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“Dear Mom…” An Open Letter of Gratitude

The Sleep Club Editors

Dear Moms...

We’ve noticed something new this year. Mother’s Day is right around the corner and with the usual marketing to appeal to loved ones of moms or mothers themselves to get them to purchase either goods or services to celebrate “mom”, just as many messages of “If you’d prefer us not to remind you that it’s Mother’s Day” as a way of being sensitive to those who have lost their mothers, don’t have a great relationship with them, or have difficulty with the whole “Mom” concept for whatever reason, have been making their way into our inboxes.

We have a healthy respect for that and understanding. Truly. And we appreciate the different people showing they care by making sure those around them know Mother’s Day doesn’t reflect all women and isn’t easy to celebrate for all. With that in mind, however, we’d like to thank all the moms out there, regardless of whether you’ve nurtured your own blood, cared for children or friends in need, or simply opened your literal and figurative heart and home to those seeking solace, care, and support, for hanging in there every day. 

Mothers aren’t just the women who gave birth to us. We touched on that not that long ago and hope you don’t mind if we bring it up again. That role of “Mom” covers a multitude of humans and no matter how they manifest, no matter who you are, if you are a nurturer, caregiver, loving human who does for others, you’ve earned the title of “Mother” in our book. So, thank you for stepping up if that is you.

But if we may focus on you mommies of your children for just a moment, there is another aspect to being a mother to someone. That whole idea that when you give birth or the adoption you’ve been working so long and hard for finally comes through, you’re instantly overjoyed and all-in. That is not true, is it? Everyday is not a joy, every moment is not magic. There are days when it is hard, times when you can’t face your kids because you’re scared, you’re exhausted, you’re overwhelmed, and sometimes, you’re struggling with depression. But you have to face them, you gotta figure out how to “get over it,” even when you have no idea how you’ll do it because your kids need you. They will always need you and part of the job of being a mother is knowing that and acting upon it when called.

Falling into postpartum depression is real, it’s intense, and acknowledging it exists for us mothers (yes, we feel you) is important. And just for the record, this is not a malady that just affects birth mothers. Adoptive moms can experience something called post adoption depression, or PAD, which is very similar. How it differs from postpartum depression is that it is not hormonally based, but can manifest due to realizing that truly having this child in your life is far different than what you imagined. 

Either way, both of these are issues that may be getting more attention lately, but we still don’t talk too much about them, do we? After all, admitting there are days you’d rather do anything other than hang out with your kids or take care of their needs is a sign you’re a bad person, isn’t it? That you’re a bad mother. Or so we think and it’s pressure we put on ourselves. But just so you know? That’s not true. You are NOT a bad mother if you have days you want to shut yourself up in your room to get away from everyone, including your kids. You are human. Stress comes in all forms and if you’ve never been overwhelmed when dealing with your kids, then please share your secret. Seriously.

In the meantime, this is our gift to all the moms out there. Flowers are great, brunch is nice, and that there’s a day to celebrate you is lovely. Truly. And as mentioned, if you’re not feeling it and it brings up difficult memories or makes you sad, then you don’t have to even acknowledge Mother’s Day if you don’t want to. But we want to give you our appreciation, our empathy, and our understanding that being a mom is hard. It’s a forever job that is different for every single mother out there. And how you parent one child is not the same as how you parent all your kids. Our children have their own unique personalities and what works for one doesn’t work for the others. It’s a daily juggling act, and it can wear you out and down. We know and we see you. Not just this Sunday but every day, because “Mom” is 24/7, no breaks, no vacations, no overtime. 

You love your kids, you’d kill for your kids, you’ll do anything for them… and they drive you crazy. We completely get it and it’s okay to admit it. It doesn’t change the fact that you value them. Every relationship has its ups and downs, and that includes with our kids. Just because you birthed or adopted them, just because you agreed to parent them for the rest of your life, doesn’t mean they are always perfect angels and life with them is idyllic. And that is our gift to you, our wish for all you mothers out there this holiday. That you give yourself a break, allow yourself to be frustrated, irritated, disappointed, concerned, out of sorts, and overwhelmed. Give yourself the space to say, “I need space,” then take it and relax for a little bit. And also, embrace the beauty of these children you call your own and know it will be okay. Really.

Thank you for hanging in there, Mom. We know how hard it can get sometimes and that you keep plugging away is not admirable, honorable, or even wonderful. What you do every single day, no matter how much shit hits the fan, is transplendent. 

Night Sky Night Sky