Dear Struggling Mother,
Life has gotten difficult for you. You might have a sick child, a sick parent, food allergies in the house, a life trial or you might even be sick yourself. I am so sorry you are on this road. I’ve been there. The voice of experience says no matter the cause, the true test is in how you endure a trial and not the outcome.
You have my permission to take a break from looking for answers. You can not gain perspective and digest all that you have learned while you continue to cram your head with information overload. Mental space is necessary to digest and absorb what you have learned before you add more information to the mental catalogue. Your brain has ways of connecting dots while you are otherwise occupied. Take a break and revisit it in a day or two. Put your computer into shock by turning it off for at least 24 hours.
You have my permission to take care of yourself. Go to bed by 10:30. Get the rest you need. Exercise if you can and always eat right. You must mother yourself because no one else will. But if you get ill, who will take care of your family? If you break family bonds with a constantly irritable attitude, where will your children turn? Turn off the computer and go to bed. Doubly so if your trial involves being woken up at night. Sleep while you can so you endure the sleepless nights better when they come. Sleep is the main determinant of your attitude and how you handle your struggle, even more than the information you might gain in those two or three sleep-deprived hours. You won’t retain most of it anyway because you’re too tired and overloaded. Go to bed.
You have permission to believe that your needs matter, too. The tendency of a mother is to always put other’s needs before themselves. But if you do not care for yourself, you will not be able to care for your family. The children benefit more from having a mother with as good of an attitude as she can muster while serving the same dinner for the third time in a week than from having an irritable and stressed-out mother who puts a different meal on the table every night. A good attitude begins with adequate food and rest.
You have my permission to have a daily quiet time doing nothing that involves your struggle. Put your kids in their room or other safe area, turn on some soothing music and tell them to play quietly until the timer goes off. Then read a book you enjoy, knit, even dare to eat a snack or take a nap. Do NOT get on your computer. Give yourself some mental space from your trial and recharge your batteries.
You have my permission to be creative. Sometimes tuning out the world and recharging your batteries with a craft does wonders for you attitude and outlook.
You have my permission to be gentle with yourself. You aren’t meant to have all of the answers.
You have my permission to not carry it all alone. Always remember to look up, not around. Neither what lies behind you, those beside you nor what lies before you determines your fate. Your strength lies elsewhere.
You have my permission to endure with strength and grace. Better days are ahead. You just have to get there.
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