Dear Tired Mom,
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I know you’re exhausted. You’ve been at this parenting thing for two weeks or two months or two years or more, and I know sometimes it feels like you will never get the hang of things. I know there are times you feel on top of the world, so proud of all that you’ve accomplished as a woman and mother, in awe of your strength. And I know how quickly your perspective can change.
I know you are giving your all every second of every day and couldn’t possibly be stretched an inch further. I know you’re tired. I know that you yearn for the days you could collapse into bed at night with the peace of mind that your slumber would be undisturbed. I know you long to sleep even two or four hours uninterrupted throughout the night.
No matter how long ago it was, I know you may not have felt like yourself during your pregnancy, and that by the end, you longed to have the baby out so that you could get back to normal.
Only, I know that your old normal never came back. You have probably stared at pictures of that younger, well-rested woman you barely recognize as yourself. I’m also certain you don’t give enough credit to the beautiful, incredible woman you are now.
I know how physically taxing being a mom is. I know that you are hoisting your baby or toddler or big kid around while you are brushing your teeth, combing your hair, or trying to find your car keys. I know you have a tiny person clinging to you while you try to have a conversation or go to sleep or have dinner.
I know you love your kids more than anything, and I know you feel guilty for feeling so exasperated sometimes.
I know you might feel guilty when you actually get a moment to yourself. I know that when you finally do get to have a massage or go to yoga or walk around the grocery store all by yourself, you might not enjoy the experience as much as you thought you would. You’re not a bad mom.
I know how quickly babies change and routines change. I know you may have had a schedule that worked for months or years, only to have it be disrupted by a move to a new house, or a new job, or a new school.
I know you feel like you’ve been sacrificing for so long. I know you try so hard to keep bits and pieces of your former self, only to find those pieces being reworked again and again. I know it’s like someone is asking you to turn in your identity and swap it out for a new one.
I know it doesn’t always feel this way, but I know sometimes it does. I also know you should hang in there. You’re doing an amazing job, and you’re not alone.
This post originally appeared on The Mom At Law
Candace Alnaji is a practicing attorney, working parents advocate, freelance writer, and proud mom. She can be found writing about law, motherhood, and more on her blog as The Mom at Law. She can also be found on Facebook, Twitter, Instagra