Sometimes, I feel like I’ve let the world down.
You see, a friend told me today that he misses me.
The happy me.
You know the me that doesn’t have tears right behind my eyelids or who has that joyful optimistic smile and energy about life. I know I still have it – deep inside – but these past days have just squished and squashed it out and left me as that worn out momma. Those worn out days are so hidden under busy.
I think we forget that all of us, at moments, are walking around teetering at the brink of exhaustion.
We just don’t let others know, right?
I’ll get home after dropping the kids off at school and know I need to open my email and get to work but I just want to rest. I want to close my eyes for a moment and attempt to get back some of the hours of sleep that I lost last night because I was awake checking my six year old’s o2 level because he got a cold and has asthma. But if I rest, well, then I don’t work. And I have to work because those kids need to eat and the heat needs to stay on. So, I grab another cup of coffee and I push, push, push, despite the tired.
You know, when I was writing this I started to think about the whole thing. This running on empty exhausted tired mom thing and I was trying to think of a solution for all of us. Because living without hope that tomorrow would be better than today creates a cyclical pattern of tiredness. And the more I tried to think of the answer the more behind I started to feel. It was kind of a panic – that little voice in the back of my head telling me all the places where I had dropped the ball or should have done more or how I’m messing up.
Throw in the pressure of happy?
It’s like a pressure cooker, waiting for the steam to be let off.
I think I’ve lost a bit of me in all of this. Not in the yay rah rah you’re awesome kind of way, but rather in the you are a good person kind of way. I started to believe all the stuff the world was telling me about me and expectations and things others have said and I started to look in the mirror disliking the reflection I saw back. I started to not like me. I started to not be proud of me. I started to have enough.
I started to lose hope and with it the happy part I’m working so hard to find.
I stopped seeing my worth just a bit.
And then today, today when tears tumbled from my eyes, my fourteen year old daughter said something to me most profound. She told me – you deserve to be happy and to have people in your life who treat you well. Yes, that. My fourteen year old instagram queen with the perfect wisdom for her 40 year old mom.
You deserve to be happy and to have people in your life who treat you well.
It got me thinking – about us as moms.
About all the times where we suck it in because we think that’s what we were supposed to do when instead we were to say no. Or all the times we cut ourselves down or measure our successes with sticks way way way too short. Or listen to the critics and forget to see how much our kids value us or how much we are actually worth being valued. Or grade our day based off of externals and eliminate the fact that we pushed through on fumes. Because you know, when you work and work and love and give and it feels just smashed into pieces it makes it kind of hard.
It made me think of all of you right now. You working so hard for your kids and feeling like no one notices and just wishing for someone to come around and say I appreciate you. Of those of you with little kids under five in the midst of the craziest years and most draining physical years of motherhood who sometimes just need to get through. Of those of you with teens who wonder how that little one can be so challenging. Of those of you with worries and relationships and feeling so so so alone. Of all of us and how ridiculously hard we are on ourselves.
And it made me wonder? How do we support each other and see the benefit of having people who stand by you and cheer you on in life? Why do we allow things to weigh us down?
You know, I realized something about me. I fear change and conflict and sometimes I don’t do anything or get so frozen by all of that and frustrated at life. And I cut myself down – way too easily. Until Grace, my fourteen year old, reminded me to give myself grace. Grace? That would be cutting myself some slack for the times I mess up and to believe in me and to be willing to be happy.
Maybe you need these words tonight – maybe you too are just overwhelmed and super super super exponentially to infinity tired. Maybe you just need a friend. Maybe a bit of hope that tomorrow will be good.
I appreciate you.
I am going to say it again.
I appreciate you.
I see you for you. For the value you bring to the world. I don’t define you by mistakes from the past or where you’ve stumbled, but rather I love you for all the times you’ve tried.
You know what I’ve learned? That happy part of me? It’s there. It’s just tucked under the tired and the busy and the exhaustion and the only way, the only way, I’m going to unearth it is when I stop forgetting myself. It is when I stop not seeing what I do as being enough and give myself that grace.
It’s when I fight for my heart in this motherhood journey as well.
Listen, sweet exhausted giving mom, you are worth it.
You are worth it. You are worth happy. You are worth love.
You are worth fighting for you.