I don’t want this day to end.
I’m tired. It’s 1:00am, but I don’t want to go to sleep.
I have been alone for just over 24 hours. And it is doing me so much good. I’ve been able to think. Focus. Relax. Play. Rest. Work. Eat. All on my own schedule. According to my own desires.
I don’t know the last time I had 24 hours to myself.
I love my family. Almost every single thing I do is done with them in mind. I miss my husband and kids so much already.
But I need a little more time. A little more time to just be.
I took for granted how much time I used to have to just be. And I know I will miss this time when my kids have moved out.
But right now, in this moment, I need to just be a little longer.
I need to think. To space out. To cry. To laugh. To write. I need to hang out with my thoughts, uninterrupted.
I need this to be okay. I need to be okay to take a break from the nonstop demands of motherhood. I need to not hear that I should be grateful to even have children. I need to not hear that I will miss these days when they are behind me. I ALREADY KNOW THOSE THINGS.
But I still need rest for my weary mind. I need to be allowed rest. We all deserve to take time for rest, no matter what battle we are fighting.
I haven’t been able to rest in my life in over a year, mostly due to outside circumstances.
This weekend, I will get about 38 waking hours of rest. Is that sufficient rest for 17 months of being “on” nearly every waking moment? I’m either doing something for my kids, my house or my job, I’m planning to do something for my kids, my house or my job, or I’m thinking of doing something for my kids, my house or my job all. the time.
I know I deserve this rest. I just need to know that I’m allowed. That women can do this kind of thing without feeling the sting of judgement and guilt from others, especially other moms.
Personally, I don’t feel guilty about these couple days of rest. I know those feelings all too well though, and collectively, the #momguilt culture is thriving. We, as moms, have to work to change it. If we don't, who will?
We need to celebrate instead of shame. And to empathize instead of judge.
Let’s celebrate each other’s accomplishments. Celebrate women going after her dreams and those who overcome their challenges. Cheer on the moms who are doing their best. Let’s keep telling our stories, knowing we have a tribe of women who will be there to support us.
Mamas, we need to support each other. We need to use our advantages to help elevate those who do not have the same advantages.
We need to lift each other up. If we can do that, if we can truly support one another, we will be unstoppable.
How? You can start by saying supportive things. Say them to the women in your life. Be a cheerleader for women you see going after their dreams. If you appreciate my words, tell me. Not because I need your accolades, but because we should say the positive things we think.
I try to do this. If you know me personally, I am sure I have fangirled over you or supported your endeavors in one way or another. I’ve bought your candles, your cookies, your oils. I've shared your posts. I’ve listened to your sales pitches, attended your parties and bought your products when I could afford to. I love being your cheerleader, and I never expect any sort of praise in return.
But I’m gonna need you to pay it forward.
Support other women. When a female in your life achieves a goal, be happy for her. You can acknowledge your feelings of jealousy if you have them, but do not unleash it on her. After all, when you accomplish your goals, do you want someone to support that or hate on you over it?
Offer support in the hard times as well.
When someone online posts about their struggle, don’t tell them how they should be grateful for their struggle because others have it worse. That’s true for all of us, all the time. Someone, likely many someone’s have it way worse than I do, than you do, but that doesn’t make any of our struggles less real.
I would bet we have all been on both sides of the equation. I have both been the person who thought, “Sheesh, if this is what you’re struggling with you don’t know struggle” and the one who considered herself grateful her “problems” weren’t as bad as the one she just read about.
Can we stand to gain some perspective? Sure. But there has got to be a better way to offer perspective than by kicking a person with it while they are down.
Can we rally together, ladies? Can we come together across everything that divides us to celebrate each other and our collective motherhood?