I see you lying there in bed, trying to will yourself to get up. I know some part of you might wish you hadn’t woken up this morning – that you could fade away into nothingness because it seems a hell of a lot better than dealing with the demons you fight off daily in your head. I recognize that question in your eyes: “Is this life really worth all the effort?”
And I see the moment when it all rushes back to you, when you remember why you keep fighting. I watch as you summon all your strength to push yourself out of bed because the baby is crying and the preschooler needs breakfast and you know you are needed.
I feel your pain as you hold that precious baby and watch that “big boy” eat breakfast and wonder what you ever did to deserve such a gift and simultaneously hating yourself for ever wanting to disappear. The love you feel wells in equal proportion to your guilt and you can’t decide if your tears are ones of joy and thanksgiving or shame and self-hatred.
I witness you fight through your day, each action a tremendous victory. It’s far from perfect, but it doesn’t matter because you’re there for another day. You show up – whether it’s at work, at home, at school – you show up for another day. You do what you have to do to survive. Sure, the kids will eat pop tarts in the car for dinner and you haven’t showered in four days and you’re living on a diet of drive thru coffee and your kid’s left-overs, but none of that matters because you’re still here. You’re still fighting — despite everything.
I see you, mama, fighting against all odds because your children need you. I see you struggle and I see you persevere because there is nothing more powerful than your will to protect your kids. They don’t know it yet, but their mom is a warrior, a queen, a saint, a testament to the unyielding power of love.
Yes, people may judge you because you haven’t changed your clothes in three days or they hear you crying to yourself in the bathroom stall or they disagree with the way you parent your kids, but I’m here to tell you, none of that matters. It doesn’t matter because you showed up and you loved your kids and that’s enough. Let that be enough.
A Mama Just Like You
If you or someone you know needs help, visit our suicide prevention resources.
If you need support right now, call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-8255, the Trevor Project at 1-866-488-7386 or reach the Crisis Text Line by texting “START” to 741741.