Dear mama at the end of her rope, I know how you feel

M. J. Corkern

You carry such a burden, my friend. You need to be everything to everyone. All the time. Sure, they say take care of yourself, but you know it comes at a price. Sometimes it’s a price you can’t afford to pay, either in terms of time, money or sanity.

Ignore the dishes for a day and they’ll pile up because there’s no one else to do them, or you feel guilty because you’re adding extra work to your already overloaded husband.

Take a daycation, they say. But maybe you can barely afford to keep food on the table.

Making time for yourself is damn near impossible with all the responsibilities on mother’s these days, especially ones without the ability to outsource.

My friends, if you have a cleaning lady, if you can afford take out or prepared meals, if you don’t have to drive your kids to and from school, consider yourself lucky in that regard. It doesn’t make motherhood any easier, but it does give you the gift of time. Dealing with all the things motherhood has for you is hard enough on it’s own, adding in domestic duties (even when split with your husband) still never cease.

Laundry. Dishes. Trash. Sweeping. Toilet cleaning. Swiffering. Grocery shopping. Marie Kondoing. Form signing. Cooking. Budgeting. Bill paying. Practice taking. Homework checking. Appointment Making. Kin keeping. The invisible burdens on top of the day to day responsibilities.

And that doesn’t include a “regular” job whether you freelance, work from home, work part-time or full time. I’m actually not working much right now (not exactly by choice) and it’s still difficult to keep up with the demands of day-to-day life, especially when it includes relentless job hunting and financial concerns.

But I go.

And I go.

And I go.

Until I crash.

This week, I crashed. I collapsed onto the floor of my empty house, unable to handle that one curveball thrown my way. I’ve been trekking along without a moment’s rest, and my soul is weary. And I’m no stranger to curveballs. I can usually bob and weave with the best of them. But yesterday, I lost my balance. I dropped all the plates I’ve been juggling and though they are miraculously still in one piece, I do not have the strength to pick them back up right now.

Bare minimum is almost too much for me. Even if you think I don’t have it so bad and you want to tell me I just need to toughen up.

I am tough. I handle shit. I’ve been handling so much, swimming upstream for so long that I have to let go in order to survive, but I know the risk of letting go.

I dropped all my responsibilities because they are too heavy right now. If there’s something my husband can do, he’s doing it. My mom came and helped too. But I just can’t do it right now. I would if I could.

Mama, I know what it’s like to carry the weight of the world on your back. To feel like there’s no way out. To feel like everything and everyone would be better off without you.

I know what it feels like to think you’d be better off dead.

I also know what it feels like to be alive. To live. To love. To laugh. To connect. I know those days are not simply behind me. If I stick around, they’re in front of me. I continue living, even on days I don’t want to, because of the beauty that lies ahead.

Take heart when the world looks bleak, mama. The sun will shine again.

M. J. Corkern

Written by

“People like to laugh at you cause they are all the same; I would rather we just go our different way than play the game.” -Pink

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