I am one of the moms standing next to you in the Walmart grocery line as you were ready to check out with the basket full of groceries. I don’t know how much the bill was, but I am sure it’s no less than $100 dollars. I see you searching all over the diaper bag, and I don’t have to guess what you were looking for. Apparently, you don’t have that one thing you need: your credit card. Though I pretend I didn’t see anything, I see everything in your bag—diapers, wipes, travel size lotion, rash cream, receiving blankets, everything you don’t need at this point—but it’s missing just one thing you need to pay your bill. Murphy’s Law, right?

I wanted to jump ahead and tell you it’s OK, it’s happened to me before—but I didn’t want to embarrass you more. You would have known I have been through the same thing if my child had been with me that day, but I don’t have any proof to show you at this point—the diaper bag or the baby.

But mom, you are not alone.

When you stay home all day as a stay-at-home mom, and your house still looks messy even after cleaning all day, I feel you. I am in the same phase with a hyperactive toddler who just knows to play by throwing things around. You are tired, you haven’t cleaned the dishes, but your baby is already cranky. You are fed up but your baby is still not done.

Believe me, you are not alone.

When you are a working mom with a guilt in your eyes from missing that little man all day—you are tired after a long day at work but still manage to put the Legos together for him with a smile. I know how that feels. You wake up in the morning with the second alarm because you always miss the first one, hard to catch up with the morning chores because you woke up few minutes late but still you have to finish up everything. Finally, you finish your morning struggle to feed him, dress him, and you are already tired for the day but your day hasn’t even started yet.

I feel you, mom. I just want to tell you—you are not alone.

It’s past 10, a long day, you did so much work already, but you don’t even want to think about the tons of work left for you tomorrow. I know how it feels. I just want to come to you and pat you on the back and say, “You are a great mom. You survived and made it through.”

You are one of those moms who struggles to pass the day, can’t wait until bedtime. It’s a long long day. I know how badly you want them to pass but believe me, even though the days are long, the years are short. They will just fly away.

If you are like me who used to cry when your baby cries, not knowing what the problem is, I won’t tell you to stop. It’s just a moment that will pass. No matter how hard is to get through, it won’t last forever. I still hate to see tears in my toddler’s eyes, but I don’t cry with him now. The last thing I want in this world is him to be sad, but I can’t deal with all the tears every time, so I just ignore some fake ones now. Smile when your baby smiles, sleep when your baby sleeps, dance when your baby dances, but don’t cry when he cries. 

Mom, wherever you are, whatever you are doing, no matter if you are a mom to a newborn, toddler, child, teen or adult, you are a mom and that is what defines the biggest power of you. If it’s hard, it won’t last forever. I know it can be unwelcome when someone tells you to savor every moment, but remember we are not just living, we are creating memories.

I am sure, 10 years from now, we wouldn’t remember the fact they made us work so hard, but we will miss the moments we are having with them, that pristine smile, that innocent look. Even today, when I get outside the front door of my house, I don’t remember how messy my home is, I don’t remember how tiring and breathtaking that little man is, I just miss him.

Anju Giri

Anju Giri is a graduate student, wife to a most supportive husband, and a mom to a playful toddler. When she is not busy with her boys and school, she loves writing about motherhood, reading diverse kind of books, baking anything from scratch, watching Netflix, and going out for a walk. She loves her boys more than she loves coffee or ice cream. Meet Anju at https://anjugiri1.wordpress.com/ or https://www.facebook.com/anju.giri.75