the mom confession.

I am writing this in my hallway at the top of the stairs because my two little boys won’t stay in their room and go to bed unless I sit up here at the doorway and utter words like go to bed and stay in bed now – I mean it and no more water and you will lose media time if you get out of your bed again until they both decide to give in, slip under their covers and go to sleep.

That’s the truth.

I’ve tried charts. Bedtime routines. Stickers. Time outs. All of it. And I’ve resorted to working at the top of the stairs for an hour each night and muttering those phrases. I’ve actually gotten quite used to emailing, tweeting, facebooking, and writing with my back against the door to my room and my eyes constantly looking in their room to see if they’re asleep.

(they’re not right now… in case you were wondering.)

My life isn’t all together. I’ve got my share, well more than my share, of ups and downs, fails and do-overs, highs and lows, and sitting at the top of the stair moments because I can’t seem to think of something better to do.

I make boxed macaroni and cheese for lunch with the little powdered cheese.

We don’t eat organic apples.

I buy my kids fruit roll ups.

Sometimes my kids play too much media.

I skip words, okay paragraphs, in long books at bedtime.

I don’t fold all the little boys clothes because they just dump them out anyway.

My sock basket is rarely ever folded.

I don’t like doing dishes.

My living room right now (which I can see because I am sitting at the top of the stairs) has throw pillows on the floor, papers on the couch, a lamp shade that’s crooked, shoes scattered by the door, and a couple empty boxes waiting for the toys to be dumped back in.

My pinterest board however, has pictures of perfectly organized living rooms.

I love Starbucks and will drive there sometimes with the kids in the back and then I will take the long way home.

I get impatient with my kids.

And I’m normal.

My kids? Well, they’re normal. Or as normal as kids who want every single thing fair are ever going to be.

Motherhood isn’t based on perfection. It’s not based on having gluten free (which we must have in my world) or whole wheat macaroni with organic apples and socks that are matched and never getting impatient and a perfectly picked up living room that looks like a pinterest board.

Motherhood is simply real.

Real with real moms who lose their patience, who want to throw in the towel, who have kids (like my Samuel who is now in the hallway next to me telling me he doesn’t want to go to bed now) who don’t stay in bed. It’s full of moms who have to work who’d rather stay home. Or moms who stay home who’d rather work. Or moms who are simply tired with the every day same routine.

It’s full of real moms who take their kids to the apple orchard and the zoo and the coffee shop and the grocery store and the doctor and to school and all of that normal stuff. It’s full of moms who feel like all they do is the laundry again and again and if they see clean clothes stuffed in the hamper again they threaten to take them away and sell them (or maybe that’s just me). It’s full of moms who are happy, joyful, sad, overwhelmed, and well, let’s face it real.

That’s the being enough mom. (link)

That’s my confession. It’s not that I don’t want to be better. I think at heart we wake up each day and want each day to be better than the next. That’s why I celebrate pulling up the boot straps and trying again and again and giving yourself grace. (Don’t forget grace. Ever.) Motherhood has moments of extreme patience, extreme trying, and really learning to not compare.

Motherhood isn’t based on external markers of perfection.

Motherhood is an act of learning. Every single day. It’s being okay with the fact that maybe you like the convenience of that boxed macaroni and cheese. You know why? It’s because it’s not based on what other moms are doing – it’s based on you – on you knowing your family, knowing what is best for your family, and being brave and confident in what you’re doing.

Motherhood, and in fact life, is often this journey of waking up and discovering self.

That’s the truth.

So I tell you, you right now, you the mother in whatever stage of motherhood you may find yourself that you are doing just fine. You are doing fine if your kids don’t stay in bed, you hate potty training (does anyone like that one?), your kids have melt downs in the store, you get exasperated, you sneak the last bit of ice cream for yourself, and well, you’re just you.  Just keep trying, keep doing your best, and keep growing more and more confident in your ability to mother.

You know what your kids need? Of course you do. They don’t need perfect.

They need you.

You, the imperfect wonderfully perfect for your kids, mother.

That’s my mom confession today.

Oh yes, and we’re having hot dogs and peaches and macaroni and cheese for lunch.

******

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207 Responses to “the mom confession.”

  1. October 7, 2013

    Sara R Reply

    I have to say I have been loving these posts on motherhood. I found this one especially beautiful.

  2. October 7, 2013

    Rachel Martin Reply

    Thank you, Sara. Bless you today.

    Rachel

    • December 12, 2013

      Anonymous Reply

      You are not the only one who has clean laundry show up in the hamper ( or dumped down the stairs, stuffed under the couch, or even hid in a toy box!) I finally had to TAKE AWAY my girls dressers! they are 12 and 7 and both dressers now reside in the living room ( not ideal but it adds to the punishment for them to explain to visitors) and they have to present mom with dirty clothes to get new clothes, that I get to pick – or at least veto any I don’t want them in that day for any reason.

      • January 23, 2014

        Shonna Reply

        This is a great idea! Will it work for husbands too?! Jk

    • December 12, 2013

      Anonymous Reply

      I get clean clothes in hampers too! Grr! Love the idea of turning in dirty clothes for clean ones! Clever!

    • December 12, 2013

      Anonymous Reply

      That’s how my daughter (now 29)
      and living far far away
      (but coming home for Christmas!)
      Started doing her own laundry !!!!!!!!
      She was having more “dirty” laundry than
      myself, my husband and my son combined….
      So she was taught how to do laundry….
      I do not remember how old she was
      maybe 11 or 12 ???

    • December 13, 2013

      TCroCraw12 Reply

      I swear you just described my house and boys, laundry, mac and cheese to a T! Those are my thoughts exactly!!! Love knowing that I’m not alone:)

    • December 13, 2013

      TCroCraw12 Reply

      I swear you just described my house and boys, laundry, mac and cheese to a T! Those are my thoughts exactly!!! Love knowing that I’m not alone:)

    • December 13, 2013

      TCroCraw12 Reply

      I swear you just described my house and boys, laundry, mac and cheese to a T! Those are my thoughts exactly!!! Love knowing that I’m not alone:)

    • December 14, 2013

      mystikalbeauty29 Reply

      I also took my daughters’ dresser away for that reason and she is only 4 :-D Although, I still have never-ending loads of laundry to do, I’m not washing as many clean clothes again :-)

    • December 14, 2013

      Anonymous Reply

      Your kids use dressers and hampers ????? Mine just keep their clean clothes in the baskets and dirty clothes on their floor. For some reason a 14yr old and 17yr old don’t know what the big wood structure with drawers and the basket with their initial is for.

  3. October 7, 2013

    Mandy and Sons Reply

    Thank you for being real. Your blog has gotten me through many rough days. I have 4 kiddos with one on the way and I homeschool. And sometimes I feed my kids chicken nuggets from McDonald’s and I feel guilty. But it’s ok because I grew up on them and I’m just fine! Thank you for including the part about food. I’m tired of feeling like I don’t measure up to other moms who cook everything from scratch. It’s just not possible for me. Bless you!

    • December 13, 2013

      Anonymous Reply

      I used to drive through McDonald’s and ask my 18 month old if she wanted a cheeseburger or chicken nuggets. She would always say “yes” and since she was my only one, I would get both! Now, during the busiest of times, all six of my kids and I can get through the drive through for less than $8. :) Is it ideal nutrition? No. And many days we have frozen pizza or PBJ’s or cereal! Which may or may not be better than fast food. Sometimes we’ll have great food. Sometimes we’ll have okay food. Sometimes, I tell them to find their own food! :) But always, my kids go to bed loved and knowing that it is so.

    • December 13, 2013

      Anonymous Reply

      =)

  4. October 7, 2013

    Andrea Reply

    Love your posts. Love them. Thank you, again.

  5. October 7, 2013

    Rachel Martin Reply

    Thank you Mandy and Andrea.

    Mandy – no guilt in motherhood. None. It’s your motherhood story with your children. That’s what matters. :)

    Rachel

  6. October 7, 2013

    Anonymous Reply

    Thank you a million times over. Just what I needed to read on the crazy Monday I am having with three small children!

  7. October 7, 2013

    Rachel Martin Reply

    Blessings to you a millions time over as well. I appreciate your comment greatly.

