You know those hard days when after you put your kids to bed you just think to yourself, “what in the world was that?” Now imagine having those days day after day after day… like you just cannot catch a break.
Let’s be real: as moms, we are expected to have it all together…even when you can’t catch a break.
I mean EVERYTHING. Perfect house, perfect Christmas card photo (mailed out on time, may I add), and perfect outfit for preschool drop off. The list goes on and on, and we start to feel inferior to the other moms around us if we’re lagging in any of these categories… so when catastrophic life events happen and knock us off of our not-perfect-to-begin-with-game, it puts a serious twist in everyday life.
Let me backtrack.
In the last four months (this is not an exaggeration whatsoever).., I have found out I was pregnant for the second time-hooray! I have watched the interactive, real time map of the second largest fire in Colorado history come to the neighborhood edge of the cabin that’s been in my family for 30+ years and somehow, by the grace of God the fire spared our sweet neighborhood. I have been so sick in my first trimester that I threw up multiple times each day for a month and had to get on meds so I could get off of the couch and function as a mother and a wife. I have spent every spare waking minute trying to apply my ailing Dad for Medicaid, meeting with Skilled nursing facilities and Medicaid lawyers. I had my group of mom friends from 2+ years decide that in America, we are no longer innocent until proven guilty on completely fabricated lies that a 10-year-old could see through… and had those friendships dissolve overnight. I had to put my Dad, who’s battled Alzheimer’s for 8+ years on hospice end-of-life care, and admit him to the hospital yet again, this time with pneumonia. I became Room Mom at Pre-School and started faking it until I made it in that role. I found out I was having another boy! Then 3 days later I got the call that my Dad lost his battle with Alzheimer’s. Four days after that, I got to celebrate my son turning 3, and tried to get through his party without crying. I got asked to head a huge outreach program at church. I planned a funeral. I scattered ashes. I’ve been to the funeral home so many times that they know me by name. I cry daily when I see a picture of my Dad or hear a song he liked. All of this intertwined with being at the OBGYN once a week because I’m having the most complicated pregnancy I never knew existed. It’s been enough to knock me on my butt to say the least. And let’s not forget I am still trying to pour myself into my 3-year-old and be a wife to someone who travels every week for work…Check please?
And I’m honestly not trying to throw myself a pity party – I’m more asking myself what was that and hoping that I’m on the other side of this insane few months. Because y’all, I genuinely felt like I was continuously being shoved down to the ground every time I tried standing.
But you know what I’ve been reminded of more than ever? That moms are amazing. We don’t give ourselves enough credit. Basically a tornado came and uprooted my life, and yet I’m still standing. Was it fun? Heck no. I wouldn’t wish it on my worst enemy. And you may not be going through the exact same trials and tribulations I am-I pray that you’re not, but we all have our demons, and our dysfunctions and things that continue to happen “to us” that are completely beyond our control.
So my “expert advice”? Even if it helps just one of you out there (#worthit) :
Let People Love You
I’ve always believed that in times of hardship people show their true colors, so this one may surprise you, but people will surprise you. People who care about you have a way of showing up when it matters. So please, please lean on them and maybe even let them give you a break.
… or just sit in your car alone with no little people asking, “hey mommy?”, and scream. It’s okay to be sad, mad, exhausted. Feelings are real, y’all and especially when it feels like you are drowning a little bit. I promise that if you just let yourself get it out, you will feel better.
Take Care of Yourself
This one seems impossible in the bustle of life, and even more so when everything is falling apart, but it’s so important. Yes, most days my to-do list has 819 things to do during nap time, but you know what? The last few months, sometimes I decide I’m just going to lay down and relax and take a break, and that’s okay because it makes me feel as refreshed and recharged as possible, all things considered. Self-care needs to be a priority when you feel like you can’t catch a break.
So it may be cliche, but remember that you got this. Bad day? Out of wine? Washing sheets because your toddler wet the bed again? There is a light on the other side. Have yourself a good cry, and squeeze the people who love you just a little tighter when it seems like everything is going wrong.Whether it’s one bad day or 15 in a row, I promise it won’t last forever.