Dear Mom in Survival Mode

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Take a breath with me for a second.

Go ahead. Inhale. Exhale. Let some stress fall off your shoulders and take in some peace for yourself. Sit in your car in the parking lot of your workplace for just one moment longer. Spend an extra minute leaning over your kitchen counter before starting your meal prep. Take your time in the bathroom on your phone. Let’s take some time to be real.

Life has been rough lately, hasn’t it? I mean, it’s been just plain unfair. Maybe this was anticipated or maybe it was a big surprise, but lately you’ve found that it’s all you can do to just stay afloat. No one seems to understand, do they? The kids keep needing you. Your job keeps needing you. And the rest of the world doesn’t slow down or lighten up just because you’re in a particularly trying time. Things aren’t slowing down for you so you can catch up. The world is still turning, regardless of how you feel.

I don’t know the specifics of your situation. I don’t know if it’s an unexpected illness or loss. I don’t know if it’s a sudden financial crisis, a big move, or if it’s something completely different. I can’t tell you why or how long until this storm passes nor can I tell you what to do next. But I can tell you that survival mode always ends. I can tell you that I’m here too and that this time is uncomfortable because it’s a time of stretching and refining. God isn’t done with you yet.

In the meantime, be kind to yourself. Life is already giving you a hard time, you don’t need to add to it with self-deprecation. It’s okay to lower your standards for the time being and give yourself some grace. Your kids don’t mind. It’s okay. Read that again. It is okay to be in survival mode right now. No one has it all together all of the time and if they say they do, they’re lying. It is completely acceptable to hide in your closet and fold laundry cry after the kids are asleep. You don’t need my permission to fall apart a little bit. Go right ahead. 

Mama, I know how isolating survival mode can be. It can make you feel unseen and left out. It’s difficult and frustrating for so many reasons and I’m sorry. I’m really sorry, friend. But you are a warrior. You are tough. You’re a Mom. And you’re not invisible. 

Take a few minutes to find the flickers of light in this darkness. If you really look, you’ll find them. Write them down. Take some time to give thanks for the little blessings in your life, a reliable car or a really generous babysitter. Maybe its just that you get a 30 minute lunch break where you can be still and silent and mindful. Whatever that looks like for you, cling to it. Cling to all the tiny pieces of joy you can find before survival mode suffocates you. When you intentionally remember all the beautiful things, survival mode loses. 

Okay, here we go. Let’s pick ourselves up and face the rest of this day, one moment at a time. We got this, friend. We can weather this storm.