    Rachel

  8. October 7, 2013

    ★Erica★ Reply

    Thank you. Just,Thank You ♡.

  9. October 7, 2013

    Beleza Snow Reply

    Thank you from this second time around Mom

  10. October 7, 2013

    Unknown Reply

    This comment has been removed by the author.

  11. October 7, 2013

    Crystal A Reply

    I totally laughed at the sock basket that’s never folded. I was like “Other people have an unfolded sock basket?!?!?” I love all of your posts, they are very encouraging and I share them with all my mommas on Facebook. :)

  12. October 7, 2013

    Danielle Cococcia Reply

    I always feel like your posts are written specifically for me! Thank you for putting it out there! (Going to go eat my chocolate that I told my son has nuts in it so he can’t have any–it doesn’t but he’s allergic to nuts and I didn’t want to share!! Hahaha!)

  13. October 7, 2013

    Rachel Martin Reply

    Hooray for unfolded sock baskets!! I just tell my kids, “dig through the basket and find a pair.” Now, in the winter I’m a bit more diligent about matching those socks – but in the summer – during sandal months? Sock basket all the way. :)

    Rachel

  14. October 7, 2013

    Rachel Martin Reply

    Thanks @Danielle. I have an emergency stash of chocolate as well. And if that runs out – I’ve got chocolate chips.

    • December 13, 2013

      Beverly, mom of 2 boys. Reply

      I was just thinking about MY stash of m&ms in the freezer and the backup chocolate chips. Too funny.

    • June 9, 2014

      Lauren Reply

      I do that too with the chocolate chips!! And sock basket for the hubby =) I don’t care if my kids’ socks match bc I can just say oh they love to dress themselves and pick out their own clothes! Ha!

  15. October 7, 2013

    lemonlaneblog Reply

    I just have to say thanks for all these posts on not being perfect and the reminders to give ourselves grace. I usually receive your updates in my email when we are sitting down to lunch, and they often serve as my half-time pep talk midway through my day! I have to control myself not to share every single one of your posts on Facebook. ;) Thanks for being real and letting God speak through you!

  16. October 7, 2013

    Rachel Martin Reply

    lemonlane – you are most welcome. I appreciate each share – thank you for that. I celebrate real – real moms, real women, real lives – and I’m glad my words blessed you greatly.

    Rachel

  17. October 7, 2013

    missy Reply

    Love this! Thank you for your honesty and making us all feel normal!

  18. October 7, 2013

    running4mamas Reply

    It must be in the air! I just blogged about being frustrated and out of sync with my kids. There’s such a pressure for moms to have it together- clean houses, clean kids (I don’t by white anything, EVER), patience, clean houses (did I say that already), and teach our kids how to write by 2. We just have to take a step back and realize that as long as what we do works for our family (that includes our sanity), do it. We all have different styles. Being a mom is tough enough so I LOVED your honesty! I found myself mentally checking off the things I did as well!! Thanks!

  19. October 7, 2013

    amy@flexibledreams Reply

    This is my life… right down to the mac&cheese and sitting in the hall with my tablet so the kids will stay in their beds. Thanks for being real.

  20. October 7, 2013

    Rachel Martin Reply

    Amy,

    Glad to know that I’m not the only hallway sitting mom out there. :)

    rachel

  21. October 7, 2013

    Danielle Reply

    Beautifully written :) So true!

  22. Okay, I think I wrote that top part, and you stole it from my head! Every sentence I could check off as, “Yep, that’s my hosue!” I also write a blog, and someone commented that my kids always look so happy. That’s because I’m not snapping pictures when they are screaming or having a bad attitude. So I included in my post today of my 2 year old throwing a little fit when we had to leave the apple orchard. Yes, we are real people whose kids are naughty–not that that is acceptable, and we need to correct, but love them anyway, as I am sometimes (a lot of times) naughty and God loves me anyway = grace! Thank you–I loved this post, and I am going to share it on my facebook page. We all need to remember this.

  23. October 7, 2013

    Hannah Reply

    Lovely! I so appreciate your blog. It’s rare to find one so inspiring that also encourages me to not fall into a comparison trap. Thanks for those words.

  24. October 7, 2013

    Anonymous Reply

    I don’t understand why you would be proud of some of these things. Why would you not just buy organic produce while you’re already at the store? Or prepare healthy snacks for your kids?

    • December 12, 2013

      Anonymous Reply

      Girl…please. We’re not here for a long time; we’re here for a good time.
      PS…Do some research on you’re “ritzy” organic produce.

    • December 12, 2013

      Anonymous Reply

      No need to understand y. You only need to understand we are all different people at different places in our lives. What we should do each support each other and celebrate life.

    • December 13, 2013

      Anonymous Reply

      Organic isn’t really that much better and is is stupidly expensive. Some of us Moms have a budget to stick to.

    • December 17, 2013

      PTH Reply

      Re Anonymous #35 – Oh honey – there’s a big difference between being “proud” of something, versus simply acknowledging and accepting your limits, and asking for others to accept you as you are. Respectfully, you’re missing the big picture point here.

      My favorite mommy mantra is: “There’s no way to be a perfect mother, and a million ways to be a good one.” (Jill Churchill) This post embodies that sage advice. Thank you Rachel!

  25. October 7, 2013

    Rachel Martin Reply

    Ah, it’s not that I’m not proud – I’m just okay with doing it or not. Sometimes I buy organic apples. And we eat a ton of fruit and produce. But, I also buy my kids fruit snacks at times. That’s all. :)

    Rachel

  26. October 8, 2013

    Anonymous Reply

    An idea for bedtimes…I used this for my daughter when she was about four and it worked. So here it is. Money! I told her that if she stayed in her bed all night (other than going potty) I would give her a quarter in the morning. I she got up for any other reason than to go potty she had to pay ME a quarter!

  27. October 8, 2013

    Rachel Martin Reply

    i love the idea of money! i’ve been doing gumballs – and that is fairly motivating. i think they’ve just gotten in the habit of me sitting in that hallway with them.

    Thank you!

    rachel

    • January 7, 2014

      Anonymous Reply

      We were having the same problem with bedtime, and the cure was letting them read books while they were in bed. Essentially, we came to terms with the fact that we couldn’t force them to go to sleep, so as long as they were in bed and quiet, they could read. This alleviated their boredom and also lulled them to sleep. :-)

      • January 7, 2014

        Rachel Marie Martin Reply

        Love the idea of reading in bed like that. Excellent suggestion.

        Thank you.

        Rachel :)

  28. October 8, 2013

    Sarah Hughes Reply

    I LOVE this post!!! Thank you so much for writing it!! I can relate to so much (boxed mac and cheese) and loved where you said “You know what your kids need? Of course you do. They don’t need perfect. They need you.”

  29. October 8, 2013

    Carie Reply

    Thank your for honesty and transparency! I desire friends who have the ability to be that transparent. It makes me remember I am a good mom, despite the craziness day in and day out. You rock!!!

  30. October 8, 2013

    Six In The Sticks Reply

    Thank you. Just…thank you.

  31. October 8, 2013

    debra burke Reply

    Thank you. I do need this reassurance and accept my faults and shortcomings. ..do i forgive myself for having to work, for being impatient and not a stay at home mom? No

  32. October 8, 2013

    Rachel Martin Reply

    This comment has been removed by the author.

  33. October 8, 2013

    Rachel Martin Reply

    Absolutely, Debra. We all have our own stories – that is what I celebrate. There is not one perfect story, not one ideal way to do everything – we all have our own beautifully imperfect real story to write.

    Bless you.

    Rachel

  34. October 8, 2013

    Anonymous Reply

    You are amazing And I appreciate your story…. It is beautiful

  35. October 8, 2013

    Dana Reply

    From now on I will picture you sitting at the top of your stairs while you write. :)
    I’m so thankful for moms like you who are open & honest. I’ve been at this mom thing for over 22 yrs & when my first 5 kids were all little I was in complete survival & had no idea if there was any other mom on earth struggling the way I was. It is such a blessing to pull up your blog & see, yes…I am not just a normal mom, but my kids are normal, my doubts are normal & my God is walking with me every step of the way.

