How many times have young moms been in the trenches and needed someone older to swoop us up in their seasoned survivor arms, hug us tight and remind us of the truth? How many times have we not cried out for help because we were ashamed to? Because someone along the way told us that asking for help meant weakness? Tired, worn out and frustrated mamas – this is for you.
When I read this interaction in a closed Facebook group I’m in, I knew I had to share. I could very much relate to the first mama’s cry for help and I can also very much relate to the second mama’s words of encouragement. There were other comments of encouragement in this thread that were amazingly encouraging but these two did it for me. The initial post took me back in time. I read so much of my own heart in “Beth’s” words. Then “Cari” spoke my seasoned mom’s heart right back to my younger mom’s heart. I wanted to hug sweet Beth’s weary soul and high five Cari’s fighter spirit. I love when we support each other. It’s such a beautiful picture of how it is meant to be.
*I have graciously been given permission from both moms to share their words here. I have changed their names to respect their privacy.
Listen to Beth’s young mom’s heart. If you’re an older mom, you probably could have written this on any given day when your kids were little.
Beth: Today has been hard. I look in the mirror and see my 23-year-old self and think…wow, it’s got to go uphill from here, but I don’t see that happening. I stay home and have no degree and have never had a post-college job. My hair constantly looks terrible. I rarely get dressed in something besides Nike shorts and a t-shirt that have someone else’s snot and food on them. My only jobs are homemaker and mom and I’m not doing stellar at those. My kids rule our house and I’m tired of it but don’t know how to fix things. My husband is never home and when he does come home he sits at his computer most of the night. I’ve somewhat committed to homeschooling in the future but that also makes me want to bang my head against the wall. I just would like to end my days thinking “wow that was worthwhile!” instead of basically drowning under doubt and what ifs. Hitting “post” before I can delete this…
Now read Cari’s mom’s heart. She is a step or two ahead. If you are a young mom, I would bet my last dollar (or pound since I’m writing this from England) that her words encourage and inspire you. Read on…
Cari: Ok…here is what I heard you say: I am young and only 23, I have lots of life ahead of me. I am blessed to stay home and even if things are tight, I get to love on my littles all day and not deal with caddy coworkers and political drama. I haven’t gotten a degree, but maybe when the kids are in school and I can really dive into my passions and will have time to enjoy them, maybe they will be in a degree field or maybe not. I have hair, my friend Cari has lost her hair before and told me how awful that experience was and how surprised she was, when she felt so insecure as each strand fell. I can wear shorts…. some girls are so self-conscious about their weight and never wear shorts (like Cari) and have permanent mom Capri tan lines. My kids are fed and sometimes their food gets on my shirt, so glad we aren’t starving. Being a mom is tough, but God made me their mom on purpose and His expectations never include the word “perfect”. I am learning how to parent…. I am new to this, it is a learning curve for all moms and No one really actually masters it, kids eventually just move out! 😉 my husband is working hard to support us. And may not understand my need for more attention (I should tell him). I have some time before I commit to homeschooling and who knows I might find an amazing school in the meantime. Some days I feel worthless, but all days, I am a daughter of a King. I am loved. Someone knows how many hairs are on my head and that someone was the Creator of the universe. I am important. I have a purpose. I am one fierce, messy hair, no degree, struggling to parent, hottie in shorts, that sometimes smells like food and snot…and I will conquer, today, even if that battle is just the laundry pile.
#perspective I have had to turn around the way I look at myself, and the things I tell myself, on many occasions.
Don’t just hang in there, girl, know who you are and straighten that crown!
I guess what I’d love for this post to achieve is 1) for a young mom today to know she’s not alone in the trenches and 2) to encourage young mom’s to reach out and 3) to encourage older mom’s to reach back or better yet, when you see a young mom drowning, reach first. We so desperately need each other. As an older mom, I need to be reminded of where I was and how far I’ve come. As older moms who have climbed our way out of the trenches, we need to come alongside younger moms and tell them they are doing great and they will survive. And maybe wipe some snot off of their shirt or better yet, ask them if we can help them with their laundry. We are better together!