. The no sleep worn out part. The part where my eyes welled up with tears because I bumped into someone in that tired state and they got irritated. I just wanted them to know the deep parts of me, the parts that were struggling, and so on – I wanted them to understand that sometimes the outside doesn’t mirror the inside.
I felt invisible.
I know you understand me right now.
I know you understand what it’s like to exist in a world where the burdens and lists and tireds and to-do’s and expectations are always on us but we move about and everyone just sees the outside and that inside part is just there needing a friend. It’s kind of easy to feel invisible in a world of perpetual busy.
I know you understand what it’s like to give and love and give and love and to have tears in your eyes when those that you love tell you that you’re the worst. (I get that sometimes when I take away media rights from non listening sixth graders.) I know you understand the nights of no sleep and the homework and the relationship issues and the whole mom load that we walk through.
Not feeling understood can make us feel alone.
What if I reminded you that every mom that you meet – everyone of us – has those moments where we just want to say have grace please and love me right where I am.
Right where I am.
Sometimes I think we think we need to have every duck in a row before we invite people into our homes and our space and do things. I discovered that after many years of doing this that I never ever seemed to get anything in a row and instead became more and more lonely. So instead of trying to have it all together I’ve just kind of decided to say here I am. A mess sometimes. Great other times. If you want me to volunteer and cut some paper at home for school I can do that but I can’t be there at 7:15. We have marker on our wall at my house. We eat chicken nuggets too. I love to watch Modern Family. I love Target. I love Starbucks even more. Amazon Prime is awesome. And I’m a good friend. Sometimes. Just love me for me, okay?
You for you.
So you know, sweet mom walking this journey with all of us – and I mean all of us because there are millions of us – let me just tell that we, not just I, understand.
We understand how three year olds can make us want to pull our hair out. We understand why the words Levi threw up in school today make the hairs on the back of our neck stand up and require instant sanitizing of the hands. We understand money issues and fear and relationship issues. We understand what it’s like to lose happy and to not even know where to find it again. We understand loving those kids that drive us crazy. We understand that sometimes sticker charts work for two days and that time-outs might not work and that sometimes we have to take the long way home.
Please do not feel alone in this motherhood journey.
Please do not worry that you have moments where you struggle.
Please do not think you are not a good mom because you have days where you want to throw in the towel.
Please do not feel invisible.
And my friend, here’s the truth. Time will keep moving forward.
The things that we struggle with today will get finished — after all none of my kids in school still need potty training. It’s just that when we’re in the thick of it it feels as if we’ll never get out. The invisible moments will fade and there will be moments where you will shine. You’ll fall too, but that’s okay. You’ll get through. One day, one moment, one breath, one second, one week, one month, one year at a time.
And in that time you will mother. You will discover you. You will discover what works. You will have ups and downs. You will thrive. You will love.
And you are not alone. You are not invisible.
You are valuable.
And we, yes we, are walking right beside you.