Wednesday, August 14, 2013

Wherever You Are, Be There...An Open Letter to the Mamas

First day of school for three of us...another day of work at UDOT for Dylan.

Dear Working Mama,

If you have never felt exhausted, confused, or hopeless, may God continue to bless you. If like most of us who have mothered little ones, you have longed for adult conversation, or having an uninterrupted phone conversation, or an uncluttered home, we can commiserate together. Whether you are working outside of your home, or working within the four walls of your house, no one will debate that you ARE a working mother. The two words go together. Those of us who have been there know the battle that takes place in your head every day. You wish there were two of you.  You work so hard, and you want to be the best mother you can be.

This letter originally was written to the young teachers at our school who have young children at home. I believe there is something here for all of us as mothers, no matter the particulars of our circumstances.  

First of all, know that you are not alone. Many before you have attempted, and many after you will attempt, to do the seemingly impossible. Balancing your life at work, and your life at home may seem to be too much at times. Take a deep breath. You can do this.

I would like to share my secret for surviving this busy time of your life. There was a little mantra that helped me endure the craziest time of my life. I had a 9 year old, a 7 year old, and a little one on the way. I was just trying to survive teaching first graders all day long, and attend classes for my master's degree at night and on the weekends, and somehow meet the needs of my small family. I said this over and over to myself during that time: WHEREVER YOU ARE, BE THERE. 

Made by Justine Childs, Vintage Hearts
Now in Eau Claire, Wisconsin
A friend of mine made this stitched quote for me. I kept it in my kitchen where I would see it frequently. During times when my mind was fretting about school at home, it helped me focus. When I was at school, and my mind would worry about things undone at home, that quote would come back to me, and I would return to the present moment.  

It helps, it really does. How else can you be a good mom, good wife, and a good teacher? It won't do at all to fret about school while you're rocking that precious baby, or wishing your children wouldn't take so long to get to sleep so you can spend some precious adult time with your husband, or worrying about your own kids while you're in front of a classroom full of students. 

"Wherever you are, BE there."

When your littles are tucked in bed, totally be the wife. When you go to work, totally be the teacher. Immerse yourself in that classroom, trusting your carefully chosen daycare provider, and your children's teachers to take care of your own children. When you are at home, totally be the mom. Don't even THINK about checking papers or making phone calls to your students' parents. Lock your school door at the end of the day and be done with it. Go home, be the mama, and love those little babies like only you can. 

You are an amazing woman, and probably don't need to hear my little sermon...but I promise, saying WHEREVER YOU ARE, BE THERE, and living in the moment was my only lifeline to sanity some days. It won't be easy, and some days will be harder than others, but you are strong. You can do this.

From a Mama Who's Been There

The stitched piece is right behind me on the shelf.  "Wherever you are, be there."  Living in the now
allows us to focus our positive energy in whatever situation we find ourselves.  


  1. Now what is the most challenging is when you work from home. Trying to find a balance is VERY difficult. I need to designate work hours and all other hours I need to focus ONLY on my babies. :)

    1. Oh, Ashley, I could NEVER work for myself. I'd just play with the babies, and when they're asleep, I'd play on the computer. I had to have a job that prescribed my schedule and required my being in a specific location for those hours. I don't know how you do it.

  2. Replies
    1. Thank YOU. I hope in some small way it helps to know others are fighting the same battle mentally.

  3. Yes indeed! I have struggled with this my entire life. Think I will be making something with this mantra to give to my daughter for Christmas, as well.Thanks for sharing, Denise!

  4. Everyone is so busy; who DOESN'T struggle with mindfulness in living. Another thing that is assisting me right now is setting an intention for the day. That has been on my mind a lot lately. It will surface here on Randomocity soon, once I figure out what lessons I'm learning from living with intention. (((HUGS)))

  5. Such good advice! Thank you. Mindfulness is such a struggle at times.

    1. Agreed! It's a constant battle, and sometimes it's DAYS before I've given much thought to anything I've done or am doing.


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