Bethany Jacobs is a mom of two from Pinehurst, North Carolina. She’s also a sleep coach, doula, and lactation consultant.
Drawing on her personal experience as a mom, Bethany penned a poetic tribute to exhausted moms everywhere, and many have been touched by her thought-provoking words.
“To the mom hiding in her bathroom,” Bethany’s Facebook post began, “needing peace for just one minute, as the tears roll down her cheeks. To the mom who is so tired she feel likes she can’t function anymore and would do anything to lay down and get the rest she needs.”
Speaking to moms everywhere and the ups and downs of their shared experiences, Bethany’s post continued to read: “To the mom sitting in her car,” she wrote, “alone, stuffing food in her face because she doesn’t want anyone else to see or know she eats that stuff.”
“To the mom crying on the couch after she yelled at her kids for something little and is now feeling guilty and like she is unworthy.”
To these moms, Bethany also had a message of comfort and support: “You are enough. You are important. You are worthy. This is a phase of life for us,” Bethany encouraged. “This is a really really hard, challenging, crazy phase of life.”
“In the end it will all be worth it. But for now it’s hard,” she said, “and it’s hard for so many of us in many different ways. We don’t always talk about it, but it’s hard and it’s not just you.”
Bethany’s message to moms everywhere ends with hope and positivity. “Those little mouths eating the food you gave them,” she wrote, “they think that you are the best because their bellies are full. Those little hearts that reach out to touch yours, they don’t want anything more. They just want you.”
“Because you are enough,” Bethany said. “You are more than enough, mama. You. Are. Amazing.”
Bethany’s post of Dec. 16, 2016, was shared over 5,000 times on Facebook. Comments from parents flooded in in their thousands. Some moms voiced gratitude, some shared how emotional the post had made them feel, and some spoke up for the dads.
“What about dads?” one reader asked. “Or [are they] just supposed to be tough and don’t go through the same things?”
To this, Bethany replied: “Be assured that I’m sending all the love and appreciation to all the dads too. I can’t write from the perspective of a dad because I’m not one,” she explained, “but we can all share the perspective of parent and that can easily be interchanged here with mom.”
“Thank you to the dads that do all that they do,” Bethany added. “You don’t get enough credit.”
“This speaks to me,” another mom commented, “and I believe also to so many other moms out there. It really is tough sometimes and it really is so important just to tell yourself that you are enough.”
“I couldn’t have read this at a more appropriate time,” another added. “Weeks of my little girl not sleeping and self doubt and feeling like it will never get better. All mamas are strong. Even when you think you have nothing left in you. Thank you.”
A 2018 study titled “Parental Burnout: When Exhausted Mothers Open Up,” published in Frontiers in Psychology, interviewed 10 mothers with children over the age of 18 months.
The moms, they found, claimed to have “overinvested their maternal role over a long period of time” before becoming exhausted.
In brief, the study’s authors explained, the mothers expected too much of themselves.
Bethany Jacobs, beside penning inspirational messages, runs a website called Latched and Attached dedicated to parenting resources and helping moms find their equilibrium.
Her takeaway message is pure and simple: “You are enough.”
Photo courtesy of Bethany Jacobs