Not too long ago, I was you, sweet, tired mama. My oldest had just turned four, and my middles were two and one when I brought my youngest home from the hospital.
You are getting up through the night every hour or two with your newborn. Sometimes his crying wakes your toddlers, too. Taking care of one or two or three crying babies at 3 a.m. is the work of angels, sweet, tired mama.
In the morning, you wake up still exhausted but get straight to work. There are diapers to be changed, mouths to be fed, and a kitchen to be cleaned. You break up toddler fights and turn on Mickey Mouse in hopes everyone will stop needing you for just five minutes. When you finally get the chance, you make yourself a cup of coffee.
Self-care isn’t on your list of things to do.
A quick shower by yourself, if you’re lucky, is the only thing you’ll get to do for yourself all day. I’ve been there too, mama.
Maybe, like mine was, your hair is always piled into a messy top knot.
Maybe, like I did, you live in your husband’s t-shirts.
Maybe, like I was, you’re covered in spit-up and boogers.
I remember the exhaustion.
Cradling a newborn in one arm, holding a 1-year-old in the other while a 2-year-old cries at your feet. Oh, sweet mama with tears rolling down your cheeks, hang in there.
Sweet mama, with so much on your plate, believe me when I say: you are doing incredible work. You are raising two or three or four babies, all at different stages in their tiny human lives, and IT IS HARD. Give yourself grace, mama.
Cry if you need to, laugh if you can.
I promise you, you will get through this. Your kids will get a little bit older, a tiny bit more independent, and it will make all the difference in the world. They will soon be able to dress themselves, put their dishes in the sink, put away their laundry, and even help make their own meals.
Right now, you are surviving. And that’s all you need to do. Just keep loving on your babies. Take pictures and videos as often as you think to. Their little baby faces change so fast. Sweet, tired mama, I see you—because I’ve been you—and you are doing an incredible job.