To the mama in the fog right now,

You aren’t alone. Moms of all walks of life have been in your shoes. We’ve had the weight of the world on our shoulders yearning for someone else to take a turn. So, mama, please listen when I tell you that you aren’t alone. I’ve been there. It will get better. You will get through this. You aren’t alone.

It gets better. It is going to be OK. Maybe not today or next week, but one day it will be better. Stay here for that. Fight for that day because mama, you are going to want to be here. The sleep deprivation, the feeding schedules, and other frustrations of motherhood are weighing heavily on you right now.

When you look in the mirror, it’s difficult to recognize the woman looking back at you. The depression and exhaustion are stealing what should be a joyful time. That alone makes you more frustrated. The woman you were before motherhood has disappeared. You might not have the time, energy, or motivation for make-up or all of that. Do it anyway, and do it for you. It will make you feel better to do something for you.

You have started isolating yourself so you don’t have to answer questions like, “How are you?” or “Are you doing OK?” Most of the time people don’t press much after, “I’m fine,” or “I’m just tired.” The fact that they don’t press past that makes you feel even more alone. Don’t they see you’re struggling?

Every single day feels like a battle just to get through it. You find yourself exhausted both physically and emotionally for just trying to survive the day. To just get through the day until your husband walks in the door and then managing until you can collapse into bed. Sometimes you don’t even get that little relief because the baby hasn’t mastered a sleep schedule or sleeping through the night prolonging an already LONG day into excruciating.

You have closed your circle. You closed yourself off. You stopped making plans. You found every excuse to stay in your house. It’s easier if you don’t have to fake it. You feel like no one else will understand anyways or maybe you feel ashamed to share.

Scrolling social media has become painful. Maybe you’ve stopped checking it at all. Seeing Pinterest projects, vacations, and the rest of the highlight reel sure kick a girl when she’s down. It does nothing but make you feel more alone in your struggles. Why can’t you be happy like everyone else?

But, mama, you aren’t alone. Mothers from all walks of life have been in your shoes. They have fought this same battle. They want to be your allies. They want to help, to assure you that you aren’t alone. Reach out, mama, grab a life raft. Stay a while.

You have no energy. You aren’t yourself and have no idea how to get back to the woman you once were or the woman you want to be. You’re out of fight for tantrums or marital spats because you’re constantly fighting a battle just to survive. Don’t worry about it, mama. Focus on surviving, on making it another day, so that you can keep fighting all of the other battles another day.

Practicing self-care is much easier said than done as a mom, but do it anyway. Even just a few moments, steal some time for yourself. You’ll be grateful later because that time for you will help you find yourself again. You know, the woman who got chucked on the backburner when motherhood took over your life.

Though this fog seems never-ending (and as cliché as it sounds), it will get better. Please roll your eyes at that advice (I know I did whenever someone told me so), but please also take it to heart. Talk to a friend, your spouse, or even your mom because no matter how lonely you feel, you are not alone.

A mama who has been there

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Megan Vollmer

Megan Vollmer is a wife and mother of two. She writes about motherhood, marriage, and faith. She thrives on faith, sarcasm, and coffee. She has been published on Today Parenting Team, BabyGaga, Her View from Home, and in Chicken Soup for the Soul.