Hey there, Mama.
Are you doing okay? You look like you could use a friend. What is it that’s giving me such an impression? It’s that I recognize the heavy look on your face. You do wear it well; I want you to know that. And, come to think of it, I’m pretty sure I wore (and still wear) it well too.
The heavy, I sense and suspect, is not sadness; not at all. Nope. I’m not picking up on any of that.
It’s not with me either.
It’s not a depressed heavy. It’s not even a heavy, heavy. It is the type of heavy that comes from the heart as if you pulled that impressive ole’ thing, full of feelings, right out of your chest cavity and placed it upon our shoulders.
It is the type of heavy that can overwhelm, overpower, and even frighten you some, but, also invigorate and fulfill the heck out of you.
You see, the heavy I notice when I look at you, is the result of a broken heart — but not the kind you would think.
The heart you are carrying and bearing the weight for is fragmented; with each of your children carrying a piece with them.
Fragmented hearts shouldn’t be feared or frowned upon. Can you believe that I’m going to suggest that they even are desired? A mother’s heart was made drastically different than all others.
A mother’s heart is capable of working in full despite it being pulled, dragged, piggy-backed, and split into pieces by the children its purpose is to love, protect, and keep safe.
Your (and my) heavy heart is the result of it longing for its pieces to thrive on their own, but also to remember where they came from — our heart.
Some that see us, Mama, may worry and wonder, or even ask, “why so glum?” Often, members of the general public that notice this heavy look, will assume we are unhappy.
Not us, though. Nope.
“The look,” that’s our feelings in visible form.
ALL. THE. FEELINGS. Right?
Goodness knows there are so freakin’ many.
The elation we feel when we see those two blue lines. The nervousness that then takes over and makes us question whether or not we are ready for this. The giddiness that is bred from the wonder — all of the wonder — of what this love nugget will look like, sound like and who they will grow up to be.
The exhaustion that is pregnancy, labor, and delivery. The confusion of those first few days, weeks, even months of new motherhood. The stress that it all places on a marriage.
The shock at how hard it is to keep up with all the things. The feeling of losing oneself while becoming one’s true self. The motivation to improve as a person and caretaker. The desire to raise honest, kind, confident and humble human beings who will make a difference.
The tiring work that is raising more than one human being. The wanting to make a difference in some way outside of the home. The fear one has to leave our children anywhere these days.
The anxiety one cannot escape when every day you find yourself questioning whether you can keep up with all and do a good job at any of it.
The incomparable joy that is indescribable and comes over you when you lock eyes with your child, or they smile, kiss you, confide in you, or simply hug you so tight.
These are just a few of all the myriad feelings a mother experiences every day.
These are what cause that heavy heart. These are what cause that heavy look.
So, yes, I recognize that look because I’ve seen it before, on myself. I see it every day when I look in the mirror and I’m sure others see when they glance in my direction.
Having a heavy heart is okay, Mama, and in fact, I’d say it’s a sign that you are doing this whole parenting thing, more than right.
Your heart and your eyes are heavy because they are directed and focused on substantial human beings and the goals you have for both yourself and for them. I shouldn’t have asked you if you were doing okay, Mama, and do you want to know why?
Because I know that you are, and I am too.
Instead, I should have told you that you are doing great, so hear this, Mama, YOU ARE DOING GREAT.
Still, I think you could use a friend and honestly, so could I.
So, let’s support one another on the daily or in passing. And, if ever our heavy looks present, let’s remind one another, cause it’s so easy to forget, that those with heavy looks, well, they often have heavy hearts and heavy hearts are ones that are successfully doing the job they were intended to do.
This story originally appeared on @jthreenme on Facebook