why you are worth more than “I’m fine”

I know.

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I’m fine.

I utter it to myself and to others all the time. They’ll wonder how I’m doing and I’ll whisper it to them – two little words – I’m fine – but cloaked in them is a lifetime of me deciding that I’m often worth only a blip of I’m fine. Not more.

I’m fine leaves us second, in a way.

I’m fine.

It’s hidden in so many things – this idea that our deep desires and hearts don’t matter as much as we would like them to be. Of course, of course, we live speaking about community and camaraderie and how we all want to fight to make a difference in the world, and then in the same breath, often when it comes to our mom hearts we just whisper the silent I’m fine and inside we feel lost and hurt and alone and wonder why in the world we’re simply not worth fighting for.

The truth is this – you are worth fighting for you.

Yes, you are.

You are worth not forgetting about you and your heart and all the things you love in the middle of this crazy journey of life. I know that there are expectations on us as moms and women. I know that we have to keep it together all the time and that part of being a mom is denying us, in a way,  for a season.

Yes, denying us.

Think about it. You give up sleep, your body for many has housed babes in it and for many others your heart has birthed babes into your lives too. We get wrinkles and tired puffy eyes and our bodies hug and work and give. We give up stuff so our kids can have a better life. You work hard doing the same thing over and over and over. And deep deep down there is this desire to know that our hearts matter.

No one goes through childhood thinking that they want to be lost in the shadows.

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Yet motherhood and life and love is often a journey of being in the shadows and sometimes if we are not careful it can lead to us slowly forgetting about ourselves in a slow fade of I’m fine’s and It doesn’t really matter and in the midst of the comfortable (or not so comfortable) of life we slowly disappear.

Let’s not be a generation that disappears.

The paints sit. The pens don’t write. The running shoes gather dust. The cookbooks go to the garage sale pile. The music papers vanish. The times with friends trickle away. The stuff we once loved we no longer have time for. Our days are filled with things that we think will fill those spaces and yet yet the spaces sit.

So what’s the antidote?

It’s in fighting for you.

And not feeling guilt. Yes, yes, yes…no guilt.

What if we decided to remember us in the midst of motherhood?

Yes, yes, you.

What if today you took time for you and spoke what you felt was right? What if you chose a moment to rest or laugh or had fun again and if guilt came creeping in you realized that not breathing and cultivating you would be far far worse? What if you fought for those desires of your heart? What if you dared to dust off the running shoes and run or play the piano or spend time with friends?

What if you remembered you?

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I read all the time about women who don’t know what to do once their youngest child graduates. I don’t want that for us. I really don’t. You are so awesomely valuable and bring crazy cool to this world – a champion of a woman with this unbelievable heart.  I know when you’re in the midst of talcum powder or orange slice cutting for soccer or when you had 2.3 hours of sleep it can sleep that all you do is this, but remember you. Remember you and all the things you love.

Let’s nurture that.

Without guilt.

Run. Cook. Play. Grow.

And when you find yourself whispering I’m fine to someone else I want you to step back and really wonder about those words. Are you just uttering them and not fighting for you? Because yes yes yes there are times to state I’m fine, but let me impress on you that the moment that you forget you in the journey and are content to live in the nebulous day to day of I’m fine’s is the very day that you are not fine.

I am proud of you.

No joke.

I don’t know why I felt the need to write that, but I simply did. Maybe it’s because we don’t hear those words to often for us as moms. We hear about everything that we’re supposed to be doing or are reminded of all the things that we forgot to do but very rarely do we hear about how much what we’re doing is awesome.

So from me to you, I am so stinking unbelievably proud of you. I am proud of you for looking at the I’m fine moments in your life and for fighting for you. I’m proud of you for all the times you give and give and give for your family. I’m proud of you for the times when you have no energy and you feel like you’re failing and you just keep going. I’m proud of you for loving your friends and for fighting for your family. I’m proud of you simply for you being you.

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You are worth way more than living a life sprinkled with I’m fine everywhere.

You are awesome.

And I cannot wait to hear what you do.

For you.

~Rachel

16 Responses to “why you are worth more than “I’m fine””

  1. May 28, 2015

    Patty Reply

    This is beautiful. I am notorious for saying, “I’m fine”, when on the inside I’m a total mess.

    • January 24, 2016

      K Reply

      People that only want an “I’m fine” response shouldn’t even bother asking how you are doing.

  2. May 28, 2015

    Erica Reply

    I had a friend coaching me recently, trying to get me to appreciate this very point — that I am worthy of not being forgotten in the craziness of mom-life. She said “would you want this life for your daughter? This hiding, shrinking, spending all of your time, energy and love on your children, and saving none for yourself? Is that how you want her to live? Is that the example you want to set for her of how a mother is to be?” It immediately shocked me out of my perception. I want my daughter to grow wings and fly, chase her happiness, have an amazing life. It made me appreciate the circle of life — my mom wouldn’t have wanted me to erase me either. I want us all to nurture ourselves, and showing my daughter that i am important to me, that sometimes I need to do something that feeds my soul, even if she is disappointed in the moment, I am showing her that I am a priority too. That my soul needs tending to as much as hers. This is not a selfish act. It’s an act of kindness to us both to learn that lesson, and appreciate how deserving we are of our own grace.

