Dear Mum in pain
I just wanted you to know I see you, I see you and I feel your pain.
I know how much it took for you to climb out of your warm bed and pick out your outfit for the day.
I know you think you look a mess. You feel so frustrated that you don’t have time or energy for yourself anymore.
You feel angry at yourself and feel like you have let yourself go.
You feel like a shadow of the person that you used to be but I promise you, you are beautiful and you are still you.
I know how hard it was to apply your makeup and hide your tired puffy eyes, eyes that are still red from the tears you cried last night.
You are so strong and although you can’t see it, you are moving mountains daily.
I know how hard it was to remember all that your children needed for the day. You are so busy pushing the pain to the back of your mind and making your children your focus that sometimes you do things on auto pilot and can’t remember doing them. Their pack lunches, letters to sign, PE kits and a snack for playtime worry you daily.
I know you organised your family, your pets, your work, your day, all whilst trying to block out the pain, I know this is so so hard to do and I know the amount of strength it takes to do it.
I know as you drove your children to school, you doubted and second guessed yourself. Sometimes you struggle to remember and you struggle to focus because you are so so tired, I know this, I understand.
You worried that you had forgotten their drink and you worried that you might have forgotten to do a piece of homework with them and that they would get into trouble for it. You worried about being so exhausted last night and having no energy left to do school reading books. You worry all of the time. This is why you read the school books in the morning, in the car, while you wait for the school gates to open. You do this so you know the books have been done.
You feel guilt once your children go into school because you were so quiet during the car journey, trying to remember the things you didn’t remember.
You feel guilt that you didn’t sing with your children, talk about the day to come or listen to them chat. The fogs consuming sometimes, I know this.
I know though, that despite the fog and the fear of forgetting. Those children have gone off to school with bags full of love.
You organised their bags last night, you packed them up with a snack for the day, you made sure everything they needed was there last night because you knew how tired you would feel in the morning.
You are organised and you put everyone before you, you make sure they are ok before even thinking about yourself. I know you still worry though, I know.
I know you dreaded walking your children into school today.
You felt a mess.
You felt like the whole world could tell that you didn’t have your shit together today.
You felt invisible and like you didn’t fit in.
I promise you, just as I do, others look at you with admiration.
They look at you and wonder how you keep your shit together when most would fall apart. They look at you and see your strength, if only you could see it too.
Your children see your strength.
In the eyes of your children you are ‘Super Mum,’ you are their hero.
Please start to see what they see.
Your children love you for all that you are, not all that you could have been.
Children live for the moment and you being there for that moment, full of the love and joy you bring to their lives, is all that they truly need.
Your children aren’t bothered by your scars and imperfections. They love your messy morning hair and mismatched pyjamas.
They think your jelly belly – Mummy tummy is funny and loveable and they are fascinated that once upon a time, your tummy housed them for nine months.
Your children love your softness, there’s nothing nicer than a cuddly Mum to snuggle up to. They love you, they really, really love you. You are all that they’ve known, wanted and ever wished for, all wrapped up in one lovely Mummy bundle.
Children aren’t bothered if you’ve not had time to shave your legs in weeks or if this is day five of relying on dry shampoo. They don’t care if you haven’t had your nails done or if you aren’t wearing the latest designer perfume or clothes.
Children won’t notice if you haven’t been able to muster the strength or had time to fit in or afford to go and get false eyelashes and hair extensions like some of the other Mums out there. Yes they’ll comment on the other ladies pretty hair but nobody in their eyes will ever compare or be as beautiful to them as their Mum.
Your children just want you, they want your big smile, your hugs, just you to greet them as they run out of school. They get excited about you being there, and will be so happy to see you. They won’t notice if today it’s your hair scraped back, messy bun, wrapped up warm , comfort clothed kind of self.
It’s you they love, not who or what you look like.
Please try to stop being so hard on yourself.
You are a beautiful, strong and inspirational lady, with a beautiful heart.
You are enough.
You do not need to compare yourself to others, your children will not compare you because you are their Mum and they are proud of all that you are and all that you do.
I know you had every intention of tackling that mountain of ironing, blitzing the house and catching up on all your work today. You just couldn’t do it today though, the task was far to great.
