Real Life Mama: ‘Mom, if I don’t have to be perfect, neither do you’


By Sarah Shrader - Guest columnist



As a mom, I always think I have to hold the weight of the world on my shoulders and no one should see me break down – especially not my kids. But, honestly, not only did they help me to deal with my emotions, but they also saw that when they are to a point of needing to let it all out, that they can always come to me and let the tears fly.

As a mom, I always think I have to hold the weight of the world on my shoulders and no one should see me break down – especially not my kids. But, honestly, not only did they help me to deal with my emotions, but they also saw that when they are to a point of needing to let it all out, that they can always come to me and let the tears fly.


I had a bad day. Or maybe it was a string of a couple of bad days. You know those days where nothing goes right and there is never enough time to get it all done and it’s one thing after another and then another and then all of a sudden, boom. It is too much.

Well, that’s what happened to me last week. I don’t know, maybe it was the holidays approaching and just all the extra stress of more to do and less time to do it. Or maybe it was just a combination of everything going on in and around our lives that just had me holding back tears for so long until I couldn’t hold them back anymore.

And I was so mad that they were flowing because I had done such a good job of only little tears here and there. But what made me even angrier at myself was the timing of the flood – the exact moment that I crawled in bed with my girls to snuggle for the night.

There I was holding my two sweet girls – me, as their strong, booboo-kissing, dinner-making, homework-checking, taxi-driving, Saturday-dancing, couch-cuddling doer of all the things and protector – couldn’t even stop my tears from falling.

For a few minutes, as I seriously attempted with all my might to hold the tears back, I felt weak. Not in front of the girls, I kept trying to repeat over and over in my head. Hold it together, Sarah. Just get them to sleep and then you can let loose.

But, as soon as they noticed little droplets falling down my cheeks, their reactions completely opened the flood gates and there was no stopping it.

Immediately, Maylie jumped up and grabbed some tissues – she was on a mission and was going to take care of me. On the other hand, Reagan snuggled up really close next to me as her eyes started to get misty. The questions started flying, “What is wrong? What happened? What is going on?”

While I so appreciated their inquiry and sentiment, I also realized that all the things I was holding onto were adult-sized problems not meant to dump on the plates of my kids. So, I simply told them that I just had one of those really awful days and that I just needed to cry.

Maylie piped up first, “Mom, you do not have to be perfect. You tell me all the time that I do not have to be perfect and neither do you!”

Then, Reagan hit me with, “I had a pretty bad day too, mom. I mean, it wasn’t the best day, but it wasn’t the worst either.” Oh, I love the way this child looks at things.

Still attempting her pep talk, and a little annoyed by Reagan’s interruption, Maylie stood up and loudly exclaimed, “Mom, this life gets hard sometimes, things will break you, but you just have to build yourself back up! You can do this!” My little cheerleader using my own words that I have poured into her and pouring them right back in me.

For the next 30 minutes or so, I laid in bed with them one under each arm and sobbed. I let them see their mom at her most vulnerable time – when I was just a complete ball of brokenness. And what started out as me thinking I was failing, turned into not only an immense healing session for me, but also an opportunity for them to see that sometimes, it is OK to cry.

Because as a mom, I always think I have to hold the weight of the world on my shoulders and no one should see me break down – especially not my kids. But, honestly, not only did they grab on to my feelings and hold me tight helping me to deal with my emotions, but they also saw that when they are to a point of needing to let it all out, that they can always come to me and let the tears fly.

Eventually the girls’ little eyes grew heavy and they drifted off to sleep. Right as I was getting up, Reagan – without opening her eyes – whispered, “Mom, you got this.”

And I knew I did. Not because all my problems disappeared right then and there. But because, when I walked out of that room, I had some extra strength from the words, emotions, actions and love that my babies gave me. And honestly, it was just what I needed to pick myself back up and start tackling all that was in front of me.

After all, in the words of my Reagan, not every day is going to be the best. But not every day is going to be the worst either.

https://www.limaohio.com/wp-content/uploads/sites/54/2021/11/web1_Shrader-Sarah-CMYK-3.jpg
As a mom, I always think I have to hold the weight of the world on my shoulders and no one should see me break down – especially not my kids. But, honestly, not only did they help me to deal with my emotions, but they also saw that when they are to a point of needing to let it all out, that they can always come to me and let the tears fly.
https://www.limaohio.com/wp-content/uploads/sites/54/2021/11/web1_IMG_6578.jpegAs a mom, I always think I have to hold the weight of the world on my shoulders and no one should see me break down – especially not my kids. But, honestly, not only did they help me to deal with my emotions, but they also saw that when they are to a point of needing to let it all out, that they can always come to me and let the tears fly.

By Sarah Shrader

Guest columnist

Sarah (Pitson) Shrader was born and raised in Lima. She is a Lima Central Catholic and Tiffin University graduate. Sarah is a full-time working mama who enjoys writing about her somewhat crazy, always adventurous life as a mother. She lives in Bath Township with her daughters and writing inspirations, Maylie and Reagan.

Sarah (Pitson) Shrader was born and raised in Lima. She is a Lima Central Catholic and Tiffin University graduate. Sarah is a full-time working mama who enjoys writing about her somewhat crazy, always adventurous life as a mother. She lives in Bath Township with her daughters and writing inspirations, Maylie and Reagan.

Post navigation