  36. October 8, 2013

    Recovering Church Lady Reply

    Ha! This is beautiful and so needed! You’ll like this: When my 2 boys were small I only bought plain white sox and left them in the dryer for them to gather on their own. Lazy…or smart?
    Ha! Susie

  37. October 8, 2013

    Christine Wipson Reply

    I totally needed this tonight! I LOST it at bedtime and my girls are old enough to know better. I took a deep breath (maybe a big sigh) and am going to bed to start again tomorrow. Thank you so much for REAL.

  38. October 8, 2013

    Rachel Martin Reply

    Yep, I worked at the top of the stairs tonight again. :)

  39. October 8, 2013

    Patricia Lewis Reply

    I just wanted to tell you, I enjoy reading all your posts. You are one of a very few blogs I subscribe to at this point in life (no internet @ home.) BUT – I read it just about 20 minutes after I finished MY nightly stint with sitting with the boys at bedtime. My sock basket . . . folded? HA! I don’t do the mac & cheese . . . but I DO pastaroni noodles that I buy either on sale cheap or at a bent and dent store. No, not ideal or best, but it is real life, the real that helps me keep my sanity and keep them safe, alive and learning. Thanks so much for all the encouragement. It’s been a blessing to me.

  40. October 8, 2013

    Rachel Martin Reply

    Bless you Patricia.

    I do gluten free mac and cheese once a week. I spend $6 for three boxes of it at Trader Joe’s. And I am almost always told that “this is the best lunch ever” when I make it. Go figure. Hahah!

    Thanks for your kind words and sweet comment.

    Rachel

  41. October 8, 2013

    Anonymous Reply

    I LOVE all your posts. You are so real and down to earth I appreciate it! I just have to ask are you a Christ follower? It seems to me that you get the whole concept of grace and how we are to love like crazy so I was just curious if you are?

  42. October 8, 2013

    Lynn Reply

    This seems to have really touched a lot of people! If I could go back and change one thing it would be how I handled bed time with the kids. I tried everything to keep them in bed and ended up getting so mad at them if they came out. Which meant if they were scared, or had a nightmare, they couldn’t come out for help. Oh it wasn’t worth that! The time when they’ll be in their own beds, in their own homes will come way too soon!
    Praying in Seattle as always!
    Isaiah 41:10, 13 Fear thou not; for I am with thee: be not dismayed; for I am thy God: I will strengthen thee; yea, I will help thee; yea, I will uphold thee with the right hand of my righteousness. (13) For I the LORD thy God will hold thy right hand, saying unto thee, Fear not; I will help thee.
    My email address

  43. October 8, 2013

    Ashley Reply

    This is my first time reading your blog and let me tell you the timing was absolutely perfect! I felt like this pep talk was just written for me seeing as I had a really rough day with my 2 month old who generally is so laid back but decided to cry non stop all day – thank you so much! Gonna def start following you from now on!

  44. October 8, 2013

    Katrina Parkerson Reply

    Amazing post :)Thank you for sharing the reminder that we need to give ourselves some wiggle room!
    http://youngnasawife.blogspot.com

  45. October 8, 2013

    Tomorrow Reply

    I just had to say that I wish you hadn’t have compared gluten free macaroni and cheese with organic and whole wheat stuff. It’s not the same. I get eye rolls from people when I say my daughter is gluten free. But she has Celiac disease so she HAS to eat the gluten free stuff. I think a lot of people are not aware of the importance of gluten free food for some people and how without it Celiacs can be very sick and even end up with cancer from the damage gluten does to their intestine. Otherwise I enjoyed your post though.

  46. October 8, 2013

    Staci F. Thayer Reply

    “It’s full of moms who feel like all they do is the laundry again and again and if they see clean clothes stuffed in the hamper again they threaten to take them away and sell them (or maybe that’s just me).” Nope, not just you. I say the same thing (and my kids are 13 and 9). I enjoyed your post. As women, we need to stop bashing each other and admit that the grass isn’t always greener on the other side of the fence. We’re all trying to do the best we can with what we have.

  47. October 8, 2013

    Rachel Martin Reply

    Tomorrow,

    My son Samuel has Celiac Disease as well. I am very careful about gluten free – the only reason i did was simply because it is not about the labels. I get the eye rolls – he lives in a world where he cannot eat gluten at all. For him it’s a matter of life, not choice.

    With joy and blessings,

    Rachel

  48. October 8, 2013

    Carissa Liebowitz Reply

    I’m not a parent, but I’d like to be one day. This was wonderfully written and completely honest. We are often too quick to pass judgement on others without an open mind. I like that you want the best (obviously) for your family, but life isn’t about perfection. Thank you for a real peek at life with kids.

  49. October 8, 2013

    Nicole Reply

    I so needed this today. For some reason I’ve been in a funk all day and you have reminded me that it is ok. I’m not perfect, but I’m a mom. And that’s perfect for me.

  50. October 8, 2013

    Anonymous Reply

    i think it’s really too bad you had to add that part at the end that you actually do serve organic apples, etc from time to time. you just took away any straw of credibility from your post.

    • December 13, 2013

      Pearls Reply

      I think you missed the point then

    • December 27, 2013

      Sherry Reply

      LOL, what? So suddenly she’s to be persecuted for feeding her kids organic apples? She says she doesn’t do it ALL OF THE TIME but tries to now and then. It’s knowing your limits. It’s knowing that most people can’t go and pay double the amount of money for organic foods all of the time…. and that’s okay. Because it’s not always possible and we should never be harsh on ourselves or feel guilty for simply not being able to do what others perceive is an absolute must i our children’s health. Because it’s just the image of a “perfect” world that is not always and 100% attainable.

  51. October 8, 2013

    Rachel Martin Reply

    You know what? You are right about the addendum. I took it off – i had a moment where i had my own issues and my own doubts. I’m just real as well. And in being real there are moments like that.

    Thanks for calling me out on that. I appreciate it.

    Rachel

  52. October 9, 2013

    jamie collins Reply

    Ugh…the laundry, I just finished, and my teenager comes down and says ‘mom can I throw in a load of darks, I dint have anything to wear’. You’re thinking, well so what he’s doing his own laundry, awesome! No he’s throwing a load in, and I’m doing the rest, because he will leave it in too long, it will get all wrinkly, and then I’ll have to take him some where and he’ll look like he’s homeless. Because he’s 15 and he doesn’t care….

  53. October 9, 2013

    Anonymous Reply

    I needed this blog post today. ROUGH one. Thank you!!! :)

  54. October 9, 2013

    Chloe Salerno Reply

    This comment has been removed by the author.

  55. October 9, 2013

    Lynn Reply

    Just read some of the above posts and have to say you really handled things well!
    Continuing to pray!
    Philippians 3:9-11 And be found in him, not having mine own righteousness, which is of the law, but that which is through the faith of Christ, the righteousness which is of God by faith: That I may know him, and the power of his resurrection, and the fellowship of his sufferings, being made conformable unto his death; If by any means I might attain unto the resurrection of the dead.

  56. October 9, 2013

    Chloe Salerno Reply

    I needed this today! My almost 4 year old refuses to stay in bed as well, and I have to sitin her doorway, saying the same things you mentioned. Hope we are both able to stay sane during this period. Lol!

  57. October 9, 2013

    Anonymous Reply

    today i had to go to court due to custody over one of my boys, and honestly since this whole issue arose i have found questioning wether i am a good mom or not, or if im doing things right. i had my son when i was 17 and im just soo glad to see that i am normal even for being a teen mom that im not alone. i needed this and it really made me feel soo much better thank you.

  58. October 9, 2013

    Anonymous Reply

    God’s grace led me here…thank you…

  59. October 9, 2013

    Anonymous Reply

    My kids are long grown but I remember every bit of this guilt. Fortunately, it is not what my boys remember. Now I wish I’d let the house be a disaster and spent more time throwing the ball, riding bikes or even watching cartoons. The moral of the story is a mother will always find a regret and some guilt. Sometimes we have to look harder to see the job and comfort we bring to our kids.

  60. October 9, 2013

    Keri Wilson Reply

    I do not normally read blogs and found this through a post on facebook. You said everything I have thought in passing that never stuck. You made it stick. I am now subscribing. Thank you for making me feel normal!

