To the mother looking at crumbs on her floor, toys scattered in almost every room and laundry piled up, I'm there with you.
To the mother with a screaming toddler, who doesn't know why the child is crying or how to make it stop, I'm there with you.
To the mother who wants to raise empowered daughters, who reads and agrees with all the blogs blasting Lego Friends but still buys a set for her daughter because that is what she wants, I'm there with you.
To the mother who opts to go to work instead of stay home with a sick kid and feels bad about it, I'm there with you.
To the mother who happily sends a child to Gramma's for the weekend and doesn't regret it, I'm there with you.
To the mother who loves her children with her entire being and would step in front of a speeding car for them but who just needs a few minutes without someone needing a diaper change, a juice, a snack, a blanket or a pacifier, I'm there with you.
This mothering thing is hard.
It's second-guessing yourself. It's dealing with others second-guessing you.
It's constantly putting yourself second or third or fourth. It's being tired all of the time no matter how much sleep you get.
It's getting the kids to bed just so you can clean the house, do the laundry, pee without anyone staring at you and then collapse in bed at midnight just to start it all over again in the morning.
It's doing what works now - breast or bottle, cloth or disposable, characters or no characters, media or no media - even if someone will be judging you for your choice.
It's realizing that most of your discussions with your husband lately revolve around poop and snot or whose turn it is to sleep in on Saturday or stay home with the inexplicably sick kid.
It's not being fazed by your own broken foot, not ever crying about it but crying when your child has a fever for 102.7 and you can't do anything to make her feel better.
It is realizing how much time you wasted when you didn't have kids. Why didn't I run a marathon instead of watching that Lord of the Rings marathon on television? Why didn't I read more, travel more, do more when I actually had the time and energy? It's wanting to punch your child-free self in the face for ever complaining about being tired or not having enough free time.
This isn't a cry for help. I'm not abandoning my quest for positivity in my life. I love my life - messy house, crying children and all. It is simply a recognition that this is hard. It is a message to other mothers so they know they aren't the only ones who look around and think, "Holy smokes I am wiped out. Can a girl get some peace and quiet around here?" and then put the television on just so they can get just that, even for 5 minutes.
Sure there are great things about being a mother. The first time you see your child, the first time they smile, hug you, say I love you, do something the first time you ask them to or better yet, do something without you asking them to do it.
The good times get you through the hard times but it doesn't make them go away.
Some days are easier than others. Some stages are harder - hello, 13-month-old who suddenly turned into a raging, tantruming toddler over night. The trade off is knowing that they will eventually grow out of it. Eventually she will turn into a lovely almost 4-year-old who wants to read books with you or quietly play Legos or something else awesome that you haven't yet experienced.
It's hard. Hang in there. Just remember, you are not alone.
And I thought of this after I posted: Do me a favor and all the mothers out there who feel alone, leave a comment even if you have never left a comment before. Let any mother who comes by to read this that yes, it is hard and that they aren't the only ones who have felt it. Sometimes, even if there is nothing you can do to change the situation, it's nice to know you aren't the only one.