After a Saturday morning meeting with my writing group and an afternoon interview for a magazine article, I strolled back home where my husband and daughter awaited.
“I don’t know how you do it,” my husband said, motioning to the squawking infant at his feet. “I literally don’t know you do this all day every day.”
To me, the answer was clear: I can’t.
The truth is, I struggle. A lot. There are days when I feel drained, empty, stripped of anything I could possibly give to my daughter, and then I realize it’s only 9 o’clock in the morning. There are days when I question if I will physically, mentally, emotionally, or spiritually make it through the next 12 hours. There are days I cringe at the thought of her adorable, tiny hands tugging at me. There are days when the last thing I want to do is get elbow-deep in a poopy diaper while she fights to get free. And, there are even more days when I just want to take a frickin’ shower.
So, to be honest, I don’t even know how I do it all day every day. But I do know that some days it’s not very pretty.
That may be true for you too, mamacita. ‘Cause let’s be honest, the life people post on Facebook is not the everyday, nitty-gritty life of motherhood. Don’t get me wrong, those precious, smiling moments are some of the most joy-filled moments life can offer. But behind every:
Because here’s the reality: you are not just a mom. You’re also a doctor. A lawyer. Police officer. Baker. Chef. Entertainer. Maid. Counselor. Chauffeur. Mediator. Judge. Musician. EMT. Disaster Response Team. Shield. Security blanket. Seamstress. Launderer. Busboy. Janitor. And most of the time, you are several of these at once. Not to mention, many of us also have responsibilities as wife, daughter, aunt, friend, employee, and/or [insert all the things you do here].
It’s no wonder we feel like we’re struggling sometimes.
But just because we struggle doesn’t mean we fail. In fact, it is BECAUSE you struggle that proves you’re a great mom. If you weren’t struggling, you might not be trying as hard as you are to figure this whole “mom” thing out.
And, in some strange twist of fate, your struggles become your children’s gains. Each time you put their needs before your own, they learn selflessness, generosity, and care for others. When you suppress that blood-curdling scream rising in your chest, they learn patience, self-discipline, and strength of will. When all you want to do is run away but you choose to stay instead, your children learn commitment, loyalty, and love.
It’s not easy, but keep struggling, sister. Every chunk of hair you rip from your scalp is a building block in your child’s character – a building block of the future. So, together, moms, let’s make the future (and the present) a great one.