This message isn’t for the mama whose baby sleeps through the night. Or for the mama whose baby gets up once or twice – the mama who talks about the woes of interrupted sleep lo these past two or four months (or six months, or eight months, what have you). It’s not for the mama who talks about being exhausted, but can look back at the newborn stage and say, “Well, I guess not that exhausted.” It’s not for the mama who thinks she knows, but doesn’t really know.
This is a message for you, the truly tired mamas. The bone tired mamas. The ones who have wondered if they have some rare disease while lying on the floor practically dying for sleep mid-morning. The mama who cringed every time someone would ask if their baby was sleeping through the night; the one who doesn’t get asked anymore, because their baby is older now, of course she should be sleeping through the night – don’t all babies sleep through the night by now? The mama who has driven around the block in the middle of the night, once, twice, 50 times straight just praying for a few minutes of respite from the screaming. The mama who gets up at 3 am some mornings because sometimes the fight for sleep just isn’t worth it. The mama who says to herself every day, “I can’t do this anymore,” and yet she does.
I’m not here to tell you it’ll get better. I’m sure it will, someday, but that’s not what you need to hear right now.
I’m here to say I hear you, mama. I’m with you.
I’ve been there and I’ve cried like you’ve cried. I’ve walked in circles for hours with a fussing babe, my arms like rubber when she finally drifts to sleep, only to set her gently into the crib and hear that dreaded wail. I’ve seen those dark circles when I look in the mirror, the ones too pronounced for makeup to hide. I’ve been too tired to wake up in the morning, but I’ve done it anyway, just like you have. I’m with you.
I’ve known that deep aching loneliness and jealousy that rises in your chest when you talk to other moms, the ones whose eyes aren’t red from tears and exhaustion, who pretend to understand but they don’t. Of course they don’t. I know how hard it is to not roll your eyes at the moms who suggest sleep training methods and what worked for their babes like you haven’t tried everything on God’s green earth already. I know what it’s like to stifle a scream every time one of them tells you it will get better. I hear you.
I’m here to say you’re amazing, mama. I’m in awe of you.
I know how hard it is to plow on with motherhood when you’re working on less sleep than should be humanly possible, but you do it anyway, and damn, mama, you do it well. You give until you’re spent, and then you give some more. Maybe you lose your cool sometimes, but you pull it back together. You hit that reset button as many times as you need to. You do the best you can, and it is always, always more than enough. I’m in awe of what you do.
The work you do, I’ll tell you what, it’s harder than what most mamas do. Every whine is more trying. Every task is harder. And most days it feels like no one understands, and most people don’t. Giving your all means more to the truly tired mamas. What you do is amazing.
And most of all I’m here to say I love you, mama. You’re not alone.
When you’re crying in the middle of the night. When the weight of constant motherhood is pressing down harder than you can bear. You’re not alone.
You’re never alone.
And you are so, so loved for all you do.