Dear Overwhelmed Mom...
Dear Overwhelmed Momma:
Does the above picture look familiar? I admit it's not a very flattering one but hey, it's been a rough last couple of weeks. So let me start off by saying, I don't know your situation. I don't know if you have twenty children or just one. I don't know their ages and stages. You may be a stay at home mom or you may have a job. I don't know about your unique situation...but I do know how you're feeling.
You're "touched out." Yep, it's a real thing. You go through your day with children hanging on you, climbing over you, wanting held, pulling & tugging at you, needing stuff ALL THE TIME...and when the end of the day rolls around (if it ever rolls around) you're exhausted, holding on by a thread. You feel like if someone else touches you, you might lose it.
Are you covered in spit up? (Or worse...something else?!) Maybe it's 2 PM and you're still in your pajamas. Maybe you had to work and then came home to mountains of chores and homework. When did you last shower? (Ah, I see you have a newborn!) What's the last book you read or hobby you pursued? I know that you long for a nice adult conversation with a friend or your husband - not one filled with talk of potties, ponies, or preschool.
I know the days are long. I know the nights seem endless. Your body aches. Your head throbs. You're exhausted and your patience is wearing thin. You're forgetful and short-tempered. It seems like the kids will never stop fighting, the baby will never stop crying, the chores will never be done...
Everybody tells you that these days truly do not last that long. And they're right. The long endless nights of holding a fussy baby are gone and you look back on them fondly - for the most part. You blink and your child is another year older. Whatever the situation is, you eventually move past it and then wonder what the big deal was. I saw a quote somewhere that said: "The days are long, but the years are short." Isn't that so true?
But when you're in the moment, those sentiments seem trite and cheesy. It really does seem like whatever the situation is WILL NEVER END. I know because I've been there. I've driven a screaming baby around in the middle of the night, just so she will sleep, while bawling my eyes out from tiredness. I've had weeks where I barely see my husband. I've drug myself out of bed, sicker than a dog, to tend to the kids. I've been up all night with multiple puking kids, while 35+ weeks pregnant.
If you're finding yourself in one of those moments, I want you to know this:
It's okay. It's okay to cry. It's okay to not have it all together. It's okay to not be perfect, to have your schedule completely thrown out of whack, and to feel lost.
My dear overwhelmed mom, you are not alone. This season of motherhood is just that - a season - and we've ALL been there at one time or another. Be it a newborn baby, a difficult age, a trying time in your relationship, or a phase that's just not fun...it will pass. And if you don't have it all together right now, that's okay. I know that doesn't magically make everything better but sometimes just hearing that phrase "it's okay" can do wonders.
Your kids love you regardless of whether the dishes get done or not. Sometimes you just have to say heck with it for awhile and snuggle together on the couch. Tell your husband (or mother-in-law or mother or whoever is questioning you) that it's been "one of those days" and leave it at that. It's also okay to pop in a movie for a little bit to get a breather or to just do a few simple chores. And please - don't be afraid to tell people that no, today isn't a good day to visit or that no, you can't commit to that right now.
I highly suggest praying to you, Overwhelmed Mom. I couldn't get through the day without talking to God. Whenever I feel alone, it's comforting to know that He is always there and ready to listen. God doesn't judge us or criticize us - he loves us and wants to hear what's on our minds and hearts.
I also encourage you to try and to find someone to confide in - a best friend, a trusted family member, another mother from church, an online buddy - someone who will just listen and not try to "fix" things. Because that's what we need sometimes, isn't it? To just vent and be listened to. To know that we're still human - still a person with thoughts, ideas, and opinions on things other than cartoons and fairy tales.
So if you're feeling like a failure or that you're in a rut, or that THIS WILL NEVER END - I want you to bookmark this page, come back here daily and read these words until they stick:
Now I'm off to tend to the sick children and the crying baby...and hopefully squeeze some sleep in there. :)
FILED UNDER: Motherhood