‘I’m so tired from holding space, from holding tight, from holding it in.’: Mom shares candid motherhood burn out

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“I’m sitting on this couch. Another Bluey episode.

The pit of my stomach has turned inside out.

I think this is what it feels like to be physically broken.

Every inch of me is falling to pieces.

I’m so tired from holding space, from holding tight, from holding it in.

I’m thinking tonight is definitely a ‘leftovers for mom and dad and avocado on toast for the kids’ night.

I’m calculating how much screen time is probably acceptable. I’m adding on an hour for the number of hours we’ve been screamed at.

I’m sure that’s an even trade. The screen time gods will forgive me.

I’m planning a swift bedtime routine, a quick escape.

I want to longingly sink into my own sheets. Pick up my book. Go elsewhere in my mind.

I want the cotton to become my second skin and I want to pretend I will feel rejuvenated – until I’m called upon in the night to find a stuffed toy or change wet sheets.

But I look down at their faces. It’s the sweetest thing. Because they don’t care.

They don’t care about these knots in my stomach, the guilt of the uninteresting dinner, the fact I feel like I’m in slivers, each shrill of their call to a burnt out mama slicing me down the middle.

They don’t care that I should be putting laundry away or tidying up the mess.

They don’t see it. They see a mama sitting next to them on the couch.

That is not nothing. That is everything to them.

And then I don’t feel so broken.

And then I live to fight another day.

A nod to you, fellow mama, sitting on the couch stroking your child’s cheek.

You’re everything – even if you feel like nothing.”

mother holds her child's hand in her lap
Courtesy of The Postnatal Project

This story was submitted to Love What Matters  by Zelma of The Postnatal Project. You can follow her journey on  Instagram and her websiteSubmit your own story here and be sure to subscribe to our free email newsletter for our best stories, and YouTube for our best videos.

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