Mom, You're not Alone
Last week I reached out to a mom friend of mine. I reached out because I felt like I was drowning. There was a death in my family and inevitably I was a bit sad. Additionally, the kids were sick and out of school, this meant snotty noses, nebulizers, pediatrician visits and medication doses and times to remember. At the same time, I was working on my book, blog and a new business venture. I was preparing meals, keeping the house in a respectable fashion and caring for myself as well. It all became so overwhelming, I felt like I couldn’t keep my head above water a moment longer. When I felt a “full on” panic attack coming on, I decided to message my friend.
My friend, a working mom with two kids and similar family circumstances, seemed to have it altogether. Her Facebook posts are filled with activities with her kids and home-cooked meals. I wanted to her secret. I was hoping she would give me some formula to make everything function the way I want it to. The funny thing is, before I could even get to that point in the conversation, my friend started expressing that she was feeling the same exact way that I was. She was barely making it out of the house on mornings with two kids. She was struggling at work and felt completely torn between her responsibilities to her children, ailing mother, her job and role as a wife. All in all, she was exhausted.
I was astounded. From the outside looking in, I thought she was managing motherhood and all her different hats with ease and precision. I couldn’t believe that much like me, she felt like she was failing in every aspect of her life. Just barely covering the needs of each area, excelling in none. We both felt like we were barely passing each subject with a C-, just enough to get through without having to repeat the course. For my entire conversation with her, I felt like we were mirror images of each other.
Although I don’t rejoice in my friend’s pain, there was comfort in knowing that I’m not alone. As mothers of young children in this stage of life, we are pulled in so many different directions. Our children need us, our aging parents need us, and were trying to keep our marriages and friendships intact. Sometimes we feel ripped apart and inadequate, not whole enough for anyone or anything. It made me remember how important it is to share and connect with our sisters on this journey. No matter how perfect someone’s life looks, we are all dealing with our own hardships and we can support and learn from each other. We can remind each other that we are human, we are enough, and we are perfectly imperfect. We can share strategies and resources and help each other to get through the rough spots of “mommy-hood.”
One of the most important pieces of advice my friend gave me in our little chat was to keep priorities in mind. My children are always my priority, and everyone else in my life who loves me will understand that. Although I’ve been down this road at many moments before, sometimes I just need a friend who I can identify with, who’s willing to listen and give me nudge back on the right path.
Don’t underestimate the power of mom friends. Reach out to someone you can trust in your mom tribe when you’re having one of those days where you feel like you can’t do anything right. That sisterhood is worth more than gold.
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