Letters: My Sister-in-law

There are days when I’m sure your lack of punctuality and willingness to plan ahead will lead me to an early deathbed, but they’re what make you, you.

A woman who stays in her job for the families, even though she’s severely undervalued by those in the hot seats.  Families you impact in so many ways, though some days you may not see it – you’re constantly praised!

A woman who has juggled it all to raise two of my favorite humans.

There are days when your dishes go undone, supper consists of canned pasta and you never get to change out of your baby-stained work clothes.  But in those days, you are racing from activity to activity where you constantly play cheerleader on the sidelines.  You’re ensuring your children get to live their dreams; even when you feel you’re at the brink of exhaustion and feel like you couldn’t possibly stand one more practice.

You keep cheering.

And though at times, when you’re literally trying to balance your entire world on those shoulders of yours, it may seem that no one notices what you do, or even care – someone notices.

I notice.

And I can promise you, one day they will too.  Maybe it won’t be today, tomorrow or even six months from now, but they’ll notice.  They’ll notice the endless self sacrifices you made.  They’ll notice the lines of exhaustion and finally realize that at times, Mom was superhuman.  That although at times they may yell at you, and even hate you in their childhood angst, you were there – unconditionally loving and supporting.

The world is full of terrifying things.  Things you try to shield and protect them from.  Things that will shake them to their very core throughout their lives regardless of how much you wish otherwise.

It’s during those times, they’ll realize just how much love and respect they have for you.

My wish for you, my infuriatingly, wonderful sister-in-law, is that you take a deep breath – maybe several – and remember you.  Remember that it’s okay to put yourself first in the world of chaos.  Take an hour, or even a day and relax.  The dishes will get done, the family will survive and you will be better for it.

Because when no one else notices what you do – I notice.  I notice the sacrifices you make on a daily basis.  I notice the lines of exhaustion and defeat.  I notice the need for you to start practicing self-care in the midst of motherhood.  I notice this even though I’m not a mother.  Because I grew up surrounded by mothers just like you – including my own.  Incredibly strong women who sacrificed until they almost couldn’t anymore.

My wish for you, Ms. G, is that you start to see what I see.  My wish for you, it that you start saying no to others, just a little – so that you can start saying yes to yourself.  Because it isn’t simply everyone else growing quickly, we are too.  Life is flying by, and there is more to your story than being a fantastic Mom, wife and sister-in-law.  It’s yours to create doll and my wish for you . . .

. . . is that you some day soon pick up the pen and start writing it.


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