    • May 28, 2015

      Kate Reply

      a beautiful response to a wonderful post. Well done!

    • July 23, 2015

      Trudy Willis Reply

      Thank you for your response here! I’m such a cheerleader for leading by example, especially for our children! However, I all too often fall prey to the “do as I say, don’t do as I do” style of life. I so frequently ask my clients if they want their lifestyle for their children and I know the answer but I too seldom take a hard look at my own modeling for my own child and ask myself that very hard question.

  3. May 28, 2015

    Meaghan Reply

    Love this, thanks for your words and encouragement!

    • July 11, 2015

      Carolyn Reply

      The timing of this is so so perfect. You have no idea…or maybe you do 😉 thank you so much!

  4. May 28, 2015

    Rachel Del Grosso Reply

    How funny, I just wrote a little about the same thing in my latest post! The next time someone asks me how I am (read: not a stranger) I’m going to be honest!

    http://www.bigcityquiet.com/2015/05/here-i-am.html

  5. June 7, 2015

    Terry Barthlow Reply

    love this sight

  6. June 12, 2015

    Tara Borin Reply

    I wrote about my own personal struggle with this recently on my blog. So often I will utter those words “I’m fine” even though I can barely keep my eyes open, even though I’m fighting back tears, even though I have no idea who I am anymore. Thank you for reminding all of us that we’re worth so much more than that!

  7. July 12, 2015

    Jaime Reply

    You write everything I think. Thank you so much for my daily dose of “fo real talk”- I’m a mother of 5 amazing kids…. And I’m running on fumes. I feel invisible a lot. When I speak, I feel like no one hears me. I feel like the attractive, vibrant woman has been lost somewhere along the way. I desperately want to be her again, but I can’t right now. My feelings lately have been baked in the wonderful goodnes of bread, bagels, noodles and cheese, and candy. But you’ve inspired me (once again). I will not feel guilty for my upcoming beach trip without kids that I planned over a month ago. I’ve been stressing that I will come home to a major poop storm after 4 days away. I am going to go and relax and sit on the beach and read and suntan in the quiet. I’m even going to go to a waterpark without kids and do all the slides and float down the lazy rivers for as long as I want. I’m also going to go see back to back movies and order dessert when I have dinner. I’m gonna bike ride around the island in my swimsuit and sleep in until 9am. I will go and not feel guilty and I am not going to cancel or postpone my trip now thanks to you.

  8. July 22, 2015

    Devin Reply

    I love this. My “for me” is knitting. And if I don’t have it, I can just feel my sanity, my “self”, slipping away. We need to show our children that we are strong(sweaty after a workout), that we are knowledgable (reading a book that isn’t from the children’s section at the library), that we are creative (making something without their “help”). Its so important to our true selves.

    This fall I’m going on a trip by myself, for the first time since I had children. I’m thrilled and worried (dad on his own for 5 days). But it will be wonderful, and we’ll both reunite with stories of those 5 days. And we’ll all be the better for it.

    I shared this on the Mothers & More page because I think its so valuable – its about the More. And I think too often we loose sight of the More in Motherhood.

  9. July 16, 2016

    Laura Reply

    Perfectly timed. I’m going dancing tonight. Remembering that I really love it. The playing with makeup, dressing up in a different way, the vibrations of the music making my heart thrum and body move. Yes.

  10. July 17, 2016

    evie Reply

    Some days I’m actually fine (good) and then other days I’m F*#king Fantastic! Fine is good, it means everything got mostly done and so what if i can’t finish it. F*#king Fastastic is I shopped, fed everyone – including me, got all my paid work done, got an extra client, closed out night/week/month whatever, ran maybe more than once, got to the gym, and bragged about my kids because they are F-in Fantastic as well. and saw the sunset or rainbow or shooting star.

  11. July 17, 2016

    Rachel Reply

    I guess two things about the I’m fine comment that make it so easy to spit out is that one often we never have the time to tell people how we honestly feel or they don’t have the time to listen because one or other of us is usually running after a small child and two I feel often people ask to be polite but they don’t actually want to know :( maybe this is not always the case but more then not I find it’s mostly the way… I won’t tell you what my dad use to translate ‘fine’ into but it’s worth a giggle. Thanks for your reminder, encouragement and support!!!!

  12. March 30, 2017

    Marni Reply

    After teaching for 5 years, my husband and I made the decision that I would stay home with our two children. Within the next 12 years we had four more children. Busy doesn’t even cover it! When my youngest began school three years ago, I realized that I didn’t feel like I had an identity anymore. I am now substituting and finding a little bit of me time but still working on who I am and what I want. Your posts could come directly from my mind and heart. Thank you for being so real and honest about life, motherhood, and being a woman.

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