To the mom who has toddlers and preschoolers and cannot seem to rest
To the mom who has elementary children and it feels like life is changing too quickly
To the mom of middle schoolers who could not be more aware that their children are turning into adults before their very eyes
To the mom of high schoolers who is learning the tug of war that is holding on and letting go…grieving the end of parenting children while being hopeful about the future
To the mom who is working this summer and feels guilt about not spending time with her children like she hoped to
To the mom who is staying home with her children and feels shame over not reaching the unattainable standards she has set for herself
To the mom who is single and carries heavy burdens no one sees
To the mom who has lost a child and is grieving the summer that has been taken
To the mom who is spending the summer going to treatment for a sickness she doesn’t deserve
To the mom who is trying her best to parent while struggling emotionally or mentally
You are seen, you are valued, and you are loved.
I want to encourage you in something as we enter the summer season. Your kids need you. Your whole family needs you. Other moms need you. Your community needs you. We don’t need the perfect representation of what we see on social media. We need the authentic, messy, and present you. We need the mom who, like so many of us, has been a little (or a lot) wrecked as the dust attempts to settle from the last couple of years.
At different times of life and parenting I have been in, anxiety has been a struggle I have sought to overcome. During some seasons, anxiety has felt bigger than others. At times, it has stolen my joy and kept me focused on fearing the future instead of being at peace with the present. Maybe you can relate. Knowing that we are not alone in this journey of motherhood and life is a truth we can so easily forget. However, reminding ourselves of this can be a great catalyst in finding joy and staying present.
Below are a few practical ways to stay present and find joy this summer:
Reach out to a friend you can be honest with
Turn off the news for a few days
Be where your feet are (focus on where you are physically)
Make a bucket list for your family this summer with ideas from the kids too. This could include things like a drive-in movie, getting snow cones, an afternoon at the park, and camping in the back yard.
If you need self-care, arrange a childcare swap with a friend.
Join a small group of moms who regularly get together and can normalize what we all feel.