This Mother’s Day, my sweet family bought me this plaque. For a while now, thankfully, I’ve felt visible. I can’t help but be reminded of how many times I felt invisible.
Mothering is hard. We can wrap it all up in a cheesy commercial, but the bare truth is: guiding a human being from point A to point B is the work of a lifetime. So, today, on Mother’s Day, know that you ARE seen.
I wrote this a few years ago after seeing a mom in Target having what had to be a really tough day in the parenting trenches. I remember when Girl and Boy were little, and how hard it was sometimes. If you’re struggling to be a parent, remember – I see you. And that means you’re not alone.
I See You
I see you, when I’m at Target, or the grocery store. The tired look in your eyes, the kids screaming or carrying on in your cart, and the barely successful effort at smiling. Or at least not bursting into tears, or snapping at the nearest person in your vicinity.
I see you, weighed down by your mind, sometimes your body, and the relentlessness of being a mom. And it IS relentless. It’s day, it’s night, around the clock. You’re wondering where you went. You’re wondering when you disappeared, as you navigate the aisles of the store, fending off your child’s case of “I-want-itis.”
You love them, of course. But sometimes, you just don’t know what to do or how.
I’ve also looked into the chasm between what you thought it would be like and what it is.
I see you, because sometimes, I AM you. Sometimes I’m so physically exhausted I can’t see straight. Sometimes I’m so mentally exhausted I can’t feel straight. And sometimes I’m angry. Sometimes, I’m angry at them for their inability to control themselves: their hands, bodies, voices, emotions. Sometimes I’m angry at myself for thinking, “I just want to be away from them for a little while.” I see that in you, too. I know that question you keep asking yourself over and over again: “Wasn’t I supposed to love this all the time? What’s wrong with me that I don’t?”
There’s nothing wrong with you. You get up everyday, you kiss them and love on them, even when it’s hard on you. Eventually, they do love you back.
But please know: I see you. And if I see you, you’re not alone, and that means neither am I. Happy Mother’s Day. It can be happy. Just hold on.