Dear Tired Soul,
I’ve been you as a lost and abused teenager trying to survive; I’ve been the exhausted teen mom trying to get through high school and do it well; I’ve been the single college student with two kids, studying until 3:00 am; I’ve been the single mom scared to call in sick with an ill child, then scared to call in sick when I got the flu; I’ve been the dating fool, untrusting and unsure. I’ve been the overwhelmed mom of four. I’ve been the defeated wife who hates herself. I’ve been the menopausal woman looking back, and here is what I know.
I’ve sat in ICU waiting rooms after a devastating tragedy, and hospital rooms alongside near dying children. I sat alone in cars crying when marriage was too hard, and I wasn’t enough. I’ve made mac and cheese for dinner at 7:00 pm because I worked nine hours, then made it to doctor appointments and grocery stores. I’ve shed tears over a messy house and no time to clean it. I’ve had heartache and pain with rebellious children.
I made real efforts to be a wife, mom, daughter, sister, employee, and hold it all together. But I failed numerous times in multiple ways.
I felt alone more than supported. I felt insignificant next to careers. Many days I was alone on the field, playing every position, in every quarter.
Tonight, a mom or dad is feeling like the failure I once considered myself to be. But you are not a failure!
You are tired, and that’s okay.
You are lonely, and that happens.
You are doubtful, and we all are.
You are not a failure because life is demanding, and it’s challenging to keep up.
You are not a failure because you lost your patience tonight.
You are not a failure because your bills are past due, or your water is shut off.
Life happens, and the failure is when we stop trying.
Do you love your kids and do your best to provide?
Do you get them to school, work a job, and handle every appointment, activity, homework assignment, or meeting?
Do you teach them love, wrong and right, discipline, compassion, caring, and decency? Are they learning about self-discipline, hard work, dedication, devotion, and determination?
You are trying and doing a damn fine job. Stop feeling like a failure. Your feelings are understandable, because I once felt like a failure, too. But I was wrong, and so are you.
Don’t be me.
Chasing two-year-olds while cleaning a house, making breakfast, lunch, and dinner, doing laundry, playing, reading books, picking up the toys (all day long), is exhausting.
Managing life around full-time parenting, full-time career, and full time ‘adulting’ is rough. From the outside, you probably appear perfectly intact, even if you feel like you’re being torn in a thousand directions, and your head is spinning like a bad sci-fi movie. Whether every load of laundry is done will never matter. Your house may never be perfectly cleaned; it is not the end of the world. The dishes may sit overnight, who cares!
Are you like me?
..Up doing chores three or four hours after everyone else goes to bed? Working all day to be the only one to cook dinner or plan meals? Anyone else in your house pick up a vacuum today, run to the grocery store, pick up the dry cleaning, pay the bills, help with homework, or manage to dip kids in the bath before bed?
You are amazing. Your list of daily routines is much longer than I can write. You work your tail end off to provide and to protect. Your time is valuable in each area of your day, but it is limited, and we can only do what we can do.
Here’s the best news,
“No one is perfect.”
Not the neighbor lady, the man in the pew next to you, the librarian, or the YouTube sensation telling you how to optimize your space, time, and thoughts. She’s only a sensation because we are so desperate for answers we watch everything on the internet for an idea on how to be better.
You want to be better, start by loving yourself. Accept your strengths and your weaknesses. Look in a mirror and praise yourself for trying today.
You are terrific and enough. As long as you are willing to grow, you’ll figure it all out eventually. Life is too short to beat ourselves up continually.
I got passed the failure attitude by admitting my shortcomings and making the decision to work them out. Failure would be to plant myself in them and be comfortable.
I spent years disliking who I was, and all that time, I was a good woman with a beautiful heart. I loved others and treated all, even my enemies, with care and respect. I was a good daughter, sister, wife, mother, aunt, and friend. I was never the best, but I was enough. Even in my mental health mess, I was enough.
You need to know your worth and walk in it.
You are loved, my friend.
You are deeply loved.
Never forget that.
Another Tired Soul