You spent all day feeling guilt because your body needed to rest.
You felt like a failure, like you are weak.
You aren’t though,you know you aren’t.
The fact you need rest today is a sign of how strong you were yesterday. You’ve been marching forward through the pain and you’ve kept going for everyone around you.
You are incredibly strong and today, your body needs to recharge, let it.
I know you spent all day looking forward to your children coming home, you couldn’t wait to see their little faces and snuggle up with them and watch a movie.
I also know how frustrated you feel at the tiredness.
It took so much out of you, just a simple school run and the knackering task of looking like you’ve got your shit together at the school gates.
The tiredness you feel today means that trying to organise dinner, homework, bath time and bed is feeling like an uphill climb, walking backwards through thick sticky mud. You did it though, they are warm, fed and happy…..see ‘Super Mum!’
I know it’s hard and I know the movie probably didn’t happen. I know you felt guilty about this.
I know you feel like if you sit down and stop, your eyes won’t be able to stay open. I know you kept moving because you had to, you couldn’t allow yourself to give in to the exhaustion. Keeping going when your body isn’t always willing takes strength, you are strong!
You did everything that you needed to do and more! You enjoyed every little story of the school day, played Barbies and took turns on the latest computer game. Homework was completed and school bags and uniforms ready for action.
Why do you doubt yourself?
look how incredible you are!
Why feel guilty about the things you didn’t do when you should be feeling proud of the things you managed to achieve?
I know how much you loved tucking your children into bed. Bedtime stories are the best and watching your child fall asleep in your arms is one of life’s greatest gifts, a gift that gives you the power to keep going.
I know though that once your children are asleep, you will cry again.
You will cry for all that you were, all that you wanted to be and all that you can’t be. Things always feel much worse in the quiet of the night.
Tomorrow when you awake your day will either be a repeat of today or you may be lucky and have a good pain free day. I know though that if it’s a good day, you will race around doing everything you couldn’t manage today and then inevitably have a repeat of today on the following.
It’s a never ending cycle. The good is always masked by the bad, I know this.
The pain frightens you some days but you don’t let anyone know you are scared for fear of scaring them. You silently suffer and swallow the fear, this is strength, you are very strong.
Slow down and allow yourself to breathe.
Slow down and allow yourself to feel what your body is doing. Be guided by your pain, don’t stop but don’t push through the pain either. Find your balance and be gentle on yourself when needed.
I know you just want your life back and to be the person you once were but in life we only move forward, never backwards. You have to embrace, love and understand the person you are now, it’s the only way, I promise you.
Look after yourself and be kind to yourself, you have so many years ahead of you. PACE, pace and pace again!
You can’t burn yourself out trying to achieve the impossible.
If only you could see what everyone else sees.
If only you could see what I see in you.
If only you could see how strong, brave and fearless you are.
You keep moving, you keep fighting when most would expect you to crumble.
You face up to your difficulties with courage.
You hide your pain from those around you and you work so hard to look and act like everyone else. You do this for them, you do this to make everyone else more comfortable without a second thought for how you truly feel.
Try not to hold back from saying things that should be said. How can people understand and support you, if you bottle things up to yourself. If you are hurting, talk to someone, let them into your world.
Please don’t doubt yourself or second guess yourself anymore.
You are truly amazing. Please don’t feel guilt for the little things in life because you work so hard and tackle the big things admirably.
You have nothing to prove.
If you have a ‘write off’ day, embrace it and understand you needed it because you’ve been over-functioning and possibly forgetting to pace.
Please ask for help.
Please stop trying to do it all, it’s okay to ask for a helping hand when you need it.
I know you are fiercely independent and proud, these are your strengths but it’s okay to let others in.
It’s not admitting defeat or a sign of weakness. Asking for help gives you the break you sometimes, so desperately need.
You are beautiful.
You are strong and you are one of life’s fighters.
You are enough.
You are all you ever were and would have been with an extra special something added in for good measure. You have learnt so many of life’s lessons and the wisdom gained from this is truly inspirational.
You have a spark, a light within you that shines brightly, please see it, please allow others to see it.
Learn to love who you are today and all that she’s achieved and overcome.
You are awesome Mumma,
A Mumma who knows