I know why you are exhausted. It’s because you are giving. It’s because you are cleaning. It’s because you are watching. It’s because you are working. You pour your coffee every morning, knowing you’ll probably never get to finish it without microwaving it five times.

Someone needs you, wants you or is talking to you. Always. You are inevitably pulled in several different directions as the sun slowly wakes from her slumber. Sometimes you get up early—in the darkness—just to take a hot shower or drink your coffee in peace. Sometimes you stay up way too late just so you can take a quiet breath.

I know why you are exhausted. It’s because you are worrying. It’s because you are questioning. It’s because you are confused. It’s because you are learning.

You struggle to get everyone to where they need to be on time. You often rush around like a maniac and then wonder what it’s all for.

You scold others for not doing as they were told. You sometimes cry in utter frustration because no one seems to be listening. You feel like you explain the same thing over and over—a thousand times over.

You keep trying to do what you think is the best thing. You step up to the plate, again and again, to give it another shot.

I know why you are exhausted. It’s because you are negotiating. It’s because you are planning. It’s because you are arguing. It’s because you are yelling.

You wake up every day telling yourself you’ll be calm. You tell yourself won’t lose your sh*t or yell and scream. You tell yourself you’ll meditate, do yoga or—find your “zen.” But you don’t. You get busy. You have to go somewhere, be somewhere, take someone somewhere. You get distracted. You get frustrated. You yell.

You sometimes compare yourself to other moms, thinking you’ve lost the race. You think you’ve lost the race of who’s the calmest, the most organized or the most energetic. But all the other moms are running their own race in their own minds. They have their own battles, worries and torrential fears of failure. The other moms are exhausted, too, even the ones who look flawless. Appearances can be utterly deceiving.

I know why you are exhausted. It’s because you are self-defeating. It’s because you’re having a bad week, day, hour or moment.

You are a mom. You are everything to everyone. You get tired. You get scared. You get frustrated. Being a mom is not for the faint-hearted.

Being exhausted does not mean you are failing at motherhood. It just means you need to rest. And it’s okay to rest.

You’re exhausted because you revolve your life around your family by planning, supporting, working, cleaning, driving, helping, hugging, kissing, mending and bending over backward to adapt to every change, every challenge and every choice.

You are a mom. A glorious, messy, smart, frazzled, wondrous, confused, determined mom. Nothing runs without you, and you can’t run on empty. So, it’s really okay to just rest.

This post originally appeared on The Pondering Nook.

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