By Ashley Patek
I can’t be the only one who asks, “Am I the only one?”
Am I the only one who raised her voice today. I did more times than I would have liked, and then I sat on the floor and cried.
Am I the only one who, despite the busy days, feels lonely? Distant from my partner, separated from my friends, disconnected from my reflection.
Am I the only mom desperate for a break yet terrified to leave her kids?
The only one who longs to return to work,
Or who dreams of staying at home?
Am I the only mom who struggles to find balance between the list of “to-dos” and being with my children? Why is it so hard for me to hush my mind and play?
Am I the only one who doesn’t have it all together? Sometimes it looks like everyone else does and I wonder, how are they doing it?
Could I be the only one who questions if she is doing enough, doing it right, or just flat out ruining them? I ask myself daily, and the chatter is deafening.
I can’t be the only one who asks, am I the only one?
We feel so similar yet hide it so well.
Do you see me, dear mama?
I see you.
We are not broken.
We are enough.
We are doing it right.
We are not alone.
And while I am not the only one, I am the only one.
The only one who knows how to kiss their boo-boos, snuggle them in close, and bring about a belly laugh. The only one who knows the thoughts behind their eyes, their smile, their sounds. I am their safe place to come together and fall apart. I am their mom.
I don’t have it all figured out.
And I don’t get it perfect, but I am perfect for them.
No, I’m not the only one, but I am the only one.
*** Ashley is a mama to three children; two boys and a daughter born to Heaven. She is an occupational therapist, parent educator, certified holistic lifestyle coach, and Chief Storyteller with Generation Mindful. Ashley is an education seekin', acai-bowl lovin', Sunday brunch-havin', free-spirited mama.
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