To the woman feeling lost.
To the woman who is exhausted to her core.
To the woman who sees her laundry basket more than her friends.
To the woman who feels like everyone else is getting it right.
To the woman who feels like time is slipping past and she isn’t achieving anything.
To the woman who used to laugh and have fun. Who used to be fun.
We have all been there – or are there still.
No one has it all figured out, no matter how it looks from the outside.
That exhaustion can’t be fixed by sleep (although some more would be nice!).
You need to be your own priority. You deserve to meet your needs.
You deserve to not feel stuck.
Your worth is not tied up in how clean your house is, how much money you make, how many vegetables your kids eat.
Your success as a parent isn’t dependent on the sacrifices you make for your family. Denying your own feelings, interests and desires won’t mean that everyone is happy. It won’t bring happiness and ease to the home. It won’t protect you from illness, it won’t boost your kids’ chances at school or make them better readers or mean that they are polite and well-behaved or never get into trouble. Doing that won’t make life be whatever it is you think you achieve by being there for every second of their lives while letting yours quietly slipped away unmourned.
That laundry basket will never be empty. There will always be toys to pick up, dinners to cook and washing up to be done.
These things can keep you treading water, trying not to drown.
Do you want to tread water or do you want to swim?
Search for any lift raft that you can find to buoy you up, to support you until you find your stroke again. They exist, you just need to have the courage to cling on to one and see where it takes you.
The old you is still in there.
You deserve to find her.
You need to find her, show her to the world, show her to your children, to your friends, to your partner.
Being whole is just as important as caring for your family. Being whole is how you care for your family. It’s how you find snatches of peace in the chaos. How you resource yourself to deal with questions, demands, packed lunches, school runs, PTA meetings, squabbling siblings, flu-ridden households, parent taxi services, endless dinners and drinks and snacks and mopping up and wiping faces and holding space for everyone.
Want to be a ‘good’ mum whose children follow their hearts and dreams? Give yourself a break and model how it’s done.