When Your Holiday Doesn't Look Like Everyone Else's

Dear Mama,
I see you crying in the dark. I feel your hurt, embarrassment, guilt, and frustration. I know you tried SO hard. I saw you carefully planning the day, cautiously optimistic that this would be the day you could share those picture-perfect memories like others on social media. At the end of the day, it just didn’t happen. I know exactly how heartbreaking that can be. But know this-you are enough, you did enough, and the circumstances aren’t your fault.
 

Give yourself some grace. You can only control yourself. You cannot control other people. You worked hard, prepared well, and did your best. This is only one day, and it does not define who you are as a woman or a mother. We can all see the love in your actions and we know how this day will pull at the strings of your heart. It is okay to cry, it is okay to be disappointed in how events unfold, let yourself feel it.
 
 
However, there was so much beauty today. The love you feel for your children (no matter how challenging they can be). The love you showed in how you prepared for the day, and in how you cared for others. The tenderness in your heart right now that is hurting. There were some laughs, maybe a hug or two, and all of those count as beautiful moments. Right now, as you are starting to give yourself some grace-that is a beautiful moment too.
 
We learned a few lessons today. We learned that we will re-set expectations for the next holiday. Instead of focusing on specific things we want to happen, or food, décor, or family fun, we will focus on what really matters. Love, strength, and perseverance. These are all abundant in your heart. These are the things that sustain you day in and day out. Whether it is a holiday, or just another Monday-your cup is full of these gifts. Any holiday, or any day for that matter, that contains these things is a huge win.
 
So, let’s celebrate these things that are abundant in your life-no matter how blurry the image, no matter how mismatched the clothes, no matter how goofy the face, no matter how loud the cries. You have something to share and celebrate with the world-and I for one want to see it. Let’s grab our coffee, sit next to one another, and share our beauty-even if it looks different from others. Let’s build our tribe one struggling mama to another.
 
Signed,
Another mama who used to cry in the dark
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