I see you there.
Aching with tired and the desperate hope for a few moments alone this evening. I see you cleaning that carpet again. I see those dishes that are on a constant rinse and repeat cycle.
I see you settle down and get up and settle down and get up and settle down and get up a hundred times before 10pm.
I see you wondering where the melody is in this repetitive rhythm of motherhood.
I see you making lunches and trying to reinvent new ways to cook chicken. I see your relief at the one box of mac ‘n cheese left in the pantry and that pears can always pass as the “fruit and vegetable “serving in a pinch.
I see you building forts and chasing kids who are chasing puppies.
I see you talking to the neighbor over the fence and only realizing 10 minutes into the conversation that you’d clipped your bangs up at a crazy angle and you try to pull out the barrette hoping she wouldn’t have noticed.
I see you measuring your day in inches as the years stretch ahead in long miles.
I see you step on that scale and sigh off it again and swing baby to the hip juggling milk and bottle and pacifier in the slow dance toward the afternoon nap.
I see that coffee cup you forgot you left on the bookshelf three weeks ago and the trail of ants that snake over to the plate someone left by the side of your bed.
I see you juggle temper tantrums – sometimes your own.
I see you walk miles of school drops offs and pick ups and all the conversations in between with your own head and its running list of what you should-have-done different every day.
I see you stand next to all those other moms and wonder if they wonder in the middle of the night if Kindergarten parent-teacher conferences should really be this intimidating.
And sometimes I see you sit there and stare into space and wait to find the meaning in it all.
For the days that you don’t. For the days that someone demands another glass of chocolate milk or someone else needs to be changed first. For the days when the dryer buzzes before you finish your thoughts.
For those days, can I offer a different ending?
Can I slip in and change up where you’re headed in your head?
Because, here’s the thing.
You are the change.
You are the difference.
You are the art emerging from the hunk of dull marble.
You are the deeper meaning you’re looking for.
You are becoming a mother. And mothers are made not born.
Slowly. Like the pencil etchings on a door frame measuring inch by steady new inch of height. You are growing into a deeper version of yourself.
Some pain is to be expected.
But the good kind. The kind that comes with resetting broken limbs. Or carving away decay. Or chipping out the stone for the art that lies buried beneath.
You are not simply existing on a hamster wheel of sameness.
You are becoming.
Each load of laundry. Each dinner. Each boo-boo kissed and nightmare soothed. Each hour of “me” time traded for “family.” Each new wrinkle, each gray hair, each restless afternoon spent trying to make sense of a six-year-old’s world.
You are all these grooves chiseled onto a door frame.
Growing can be slow going.
But it is never meaningless.