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, however I pulled it anyway.
And initially, they had boundless energy. They ran through the snow and laughed and 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 didn’t hurt herself, but she was upset. 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.
We explored the field and forest, learned about trees and talked about the river, and whether the fish were frozen inside. We hit the snow off the tree boughs and they laughed and made snow angels.
And all along, I pulled the sled.
By the later part of our walk, they grew tired. With the fatigue came the emotions and the meltdowns began.
Do you want to climb in 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.
THIS 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. When they do need it, we pull them through. We do this to carry them when they can’t carry themselves, to support them when they’re feeling tired and emotional.
There are some days it feels light and all downhill, and pulling them, supporting them feels easy.
There are days it is all uphill and pulling them is so hard, and so exhausting.
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 just have to keep pulling the sled.
This original piece was initially shared on Facebook and was subsequently published on three separate online platforms (here, here and here). Collectively, The Sled has touched over 70 000 people and continues to be shared.
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