how to get unstuck (in motherhood)

I remember.

I remember looking around at my house – at the chaos and piles of bills and the doubting of myself – and simply feeling unbelievably overwhelmingly alone.

Alone.

I wasn’t sure how to start. I didn’t have a clue what to do because the to-do lists and hard things and chaos and noise and mess and laundry and homework and lack-of-confidence and constant work of hiding was more than I could imagine.

So I hid.

And in hiding, in not admitting that I was totally lost and drowning in my whole life, I became stuck.

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Stuck in fear, stuck in worry, stuck in anxiety, stuck in my head.

I know you know what that feels like. I know that I am not the only mom, the only woman who has had those days and weeks and years where life is ticking by and we’re just going through the motions. Wake up and go to sleep and put off to tomorrow what needed to be done today. Oh and it’s not because we didn’t want to do today, it’s just that we let life get in the way.

Yes, you let life get in the way.

You know why I can say that to you?

Because I let life get in the way.

But I gave ever single excuse you could imagine so that I could remove myself from the equation.

This happened and that happened and I just don’t have time and if only this would change then I could do it. But life kept getting in the way and the pit of losing myself became deeper and deeper. So I threw myself into being the best mom I could. But in that desire I forgot my own oxygen, my own breath. I was so busy putting everyone else’s oxygen masks on making them happy but was gasping in my own life.

Tomorrow, tomorrow, tomorrow.

It’s not that I didn’t try. It was just that the mountain felt so high. I know you get that too, I just know it. I know you understand how it feels to feel like you are pulling into millions of directions and the thought of decluttering or cleaning or going out for coffee feels absolutely impossible. You just need to survive.

Friends, I cannot tell you how many times that I sat behind my bathroom door with it locked and the water running so no one would hear and I would just sob. Tears would fall from overwhelm and just wanting a moment to breathe.

No one can get you that moment, that oxygen mask, sweet mom.

You need to put it on.

And when you put it on in the beginning you need to just breathe. You need to be willing sometimes to step back and say no to the mess clean up but yes to you. You need to share with your friends that you need help and not feel the shame that not having it together causes. Because chances are she needs it just as much as you.

When we put our oxygen masks on we begin the process to get unstuck.

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We slowly allow space in our lives for our dreams to come to life again. We illuminate the areas in our lives that we have hid from and where we’ve let excuses weigh us down. And we can begin to breathe.

I need you to do this.

I know there are so many excuses and real life issues. I know. I know what it is like to open the door and to meet the gas man who is ready to turn off your utilities. I know what it is like to have to be a single mom on no sleep. I know what it like to have a child terribly ill. I know what it is like to have children who think you are the worst. I know.

And because I know I know that if you can do one thing for you every day after day after day you can begin to get unstuck and you can begin to find you again.

Just one thing.

Just one.

Do it for me?

Because you know what? I don’t want you stuck. I want you to breathe. To laugh. To love life. To look at yourself and be proud. To smile. To meet me at Starbucks and to tell me your victories and loves and how you did it.

You can do this.

You can become unstuck.

You can.

I know, because I did.

~Rachel

7 Responses to “how to get unstuck (in motherhood)”

  1. January 27, 2017

    Janet Reply

    Thank you for sharing your struggle so that others don’t feel so alone. Motherhood is a continual learning experience and it is helps to know other moms can encourage us when we may not have the strength individually.

  2. January 28, 2017

    Melanie Reply

    I needed this! I don’t know why I have felt like I’m the only one who has this “overwhelming sense of overwhelm”. Thank you for writing this!

  3. January 28, 2017

    Breathless Reply

    Thank you. I am stuck. in the process, and it is a process, of getting unstuck. There is IS hope. I am currently in the midst of an uber nasty divorce. With four young sons, I never had the courage to leave. It is scary, but I know it willbe worth it. I have been #findingjoy with these boys for years… when the big guy is not around, Time to really save ourselves. I will put that oxygen mask on. For me and my kids, and for the strengeth to get out of here…. so we can have the life we deserve. So we can be the good people we are and not be afraid. Thank you for the daily encouragement.

  4. January 28, 2017

    Anna maria corino Reply

    Thank you so much for your raw and exposed words to us mom’s, and parents. Honestly, I read everything you write but sometimes just skim. This morning, reading this really hit me. Last night I signed up for the yoga class I love, which is this morning. Even though I’m exhausted and could just stay in bed, I know I need it. I have been feeling so lost lately.. Everything you said! You hit the nail on the head! So, thank you and I am going to try every day to do one thing for me because, I know that will make me a better Mom for my daughter too! Much love!!

  5. January 28, 2017

    Kia Lowery Reply

    I absolutely love your testimony. It resonates with every fiber of my being. I feel like you have taken the pages of my life and are writing my story. My crying spot is in the shower, when I surface from a depression episode I will normally go to Ross or Burlington Coat Factory and treat myself to an embellishment for my home. My only outlet is the Farmers market on Saturday where I have made friends with other frugal shoppers who are taking advantage of the deals of the day. Although I am grateful for my son as he is truly my blessing I often feel empty, lost and overwhelmed not at all understanding this journey of being a single mom. So when I tell you you’re blogs are heartwarming and in a way therapudic I really mean it! I resent that there are so many women going through such an ordeal, it’s disheartening. I would never wish this pain on anyone not even my worst enemy. Although they say it will better with time and in due time the pain will fade and for it you will be stronger, I tend to think that this is one of those “alternative facts” that’s said to make you feel better as I would definitely opted for another route. All I know I cannot wait until the day comes when I become like the Phoenix that surfaces from the fire. Thank you so much for sharing your story.

  6. January 31, 2017

    Jessica Reply

    This post really hit home and I felt very empowered to get unstuck. Especially the part about putting on our own oxygen mask. I can do it! Thank you for writing this and sharing your life.

  7. February 3, 2017

    Michelle Reply

    I’ve been feeling overwhelmed, alone & drowning in my own ‘pretty nice & decent (I’m told) life for far too long….

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