  61. October 9, 2013

    Anonymous Reply

    Thank you!

  62. October 9, 2013

    Melissa Ives Reply

    As I read this I felt like it was me talking, this is the story of my life, and it is so great to know I am not alone. I love my boys even after the 10th time we put them to bed each night, hoping this is the time they stay put for the entire night :)

  63. October 9, 2013

    roseykat Reply

    you said it,
    im a mom of six kids and i do get frustrated .. and i sure do hate bed times too.. and i sure know what its like in this world for mom to seems to want to be perfect but i love making memories with my kids .. and yes my home tends to be clean but i start over again next morning after kids come home and destroy it .. and start over again .. so i know im not perfect but my kids love me and i do what i can .. thanks for the laugh .. i needed that and know im not only one who deals with this motherhood but i wouldnt trade it for the world.. for this insanity

  64. Thank you so much for this post! The validation I needed so much!

  65. October 9, 2013

    Anonymous Reply

    This is my life!! I love it and am so glad to read your blog….thanks for sharing!!

  66. October 9, 2013

    Anonymous Reply

    New mom with a finally sleeping newborn in my arms…at three weeks old he wants to nurse or be held non stop. Broke down today and haven’t stopped crying yet. I needed this.

    • December 11, 2013

      Laurel Lovell Reply

      I used to toss a lil stuffed friend (something very soft and light) in the dryer and lay it up against the babies faces when I’d put them down to nap. They all eventually learned to sooth themselves with their little friends along with their pacifiers. I know there are mothers reading this saying “You put it near their faces??!!” and “Pacifiers! You should NEVER give a baby a pacifier.” To this I say “PFFFT!!!” All of my children outgrew their pacifiers between 2-3 and they are now 10, 8, 6 & 4 and every night when I check on them you know what I find? Their little stuffed friends within arm’s reach, still comforting them. You are a new Mom and this time is overwhelming. The breast feeding ALONE is overwhelming. Breaking down and having a good cry daily (heck, hourly!) is allowed. It’s normal. You are doing great even if you feel like you are doing nothing right. You will learn your baby and he will learn you. Best of luck to you.

    • December 12, 2013

      Anonymous Reply

      I remember when my daughter had her first baby, as an infant, he would immediately cry when he was put back in his crib (one week to one month old). One night she was so tired and I said to her ” take your night gown off and wrap him in it, Now lay him in his crib”, It worked !!! He thought she was still holding him and that’s all he wanted !!! They both got sleep !!

    • December 13, 2013

      Anonymous Reply

      I have a first new grandbaby, that’s brilliant, gonna pass it on… thanks!

  67. October 9, 2013

    Sarah Walters Reply

    Thanks for talking right to me today!! I have never read your blog or even heard of you before my friend posted this on my FB feed today. What a blessing. And to think, I was the only one with a sock basket :)! I have had the privilege of adopting 3 children all with special needs and sometime the guilt of feeding them stuff that is less than totally organic weighs so heavily on me and not having “brand new” everything…Its driving me crazy..LITERALLY!! Thanks for shaking me back to reality and being transparent. Keep it up mom, you’re doing great!! Sarah

  68. Motherhood is perfectly imperfect. We all try our hardest and we all fall short (in our own minds). Love your kids. Kiss them. Hug them. Be there for them. Everything else is insignificant.

  69. October 10, 2013

    Anonymous Reply

    Not a mom yet but a first year teacher and this will help me sleep a little easier after a rough day.

  70. October 10, 2013

    The Austin 7 Reply

    Thank you! I really needed this today!

  71. October 10, 2013

    The Austin 7 Reply

    Thank you! I really needed this today!

  72. October 10, 2013

    The Austin 7 Reply

    Thank you! I really needed this today!

  73. October 10, 2013

    Lynn Reply

    Praying right now!
    Jude 20-21, 24-25 But ye, beloved, building up yourselves on your most holy faith, praying in the Holy Ghost, Keep yourselves in the love of God, looking for the mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ unto eternal life. (24-25) Now unto him that is able to keep you from falling, and to present you faultless before the presence of his glory with exceeding joy, To the only wise God our Saviour, be glory and majesty, dominion and power, both now and ever. Amen.
    My email address

  74. October 10, 2013

    Yoga Tastes Good Reply

    YES! Let us not be perfect; let us have happy children! And sometimes that means making microwave macaroni and cheese, or pizza, or sometimes even fast food, because when I cook they don’t always like it anyway, and that just takes away from our time together, cooking it and cleaning up the big mess afterward. I’ve stopped the charade of trying to be Betty Crocker in the kitchen (Well I still try now and again, but the kids remind me it’s a waste of time by not liking it.) So bring on the microwaved dinner, the pizza or Chinese delivery, and let’s get down to family time!

    • October 18, 2013

      Christine Reply

      I know what you mean. But I still try to force my kid to eat vegetables with dinner and I try to make him eat real foods not foods that have a lot of preservatives in them, because I wonder if that is what caused my crohns disease. Their is no one in my family with it so I have to believe it is from the foods that I have eaten. The stuff we say is ok to put in our children’s stomachs may one day hurt them. If anyone out there thinks that I am misguided in my thinking, let me know why you think it and maybe I can have a better out look. I don’t want my son to end up with this disease. It scares me. But everything else I totally agree with. My house isn’t perfect and I’m not perfect, but my son still loves me for who I am.

    • December 6, 2013

      LiveLove Reply

      Christine,
      I very much believe it is important to teach our kids to eat healthy food options! Promoting future health and wellness is part of our job as moms. I find this can consume a lot of time in a day and I understand why it is an area that we cut corners in to keep our sanity! I relate to you and I cringe when I think about all the processed foods some kids are eating, however, I think if you are doing your personal best as a mom, what more can you do? If you can include teaching healthy food choices into your parenting, then you are loving them with training that will help them lead healthy lives. However, we are only one person and can’t perfectly do all things”MOM”, if you know what I mean. Follow your personal convictions and heavily practice grace. Sounds like you want your son to be in good health and that is the love of a mother! Be encouraged! The effort you put into this area is worthwhile.

  75. October 10, 2013

    JDaniel4's Mom Reply

    I love this wonderful reminder! I so needed to read it today.

  76. October 10, 2013

    judithtfisher Reply

    Rachel: Sounds like you have it down to a science… and science is full of surprises! Enjoy the ride, my friend. It goes by all too quickly. I married off my oldest this past weekend, after weeks of flashbacks to all the things you blog about, wishing I could have slowed it down. I’ve been blogging about the empty nest (generally they all revert to stories about learning from my children as they grew up!!!) I’d love for you to visit my blog (in your spare time…HAH). And keep on writing, and loving your kids!

  77. October 11, 2013

    T.Potter Reply

    Well, I had a mother who worked a full time job all her life, came home took care of the house and the kids and made home cooked meals and did not buy that garbage that was already prepared for her [It would be better for her family to eat the box or can rather than to eat what was in it] and yet still, did not allow any of the nonsense and lack of order that kids have today [which is to put it mildly], to busy trying to make their children their buddies and forgetting to teach them what it means to honor your mother and your father. “Train children in the way they should go; when they grow old, they will not depart from it”.
    My sister and I were far from perfect, but we knew what it meant to “obey” [a word that is practically worse than a plethora of cuss words spewing out of the mouths of children aimed at their parents today] our parents. My mother did not keep a chart either or buy organic anything, but she did iron, folded the clothes and rolled up socks, and folded underwear before placing them in our drawers. The woman in the article said she did not fold her boys clothes because they just dump them out anyway is part of the problem with her, not them. That is like saying why take a bath, you are going to get dirty again anyway? Ridiculous!
    Who does like to do the dishes?! My mother did not jump for joy every time she saw a dirty dish proclaiming, “Oh, boy, more dirty dishes,YAY!!! I see so many parents who themselves are not brought up the way we were in the past; to know who and what a mother and father are suppose to be and their place and their children’s place in the home, and they pass this attitude on to their children, so when they grow up, they just make excuses not knowing their left hand from their right becoming just like their parents in a negative way. Children learn not only by hearing what their parents tell them, but also by watching them. They learn from observation.
    The present state of mind is this country of equality and mediocrity has taken over both parents and children. It is not that I was “lucky”, it was that my mother knew who she was and put the needs of her family first, without complaining. Not just making sure they went to bed, or ate their meals, or cleaned their room, but taught us what it is to be a good parent and a good Christian so we could give this lesson to our own children when we grow up, but not with today’s parents, no sir. Just look at the kids and you will see the parents. I am certain things got to my mother too, but she never let us know about it. This is how my mother “pulled up the boot straps”. I am sorry if I offended anyone, but that article is an offense to me and my mother.

