“I will do my best”

I sent this text to my husband this morning, tears stinging the back of my eyes, rocks in my heart. Too tired to comprehend the day ahead, the sleep regression, the lunch no one eats, the fighting, the constant whining and crying, the pressure I put on myself.

It wasn’t even 9 a.m. and already I felt the weight of the day on my shoulders.

I’d already surrendered to the raincloud drifting overhead, just looking for a place to hover.

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I could hear the swirl of voices in my head telling me I’m lucky. But those voices don’t carry the invisible loads from the days and weeks passed. When the curated online world of ‘perfection,’ slaps you in the face and allows negative comparisons to rent the space in your head. When your alignment has been shifting for so long, your direction seems clouded by fog.

Doing my best is sometimes just getting through the day.

Doing my best is my back against the wall taking deep breaths while cries echo from the bedrooms into my tightening chest.

Doing my best is picking myself up after I’ve been knocked down by the throes of motherhood.

Doing my best is crying into my cereal for lunch over the kitchen sink while the kids tussle over toys in the lounge.

Doing my best is allowing my expectations to take another violent knock down the bars of reality.

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I took them on a walk when the overwhelm felt too much, and I caught a reflection of myself in a shop window and didn’t recognize the tired, messy girl staring back.

Moments later an elderly woman walked toward us, her eyes already twinkling at the sight of my two in the pram. She stopped briefly as we passed and looked at me and said, “Well done, you’re doing a wonderful job.”

She didn’t know if I was or not, and at that moment, it didn’t matter.

She allowed me to see myself through her eyes, and maybe this is what us mamas doing our best truly looks like. That the days we drown don’t define us as mothers.

It reminded me of the huge power in such a small gesture. That telling a mother she’s doing a wonderful job is sometimes all we need to hear. That, maybe, it’s possible our best is more than enough.

Previously published on the author’s Facebook page

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Jessica Urlichs

Stay at home mother to my two children Holly & Harry born a year apart. Lives in New Zealand with her husband and of course Bentleigh & Winson, my two adorable fur babies. Writing has always been my passion since a young girl, I love to connect with others on this challenging yet incredible journey of motherhood. Follow along on Facebook and Instagram.