I see you standing there, your tear-filled eyes looking lost and empty. You’re having a bad day, a tough day, a hard day. Maybe this is the first hard day in a long time, or maybe it is yet another hard day in what seems to be a reoccurring theme in your life. You wish to be anywhere but right here at this very moment. You wonder what you did wrong to make all of the good days seem like a very distant memory. You pray that this day would just. be. done.
I get it.
Maybe your husband works long, late hours, leaving you and your kids at home, alone, day-in and day-out. Or maybe your husband is serving our country, spending weeks, months, years away from your family. The brief moments of adult conversation seem to pale in comparison to the busy, noisy toddler-chatter that fills your ears from sun-up to sun-down. Everyone else seems so busy with their own lives to even notice. Solitude amidst a tribe of your little ones; it is deafening. Missing what life was like before these little blessings entered your world. Missing friends and family, and wondering if being a mom will always feel this lonely.
I get it. I promise you aren’t alone. I know those moments when you feel like you just can’t have one more conversation about Legos, or Sesame Street, or bodily functions. But I promise those conversations, while repetitive, are important. They are building a bond between you and your child that nothing can separate. Hang on to those times when you get to have adult time, and don’t be afraid to reach out to other moms in your area. Chances are they need a friend just like you.
Maybe you were up all night with a sick baby. The luxury of napping during the day is no longer an option with a toddler and preschooler running around. Catching up on sleep seems near impossible, and you are feeling run-down. Your tank is near-empty. Days when there are more hours than energy left before bedtime. Where did the energy you used to have disappear to? Will life always be this hard?
I get it. I so, so get it. Sometimes it seems like there isn’t enough caffeine in the world. But look at that sweet baby that only you can bring comfort to. The baby who loves you and needs you and silently thanks you for your self-less, sacrificial love through the late-night hours. Find the strength to make it through the day and pray for peaceful sleep tonight.
Maybe you have been struggling with behavior problems. The kids that you love more than life itself are driving you up the proverbial wall. Whining, bickering, temper tantrum-ing, fighting. You bounce between refereeing and feeling like you have somehow failed your children. Your mind is swimming: Where did they pick up this bad behavior? Will they ever get along? Am I cut out for this mom stuff? You want. to. quit.
I get it. But, remember that your kids are human beings and not puppets: they make their own decisions and sometimes that means making bad decisions. What matters most is teaching them forgiveness and unconditional love. Be thankful for the opportunity to teach your kids under the shelter of your love. You are just what your kids need right now. Find the courage inside to say, “I am enough for my kids.”
Maybe you’re having a day where you are stretched thin. A day where you barely have time to breathe between all of the errands (doctor appointments, story time at the library, play group, grocery shopping, school pick up). A day where there just aren’t enough hours to get your ever-growing to-do list done. A day where you feel like you just can’t juggle anything else. You’re afraid to let anyone down, but you are the one who suffers in the end.
I get it. I have days where I want to shut down “mom’s taxi service” and lock us all in at home. I’m here to tell you to not be afraid to say no. Don’t worry about disappointing your kids if you cut down on the rat-race schedule. These moments you have making memories with your kids can happen anywhere. It’s okay to say no. It’s okay to skip a swimming lesson every once in a while. It’s not okay for you to be so rushed and run ragged that you can’t enjoy this one life you have to live.
Maybe you are fighting depression. The long days seem like a struggle, the minutes ticking by ever-slowly. The simplest, smallest interruptions that often accompany kid-life (spilled milk, forgotten homework, whining) trigger a fire deep inside of you, erupting in anger. Or maybe you just can’t find a reason to smile amidst the antics and folly of your kids. Instant regret and mom-guilt follow. How many times have you had days where you just want to lay in bed all day, buried beneath the blankets in total darkness? Will there ever be joy in life again? Why am I so down when I have so much to be thankful for?
I get it. I’m right there with you. But every day you press on and push forward, every day you say “I can do it” over and over, every day you refuse to give up: you are a warrior momma! Tomorrow is a new day. Hang on to the hope that tomorrow will be better. One step at a time. Make a list of all your blessings and hold it close for hard days like today. Don’t let the pain and sadness of the moment have victory over your life.
Maybe you are having financial problems and you just don’t know how the bills will be paid. Or maybe you’re battling health issues, trying to deal with chronic pain, or awaiting a diagnosis. Or maybe you’re struggling through marital problems and you feel like you don’t know when things will turn the corner. Or maybe you are grieving the loss of a loved one that you would give anything to see again. Or maybe you are dealing with anxiety, trying to curb the worries and troubles in your mind. The list could go on.
You aren’t alone, friend. Our challenges may be different, and the roads we are walking may not look the same, but we are all foraging through the wildness of this life together. Sometimes when all you can see is the darkness and fog around you, you just need someone to tell you that breakthrough is just around the corner. Hope is just around corner. Maybe not today or tomorrow, but I promise you that the days won’t always be this hard.