I see you.
You love your babies. They’re cute. They’re hilarious. They’re delightful. They’re maddening. They’re smart. They’re determined. They’re expressive. They’re so difficult.
Some mornings you wake up and see the things that need to be done and the bellies that need to be filled… and filled… and filled again. You see the endless needs, wants, requests. You know you’re going to spend the whole day trying so hard to shape hearts and behavior and it is hard, exhausting, holy work.
The thought enters:
I would rather be doing anything else today.
And then the guilt and shame set in. You hear every grandparent you’ve ever met telling you cherish every moment. You realize that they’re going to be grown before you know it. You know having littles and staying home with them is a privilege that some women would give anything to have. Maybe it was a privilege you’d have given anything to have, once upon a time.
And you’d rather be doing anything else today.
Oh, friend, I know.
I’ve been there.
I am there.
Can we just talk about this for a minute?
IT IS OKAY. It’s okay to feel this way now and again. It’s okay to feel it when the needs and the noise overwhelm you. Feeling like running away does not make you a bad mom, whatever that accusing voice in your head whispers.
You are human.
This morning as I was sitting in my own puddle of exhaustion and guilt, I realized that this please get me out of here and I’m such an awful mom for thinking that feeling is a useful warning light. In my heart, I’m pretty sure it means it’s time to look at self-care.
This week, I’ve been scraping by. Even the things that are bare-minimum level care (drinking water and eating food) have fallen apart. It’s no wonder I want to do something—anything—else!
There’s good news here. When I hear myself whisper, “I’d rather be doing anything else” …I can choose to do something else. Seriously. I still need to be here for my little people, but I don’t have to do it the same way. And you don’t, either.
Drink some water.
Declare “quiet reading time” and make sure you read, too. (Maybe not a parenting book or your facebook feed.)
Take an extra second in the car to breathe before you start messing with all the buckles.
For me, this looks like reading my Bible and my favorite devotional, then writing down some things I’m thankful for.
It looks like paying attention to the way baby Lilly’s head smells.
It’s drinking water, and making sure I remember my antidepressant. (Because if there’s one thing my family doesn’t need, it’s me off my meds. For reals.)
It’s choosing to look up.
At the moment, it’s letting a kid watch tv (before afternoon nap time?!?) so I can write.
This doesn’t fix all the things. But it does help fix me.
I don’t know what it looks like for you. But if you want to be doing anything else, please. Do something else. It doesn’t have to be big. It doesn’t even have to look any different. It may be as simple as reframing what you’re already doing. (Or maybe not.)
We got this, mama.