Hi, i’m Chloe, I am a Specialist Speech and Language Therapist at Language Box Therapy. Here at Language Box we aim to unlock communication potential in every child providing motivating and engaging Speech and Language Therapy across Staffordshire. I have a passion for supporting families and helping children to develop their communication skills.
Behind my job role, I am also a Mum; the best yet hardest job of all! I love to write, it brings me joy and the raw, rollercoaster, reality of Motherhood is my favourite journey to share. Over the coming months I will be teaming up with Ruby Doo to deliver content to you that hopefully enhances your day in some way.
I hope that 'A letter for the exhausted Mum' does something for you. I cant wait to share more with you all! x
A letter for the exhausted Mum:
To the Mum who is beyond tired, I see you.
You remember those days pre motherhood when you thought you were tired, now you laugh at your naive pre-baby self. You now look back and wish you were that “tired”.
I see you, awake in the lonely night, in the early hours of the morning. You finally drift into sleep only to hear baby wake - it’s 4am but you lie there with your little one and wait until 6am before you move because it feels like more of a human time. At least then the sun will be up and the postman might be out and you’ll feel happy that there is another soul awake and you are no longer alone.
I see that your baby is still not sleeping through. I see you listen to other Mums proudly tell you how their baby is now sleeping through the night and why shouldn’t they be proud? You’re waiting for the day you can shout it from the roof tops too.
You hear everyone around you asking if they’re a “good” sleeper and feel that sense of failure that your little one is bad and more so you are a bad Mum, you question what you are doing wrong. When they do sleep for a longer than usual stretch, ironically you wake up in a panic and check on them anyway to make sure they’re still breathing.
You should go to bed early when you have the chance. Have a good night sleep. But you don’t want to, you look forward to your hour watching trash tv and eating chocolate on your own in the quiet.
You hear those murmurs on the baby monitor and freeze, hold your breath and pray to God they at least wait until the break before they cry. You know you should go to sleep but going to sleep means it will soon be time to wake up and change 500 nappies and face that washing up pile again and you’re just not ready for that.
The repetitive and lonely cycle of motherhood.
I see you trying to cook dinner, make baby food from scratch, hoover the house, wash up, clean the bathrooms and entertain a child at the same time. You start one job and spot another, so you start on that one and in the end no task is ever complete.
You try to juggle a million balls and when you drop one you feel you are not enough and you have failed. You think you should be supermom and are riddled with guilt when you just can’t do it all.
I see you racing around, burning the candle at both ends, saying yes to everyone and everything. You desperately want to be there for everyone, be a good friend, a good wife, a good daughter, good at your job; the guilt inside is all consuming because you just can’t do it all. I feel it, when you suddenly stop, just sit down with your head in your hands and sigh.
When you have to put your screaming baby down or run away from the constant “mom mom mom” coming from the toddler underfoot and just sit in the bathroom to escape for a moment, to cry, to breathe and then compose yourself. Pretend it didn’t happen. Pretend you didn’t break.
I feel the guilt, when you return to your child hold them and apologise; apologise that you got angry, that you had enough, that you couldn’t cope. I see you cry and kiss their forehead and shed a tear of guilt because you ‘shouldn’t be crying’ you ‘have it all’.
I know you love it all, I know you’re not complaining, I know you feel guilty when you moan, when you vent, when you cry. I know you are lucky to be able to have children and I know that you are not ungrateful. I know you are in love with your baby and all of the time you get to spend with them.
I know it’s worth it and I hear you say that to people everyday. Your baby is worth it, of course they are, but does that make you any less tired any less need you of you time? Of course not.
I see you pouring all of your love into someone else. Putting someone else’s needs before your own 24/7 is hard, it’s physically, mentally and emotionally draining. Your body is tired and mind even more so. The worry, that you are not doing it right, that you are not doing enough. You are trying to process a plethora of well meaning advice from a Google search, friends and family.
You are all heart and then some. You feel the pressures of life deeply, you are emotionally overwhelmed and exhausted and that’s okay. It’s ok, Mummy, to feel that you cannot carry the world on your shoulders, because nobody can and nobody should.
You haven’t straightened your hair for weeks and you can’t remember the last time you sat and took the time to do your makeup. I see you desperately trying to find something to wear that isn’t creased or doesn’t have baby sick on it. You wear the baby sick top anyway and just hope no one notices (and if they do you pretend it must have just happened). I see you throw the jeans at the wall that don’t fit you anymore because you have gained weight and then storm downstairs and eat a biscuit to make you feel better.
I see you longingly pine to be the instagram Mum, the Mum at baby group with the perfect Mum bun and her casual trendy dungarees and organic snacks. The Mum that never forgets the wipes, whose baby isn’t screaming, who seems to be enjoying every second of being a Mum. But those Mums don’t exist; only in your mind and your perception. Your own self doubt and lack of self esteem have conjured up these magical Mummies who are crying in the toilet just like you.
And I know something even more important ...
I know you are enough. You are doing a great job. I can’t pretend I know when the exhaustion will end , but it will, maybe in years to come you won’t have the 2am wakes, the baby food all over the floor, the relentless calling of your name. Remember when you were in that birth room, one contraction after another, no end in sight? But it did end and now it’s a distant memory. Nothing lasts forever, not even this feeling of overwhelming exhaustion.
I see you,
I feel you,
I know you,
I am you.
I am a Mum and every Mum feels this way. We don’t truly know each other because we don’t talk about it enough. In the depths of your despair on those dark, tired days, just remember...
When your baby looks at you they don’t see the frizzy hair or the dark circles, they don’t judge the tear stains down your badly fake tanned neck. They won’t think back to their child hood and remember the dirty plates and laundry piles in the background. They will remember your face smiling and laughing as you danced with them in that messy living room. They will remember the smell of your skin as you cuddled them and the sound of your voice as you sang to them.
They only see love,
they only feel love,
all they know is your love because love is all you give.
But don’t forget to leave a little love for yourself Mummy. Just stop, just sit in the mess, drink your tea while it’s hot, order yourself a new top, go and get your hair done, get that iced Latte from Costa, watch Love Island, listen to your favourite music whilst preparing the bottle, put your feet up and forget the chaos surrounding you and remember that you are enough. I know it feels hard and that’s because it is. One person cannot and should not do it all. YOU are important, look after yourself, recharge your battery, refill your cup. This world needs the best of you not what is left of you. So, sometimes put you first and remember that you are enough.