This is the mental load of motherhood that no one talks about. The unseen things. The necessary but sometimes mundane tasks that go unnoticed. Things like bills, graduation cards, birthday gifts, groceries, laundry, cleaning, scrubbing toilets, packing school lunches, chauffeuring, scheduling, planning ... you name it, we do it.
Day in and day out, over and over without question because that's what we do, right? That's our job.
But sometimes? Sometimes, I wish it would be acknowledged. Not with some lavish fanfare. I don't need someone to roll out the red carpet for me. I'm not asking for a cookie for doing my role as a mother and wife, I just want to be seen.
From the minute the sun rises, I am up racing against the clock trying to check off my list of to-do's and things that need done - yet day after day, I have nothing to show for it.
The house is still a mess, there are still dishes in the sink and laundry piled high. Someone is inevitably crying or running around naked and the folded laundry still sits at the bottom of the stairs with the hope that someone might actually bring it up.
Ask me what I did all day and I could tell you a list a mile long, but look around and it looks like I did none of the above. Everything I do is undone.
And yet, we don't talk about it. We don't talk about it for fear of seeming ungrateful or complaining. We don't talk about it because the Karen's of the world seem to have their ship running perfectly and we don't want to be judged.
So we push forward. Head down. Teeth clenched. We bare it - the mental load.
And it's drowning us. It's increasing our anxiety and our stress. It's magnifying our depression. It's affecting our sleep and the way we function, but we still don't stop.
Sis, listen to me. Take a breath. Pause.
I see you.
I see the work that you do every single day. I see the way you love on those babies even when they are turning seven shades of purple. I see you picking up toys and managing fights between the kiddos. I see you teaching and helping them grow. I see you tending and loving; giving and trying.
I see you holding it together, only to fall apart when no one is looking.
But, you're not alone, sis. On your worst day - I've been there. Trust me. We've all been there. Every single one of us and if anyone tells you otherwise, they're lying.
Maybe you haven't heard this in awhile. Maybe you're feeling defeated and discouraged. Maybe right now you're feeling unseen, but let me remind you ...
What you're doing - matters. All of it. Every single minuscule task. It all adds up. You keep the ship running.
Sometimes we just need to hear two simple words, "thank you."