Mama, I see you. I see the life that you do not share online, the tantrums and exhaustion and frustration that you do not post to Facebook or Instagram. I see the silent prayers that you have shared with God in your few spare moments of time between preparing your little one lunch and locating their missing cup, shoe, or favorite toy. I see your frustration that comes with these prayers, the questioning you have for yourself, for God, as to why it seems like nothing is changing. I see the doubt you cast on yourself, asking yourself at the end of a long day if you really were the best woman, the best wife, the best mother you could be. I see that rut you are stuck in, the ponytail that you have worn for days tossed haphazardly on your head as your scoop down to pick up the same toy yet again. I see you question if your husband still finds you attractive after he has seen you in sweatpants, and if the romance is still alive in the midst of raising children, where they are often your first priority over your marriage.
And mama, I am here to tell you this.
Know that you are loved.
Know that you are loved by the one who created you, who thinks you are beautiful even on those days where you are feeling down, who sees you in those sweatpants and that oversized tee-shirt and still thinks of you as the beautiful creation he made you to be.
Know that you are loved by your little ones, so, so very much. Know that their little hearts see past your messy hair, those circles under your eyes, and see straight to your heart. Those little ones see the overwhelming love that you have for them pouring from you in everything you do, from cutting the crusts off of their sandwiches to tucking them in snugly at night, and they love you. Know this. Remember this.
Know that your husband loves you too, and he sees you not as the woman who has not worn a proper outfit in months, but as the woman who he loved enough to commit the rest of his life too, the woman who he choose to raise a family with. Know that he loves you in spite of those clothes that still sit in the laundry basket needing to be folded, or that extra dish in the sink that you didn’t have the energy to wash.
Know that your friends, especially your mommy ones, love you too. They love your heart, and what your presence brings to their lives. They understand that you may not always be available for an uninterrupted chat over lunch, or a night out, and they love you still.
Know that I love you too. We may be strangers who have never met, or friends who have not had the ability to connect in person for quite some time. But I love you. I love the you you are in your darkest hours, your messiest moments. I love the mother who needs that extra minute to herself. The mother who cherishes those nighttime snuggles.
I love you for who you are, and who you want to be. Take heart, dear mama, dear friend, for even if it seems like you are losing yourself in motherhood, losing yourself as a woman, you are always loved.