    • October 22, 2013

      Brianne Reply

      Wow. I know I’m late to the party here, but I really have to address a couple things here-
      First, Rachel, thank you for your honesty, transparency, and vulnerability. It takes tremendous strength to show that level of emotion. I applaud you.

      Second- T. Potter, whoever you are, you need to get a grip.There Iis nothing in the Bible about one size fits all parenting. We’re all different, and I’d like to point out to you that it was God who made us that way. Your mom did things one way. The Author does them another. End. Of. Story. You also failed to mention your own parenting experience, which leads me to believe there’s a lack. Since you’re lacking in this area, I’ll point out a key difference in your family structure and Rachel’s. BOYS. PLURAL. As a mother of both genders, I can tell you without a doubt that ypung men require much different handling than young ladies. Please, remember this the next time you judge a situation without knowing the participants intimately (which, coincidentally is also a sin).

  78. October 11, 2013

    GHFamily Reply

    T Potter.. You totally missed the point of this blog.

  79. October 11, 2013

    T.Potter Reply

    No I did not, but you did:)

  80. October 11, 2013

    Thoeba Reply

    That, was refreshing :)

  81. October 11, 2013

    Thoeba Reply

    The blog, I meant.

  82. October 11, 2013

    muhammad asim Reply

    This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

  83. October 12, 2013

    krysten old Reply

    That hit home for sure thanks for reminding mothers that feel this way that they are not alone :-)

  84. October 12, 2013

    krysten old Reply

    That hit home for sure thanks for reminding mothers that feel this way that they are not alone :-)

  85. October 15, 2013

    hasnain raza Reply

    This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

  86. October 15, 2013

    Melissa Messner Reply

    Just what I needed today. You actually brought tears to my eyes. Motherhood is so hard and yet so joyous! Thank you for sharing the imperfections and tender truth so poignantly.

  87. October 16, 2013

    Jeana Mohr Reply

    This was a wonderful story! I am a mother of two young children, married to a hubby who is working a retail job while I go to college full-time… I have often felt guilty about allowing my kids more tv or computer time or Kindle time- because I need to study when their daddy is working… I do the best I can for them every day- and love them so much- thank you for writing this… I feel much better about myself and how I am “being a Mom” after reading it.

  88. October 18, 2013

    Anonymous Reply

    Loved reading your blog entry. My children are grown and I have three little grandsons. My granddaughter is arriving today (Fingers crossed) The supermom phenomenon is so prevalent now so it’s refreshing to see there are plenty of real moms out there! Just a quick real mom hint for y’all-I used to take the contents of that sock basket and hide it in the bottom of the trash from time to time. I would feel so sneaky but also couldnt stand the grey, stretched out, holey mismatched pile! And hey, they’re inexpensive!

  89. October 19, 2013

    Thanaa' Ra'ifah Maroun Reply

    How sweet you are…Thank you for hosting this. Just look this link http://www.luluhypermarket.com/GoodLife/home-expert-advice.html

  90. November 25, 2013

    veloorponnu Reply

    I laughed out loud at the laundry thing….it woke my dozing off hubby ( its midnite here)and we had a good laugh..I cried a bit at the end of it…this is my story….hats off to you honesty.God be with you and your lovely ‘normal’ family! :)

  91. November 27, 2013

    Anonymous Reply

    I write as Anonymous simply to save time as a busy mom. My name is Lisa.
    Thank you for this post, and for letting me know I am “normal” although for me, normal is just a setting on the washing machine!!
    Clean clothes back in the hamper are also threatened to go to the Goodwill (value Village for us).
    My house is not perfect, but I get to spend quality time with my kids, which in itself is difficult as they are 17, 10 and 5. Try fining common activities there! Crafts, puzzles and dominoes work for us…..
    As for the opinions of T. Potter, I’m glad you think your mom was so amazing, but I would like my children to remember me as a person who made room in all the cleaning, washing and other domestic chores to actually spend some “real” quality time doing something they enjoy. I’m not a mom to just do laundry and make home cooked meals (although I do a LOT of that), I’m a mom because I want to watch and share special little moments of laughter, fun, and enjoyment, or sometimes tears and sadness with them (and for them) as they grow into adults who will hopefully instill great values in their own children.
    I’m not their friend first, I’m their mom first, but if they grow up wanting to share things with me that they also share with their friends, then I think I’ve done a pretty OK job raising sharing, caring, morally sound children who will add to society in a positive way.
    I also hope I have instilled enough manners in them that they will never be downright negative nellies to someone who shares their ideas in an open forum to hopefully make more people feel better about how they are dealing with being a mom.
    Anyway, thanks again for letting me feel I’m not an island, and others have the same feelings and issues, fun and frustration!
    Keep on keeping on and tomorrow morning is the start of a brand new day!!

  92. November 28, 2013

    Anonymous Reply

    The thing is this post( and most if the authors posts) are aimed at middle class suburbia. Guess what? We don’t all have the pleasure of knowing our ” baristas at Starbucks by name ” She mentions Starbucks almost daily. I would put a little or latte( ha ha) money into some organic apples:) she also shops frequently at TRader Joes. Another sure sign of middle class stay at home mom.
    I guess my point is she is a successful blogger, business woman and advocate for Celiac Disease. All great things.
    I think what her blogs don’t do for me is inspire me to be better. I like to read blogs either of oeople who are struggling with issues I can perhaps help with or lend support or advice. Or blogs where I feel like ” if they can do it so can I. Or at least try”
    The author has a large following. In doing that it is best to stay away from hot topics. Someone asked above if she was a Christian. It bugs me she subtly will use words such as ” Grace. Blessings. ” to name a few. There are a few others that lead you to believe she is Christian but she doesn’t talk about it. She has a HUGE following and doesn’t talk about being a Christian. I don’t get it. I get not bring preachy. But she doesn’t mention it. Also I believe she Homeschools. She has had giveaways and such to allude to that in the past. Now that she has found her ” niche” with these recycled ” dear mother who” letters she all but has distanced that from her readers too. She really pushes the ” PTA” stuff in her examples.

    So yes. Unfortunatly most if suburbia us feeding their kids crap. Wearing pony tails( me too) and worrying about things that are silly. Guilt is a useless emotion. You don’t learn from guilt. You don’t grow from guilt. Yet the author has grown a huge blog following using just that. These mothers guilt. She makes them feel ” not alone”. I’m not one if them. But obviously many feel like the old saying ” misery loves company “. I personally am not perfect. But also am not stays quo. We definitely stick out in our sunburbs. Many put us on a pedal stool. I tell them even with a bunch of kids it’s not that hard. I have the most children and I will be bringing the most homemade food to Thanksgiving. Point being even the singles and people without kids will bring boxed food. Even for a holiday.
    Ann

