Today I wanted to do something a little bit different. Today I wanted to focus on all the mamas out there who may be struggling in their role. I know that for some of my fellow infertility warriors this blog post may be hard to read or you may choose not to read it, and that’s one hundred percent okay. I also know that it may seem a little strange to many of you for someone who is not a mama and is struggling with infertility to post about mothers in this light especially if you’ve read some of my other posts; and that’s okay too. It’s okay because I’m not doing this for myself; I’m doing this for YOU and especially for someone very dear to me. See, even though I yearn to be a mother and struggle almost daily with the disease of infertility doesn’t mean that I don’t see how hard being a mom really is. I don’t idealize the role. I know it’ll be the single hardest job I’ll ever hold when or if the time ever comes.
So to all you mamas out there, but especially one, I see you.
I see you when you feel that dreaded “mom guilt”, when you compare yourself to all of those mothers online with their perfect homes straight out of the pages of a magazine or their days filled with adventures and pinterest worthy craft projects. I see you when you’re lonely because even though you’re with your littles all day only talking to people under the age of … let’s say 20?…can be pretty monotonous and isolating. I see you when you’re exhausted after being up all night with a child who was ill or just wouldn’t sleep for some unknown reason. I see you when you’re about ready to burst in to tears and feel like you can’t take a single second more of these terrible twos, threenagers, or tweens. I see you when yearn for a break, a real weekend, a holiday, a vacation, or heck even just five minutes to use the bathroom alone and in peace. I see you when frustration washes over your face because you’re late once again after your careful planning to get everyone out to door on time, with everything they need, and without crying has failed. I see you when you’re angry because another bedtime turns into a catastrophe (in your eyes) and doesn’t look like those visions you had of sweetly tucking your children in and reading them a story sans tears, screams, fits, climbing out of bed for the 800th time, children running around the bedroom, or requests for water/snacks/a different blanket (and no not that one at the end of the bed they want the one on the very bottom of the stack way back in the closet because it’s the softest)/sheets with a different pattern because suddenly tonight dinosaurs are all wrong and they need baseballs which are inevitability in the washing machine soaking wet.
I see you when you’re sick with that nasty cold your kids brought home from school and you’d give anything to be able to take some ibuprofen, eat some soup uninterrupted so it’s actually warm when you get to eat it, and curl up for a nap but you can’t because you have those precious babies to care for. I see you when you run out to the grocery store at 10:30 at night because that’s the only time you’ve had to go and the cupboards are completely bare. I see you unselfishly giving up the things you’d love to buy yourself or going without the things you need to provide more for your children. I see you scrambling to rearrange your work schedule so you can attend that middle of the day school concert/assembly/birthday party that your child wanted you at so badly. I see you frantically baking cupcakes or buying snacks for that class party/snack time that you forgot about, or you child just remembered to tell you about, at bedtime the night before or breakfast the day of. I see you working your fingers to the bone to provide for your children and your family. I see you when your face in lined with worry wondering if maybe that fall/cut/fever requires a visit to the doctor’s office, or if maybe you really shouldn’t have let them try the monkey bars this time because maybe they aren’t really that ready. I see you wishing you could be there for more, and the sadness you feel when the teachers at daycare saw those precious first steps and not you. I see you when you struggle to figure out who you are outside of “mom”. I see you when you ache to go out on a date night, a ladies night out, an adult only wedding but can’t afford or find a babysitter. I see you as you try your hardest to make every holiday and birthday special and memorable while sacrificing your gifts and your birthday saying it’s not important anymore.
I see you, expectant mama, struggling to manage those (at times) not very fun pregnancy symptoms as you wait with excitement to meet your little one. I see you, new mama, as you try to figure out life with this tiny new human and how in world to care for them as you wonder why they and their care were entrusted to you. I see you mama as you grieve the loss of your child who departed from this world far too soon due to miscarriage, stillbirth, illness, injury, or for some unknown unexplainable cause. I see you mama with you children grown, your nest empty, your heart yearning for those days when your house was a bustling hub. I see you mama as you move through each stage of life with your children trying to adjust to whatever new challenges this chapter throws at you. I see you mama as you struggle with being single, widowed, or divorced. I see you mama as you struggle in your marriage trying to balance being a mom and a wife. I see you mama as you are grappling with trying to care for others and yourself. I see you mama as you face your own demons whether they be illness, addiction, the decimation of your body image and self-esteem.
And of course I see you, not yet a mama, but hoping with every shred of your being to someday be one and trying desperately to hold on to the hope that one day it will happen for you.
Oh yes, sweet mama, I see you. But…
I also see the smiles on your children’s face on those holidays and birthdays. The delight in their eyes when they spot you in the audience of that assembly. Their full bellies thanks to you making/bringing those snacks, making late night grocery runs, and cooking endless meals like a short order cook. I see children who are well cared for in every aspect thanks to all that you do, all that you provide, and all of your sacrifice and hard work. I see littles who are growing up as polite and friendly children and adults because of you standing firm during those tantrums. I see children who are well rested thanks to you not giving up at bedtime. I see you when your eyes are crinkled and laughter pours from your mouth because your child just came out with the funniest thing you’ve ever heard. I see you when wonder and amazement sparkles in your eyes during those conversations with your babes because when did they grow up so fast and where in the heck did they hear that?
Expectant mama, I see you doing the best you can to get through those ten long months. New mama, I see you working so hard and learning so much as you adapt to motherhood. Grieving mama, I see you as you bring beauty out of ashes and use your pain to help and serve others. Empty nest mama, I see you as you help those moms around you and lift them up letting them know that it can be done and that one day they’ll look back and miss it. I see you as you use your talents in new and different ways and find yourself once more now that the children are grown. Single, widowed, divorced mama; I see you as you single-handedly create a loving home for your children and act as two parents in the absence of a spouse whether by choice or not. I see you as you multitask and innovate and get so much done plus take care of yourself. Married mama, I see the spouse who thinks you’re doing a great job even if they don’t come out and say it enough. I see the family members and friends who are cheering you on and know all the good that you do each day. Mama fighting those demons, I see how you’re putting them in their place and coming out the other side better and stronger than ever before.
And I always see you, not yet a mama, crying and longing for your day; we will get through this. Together.
So yes, sweet mama, I see you. And you’re gonna be alright. These days may be long and they may be so very hard, but you’re doing an amazing job! You’re children are loved and cared for so much by you. They are wonderful little people who are growing up into darling children, and who will turn out to be exceptional adults. And mama I know it’s got to be so challenging to do what you do every single day with no holidays, no weekends, no breaks, no vacations. But mama you are not alone. There are so many like you, who feel like you do, who struggle like you do. And mama, I’m here. For you.