Dear Tired Mama,
I see you at our local store. You’re carrying baby in a sling and coaxing a toddler along at the same time. Your face looks tired and weary and yet you plough on.
I know how you feel.
I know you feel so tired that you’re close to breaking. But still get up and do it anyway.
I know how your bones ache and your head pounds. And how much you crave five minutes – just five minutes alone.
I know how weary you are of doing countless tasks over and over again. With little people who wriggle away and resist you at every turn.
I know how you thought you’d got this but sometimes feel like falling on your knees and sobbing. But you can’t. Because your baby is crying. Again. And your toddler is shrieking so loudly you feel like your head might explode. And you wish someone would appear by magic and help you.
I know that there are so many times when you just want to walk out of the door and keep walking. But you never will. And never would.
I know you love both your kids to the moon and back and wouldn’t change things for the world but that you wish that this was easier. Or you just had a bit more help or a bit more space to get through the day.
Being a mom can be really hard.
You’re not failing. It’s just hard. It really is. And nobody admits it enough.
And it can be lonely. So lonely. Your partner leaves in the morning and there are HOURS of the day to get through and it’s just you and your little ones. With nobody coming to rescue you.
Some days you wish, more than anything, that your own mother would magically appear and hold the crying baby and settle her in her experienced loving arms.
You wish that they would pop round and play imaginary games that we’re too weary to play with our energetic toddlers.
You wish that they would make you a cuppa and order you to go to bed and lie down, while they took care of everything. But you know that’s not going to happen.
But, you know they’re busy at work and they can’t.
And so you carry on. No matter how knackered you are. No matter how much the kids are crying (and how much you want to fall to the floor and sob too).
You scroll through your social media feed and see so many perfect posts with happy babies and toddlers and smiling mums.
In coordinated outfits and with wide smiles. And insta-perfect interiors in the background. And – even though you know social media cannot tell the whole truth – you begin to wonder if you’re the only one in a bit of a mess.
With two crying kids, heaps of laundry in the corner of the living room and wearing a tired-mum outfit of jogging bottoms and a messy bun.
How have all the mums you see on social media got it together to dress their kids in matching outfits – that coordinate with the nursery decor – and managed to get them all to smile for a photo?
When you are struggling to feed the baby, dress your toddler and make it out of the house in time for nursery?
Before becoming a mum there were times when you were tired but nothing on this level. You didn’t know how every bone in your body could ache. You didn’t know how your brain would feel dull and dimmed.
That you could walk into a room and wonder what on earth it was you came into that room to do. You didn’t know how a lack of sleep could leave you feeling so empty at times either.
If you’re in the trenches and the midst of sleep deprivation – I get it.
Know at least that you’re not alone. Other mamas have felt like you do. They might not talk about it – although we all should – but they’ve been there too.
They’ve wondered how on earth they would cope. But they had no choice and kept going. And they did. And you will too.
One day you’ll get a bit more sleep. One day you’ll get a bit more rest. One day you’ll get the chance to drink that cuppa while it’s still hot, curled up on the sofa, with your thoughts to yourself. For a full 5 minutes.
Until that day. Keep on keeping on. Get help when you can. Rest when you can. Whatever that takes.
In the midst of it all stop and enjoy the little things that light you up.
The feeling of a warm baby nestled in your arms, snoring gently as you pat their back, the joyous wonder and wide smile on your toddler’s face when they discover a ‘brilliant stick’ on a walk and wave it as a magic wand.
These little nuggets of joy will lift you out of your weariness. They’ll keep you afloat when you feel like tiredness will drown you.
I’m not saying it’s easy. I’m not saying there won’t be some days life beats you and you’ll curl up on the floor and weep like your babies.
But, mamas, you are strong. You are brave. And you will get through this.
The early years are magical. But they’re super tough too.
You’re not alone. And you’ve got this.
Love from a previously weary mama
Are you struggling with exhaustion?
If you’re feeling like you’re struggling generally and might have postnatal depression, always reach out to your doctor or health visitor to get help.
In the meantime you can also find support and advice by chatting to other moms in our parenting chat room:
New Mom and Baby Support Group
A kind place where new moms can chat, ask for advice, share tips and photos or just vent.