“It is not even 9 a. m. and you have let them win. Your eyes are emotionless. You are just going through the movements. Survival mode. I know what you are thinking…”
I see you. Pulling into the parking lot. Your vehicle door sways open. You are 2 minutes behind schedule. Not a big deal. Still on time. But 2 minutes behind the time you wanted to get there. Feeling like you cant ever only get it right anymore. You open the back entrance to survey the damage. The injury done so quickly on a 5 minute automobile ride. Granola bar wrappers tossed ontothe floor. Milk from a shaken sippy cup splattered on the back of the passenger seat. The dollthat you searched for while your toddler had a meltdown at the front door has now been abandoned. Pushed under the seat surrounded by stale cheerios.
I catch your eye and wave. You speedily pull the sunglasses over your eyes. You didnt want anyone to ensure the circles under your eyes. From yet another sleepless night full of teething newborns and toddler night terrors. I hear you apologize for not having any make up on. Struggling with the newborn carrier while the others argue from inside the back seat. You scoop up the baby.Run your fingers through her hair in a hasty great efforts to comb it. I know the look upon yourface.As you mentally punish yourself for notgrabbing that bow off of the counter as you raced out the door. You arejoined by the others and I watch asyou corral them through the parking lot. I see you taking deep breaths as one reachesto pick a bloom while the other appears to step fearlessly off of the curb without speaking.
It is not even 9 a. m. and you have let them win. Your eyes are emotionless.You are just going through the movements. Survival mode. I know what you are thinking. Just get me through this day. Just get me through this morning. Just getme through this preschool dropoff.You promise yourself a naptimetreat.A trip through the starbucksdrive-thru. A slice of leftover birthday cake. Its welldeserved right? How is it possible that every other mama has gotten out of yoga pants.Wearing mascara? Talking blithely on their cell phone while their freshly scrubbed children hold hands traversing the street.
I know you feel like you are always one step behind. That if there was just an extra hour. Or even an extra minute. The sum of things that could be done in that time would be tremendous. Every second ofyour day has a purpose. Each one is carefully schemed out. Your entire day has been accounted for before your feet even made the floor in the morning. And you are simply exhausted. How is it possible to get ahead when you always feel behind? So you fight. Day in and day out. You turn on automobile pilot. Scramble eggs. Brush teeth. Tie shoes. Simply keep moving. Surviving. Hoping along the way to avoid any possible meltdown and tantrums.
Ive been there. Honestly, Im there a lot. I know the feeling of defeat all too well. I have “ve felt it” black cloud surround me before I even had a chance to drink my coffee. Leaving the promise of a day that I will be wishing away before it scarcely started.
You are not alone.
Being the mom of young kids can feel like the loneliest job in the world. But you are not alone. And you are an amazing mama. I wish you could see the you that others ensure. Watching you expertly unloading 3 children from the car in under a minute. Speaking sternly to one child about not staying with different groups while instinctively your hand grazes the shoulder of another constructing sure they dont take that step off of the curb.
You can do this. I know that because I watch you do it. Everyone watches you do it. And you do it well. So well. And you are win. Every single night when those little arms wrap around your neck with their slobberygood night kisses. You are winning. When your sassy 4 year old says she doesnt need a bedtime story but then detects herself in your arms in the middle of the night whispering that you are her best friend. You are winning. When the baby wakes up with teething aches for the 5th night in the row and you sit quietly in the rocking chair humming her back to sleep. You are winning.
Youoften get kicked down. You have felt exhaustion that you didnt think was possible. Nothing ever seems to pan out the style it did in your grand plans.But you are winning. Take a good look around. You are doing everything right. You may feel defeated, as we all have. But you are not. Snuggle those newborns and gear up for tomorrow. I cant promise it will get any easier. But I can assure you that you are not alone. And when you look into the eyes of your beautiful children merely remember, you are winning.
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