I see you. Most days, I am you. Praying they will stay asleep until 6 a.m. Third cup of coffee in hand by 11 a.m. Ready for bed by 7 p.m., but trying to get caught up on all that went undone during the day after they go to sleep. Motherhood is exhausting. Plain and simple. We worry about them day and night, it doesn't matter if they are 8 days old or eighteen.
We chase them around.
We say 'no' more times than we'd like to admit during the day.
We do laundry. And more laundry. And just when the laundry is caught up, someone gets the stomach bug.
We are their chauffeurs.
We referee the sibling fights.
We are head chef and chief dishwasher.
Is anyone else tired just reading this? Excuse me while I go take a nap (yeah, right). When I was pregnant, I did all of the research- what was the best crib? How often should he eat? No one told me I should have spent that time sleeping.
14 months later and he literally just started sleeping through the night this week. The funny thing is, I still get up at least once a night to check on him. Ah, the irony of motherhood. Some days it all seems so monotonous, I've been there. I was there last week.
Last Thursday, I knew it was coming. I could feel a migraine coming from a mile away. I tried everything I could to stop it, but Friday morning-it hit me like a ton of bricks. The worst migraine I've had in probably 10 years. I couldn't sit up without getting sick. I couldn't keep water down. I had to call my husband to come home from work because I felt so bad, something I've never done. It was bad. I had been burning the candle at both ends, staying up late and getting up early. I had been trying to do it all: work a full-time job from home, wash the laundry, cook gourmet meals. It caught up with me and it knocked me on my behind.
When my husband arrived home, I went straight to bed. I stayed in bed until around noon the next day. I didn't change a diaper. I didn't get up during the night. I didn't give our 1 year old a bath. God bless my precious husband for taking care of it all while I was 'out'. He works hard and does his fair share around the house all the time, but last week he picked up my slack, too.
During my 'sabbatical', I realized a few things. Things that my husband and mom have been telling me for months.
I can't do it all. No one expects me to (except myself).
If I don't take care of myself, I can't take care of the precious ones entrusted to me.
It's ok to say no. Whether it's to cooking dinner, folding laundry, a night out or volunteering- say no.
Just because I'm not pregnant or recovering from pregnancy, I can still ask for help.
For some reason, as moms we feel like if we aren't super woman each day, we are failing. We put an immense amount of unnecessary mom guilt on ourselves. We wear ourselves out by running around like chickens with our heads cut off, trying to get it all done and never really doing one job well. We need to realize we ARE enough.
Our kids don't care that dinner came from McDonald's (they probably enjoy it).
Our husbands don't care if they come home to a load of laundry (or 4) left unfolded.
They are happy that we are there for them. They are fed, they are loved and they have you....an exhausted momma who is doing her best and loves them more than they could ever know.
Get some rest, momma. You deserve it.
This post originally appeared on Loving Living Lancaster, a family lifestyle blog.