Hey friend, I know you’re stressed. I know it’s hard. I heard the pain in your voice when you called yesterday.

“I’m so tired,” you sighed.

You were up early before the rest of your family. You got three kids ready for school. You made sure they were fed and had shoes on their feet. You were feeling good about your morning until the middle kid cried, and the dog peed on the carpet (again) and the oldest couldn’t find her shoes.

The stress of the morning made you forget to throw that recipe into the Crock-Pot.

RELATED: To All the Working Moms Who Are Tired Before They Get to Work

I guess I’ll pick up pizza again, you thought to yourself as you rushed out of the house (late).

You dropped off the older kids at school and the youngest at day care.

“Valentine’s Day party tomorrow,” the teacher reminded you. “Don’t forget to bring treats!”

I can’t even remember to throw food into a Crock-Pot, you told yourself. How will I remember to bring treats?

By the time you finally arrive to work, you feel like you’ve already lived a full day. But the stress has just begun.

Clients yell, phones ring, numbers are crunched. You take a quick break at 10 a.m. to grab another cup of coffee.

Your third one of the day.

I really need to cut back on this caffeine.

You rush out over your lunch break to grab Valentine’s Day gifts for the kids, and ingredients to make treats for the party. But traffic was heavy, and lines were long, and you didn’t have time to eat lunch.

So, you snack on string cheese and crackers and a leftover package of fruit snacks the toddler didn’t eat.

The afternoon rush keeps your mind racing.

You love your job, but you’re still paying off those loans from college. Sometimes you wonder if it was worth all of this.

The stress, the rush, the fear, the anxiety.

When you’re at work, you can’t stop thinking about your babies.

Are they doing well at school? Do they have enough friends? Am I teaching them about Jesus and kindness and love and friendship?

But your job is important, too. Your family needs this income. Your husband works hard, and so do you. You take pride in your career. You longed for this title, and it’s finally yours.

You’re at work later than the rest, finishing up a project due next week. You get into the car, pick up the toddler from day care and swing by the pizza place before heading out of town. 

You’re finally home at six, but the evening has just begun. And your husband is working late.

Dinner, homework, baths, stories and bedtime. And don’t forget about those Valentine treats.

You called me when the house was quiet.

“I’m so tired,” you told me. I could hear the exhaustion in your voice.

“I just hope I’m doing a good job.”

RELATED: I’m an Exhausted Working Mom and I’m Trying Harder Than You Know

And here’s what I wish I would have said:

My friend, when you woke up this morning, your kids didn’t notice your stress. They didn’t sense your anxiety. They saw their mom. You were there. You showed up, you got them to school. And that was all they needed to start their day. 

At work, you are loved and respected. Your clients request you, your co-workers couldn’t do their jobs without you.

When you got home, your kids were excited for pizza night. Your middle child needed you to help solve that math problem and the toddler only got to sleep because you knew exactly how to read Goodnight Moon. And your oldest? She absolutely had to have that heart shirt washed for her school party. 

And when your husband walked in the door late that evening, he knew everything was taken care of.

You did that, friend. You.

When your kids see you, they see love. They feel love. They aren’t looking for perfection, they’re simply looking for you.

I know you worry about trying to balance it all. But my friend, please let go of that guilt. Let it go. You are their mom. You are his wife. And you are an excellent working mother. I see that in you. They do too. 

Being a working mom is like running a never-ending marathon. We love the practical strategies in Stretched Too Thin for empowering working moms to get the most out of life. Don’t have time to sit and read? Listen to it on Audible during your commute.

Stretched Too Thin: How Working Moms Can Lose the Guilt, Work Smarter, and Thrive by [Turner, Jessica N.]

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Leslie Means

Leslie is the founder and owner of Her View From Home.com. She is also a former news anchor, published children’s book author, weekly columnist, and has several published short stories as well. She is married to a very patient man. Together they have three fantastic kids.  When she’s not sharing too much personal information online and in the newspaper – you’ll find Leslie somewhere in Nebraska hanging out with family and friends. There’s also a 75% chance at any given time, you’ll spot her in the aisles at Target.

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