Carrying the Physical and Mental Load of Motherhood

Sometimes, carrying the burden of the physical and mental load of motherhood feels like it’s too much, and sometimes we just want someone to carry us.

Carrying the Physical and Mental Load of Motherhood

A friend of mine gave me a book two weeks ago that I excitedly thanked her for and, with true intention of reading it, placed it in my bag next to my wallet. Guess where that book is currently residing? If you guessed, “In the exact same place,” you get a gold star. I see it every day when I’m out and about and go to pay for something, when I’m at work and reach for my laptop, and when I get home and put my sunglasses back in my purse. In some ways, I’m afraid of taking it out of my purse because then I might forget about it amidst everything else I have good intentions of doing. It’s sincerely on my list of things to do, so I continue to carry it around with me.

Giant purses and To-Do Lists 

I realize that I do this with so many things in my life–more than the contents of my purse would show you. I continually carry a task list around in my head of all the things that need to be done–the absolute bare minimum essentials to the level-up adulting things like writing a will. I carry around a grocery list that I keep in an app on my phone and add to it throughout the week until groceries get ordered on Sunday. I carry the emotional aches and pains of my loved ones, grieving with them and for them. I carry around the things I want to do {someday} when there’s time. I carry the schedules and have-to’s of my family; when and where they need to be and what they need to bring. I carry my workload of what I need to get done by the end of the week. And I carry an 8-month old, his diaper bag, my daughter’s backpack, her nap mat, and my GIANT purse {hello, future back problems}.

Let me tell you about my purse for a second. I had a pretty good size bag that I carried for close to two years {impressive, I know}, and it was working… okay. But add in my laptop, the charger, my personal items, and my kids’ stuff, and it was jam-packed. So I went out in search of a more versatile bag in one of the most versatile stores on the planet:: Walmart. After perusing the purse aisle very meticulously, success! I found what I thought to be the perfect bag for my everyday needs. I wheeled my cart of kids and random items to the register and excitedly rang up the bag. Weekender Bag, came up on the screen. This “purse” that I selected for my everyday use was intended for trips lasting several consecutive days. Well, I was looking for a versatile bag!

Mental Burdens of Motherhood

But that is such a perfect example of my life right now, and the lives of moms with young children everywhere. We carry so much. Not always physically–but, let’s be real… we carry a TON physically. But our mental burdens are heavy, too. And often our emotional burdens. And we carry it all.

Mamas, we carry a lot. Sometimes, the burden of it all feels like it’s too much, and sometimes we just want someone to carry us. I hope, beautiful mama, that you have someone in your life who helps you carry the burdens, and who carries you when you need it. But I also hope you know how strong you are {not just because you lug around all your kids’ stuff all day long}. I’ve learned that I’m stronger than I ever thought I could be; I can carry more than I thought I could at one time, and still slay {on the good days, because, oh, do I have hard days!}. But so much of that strength is rooted in encouragement from loved ones, and affirmation from my community, and rest. I hope you know that you don’t have to carry the world on your shoulders. I hope you know that you deserve a day off now and then. I hope you find a place to put down all your burdens for a while and experience freedom. 

Scheduling Self Care

Recently, I did a little Facebook survey of some of my mom friends asking how they make time for self care in their busy lives. Every single one of them who do make time for self care {because many said they sacrifice that area of their lives and it’s not great} had the same response:: they MAKE time. They schedule it. They call in reinforcements to take care of the kids {Dad, or a parent, or a babysitter} and they take time for themself every single week. THEY put that on their calendar and make it happen. 

Listen to me, tired mamas:: make time for yourself. If it means you get a babysitter for your kids for a few hours so you can just get out of the house and do one thing on the task list you have shoved to the back-burner, DO IT. Trust me, I KNOW the negative self-talk that will ultimately talk you OUT of doing something for yourself {I don’t really need this; I’m just being selfish; my family won’t be able to feed themselves dinner if I’m not there!}. You are doing this for your family. They need a healthy & happy mommy. But, also, it’s okay to do this for yourself. You’re a human, not a machine. 

Truthfully, I’m preaching to the choir. I struggle to put down all the burdens and task lists and find freedom to just be Christie–a mom and a wife with a bunch of other things that define me and give me life. Remember, your name is not “Mommy” {although, it is a title we should all wear proudly and thankfully!}; you may carry a lot in all your roles, but you’re still [INSERT NAME HERE]. And when she’s free to be herself, she is amazing.

So here’s to our names, and our mommy muscles, and our back-burner hopes and dreams! Take time to put down that weekender bag that you call a purse and take care of yourself. And let’s both make some time to read that book our friends gave us. 

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