    • December 13, 2013

      Anonymous Reply

      I stumbled upon this blog post from a Facebook share of a friend. I’m a dad, we only have one sweet little girl so far who is 4. My wife stays home with her, but also works for herself taking a few clients a month and runs our home like a well-oiled machine. I read this post and all of the comments, and I am surprised as Ann mentions at the co-miserating of everyone. A question I have is, for those of you who are married, do you feel like you have help from your partner? The tireless and often thankless responsibility of raising children is both extremely simple and terribly challenging. Like Rachel says, what kids want and need is simple. Love, laughter, consistency, stimulation, challenge, snuggles, limits, discipline, encouragement, balance, etc. the hard part is how selfless we as parents must be to affect our kids with all of these attributes, and the mind numbing repetitiveness required for it to sink in. It’s comforting to take solace in numbers and a light-hearted moment of “I’m not alone”. But most important is to dig in, be great, instill greatness. Don’t strive for normal or to raise normal kids. Be great. Not appear great, BE great for your kids. I think what Ann is saying here is being great and all of those attributes I mention isn’t pretty. It isn’t a Facebook post, it isn’t a blog with many followers. Doesn’t matter to your kids. I believe most if not all challenging communication with children is directly related to how much dialogue parents have with their kids. TALK! Instead of sitting at the top of the stairs night after night. Sit both of your kids at the top of the stairs and tell them you are done playing this game. Done. “I love you, I know you love me, but I don’t want to sit here why you both play this bed time game? Do you want me to sit here if I don’t want to? I trust you to go to bed like a big kid. I’m going downstairs for MY time. Goodnight.” Watch the look on their face. If they don’t get it the first night. Do it again. Talk to the older child in front of the younger. Teach them to lead by example. No offense, but perhaps the kids react to you being pre-occupied with fbook, Pinterest, blogging, etc? They are difficult or play the game to get attention. I say these things from experience. Be conscious. When I get home I take a deep breath on my front porch to frame my mindset to leave work behind and be present for my wife and daughter when I walk in the door. I put my phone in a drawer. I read the mood when I walk in and adapt my evening role to relieve a long day if it appears it has been one of those days, I’ll make dinner if there is an activity brewing that they both are entrenched in. This comes from my wife and I talking through how we parent best together. For single parents, who raise respectful and contributing children – hats off to you. Truly amazing. For the rest of us, talk to your kids, expect a lot of them, and expect a lot of yourself. You get out of this what you put into it.
      PS, re Mac and cheese. You know how many more FUN shapes of pasta there are out there if you aren’t buy a box w powdered cheese? Milk and shredded cheddar warmed on low while your pasta cooks makes pretty tasty sauce. Add tuna and peas – not so bad now 2,3, even 4 times in a week.

  93. December 2, 2013

    SupaFlowaPowa Reply

    i completely agree with this article but I don’t think that negates the need to try for perfection. If you’re never shooting for the moon, how can you end up at the stars? Or are you just settling for whatever? It’s true – it’s not perfect, it does suck, but it’s also extremely wonderful and does make your life a lot easier when the kids go to sleep without rebellion – which only really happens after a lot of hard work to get them to that routine place. I guess in a way, I agree with anonymous Ann above (but I hate organic unless it’s on sale.. you want organic? go plant it yourself, but don’t tell me it’s better without some scientific evidence – I eat healthy and am just fine). Okay – I better get off the internet in between conference calls and go be a part of my children’s lives. hAHAHHAHAA

  94. December 4, 2013

    mallori Reply

    You are amazing. I love reading your blog. You are so inspiring and help me through my day to day struggles. Thank you, thank you, thank you!!!!

  95. December 6, 2013

    Unknown Reply

    Okay this by far is not only someone I can relate to but makes me feel normal when maybe I would other wise be ashamed of myself as a mother because not every second is perfect. Thank you for sharing I’m going to go cry at the top of my stairs because I’m a mom and I’m not alone.

  96. December 7, 2013

    Anonymous Reply

    Wow! Great post! I feel like you were reading my mind. Thank-you for being real and not being afraid to share it <3

  97. December 7, 2013

    Rachel Martin Reply

    To the anonymous commenter who shared his/her perspective on my life, thank you for sharing your thoughts regarding this post. I really do appreciate the time that you have taken to write and to share your point of view.

    I don’t believe in guilt. I do believe that it is best to speak positive, kind, and encouraging words to others. So to you, I simply want to bless you on your journey and wish you well.

    Rachel

  98. December 8, 2013

    muffinmom Reply

    My middle child of five is autistic and ADHD…bedtimes when she was under the age of about ten consisted of my husband or I (taking turns) laying on the bedroom floor with all the kids on two queen-size mattresses every night to keep her in the room until she fell asleep (and everyone else too…). We would then go to bed. Life was just survival…special needs children add a dimension to family life unimaginable to most “normal” families. Clean house? Perfect meals? Laundry caught-up? Family vacations? Dreams. But…she is 21 now and adorable…the angel that will keep me young. The rewards of the sacrifices mothers make will always come around someday…it really is all worth it.

  99. December 8, 2013

    egebs Reply

    Thank you. I needed this today.

  100. December 8, 2013

    Amanda Pierog Reply

    Oh goodness, thank you so very much. I needed this today.

  101. December 8, 2013

    Laura(twin momma) Reply

    Thank you so much for this.. My eyes welled up about to cry reading this.. I’m so glad that others feel this way too!

  102. December 9, 2013

    Sarah Reply

    That’s a sweet post.. Especially was nice reading it after running out of the house for work immediately after seeing big tearful, sad eyes of my 7 month old and I just can’t seem to get the image out of my head…

  103. December 11, 2013

    Jen McBride Reply

    I needed that..

  104. December 11, 2013

    crazymotherof3 Reply

    Wow. I am at a loss for words on how much this has relieved some axitey I feel everyday. I’m a mother of 3 (two of which are twins that turned one yesterday) and you explained how I feel most days. I needed this and I appreciate this post. Thank you.

  105. December 11, 2013

    Anonymous Reply

    Hang in there moms of young ones. This is a season in your life. This season you sit at their bedroom doors waiting for them to sleep. Next season you will sit in your living room waiting for your 17 year old to arrive home safely. Every season is special but you only get to pass through each one once.

  106. December 11, 2013

    Anonymous Reply

    Ha! We should make up our own pintrest site with REAL pictures of REAL motherhood. I could contribute a LOT :) You know. . . messy rooms, kids in unmatched clothing (the horror!), that time they opened their diaper and smeared it on the wall. . .

    • December 13, 2013

      Anonymous Reply

      I would be the first subscriber, great idea …
      Now to those who feel the need to criticize…. guess what? If you don’t like it, don’t read any further. No need to spew your negative comments on the rest of us.

  107. December 11, 2013

    Anonymous Reply

    Wow my life is hectic with one two year old…..so i really dont know how u ladies handle let alone keep your sanity with several children…..mad props

  108. December 12, 2013

    cheryl vassil Reply

    This comment has been removed by the author.

  109. December 12, 2013

    cheryl vassil Reply

    Lol I needed this today! As I have all 6 kids home today and my oldest birthday is today (18).. I’ve been telling myself all day, 1 down 5more to go! And then I thought.. oh no! I still have another 18 years to go before the house is empty of all my kids and by that time the older ones will probably have made me grandkids! Sigh..

  110. December 12, 2013

    Anonymous Reply

    I needed this so much! Thanks for writing it. :-)

  111. December 12, 2013

    Anonymous Reply

    I have four children, three boys,ages 8, 7, & 6, and my daughter is 2. I can not even count the nights falling asleep in the hallway. I feel awful sometimes for a P B & J dinner, even if that is what they beg for. Thank you for letting us know that we are not alone.

  112. December 12, 2013

    Anonymous Reply

    Well now I am a grandmother and here I sit with my laptop writing this….toys strewn all over the room with a fermenting sippy cup in the middle. But my daughter just left with her daughter after helping with Christmas baking. It’s ALL good.

  113. December 12, 2013

    Anonymous Reply

    My sons are 34 and 38 so I haven’t been through this for a long time. I worked outside the home throughout their lives (and continue to do so). Best thing–teach THEM to fold their own laundry. A two-year-old can fold dishtowels and undies. By the time they’re ten or so, they can do their own laundry. They were cooking dinner (grilled cheese, maybe, but still dinner) by fourth grade. My grandchildren do the same thing now. I admit to having one huge laundry basket full of socks for about five years–they wore the same size socks as their dad so they could handle it themselves. “Train up a child in the way they should go” isn’t just for their spiritual lives. My job was to prepare them for life.

  114. December 12, 2013

    Sheryl Cummings Reply

    Thank you Rachel for being a “REAL” mom and not being one of the “FAKE” moms out there. I can relate with everything you mentioned from the not going to bed, to the mess in the living room, to the boxed mac and cheese. Our kids think we are perfect and in all honesty that is all that matters.

  115. December 12, 2013

    Anonymous Reply

    Thank you I needed this today!! I will be liking your page so I can see all posts :)

  116. December 12, 2013

    Anonymous Reply

    Thank you for making me feel normal. you made me cry, happy tears. I don’t even do boxed macaroni, its easy mac in this household and I feel guilty about it most of the time. You made me feel good. Real moms rule!

