to the mom who lost her heart

I want you to find it again.

That’s the first thing I need you to read. I need you to have a spark of hope of encouragement, but more than that, I want you to know there is someone in your corner. Someone who believes in you. Someone who gets the excuses and understands the chaos and knows how deeply deeply painful it can be to look in the mirror and not know the person in the reflection staring back at yourself.

I know, because that once was me.

I lost my heart. But I didn’t realize it. I really really thought I was being a great mom. I thought I was checking all the boxes on the live a good life and everyone will be happy and you are a great mom and successful checklist. Yet, there was this gap, this space, this wondering about myself and my own heart. The things I loved. The spaces that made me laugh.

It would quickly get squashed by cries of mom and notes from school and spilled milk and my family needing me. So I would tuck that heart part of me, that deeply happy part down just a bit more, hoping it didn’t spill out and I would throw myself into motherhood. Do more, be more, be better, deny yourself and all of that.

I starved out my heart, in a way.

But in that starving came this bit of me that would look around at everyone else and think when will I get to be happy? 

And I hated that space. It was lonely. And it felt daunting – especially when the demands of my life and motherhood seemed to crowd out my own heart. I felt lost.

You see, sweet mom, I want you to know that it’s okay that you feel lost a bit in motherhood. It’s not because you messed up or you didn’t do your job, in fact, you are doing amazing things every day. It’s not because you aren’t a good mom either. Because sometimes it is very easy to think if only I was a great mom I would be fully happy and satisfied. But that? That’s not true either. Let’s get that straight, alright? Raising humans with their own will and stubbornness is not a simple feat. I don’t care that it seems like we all have our acts together because I can guarantee you that everyone of us has had to deal with meltdowns in the Target aisle by the candy. And it sucks. Every time. Or the notes from school or the I hate you you are the worst mom ever. Or houses that once were immaculate and look like a bomb went off when someone stops by. Or relationships falling apart. Or money issues. Or <insert whatever crazy random chaos that you did not sign up for> that you would like.

But listen, just as you cultivate and fight for your kids, you have to fight for your heart too.

Could you imagine telling your kids eh, your dreams? don’t worry about them today. You’ll get to them someday. They’re not important. You wouldn’t tell them that because you love them.

You must love yourself too.

It is not selfish to fill your heart. To follow your dreams too. You may be mom, but you are also you – unique, beautiful, full of talents and gifts. And maybe right now it’s not even about doing crazy things but is rather about just a bit of permission.

Permission to breathe.

Permission to take a night off.

Permission to know that your kids will turn out even if you are not perfect.

Permission to understand that your kids have personalities and make choices that you cannot always control.

Permission to laugh again.

Permission.

You don’t need to ever apologize for being you. For saying no when you need to and yes when it’s urgent. The only way that you will start to recognize the reflection in the mirror again is when you, yes you, decide that that heart is just as valuable as everyone else’s.

Because you are valuable. You are wonderful. You are powerful.

I don’t want you to storm out of your life and leave everything behind. I do want you to decide that every single day you are going to do one thing that will make you smile. One thing that could change your life. I’m talking one simple thing.

Can you imagine a year of doing one thing? All of a sudden that one thing becomes a story, an adventure, a journey. And in it all you have decided, and you are teaching your children, that your journey, your dreams, your heart matters.

I seriously cannot think of a more beautiful lesson then showing our children to value our hearts.

It starts with you sweet mom.

I wrote this because I believe in you. I truly deeply do. I may not know you, I may never meet you face to face, but my calling, my journey, my heart is to speak a word of truth.

Dare to dream. Be brave.

Fight for your heart.

Because this is your story, your life, your journey too.

~Rachel

My new book, “The Brave Art of Motherhood” was released on October 9. If you have lost your heart and need a guide to finding it then I’d be honored if you’d read it.

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One Response to “to the mom who lost her heart”

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