I have a wonderful, hardworking husband.
A sweet, caring, and beautiful little toddler girl.
A baby on the way.
Kindhearted, generous friends.
Supportive and friendly co-workers.
And yet. It can be so easy to feel alone sometimes.
I can’t use the restroom without my daughter tagging along, and I have very little time to myself most days.
I’m exhausted because I barely have time to recharge, and yet I crave more time with others. Quality time. Time to know others and be known. To not feel alone in this stage of life called parenting small children.
Day in and day out, the parenthood struggle is real.
Sleepless nights. Tantrums. Potty training. Attitude and sass. Fighting siblings. Pre-teen or teenage angst. Anger. Frustration. Lack of patience; prayers for more of it. Life happening. Life being hard. Life sometimes just plain being miserable and not understanding why. Prayers for peace. For grace. For wisdom. Lots of prayers.
The days feel like an eternity, and yet there are not enough hours in them. We crave time to ourselves, and when we find it, we try to shake that nagging sense of guilt that we should be doing something else. Guilt for wanting to pursue our own interests and adult interaction outside the home.
Our days are full of conversations – about work, about Daniel Tiger, or about what our children and their friends are (or are not) doing. We talk, and yet we yearn for more — to be able to share our stories, our hearts, our thoughts and ideas.
Mommas, when our hearts cry for this, we need to listen.
Listen to yourself. Embrace your heart. And know that you are not alone. When you listen to yourself, when you are in tune with what you need, you will remember to say yes to that friend who asks if she can help you with something.
Yes, let’s go get coffee.
Yes, let’s have a play date.
Yes, I would love to have you bring dinner.
Yes, a girls’ night sounds amazing.
Even though this may feel like a season when you are saying no a lot and spending more time balancing your family life with every other role you play, you need to say yes every now and then. Say yes to taking care of yourself — to taking advantage of alone time when it is provided without feeling guilty. Or, take initiative and ask a friend to help, to go out for coffee, or to just get away for a couple hours with you. Even if you have to bring the kids along.
Mommas, we need each other.
Our tribe is what keeps us strong. Sane. Supported in love. We are not meant to do this alone. And remember, even though this season may feel lonely, it won’t last forever.
When you are surrounded and yet exhausted, longing to not feel alone, don’t let go of your tribe – this is when you need them the most. And when you see a momma struggling, reach out and make sure she doesn’t feel alone.