  117. December 12, 2013

    Natalia Baquero Reply

    What a relief I felt after reading this. Thanks for making me feel normal:) loved it.

  118. December 12, 2013

    Toni O Reply

    I’d love to thank my beautiful friend Isabel B for introducing me to this wonderful blog. It makes me smile and lets me know that, actually, I’m doing an ok job! Thank you.

  119. December 12, 2013

    Anonymous Reply

    A basket of unfolded socks? That’s it? LOL I have two baskets full of clean clothes, those don’t get folded until I have a load of wash that can’t be swapped to the dryer until the drier is emptied into an already full basket. Thanks though, at least I know I’m not alone in the never ending laundry battle! :D

  120. December 13, 2013

    Anonymous Reply

    This is a wonderful and honest blog! It takes a big person to admit they are not perfect. You are inspiring! Thank you! I am the working mom who wants so badly to stay home but it is not possible! I am on maternity leave with my second child and I am not going to lie
    …I am scared to death to go back for fear that I won’t be able to do it all. Thank you for the positive words of encouragement!!!

    Tammy

  121. December 13, 2013

    Erika A Reply

    Yay! Wonderful post. I wrote this today on the very same topic and was so glad to find this post going around facebook. We are kindred spirits, I think! http://www.someonetoyou.blogspot.com

  122. December 13, 2013

    Amber Reply

    Wow, I can’t believe the rude comments on here! If there’s something you don’t like about someone it is usually a reflection of something you don’t like about yourself. So instead of sending a nasty, anonymous, judgmental comment to the author maybe you need to go take a long look in the mirror. The whole point is that none of us are perfect parents but we are all doing our best. I can’t believe how well you handle those mean-spirited jabs, Rachel. It makes them look so much smaller and it makes you that much more awesome!

  123. December 13, 2013

    Haylee's Mommy Reply

    This is what I needed to hear right now! I’ve been feeling rather discouraged lately and you just lifted up my spirits! Thank you! Thank you! Thank you!

  124. December 13, 2013

    dimples Reply

    I needed this tonight. My house is the last thing to be taken care of because of two part-time jobs and a husband who has trouble walking.

  125. December 13, 2013

    dimples Reply

    I needed this tonight. My house is the last thing to be taken care of because of two part-time jobs and a husband who has trouble walking.

  126. December 13, 2013

    Anonymous Reply

    thank you so much for this… i really needed it today!

    last night my son had to skip his soccer game (epic fail) to attend his sister’s chorus concert (epic fail), my daughter’s 4 paragraph rough draft was due today- we were still working on it at 10pm (epic fail) and my youngest still has to finish her psr book (epic fail)- her first penance is tomorrow morning. and last night i threatened to runaway from home (i said laughing, which made all the kids laugh and say they were coming with me!)

    and i went to sleep last night asking God to give me strength that today would be better than yesterday!

    so thank you again for reassuring me that i am a real mom, and i am all that my kids need and want :D

  127. December 13, 2013

    Anna Matthews Reply

    I love this, made me cry. I try so hard to be the mother I need to be for my little boys. I am a real mother, we don’t have much but we make the best of what we have. Thank you for this post.

  128. December 13, 2013

    Rachel Martin Reply

    To all – thanks for your comments. I appreciate them.

    This article is simply a celebration of mothers – and all of the different choices that we all have to make – and that the little varying differences between us don’t determine success. Success? It’s the little things – the love that we have for our children. That’s what matters.

    Blessings.

    Rachel

  129. December 13, 2013

    mywordwall Reply

    This made me cry. You gave voice to my frustrations.

  130. December 13, 2013

    Anonymous Reply

    love it! my girls, who have the same size feet, now wear mismatched socks all the time because it’s cool! (well we all gave up on matching them and had way too many odd ones). apparently it’s becoming a trend in the one classroom!!! my son just wears all black ones – he’s given up!

  131. December 13, 2013

    Perambulations Reply

    I am a father and primary caretaker of two girls (2 and 4). Mom wins the bread. I just want to say, as a father I face these same issues every day. I finally wrestle my older girl into the car and turn around, to find that my younger one has taken off her pants and underwear and is running off. It is also funny to read the last post on socks. With socks now being sold in multiple paired bundles, with no pair matching, they know you are going to lose a few. I refuse to buy into that, so my kids are in the “mismatched rainbow” club as well.

  132. December 14, 2013

    Anonymous Reply

    I needed this – thank you!

  133. December 14, 2013

    Anonymous Reply

    Where is the father in this mix? He has responsibility too. Lead by example.

  134. December 14, 2013

    Kyla Crosby Reply

    I have a lot of downs and feel like I fail my kids on a daily basis BECAUSE I don’t think I am doing enough for my children and this has definitely helped my Outlook…. Thank you so much for posting this

  135. December 14, 2013

    Inga Reply

    My daughter has a friend, a 15 year old boy, who hates his family, and they supposedly hate him. He’s never felt the love that my daughter feels every day, and he doesn’t even understand why she values her family so much. So, I say, I am this mom, and I am proud of the love and compassion that my daughter, 14, has learned. She has learned this all with mac and cheese, pb and j sandwiches, a messy bedroom, dirty dishes in the sink, mismatched socks, and so much more. I am the cook in our house, and sometimes I cook wonderfully healthy and delish meals. Other times, it just can’t be done, but that’s okay. You are absolutely right, Rachel. We are the mom’s our children need, and that’s that.

  136. December 14, 2013

    Anonymous Reply

    This is a well written article and expresses the thoughts of most moms. As moms I think we always feel guilty for not doing something and we shouldn’t judge someone else’s parenting style. Having said that I don’t think we should use the thoughts in this article as an excuse not to pursue our best. Also using some of the author’s words..tweeting, emailing and facebooking…if we weren’t doing so much of this daily perhaps we would find time to do the dishes or fold the laundry.

  137. December 14, 2013

    Studio Susie Reply

    Thanks for validating what real motherhood looks/feels like!

    As a behavioral specialist, here’s my tip for bedtime: I start my regular routine, and when stories are done I leave the room with this: She gets to leave the room 3 times for whatever (drink, book, toy, hug), then no more. In her room she gets 10 minutes with lights on to do anything quiet. She usually puts herself to sleep after 5 minutes. It all about control. Hope that helps!

  138. December 14, 2013

    patty Reply

    My kids are grown (28 & 30), and they survived and are thriving! I never felt guilty about working, when I needed to, and picked my battles along the way. This was my life and in many respects, still is. Laundry still goes unfolded, the livingroom has piles of stuff in it. We still tend to drop what we are doing to participate actively in their lives, but don’t hover. My son and his wife are expecting twin boys in February. Maybe I’ll have to brush up on the bed-time rituals… or not. Don’t grandmas get away with more? :)

  139. December 14, 2013

    Anonymous Reply

    This is great but don’t forget to include the dad everyplace the word mom or father everyplace the word mother is and it could be equally as great. In my life I see just as many dads doing the bed time rituals, laundry, cooking, cleaning, all while also working outside the home. It’s not just mothers who have the hurdles in parenting.

  140. December 14, 2013

    Debra Blatt Reply

    You put into words what I feel. Thank you
    Debra

  141. December 14, 2013

    Evelyn Blandino Reply

    I threaten to take my kids’ clothes away at least once a week.

  142. December 15, 2013

    CraftyCanuck Reply

    A friend of mine posted this on FB, and I read the article, several of the comments, and went on to other things. All the while, what I read kept going through my mind, and I felt compelled to comment. I enjoyed the article, did not agree with all of it, but different strokes for different folks right? What I found interesting were the comments. I think the very fact individuals are quick to judge how another parent raises their child, is the very reason so many of us experience guilt.

