So, here’s the biggest secret of them all, a secret I haven’t dared to say out loud and not even wanted to admit to myself. But, here it goes. Sometimes, even I need a break.
The mother who has a baby in Heaven, the mother who longs for her days to be busier and her arms to be fuller, needs a break. I should have one more in the middle of it all. Sometimes, the two here with me, minus one, are more than I can handle. Sometimes, the whining makes me want to pull my hair out, and then talking about every step intended on the next hot glue craft to hold water becomes mind-numbing. The laundry minus the baby clothes still feel like an overwhelming amount, and cooking dinner and tucking in crying children is the last thing I want to do.
Sometimes, the days feel dull, and I wonder what we’re all doing, and I keep on my pajama pants, and the dishes stay dirty, and the best thing I did was take a nap while my girls watched a movie.
Sometimes, I sit outside because being inside feels like too much. These are all things that are hard to admit, as a Momma with a child whose name is written in stone. But, I have decided, it is still essential to do so, all the same.
We mommas are good at giving ourselves impossible standards. Of raising the bar intended for ourselves way beyond what we would ever expect out of anyone else. When we have had a child that has died, or sometimes, what feels like even more so, struggling to somehow make up for what’s never going to be the same. For what everyone is missing out on. We are creating happy memories to overshadow the heartbreaking ones, throwing glitter in the face of hard days. Ushering kids around not to gymnastics or soccer practice, but counseling and HIPPA therapy and all the other places I have sought out to help them cope and adapt to the childhood that was stolen.
Based on my friends who have walked this journey beside me, who have seen the worst happen to someone right next to them, I have also felt the pressure of the need to savor every moment.
And, I think there’s truth to all of it. There have been times that I’ve struggled sitting around a table with mommas as I quietly listen to the complaints of motherhood. How tired the mother is with the newborn. How the momma of three wants to go grocery shopping by herself. How dropping the kids off at school is the favorite part of a Momma’s day. And it all has been so hard to sit and listen. As the momma who would do anything, to be tired with her newborn, or grocery shopping with three. The one who cries when she drops her kids off at school because she needs them to fill the loneliness of a day that should be spent chasing around a toddler.
But, it’s even harder to admit that everything that they are saying is also right. Raising newborns is exhausting. Grocery shopping is the most efficient single-handedly, and I cringe a little when I pick up the girls from school, and they start fighting before we even leave the parking lot.
Sometimes, there are just moments that aren’t the savoring kind. There are some moments that you want to pass over and forget. There are moments where your best didn’t show up, and their worst shined brightly, and there was hair being pulled out from both sides. Those are not the moments I wish to relish.
Don’t get me wrong, I’m thankful I have them to suffer through, but that’s pretty much the best of what can be said.
They are my moments with my babies, and you can’t have all good without some bad, but that doesn’t mean it’s not exhausting. That doesn’t mean we don’t feel tired in every part of our body after a hard day. That doesn’t mean that there aren’t times that I don’t sit there with no idea what to do. And the purpose of researching for yet another new technique to try doesn’t make me want to bawl my eyes out.
Sometimes, we all need a break. And that’s ok. In fact, I think it should be encouraged and scheduled into the plans and everything else. I’m a better mom and wife after retreating, regrouping, and re-charging. Which, by definition, means taking a break from the very ones I love and cherish the most.
But, the kicker is that we don’t need to feel guilty about it. We don’t need to keep it a secret, and we don’t need to keep from admitting it to our hearts.
We need to embrace it as a vital part of being the best moms and wives; we can be a necessity that falls in line with laundry, dishes, and even showers. It may not always get done, but we need to make time for it, eventually. When the moments do come, that is worth soaking up; we can give with everything we’ve got. And when the moments come that we simply endure and wait to pass, we can do so without losing our ever-loving minds. And that, my dear Mommas, is as true as it gets.