My house is a mess. Like, a certifiable MESS. The table is buried in paper and tape and scissors and LEGOs and glitter glue and hand sanitizer (hey, I try). 

The countertops boast cereal boxes, school papers (SO MANY SCHOOL PAPERS), half-empty glasses of water that never seem to make it to the dishwasher, a never-quite-fully-charged iPad. 

The laundry is so mountainous it’s basically a living, breathing thing. The refrigerator needs to be cleaned, the freezer defrosted. Don’t get me started on the state of the pantry and the bags of chips from 2014 that undoubtedly still live in the deep recesses of that cavern. 

The people who live in this house LIVE in this house. The kids are busy. The dog is rambunctious. The baby never sleeps. 

And me? Well. 

I’m barely hanging on. 

My hair hasn’t been tended to in a solid six months. I’m overdue to see my doctor. My closet still has summer clothes inside that, at this point, I’m not going to bother rotating. 

“You’re letting yourself go,” some of you might argue. “Take some time for self-care.” And maybe, to some degree, you’d be right and yes, I should. I know there are magical creatures called babysitters. Housekeepers. Hairdressers. Girl’s nights. 

But right now? 

Right now, I’m busy being everyone’s person. 

And that leaves little room for much more than my own basic existence. 

I’m putting everyone else first, probably to a fault, because right now, in this season of motherhood and marriage, they simply need me more. 

I’m getting kids off to school every morning. Carrying a clingy baby around on my hip constantly. Being supportive of a husband going through a hard time. 

I’m feeding and cleaning up after humans and animals. Helping family. Trying to keep some semblance of contact with friends. 

Everyone’s person. 

Does it last forever, this needy season of needing? Honestly, I don’t know. I suspect not—selfishly (and a little shamefully) I hope not—but right now, I’m too far in the weeds to tell. 

Besides, I’m weathered enough to recognize these weeds have their own sort of beauty, in a strange and overwhelming way. They’re covering me in warmth and purpose and an abundance of love that smooths the rough edges of frayed nerves and perpetual exhaustion. 

Do I grow weary of being everyone’s person? Of course. Some days, it feels like more than I can stand. 

But I’m hanging on, secure in the knowledge that the payoff for being everyone’s person in this season is a bevy of others who will become my people when the needy one is me. 

Carolyn Moore

Carolyn traded a career in local TV news for a gig as a stay-at-home mom, where the days are just as busy and the pay is only slightly worse. She lives in flyover country with her husband and four young kids, and occasionally writes about raising them at Assignment Mom