I went for a walk in the snow the other day, and behind me I pulled a sled.
My children were insistent they could walk, that they didn’t need the sled, but I pulled it anyway.
And initially, they had boundless energy. They chased each other and their laughter was musical.
And even though they didn’t seem to need it, I still pulled the sled.
It felt light and it wasn’t that hard to pull.
After we walked a bit longer, one of my girls tripped and fell. She climbed in the sled for a minute and I kept pulling.
But she didn’t need it for long, and she hopped back out.
I was happy I’d brought the sled to help her when she needed a break.
They grew tired. With the fatigue came the emotions and the meltdowns began.
Do you want to climb into the sled? I asked.
They both did. And I pulled them.
And sometimes we went downhill and it felt easy.
And sometimes we went up hills and it was heavy and hard, and I was sweating and feeling tired.
And when I was sweating and feeling tired, almost resentful about the weight of them, I would stop, pause and breathe.
And sometimes they climbed out, feeling that they didn’t need the sled again, and would walk a little bit more, explore a bit further.
But they always returned to the sled.
And I always kept pulling it.
That is what motherhood is.
We keep pulling the sled of support. Even when they don’t need it, we are there to help them keep going.
And when they do need it, we pull them through. To carry them when they can’t carry themselves, to support them when they’re feeling tired and emotional.
And some days it feels light and all downhill, and pulling them, supporting them feels easy.
And some days it is all uphill and pulling them is so hard, and so exhausting.
And even when we’re tired from their weight and from our own fatigue, we pull them.
So Mama, if your sled feels heavy today, pause and take a breath. You are working hard. This job isn’t easy.
There will be days when they won’t need you to pull them, and it will get easier.
You have to keep pulling the sled.
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Dr. Carly Crewe is the mother of twin three year old girls, a Canadian small town family doctor from rural Alberta and an online anxiety coach for moms. After suffering with her own postpartum mental illness, Carly became passionate about helping women overcome their own mental health struggles across the spectrum of motherhood. Carly is extremely passionate about mental health education and advocacy, with a special focus on maternal mental health. Through her private coaching, group coaching programs and online course, Carly provides the education and support for women to adopt healthy mindsets related to their anxiety, learn strategies to manage their thoughts and emotions in the moment and regain control of their lives so they can be present and do motherhood on their own terms. IG: @carlycrewe, Facebook