What authority do I have to write such a letter?
But, I will write it all the same. I will write because it’s important and because my story might be your story. And, in the early mornings when you can barely get out of bed, during the afternoon crash when no one is napping and late at night when you feel the emotions and “all the feels” coming over you – you need to feel loved, and you need to know that you aren’t alone. There are so many (#somany #sosomany) blog posts about and for young moms, right? I mean, the internet is in no shortage of posts about us 20 and 30 something year-old mamas chasing their babies all over, making messes, looking disheveled and then posting on the internet about it. So why add one more post? What is the point?
While others outside of our season of life may think we are going a bit overkill with the sharing.. Speaking for myself, when you are in it, you need every single one of those thousands of blog posts. Every. Single. One.
So, here is mine to you sweet mama that I do not know (or possibly myself reading this in a month from now when my wonder-woman cape has fallen off).
First, a virtual hug. Because, you need it.
The Seasons DO Change
As a young mom, myself, who has just come out of another season that felt overwhelming and unending, my first request is that you simply remember that the seasons change.
It is the law of nature and the way things work. Cling to this very simple fact and actually believe it. This alone can give you strength.
Allow Yourself to Feel
We all feel. And we all feel differently.
We also usually all feel guilty about some of the feels. Can I just come out and say some of the guilty feels?
You resent your children, whom you love SO dearly. You hate yourself for resenting, because you love them so much. But you are caught in the struggle of figuring out who you are as a person, versus who you are as a mom. Your identity is confusing and shifting and changing. The reason for this, your precious littles. Right? Or so it seems…
OK, next one. What about this, you are frustrated with your spouse because you feel the weight of the world on you (to use a very dramatic term…) and even if they are supportive (and loving, and amazing and trying their best), – it’s important to take our your frustration on someone other then your kids right, so why not your best friend? The guy that is routing for you and trying his best. Why not add to his plate by being frustrated at him, “in general”? Sounds logical.
You are lonely. You feel surrounded by things to do, little people to serve and take care of and nurture…but, who nurtures you? You feel helpless sometimes. You feel alone.
The thing I have learned (ha! correction: one of the things I have learned) about parenthood, is it is one of the most powerful tools for refining our own character and weakness. It’s important to allow yourself to feel these things, because that’s truly when the “heart work” begins. If you push those feelings away, deny them and reject them…you are not giving yourself a chance to grow and to change.
So, embrace all of the feels. I promise you, if you will admit them, and start working through them, things. will. change.
Remember Who You Are
Do you catch yourself looking in the mirror and wondering who you have become? Do you reflect on your thoughts and your heart and wonder, is this really me?
There are times when I feel reduced to a remote control and PB&J maker. When exactly did I develop such an unusual skill set? I mean, I can sing the Wild Kratt’s theme song, locate a paci in the dark, and I have skills like a silent moccasin wearing NINJA when it comes to transitioning a sleeping baby to her crib after she accidentally fell asleep in the car.
What happened to the wedding photographer who use to be featured? What happened to the social worker that advocated for justice and protested at the capitol? What happened to her dreadlocks and her hippy tie dye shirts?
Someone spit up on the shirts. The only thing you take pictures of now is your kids, and it’s with your iPhone. If you have any free time without your kids, you surely are not protesting anything – you are taking a nap. And the dreadlocks – you definitely still have those, but not by choice.
Enough about me…
You are still there dear one. You are just in a hard place, but that doesn’t mean you have changed. Allow me to remind you…
You are lovely. You are patient. You are kind. You love SO well. You have been created for a purpose. You are important. You are intelligent. You are capable. You are strong.
My Final Thought
My last thought to leave with you is not my own, but it resonates so powerfully with me that it is my driving force on every single hard day. Thank you, to whoever this originated from. “The days are long, but the years are short”.
It was a day that I had barely made it out of bed. Let’s call it like it is: first trimester pregnancy woes, plus hormones, plus feeling all the feels. I was not in a “super happy” place. I walked onto the porch, and I saw my two older kids sitting and reading with their sweet, sweet father. A man that knows how to love. He is committed. He is loyal. He is patient. He is kind.
It broke me in the most beautiful way, and it reminded me, that the days are long, but the years are short.
I’m so thankful that the seasons change, but I also want to live in this season and enjoy it as much as possible.
Much love to you, sister.