When your kids are young you expect to be exhausted. You know that with babies comes sleepless nights, endless feedings, diapers out the wazoo.
You know that your body will be recovering, that you will spend your days chasing after little people who are determined to get into everything that could potentially kill them every minute of every day. You wrestle them into carseats, you clean up all the things they throw off of their high chair and you realize what exhausted to the bone feels like.
But it is expected. It is something everyone warns you about. Babies make you tired, toddlers are balls of unmatched energy that you have to chase all the time.
Don’t worry, it gets easier.
And it does. Eventually you sleep through the night, which is a beautifully glorious experience. Eventually everyone can wipe their own butts and climb in and out of the car by themselves. Eventually you look in the mirror and the dark circles have gotten lighter, your hair is consistently washed, and you realize that that horrible exhaustion is over.
But then your kids hit the double digits. And a new kind of exhaustion sets in.
This one no one warns you about, no one tells you that right around the teen years there is a whole new set of circumstances that kicks in and takes
You see these are the years that shit gets real.
All of a sudden you see your child facing the things that you worried about, the choices and experiences that you knew would rear their ugly heads are suddenly reality and not just a worry of someday.
You are faced with peer-pressure, bullying, dating, learning to drive, thinking about college…. All this real life stuff that suddenly makes you hope with all that you have that what you have done leading up to this point was right, that you taught them the lessons they needed, that you have instilled the values they need, that they will make the right decisions and choose a good path.
This is when your sleepless nights become about waiting for the sound of your newly licenced 16-year-olds car to pull in the drive way.
This is when your worries become not about if you are feeding them a healthy diet but if they will be pressured to drink at a party, and if they will make the right decisions.
This is when you wish that finding the right toddler play group was still a concern instead of watching them go through a painful break up and holding them as they suffer from a broken hearth.
These years are full of anxiety, and sometimes holding it all together and putting on a brave face as your teenager lays all of the pressures and worries at your feet is exhausting. There are times that you want to burst into tears right along with them but you hold it in instead and let them know that everything will work out.
You worry about their car breaking down, the student loans they are going to take out, the friends they are hanging out with, and if they are hiding things on their cell phones.
You worry that that attitude they are throwing around is going to drive you insane, and wonder if you can deal with one more eye roll.
You worry when they don’t want to talk about something, but sometimes the words, “Hey Mom can I talk to you for a minute?” drop your heart into your stomach.
I feel you momma. I know this exhaustion that no one warns you about.
I know the part of you that wants to hold on tight just a little while longer to keep them safe and how if fights with the part of you that knows it is time to let go and give them wings. I know the mixed emotions of pride at their accomplishments and worry about what the next phase of life holds for them.
I know that even if you have an amazing relationship with your children, if they talk to you and are open and honest with
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I see you my dear momma friend, and although I don’t have the answers I want you to know that you are not alone. I want you to know that this unexpected exhaustion is not yours alone, but something that other moms in this season of life are experiencing too.
I want you to know that I understand how hard it can be, how some days it seems silly to worry as much as you do, and other days you feel it with an immense gravity that you can’t even put into words.
These final years of having our babies at home are full of discovery, excitement, and life opening up to them in amazing ways. We can stand beside them and be so happy for the world that they have at their finger tips, we can love them fiercely and continue to be there for them, guide them and teach them as they set out to make big life decisions.
We can do it all because just like when they were tiny, we are strong enough, we have enough love to push us through, and we know that what we are doing we are doing for them to have the best life possible.
So as you navigate this part of motherhood, as this new exhaustion takes