Encouraging Words

Dear Sara,

I know that your back is hurting from walking a small one to sleep for a half hour or more each night. I know that you can’t remember the last time you used the bathroom and you’re really feeling that need again about now. I know that you could probably use a snack.

I know that there is still so much to do. So many toys to put away. So many counters and a table to wipe down. Dishes to scrub. Laundry to walk downstairs, put in the washer, put in the dryer an hour later, bring upstairs after another hour, fold and put away… eventually.

Yes, the floors are filthy. The shelves and picture frames are lined with dust. The cabinets are unorganized to the point of dropping tupperware on your head each time you want to pack up leftovers. The recycling bags are overflowing, and you are unable to find the time to turn your back on your boys to take care of the mess, thinking that garbage, recycling, something, one thing should maybe fall on the shoulders of one of the other adults living with you. But it waits. For you. And you’ll finally do it, you’ll find a way. And you’ll be okay.

But listen to me. I see you doing so much, and my love, I hear your inner voice guilting you for not doing more, which pushes you to push yourself. You do so much some days that even though all your time is spent under the same roof as your little ones, you may end the day feeling like you barely even saw them.

Listen to me. You are doing a great job. Your babies are healthy and strong. They want to snuggle you because they love you. Because you are their world. They need you. They need you more than the dishes need you. They need you more than the vacuum cleaner needs you. They need you more than the toilets need you. And that won’t always be the case. Listen. You are doing a great job.

Every day, your boys are fed and happy and well-loved. Most days, not only are your boys fed and happy and well-loved, but also dressed, entertained, uninjured, bathed and back in pajamas again–AND the dishes are done, the refrigerator is full, the table is clean, the toys are put away and the hamper is empty. Some days, even the floors are vacuumed, things are dusted and even cabinets and mirrors and light switches are wiped down. And even if no one else in the house notices these things, I do.

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I know how hard it is for you some days. I know that a lot is expected of you because you don’t “go” to work. And I also know that even if you’re not perfect, even if more of the mess is seen than the clean, you are a superhero. You are doing everything you can, and then you somehow find a way to do even more. You sometimes even manage a rare, guilt-free moment for yourself.

And I know how much you could complain, how often you fight the urge because you are afraid. Afraid of showing anything less than gratitude, which you do feel in spades every day. Afraid you’ll be pushed out the door for eight hours a day and a paycheck, which won’t even mean that you wouldn’t still have to do and be all the things at home, too.

I know how hard you work to embrace your duties and see each act as one of love for your family. I know how much you do love your work. How much you love making it look easy so people won’t call you a masochist for wanting to keep taking it on again every day and still long for more. I know that as fulfilling as it all is, it is not easy. I know that there are days you get bogged down. There are days you feel taken for granted. But trust me, you are a rock. You are a wonder. You are amazing. Your little boys and the big men around you are blessed more than they know.

I just thought you needed to hear that today. You are strong. You are loved. You are needed. And you are a gift. Thank you.

Love,
Yourself

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