That is what being a seasoned mother teaches you,
always put on your mask first, there is no other way.
And yes, she now realizes all that there is that is still her.
Even though she was born, on the day you were born.
It is hard to know when it happens.
When you hit the switch from new mom to seasoned.
And although it can be argued that you are never really seasoned...
because each and everyday, it's new.
They change, a new day, a new age, new.
But somewhere along the journey, there is a shift, a change.
And it doesn't feel as new, as strange.
Instead, it can even start to feel like same old, and boring old parenting.
But there is a lot a seasoned mother has to say
not as advice
not as judgement
just her thoughts.
Her collection of experiences
spread out before her.
A seasoned mother realizes that you cannot always put yourself last.
A seasoned mother realizes that she has to put on her own mask first, or else she has nothing to give.
A seasoned mother realizes how important it is to find yourself in the fog.
Find what you love and what brings you joy so you can spread joy to them.
A seasoned mother realizes how important words are for both them and herself.
You have to find a way to express your frustration
feelings of overwhelming crushing demand
feelings of blue
Words are so important.
A seasoned mother realizes that time is too fleeting.
And the infancy stage is so cruel because it is so short.
The new, the pink, the smell of baby, they all fade too quickly.
A seasoned mother realizes her most useful tool is saying "I am sorry".
I am sorry that I lost my patience
I am sorry that I expected too much from you
I am sorry that I yelled
I am sorry that I am teaching you to yell
I am sorry that I wasted time being angry and upset about that
I am sorry that I am not feeling like a great mom, or acting like one
I am sorry that you yell too, because you learned it from me.
A seasoned mother realizes that the end of the day is most important.
And that even in the worst of the fog, you find love and find a way to find the good and say thank you.
You find a way to be close, to make sure they go to bed full...
She makes sure that when they finally close their eyes for the day, they are full of family.
A seasoned mother realizes that as they start to sleep more, you become more exhausted.
Because they are nonstop.
And the worry only grows as they grow.
What was once worry and concern of charts and milestones becomes are they good people?
Are they choosing good people to bring into their circle?
Are they going to be able to cope with life?
Am I teaching them how to handle stress and life and loss and love?
Am I loving them enough?
Do they feel safe?
Are they hurt, is someone hurting them?
Are they going to make it through this time?
The worry grows as they grow and a seasoned mother realizes how tiring this growth is.
And because of that exhaustion, a seasoned mother realizes that patience is her ugliest trait.
Because she has none,
even after sleeping for a full night, she wakes up with no patience for it all.
And as her day goes on and on, she loses her temper,
she loses her smile,
she loses all of the promises she has made about how today will be different.
But she also realizes if she sticks it out, they give her a reason to smile.
They give her the joy she needs to keep going.
She realizes that with all that they take, they give back.
A seasoned mother realizes how important humor is.
How it is the only way to get through this all.
She understands how important a partner is
how important it is to make them feel appreciated
how much she wants to be appreciated.
How much she needs to hear that she is working as hard as she can and she is making the best life for them.
Together, we are giving them the best we can.
A seasoned mother realizes how important partnership is
how much she needs it in her life.
A seasoned mother realizes that her person is her rock.
They are who she needs to cry to, scream at, because she can't to them.
She needs to tell them of her loss, her pain for them moving on
and how they only need to listen.
Not fix, there is nothing to fix, there is nothing broken, this is life and she is saddened by the loss.
A seasoned mother needs to turn to you
She needs to reach for you
she needs to know that you are there
that you are on her side
that you care about her
that you think she is doing ok
that you appreciate her.
A seasoned mother needs needs her person to say
I don't know how you are doing this all
I don't know how I am doing this all
but somehow, we are.
Together, we are doing it all and together we are trying our best and together, we are giving them all we can.
A seasoned mother needs her person.
A seasoned mother needs friends.
This is not something to be taken lightly.
She needs her circle.
She needs her daughter to see her tight, healthy, there for each other and there to bring them up not bring them down circle.
A seasoned mother needs to tell her secrets
she needs to hear theirs.
A seasoned mother needs to laugh with her circle
to hug them tight.
A seasoned mother needs them to know how important this is
because they are her survival through the mud and fog.
A seasoned mother realizes that she is just a part of their life,
she is not all of them.
And therefore, they cannot be all of her.
A seasoned mother realizes that they cannot be your world and you are not theirs.
She searches for herself and her relationship each day.
She wants to insert herself, but realizes you need to find your way.
A seasoned mother never gets used to letting go, but she does anyway.
A seasoned mother isn't old, isn't beat up, isn't a mess.
She is comfort.
She is your safety.
She is your cozy.
She is your home.
A seasoned mother's words are not to pass judgement
they are not meant as a guide
they are not advice to you.
This is her life, spread out before her
her memories that unfold each and every day.