I have been in this mothering gig for over twenty years.
You would think I have done it all, seen it all, and have it ALL figured out. Well, you would be wrong.
I am constantly realizing new things about the crazy ride we call motherhood. This week’s revelation was pretty eye-opening for me. I found myself just absolutely exhausted the other night… like, way more than usual. It had been a relatively easy day, physically. Laundry day. Just lots of laundry. So I started thinking, what’s up? Why am I so wiped out?
Then…BAM. It just hit me.
As moms, not only do we have the physical part of parenting to make us feel depleted, but the emotional and mental part can even be worse. We take on every feeling, every crisis, and every emotion that EVERYONE in our house feels.
If my daughter comes home upset over a fight with her friends (by the way, middle school is BRUTAL) I feel it. I feel her pain. I feel is so much that it might as well have happened to me directly.
When my son comes home a nervous wreck over taking the STARR (don’t even get me started on THAT) I feel it. It makes me nervous and anxious.
When your husband comes home stressed about work, you may not understand it completely, but you feel it. You feel ALL the feels of the entire family.
When a child is sick, you feel it. You may not have the physical ailments, but you can feel your child’s pain. Same goes for a sick husband… which let’s be honest… is worse than a sick child.
Everyone else in the house usually only deals with their own “stuff” and their own little “circle of control.” But as moms, we take on everyone’s issues and feelings.
We can’t just “check it at the door” like some can do with their “work” issues. We think about them. We lose sleep over them. We want to fix them.
There’s a saying: A mother is only as happy as her saddest child. So true. Same goes for your spouse. That’s why I was/am so tired. I realized that I was carrying all the emotional baggage of my entire family. I also realized, there’s really not much that can be done about it. We are wired as mothers and spouses to nurture and take care of our family. It’s just who we are. That’s why it’s so important to take care of ourselves….physically and mentally. Go exercise. Go out with the girls. Get a massage. Try and take some time to just focus on ourselves and let go of everyone’s else’s baggage… even if it’s just for a little bit.