I went for a walk in the snow the other day and behind me, I pulled a sled.
My children were insistent they could walk, that they didn’t need the sled, but I pulled it anyway.
Initially, they had boundless energy. They chased each other and their laughter was musical.
And even though they didn’t seem to need it, I still pulled the sled. It felt light and it wasn’t that hard to pull.
After we walked a bit longer, one of my girls tripped and fell. She climbed in the sled for a minute and I kept pulling.
But she didn’t need it for long, and she hopped back out. I was happy I’d brought the sled to help her when she needed a break.
They grew tired. With the fatigue came the emotions and the meltdowns began.
Do you want to climb in the sled? I asked.
They both did. And I pulled them.
And sometimes, we went downhill and it felt easy.
And sometimes, we went up hills and it was heavy and hard and I was sweating and feeling tired.
And when I was sweating and feeling tired, almost resentful about the weight of them, I would stop, pause, and breathe.
And sometimes, they climbed out, feeling that they didn’t need the sled again, and would walk a little bit more, explore a bit further.
But they always returned to the sled.
And I always kept pulling it.
This is what motherhood is.
We keep pulling the sled of support. Even when they don’t need it, we are there to help them keep going.
And when they do need it, we pull them through. To carry them when they can’t carry themselves, to support them when they’re feeling tired and emotional.
And some days, it feels light and all downhill and pulling them, supporting them feels easy.
And some days, it is all uphill and pulling them is so hard, and so exhausting.
And even when we’re tired from their weight and from our own fatigue, we pull them.
So mama, if your sled feels heavy today, pause and take a breath. You are working hard. This job isn’t easy.
There will be days when they won’t need you to pull them, and it will get easier.
You just have to keep pulling the sled.
Originally published on the author’s Facebook page