This Mom's Throwback Post Should Be Required Reading for All Young Moms

jen hatmaker
Jen Hatmaker/Facebook

As much as we adore our babies, raising them is hard work. Sometimes an encouraging word from a mom who's been in our shoes is exactly what we need to tighten our messy buns and handle the next diaper blowout or fight over the right-colored sippy cup. Jen Hatmaker is one of those moms who's been there. And her ode to young moms everywhere will have you feeling like you can make it to bedtime and beyond.

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Author, blogger, HGTV host, and all-around amazing mom Jen Hatmaker recently shared a 15-year-old throwback photo on Facebook. The photo was taken hours after Hatmaker (who is giving us some major Jessica Simpson vibes) gave birth to her third child, Caleb. Even though she was exhausted, sore, and covered in stitches down below, she still made the effort to hold 4-year-old Gavin and 2-year-old Sydney close and read them a story. Because that's what moms do. We put our kids' needs before our own without thinking twice about it.

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jen hatmaker young
Jen Hatmaker/Facebook
Hatmaker's kids are well into their teens now, so naturally the post gave her all the feels. Though it's been years, she says this moment feels like it wasn't long ago at all. "The tears for my babies come quick," she writes. "I can literally feel the phantom weight of them leaning against me with their snow white hair and baby skin. I remember exactly how they felt in my arms. Exactly. My life's joy. I can hardly look at their little faces." 

But while looking at baby pics of our kids will make anyone's mascara run, Hatmaker admits that most of her tears were for her younger self. "She was 27 years old and five hours removed from delivering her third baby in four years," she writes. "She was sore and tired and stitched, but she pulled those big babies into her bed to snuggle and read to them so they knew they were still her moon and stars. She would go home the next day with three babies and work from sunup to sundown and also in the middle of the night taking care of these treasures and sometimes crying in the bathroom. There was never, ever enough of her to go around, but God have mercy did she try." 

Okay, now I'm crying. Thanks, Jen. Because this is what moms mean when they say "I'm tired." Sure, we are seriously suffering from a lack of sleep, but what we really mean is "We're trying our hardest every single second of the day (and night) and sometimes it feels like it's just not enough." 

Hatmaker may not be one of us anymore, but she remembers, and she salutes us. "Here is to all you young mamas this morning," she says. "I see you. I remember. I know exactly what it feels like to have two in diapers and one still nursing. I remember the exhaustion that seeps all the way into your bones until you fall asleep with your clothes on and your contacts still in." (Note to self -- I've got to stop doing that.)

hatmaker family
Jen Hatmaker/Facebook

She recalls the worry we all feel over, well, everything, but gives us some important feedback moms just don't hear often enough. "I want to tell that 27-year-old mom of three the same thing I want to tell you: You are doing a breathtaking, beautiful job," she writes. "Your children are so loved and they know it."

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It's easy to feel like we're drowning in a sea of toys and diapers, that we don't know what we're doing and that we might not make it through the next 18 years alive. But Hatmaker's been where we are, and we believe her when she says that one day we'll look back at the now and marvel at how awesome we are at this whole mom thing.

"So much love to you, young moms," she says. "Love your babies exactly like you are doing, even if you feel like you are reading to two of them in the hospital bed you just delivered the third one in -- I know. There isn't much down time. But all of this matters and you matter and this work is so important. I am cheering you on from the other side. I'll hold your seat over here. You're going to make it."

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