My husband asked me a few weeks ago what I wanted for Mother’s Day. My mind popped out an instant answer, and I choked it to death before it came out of my mouth. “I want to not be a mom for a day.”
I hate that I even thought it. I hate that I wanted nothing more, at that moment, than to ditch responsibility for a few hours and wallow in a day of no kids around. It made me realize that I was – again – nearing burnout point. That I needed to focus more on self-care than I had been. Over the next few weeks, my body forced me to do that anyway (thanks very much, you villainous traitor!)
I love my kids. Being a mom is the most fulfilling, awesome, amazing thing that could have happened to me. It’s also the most exhausting, frustrating, scary, and overwhelming thing that I could have ever chosen to do with my life. Parenting kids is hard. Parenting special needs kids is … well …. let’s just say I didn’t sign up for this and I was woefully unprepared.
I’m not supermom. I’m not Wonder Woman. I am not strong, any more than you are. These children weren’t given to me because the universe knew I could handle it – I just lucked out.
I know I’m not alone. That for every mom cheerfully enjoying a lovely dinner with their family, there is a mom dreading the ordeal to come. For every mom feeling cherished and pampered, there is a mom feeling underappreciated and overwhelmed. For every mom out there smiling for wonderful family photos, there is a mom dealing with a sick, cranky kid or a meltdown situation. I see you.
I see you struggling to put everyone else’s needs before your own. I see your sleepless nights, getting up to slay monsters and put flight to the nightmares while your spouse sleeps, oblivious to the battle raging around them.
I see you worrying over your child’s future, whether they will be able to go out and conquer the world when they’re older. I see you fighting back the tears and hoping for a better tomorrow.
I see you changing diapers, doing chores, and the daily 101 tasks that never end, never expecting recognition or applause because it needs to be done and you just do it. I see you going and going until you wear out, then getting up the next day and doing it all over again.
I see you.
I don’t have advice or cheerful hope to offer you because I’m right here with you in the trenches. All I can say is that you’re not alone. I am not alone. We’re all in this mess together, muddling through parenthood with the hope of not screwing up too badly.
I see you.
I am you.
Happy Mother’s Day.