My crew will be 11, 8, 5 and 3 this month. But I remember those days. The days of having a newborn strapped to my chest while pushing two in a stroller. The days of trying to get the older ones to school on time after a night of no sleep (let’s be honest, after a month of no sleep).
I remember the exhaustion. I remember the hormone surges and the aching body still recovering from childbirth. I remember the mornings of having to choose between taking a shower and eating breakfast or nursing the baby (again), changing the toddler’s diaper (again) and hunting down the five year old’s socks (again). Of course we always choose the baby and the diapers and the socks, don’t we?
I remember what it feels like to be running on nothing but tears and coffee and the sheer determination to survive.
I want you to know that I admire you so much. Not only did you get yourself and four tiny people out the door this morning, you got out the door on time! You are light years ahead of where I was in that season (in this season too sometimes).
I admire your choice to get out of bed and get everyone dressed and fed and packed up so you could get your oldest child to school. Sometimes just the getting out of bed felt like the hardest thing in the world back in those days.
Tears spring to my eyes as I think about all you are doing right now. All the ways you serve, all the ways you put your family’s needs before your own, all you have put on hold so you can be the mama. I know it doesn’t always feel like it but you are changing the world, one feeding, one story, one snuggle at a time.
I hope you are giving yourself a lifetime supply of grace in this season. I hope you are able to be kind to yourself, patient with yourself, understanding of yourself. You have never deserved it more than you do right now.
It probably feels like what you are feeling and experiencing right now will last forever. But one day not too long from now you will look around and realize you can breathe again, sleep again, think again, dream again. One day not too long from now you will start to feel like yourself again.
Don’t ask any more of yourself than what you are already doing. You are amazing just as you are. You will have the rest of your life to fix gourmet meals, to get in tip top shape, to read mountains of books and to volunteer or teach class at church, go back to school or host a crowd in your home every week. One of these days you will have the mental and emotional energy to do those things again. The fog will clear and your time will come, I promise.
Hang in there, sister. My heart is with you.