The other day my daughter Hannah looks quizzically at my feet and says, “Mom, why do you have holes in your socks?” “Because I don’t own any that don’t have holes,” I blurt out slightly annoyed. Truthfully I have zero reason to be annoyed with a 6 year-old for having a perfectly legitimate question. In her mind, why would I wear a coat that’s literally falling to pieces, socks with holes, and thrift store maternity clothes?

Though my thoughtful girl often times thanks me for taking good care of her, which does a mother’s heart good, she doesn’t know that I have made it my life’s work to take care of others and put my own needs on the back burner. Sound familiar? If it does, you’re “that mom” too. Everyone’s needs and dare I say wants come first and yours come dead last. So it inspired me to write an open letter to all the women out there like me.

Sock

Dear Self-Sacrificing Mom,

I see you. I see you hiding there behind the camera, while your beautiful kids twirl and ham it up. Smiling at them while you feel like a hot mess, and threatening the very lives of those that would suggest you get in the photo with them. I see you in your thread-bare clothes without a stitch of make-up and your trade-mark pony tail, as you pay the bills, wipe up all manner of sticky spills, and rub the backs of your children while they throw up, as you try not to gag.

I see all the nights you want to cry because getting your little ones to sleep is making you lose all your patience and just when you lose it, your accusing inner voice brings the guilt trip that is always there – “this is your problem, not theirs.” I see you, because I am you.

The Pursuit of “Just For Me”

I rag on my husband for wanting to buy himself fly fishing gear when his last ice fishing purchase has yet to be touched and the last fish we ate was purchased at ShopRite. But the fact of the matter is, it annoys me for entirely different and less easily vocalized reasons. These are selfish purchases in my mind. They aren’t for the kids, the household, or to maintain a vehicle. They are simply “just for me” purchases and I sit and wonder what that must feel like. To simply want, and deserve, and buy what makes you happy. What’s that like?

Staying at home certainly blurs the lines between my needs and my family’s. Are you there with me self-sacrificing mom? Have you forgotten who you are apart from your kids, your husband, and the revolving needs of others that you constantly strive to provide every day?

Know this one thing – you are NOT alone. Click here to read part 2 of this letter.

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