By Jessica Urlichs
I sent this text to my husband this morning, tears stinging the back of my eyes.
Rocks in my heart.
Too tired to comprehend the day ahead, the sleep regression, the lunch that no one eats, the fighting, the constant whining and crying, the pressure I put on myself.
It wasn’t even 9:00 AM and already I felt the weight of the day on my shoulders.
I’d already surrendered to the raincloud drifting overhead, just looking for a place to hover.
I could hear the swirl of voices in my head telling me that I’m lucky.
But those voices don’t carry the invisible loads from the days and weeks passed.
When the curated online world of ‘perfection’ slaps you in the face and allows negative comparisons to rent the space in your head.
When your alignment has been shifting for so long that your direction seems clouded by fog.
Doing my best is sometimes just getting through the day.
Doing my best is their cries echoing into my tightening chest.
Doing my best is picking myself up after I’ve been knocked down by the throes of motherhood.
Doing my best is allowing my expectations to take another violent knock down the bars of reality.
I took them on a walk when the overwhelm felt too much and I caught a reflection of myself in a shop window and didn’t recognize the tired messy girl staring back.
Moments later an elderly woman was walking towards us, her eyes already twinkling at the sight of my two in the pram.
She stopped briefly as we passed and looked at me and said, “Well done. You’re doing a wonderful job.”
She didn’t know if I was or not, and in that moment, it didn’t matter.
She’d allowed me to see myself through her eyes, and that maybe, this is what us Mama’s ‘doing our best’ truly looks like. That the days we drown don’t define us as Mothers.
It reminded me of the huge power in such a small gesture.
That telling a Mother they’re doing a wonderful job is sometimes all we need to hear.
That maybe, it’s possible, ‘our best’ is more than enough.
Written by mama, poet, and contributing writer, Jess Urlichs.
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