There will be times when you are barely hanging onit may be a moment or a few days or even a few weeks. 

It will feel like motherhood has broken you. 

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You won’t be the mother you want to be because not all of you is there. 

You are doing more than you can handle and there is no reprieve. 

Your empty is empty. 

But you are their mother and there is no resting. 

Someone gets sick, so there are sleepless nights, cranky kids, and non-stop cuddles. 

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There is grocery shopping and cooking. 

There is laundry, sometimes washing the bedding daily because of illness. 

And you are giving and giving until nothing is left, so there is nothing left to give to parenting. 

You are merely surviving, trying to make it until bedtime. 

You’ve yelled more than you wanted to. 

You are tired of saying sorry to your kids for not being more calm and patient. 

After you buckle them in their car seats, you step back into the house before you get in the car just to have a moment of silence. 

This is the hardest part of being their mom, and nobody knows it or sees it but you. 

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Then the sleep returns, everyone is healthy again, you get back into the routines, and you return to being the mother you are. 

You are able to parent again, the way you want to and be the mother you are. 

You are gentle and kind and loving. 

You are silly and make them laugh. 

You can breathe again. 

You’ve washed your hair and are wearing clean clothes.

And the truth is, through it all, you were always the mother they needed.

Kelley Cooper

Kelley embraces her motherhood journey through writing letters and poetry inspired by her realtionship with her son, Shane. She lives in a mountain town in California where she is a life coach and host of women's circles.