Maddox bought me this journal at Christmas… note it says “SLOW DOWN”… later in my room after we had opened our gifts... he came to me and said...
“Mom… when I saw this journal I thought of you….I want you to use this to write the things you need to write… there is so much you need to say. I know sometimes we kids are a lot of work and you need space and quiet….So please take a break and SLOW DOWN... we kids are fine... you need to focus on writing in these pages. It's important.”
He hugged me hard.... and after he left the bedroom.. I cried.
I cried because he saw the truth… on one hand I was proud of his empathy and heart… on the other hand I was embarrassed that he saw me as weak and someone who struggled sometimes…. as someone who has put her heart cries on hold for other people.. other roads… other “more important things”.
Moms. Please listen to me.
You can’t hide life from your kids. No matter how hard you try… they will bear witness to HARD things… and sometimes they will learn lessons right inside their own home… the home you've tried so hard to make perfect.
Your kids know. They know when you’re so tired you can’t see straight. They recognize the strain in your voice and know the struggles in your life that make it hard to be the mom they need sometimes.
They hear the battles and the prayers behind the bedroom door when you and your husband are fighting for your family and making decisions that are monumental…
They know the health issues that keep you from making it to their soccer games…
They watch you stare at a pile of bills and they memorize the tears that stream down your face when you don’t know how you’ll pay them.
They watch you break your back at work… up at 5am… kids dressed, breakfast made…racing out the door to avoid missing the school bell…worrying about your deadlines at the office…they feel the weight of the quiet in the car on the way to school… they are asking you questions and your mind is so far away you never even respond…
They know that sometimes….“not right now” means “I have no energy to even hold a conversation with you so please walk away”…
They see the dishes piling up in the sink.. the laundry still waiting to be washed from last week….
They know you hide in your closet to keep them from seeing your tears when the day has taken everything you have…. and you’re just… DONE.
They know your medicine fights depression and quietly wonder if one day they will fight it too….
Yet in spite of all the valleys they bear witness to… they think you are BEAUTIFUL… they call you their HERO… and they believe in you because you are their mom… and THAT alone… is ENOUGH.
They celebrate your good days and quietly pray through your hard ones… and when it’s all said and done… they will be stronger because you showed them what it means to struggle and what it means to find your strength… You taught them the art of surviving... and that is INCREDIBLE... out of all the people they could have learned that lesson from... they learned it from YOU.
I’ve realized… It’s okay that Maddox knows life isn’t perfect… that I’m a person… outside of “mom”… if he sees me and all my inner heart cries… he will one day respect and love all the inner heart cries… of the girl he’ll love for the rest of his life… He has to learn that life is sometimes complex…and that it’s okay to take care of yourself sometimes.
All this to say…. I’ve followed his advice… and I’ve taken a Staycation… to continue writing what is in my heart… and to take the space he knows I need right now…
I love him. I love my family. I believe in rising from hard things and I believe in TRUTH TELLING…. accepting the hard and embracing the messy.. So to all you moms out there… trying to hide your HARD… stop hiding... your kids already know… so let them in… give them a front row seat and show them what it means to fall and what it means to rise… one day at a time.