I just saw the new musical "Waitress" on Broadway and there is one line where she asks her boss- "Are you happy?" and he responds, "I'm happy enough". A few scenes later she sings the most beautiful and heartbreaking song, "She Used to Be Mine". Jessie Mueller pours every gut wrenching emotion into that song and I feel it in the pit of my stomach as tears stream down my face. She's in that exact moment when you look in the mirror and ask yourself, how did I get here? Where did the girl who believed in fairy tales go? Is this the fairy tale? When did I stop taking chances? When did I start taking care of everyone else in my life and stop taking care of me?
That's a hard moment to face and so often it's what motherhood feels like. You put these little people first. You are responsible for keeping them alive and helping to shape the people that they will become, for the first 9 months inside you and then for the rest of their life. So many of us stop doing what we love because we don't have time, we'd rather sleep, or we think it's selfish once we have children. I wish someone had told me it wasn't. So I'm telling you as my mother's day gift to you. It's not selfish. It's self-preservation. Being a mom is just one part of who I am and I know the more fulfilled the rest of me is the more loving and patient I will be with my kids. Whoever made up the line "it's the hardest job in the world" was not messing around. It's no joke.
So the next time you get that look from your husband, friend, mom, or hear your own voice telling you how selfish you are for spending time doing things you love, respond with - "it's not selfish, it's self-preservation". Spend time with that girl again. Get to know her again. She might be tired and a little wrinkled, but she's still there. I'm getting to know her again and I'm kind of amazed at how awesome she is. Life is too short for happy enough. Go for a big plate of happy and a side of pie.