    I am the mother of a terrific 14 (almost 15) year old boy! My husband and I had been married 13 years before we had him, so do to our age, I guess you could say we are somewhat, ‘old school‘ in our childrearing ways. I have a disability that forced me to quit work when he was 3 years old, which makes me a, stay-at-home mom. So one would expect that the house would be immaculate, meals on time etc. right? Unfortunately, my disability does not always allow for that, and I think, like so many with disabilities, we always feel we are falling short. My husband is terrific, but he works shift work so it is hectic around here at times! For those commenting about financial issues, we live off one income, and just recently purchased a newer used vehicle, after driving ours for 19 years! Can we afford vacations to Hawaii and Mexico? No. Do we drive 2 vehicles? No. Do we raise our son with respect, not only for others but himself? Yes. Do we teach him manners? Yes. Have we taught him he can speak to us about anything? Yes. Am I his best friend? No, I am his parent, I am preparing him to go out into this world shortly. Is he well adjusted, lots of activities (sports etc), lots of friends? Yes.

    We need to quit driving by houses we will never enter, and assume their lives and homes are perfect! It is what it is people! Yes one can always strive to do better, but lets not judge others by some measuring stick we use. Lets allow ourselves some room to be imperfect, pick our battles, and leave the rest for the Lord to settle. Now if you don‘t mind, we are 10 days from Christmas, and we have to go get our tree! *Merry Christmas* to all.

    • December 15, 2013

      Rachel Marie Martin Reply

      I love your comment. For real. The whole point of the article was that we don’t do much or that we shouldn’t try harder or any of that – the point was that the nuances that we so quickly use to judge and label aren’t the things in life that will really matter. Or at least I don’t think they will – I’m not 80 years old yet. (Hmmmm…makes me think I need to go chat with some very wise women). Anyway, thank you. I appreciate your comment. rachel. :)

  143. December 15, 2013

    KP Reply

    OMG! Yes. Finally! Someone who doesn’t irritate the heck out of me by showing off how perfect she is or how wonderful her little angels are. Thank you for writing this. I can so sympathize with all that you’ve written, especially the dishes. Gah! The dishes and laundry. I hate folding laundry and it seems like one has to do them everyday, especially if your daughter seems to thinks she’s on the runway and has to change several times a day. Lol. And the going to bed thing… and the no media time thing… or too much media time time thing… I should just record my voice and push play every time I have to repeat the same thing over and over again. Sigh. Motherhood, ya gotta love it. Drives me nuts my kiddos do, but I won’t trade ‘em for anything. :D

  144. December 16, 2013

    Crystal Reply

    I so needed this after today. After the guilt of the I didn’t make a healthy dinner because I knew you would only eat boxed macaroni anyway kind of day. Thank you for the reminder I so needed!!!

  145. December 17, 2013

    Andacar Reply

    Horrors! You don’t follow any of the advice from all the self help books, the squeaky clean couples that have perfect homes, or the baleful psychologist foretelling ruin for your kids if you don’t listen top them NOW.

    Neither do we.

  146. December 18, 2013

    Debra Reply

    Hello…
    I enjoyed reading your confession today. It bring back many memories from when my two boys were under the ages of ten. Lol sometimes I wondered where I dug up the energy and patience to finish the day. Then at night when they finally fell asleep I would look at them and think ” omg they are so precious and the most wonderful gifts.” I love being a mom :)

  147. December 18, 2013

    LegoMama Reply

    I SO loved this post! You are definitely not the only hallway mom – I lay in my daughter’s doorway almost every night while my husband lays on my son’s floor, both of us trying to get a little work done on our laptops. (I stay home and homeschool, so sometimes that’s the only time during the day I can work on the book I’m writing.) Yes, there are nights when we wish they’d just go to sleep on their own, but it is also good to realize that we’re just doing what they need right now to feel secure and they will grow out of it sooner or later. I’m sure one day we’ll wish they still needed us to be there for a snuggle or talk at bedtime.

    Good job also on spreading a positive message and keeping to it, even in the face of people who want to criticize. I think it’s a great message to say “always do your best” and aim for perfection or whatever, but it’s also good to not beat yourself up if sometimes your best is mac n cheese/unfolded clean laundry/non-organic fruit. There should be more people who are as open, honest, accepting and full of positive energy as you seem to be from this post.

    And I just have to respond to T. Potter’s comment– That you had such a “together” mother is so great for you. My mother was similar in many ways: she worked full time, made home cooked meals, expected/worked for a clean house and laundry, etc. I try for most of that too. However, as an adult, I look back and wish that we had spent more time talking, playing, and being silly together, rather than worrying so much about the house/food. I don’t mean all the time, of course, but more, I guess. It makes me sad that the other things always seemed more important, she always seemed too busy for me. And now I have to try to do better with my children so they never feel that way about me – I want them to know I was never too busy to really see who they are and what they need, no matter if I’m writing, cooking, cleaning, or anything else. You have to be willing to live in the moment sometimes.

    I was so happy the other day when I was getting ready for friends to come over – my 7 yr old son wanted me to see his latest Lego creation, but I still had a list of things to do before the guests came. All on his own, he offered to do anything he could to help me so we could have more time together, then he actually did help! We powered through the preparations together, which was more fun anyway, he learned some responsibility, and we had plenty of Lego time when we were done. I loved that we both worked some, played some and did it all together. Now, that’s not really the norm here, I usually do most of the housework, but it really seemed to be something to strive for and is much more balanced than what I grew up with.

    Keep up the wonderful, inspiring posts, Rachel!

  148. December 18, 2013

    Amy Hunt Reply

    YES! This is worship, you know. The REAL is worship.

  149. December 19, 2013

    Mary Brock Reply

    Thank you for sharing this. Your honesty means a lot!

  150. December 19, 2013

    Darshani Reply

    Thank you for this! I had to forgive myself years ago for not being the perfect mom. I used to tell new moms, “You don’t have to be perfect. You just have to be good enough.” I work nights and the house is usually a mess because I sleep all day. I make stew that lasts 3 days, and on the other days we also throw dinner together. When the kids were younger they slept with us more often than not because I was too tired to get them to their own beds. As toddlers they often were diapers-only because it was easier than changing their clothes every time they spilled. But my two daughters are growing up to be great human beings: very loving and responsible. My oldest just turned 13 and I couldn’t be happier with our relationship and the decisions she’s making in her life. My 10 year old is pretty terrific too.

    • December 19, 2013

      Rachel Marie Martin Reply

      i love the kind words that you used to describe your children. That is so important and really beautiful.

      thanks for sharing.

      Rachel

  151. December 27, 2013

    jennifer Reply

    4 girls ages 14. 6. 4, and 2 months, none of mine listen, I tell them once if it doesn’t happen they get a warning if they still do not do what was told i take away the tv (yes there is one in their room) if they refuse to pick up toys they get donated to the local mission, if they dont put up their clothes or if I find myself recleaning their clothes I stop doing their laundry… this is for all of tuem excepg the baby…. as of righf now im having issues gettong the 4yr old to go to bed or sleep she always wants to fall asleep in my room so she can be close to the baby I haven’t thought of what to tell her yet…

  152. December 28, 2013

    Sam Reply

    Just now seeing this blog after a friend shared this post on facebook. I love it! I’m a mama of 3 kids 3 and under right now.

    The end of your post totally reminded me I have chocolate ice cream in the freezer. I’m looking forward to naptime now! ha!

  153. January 10, 2014

    Shaun Reply

    This is a wonderfully written post, but I don’t think I agree with your exclusive focus on ‘motherhood’ almost all of what you say here is about being a parent. I just became a dad ten days ago and I was reading this just outside the bedroom door because my wife is exhausted and I want to be able to get to my son in his bassinet quickly if he starts crying. Being a mom or a dad is about team work surely and yet dad’s are always treated as the bumbling fools that should go off and make money for the family, I don’t think mothers have a monopoly on the fears, insecurities, exhaustion, self-doubt etc that comes with being a parent. Or maybe I just think that way because I was raised by a single dad who had to fulfill both roles? Beautiful post though :)

    • January 11, 2014

      Rachel Marie Martin Reply

      Agreed. I just wrote from the perspective of being mother. Dads are amazing as well. Thank you for all you do.

      Rachel

  154. January 24, 2014

    Jill Reply

    I just want to say thank you! Thank you so much. I found your blog not long ago on a day when I was down, ready to pull my hair out and wanting to just cry because things ‘seemed’ to just not being going right with my 2 boys. Your blog is so honest, refreshing and an all around feel good place for me to go. Thank you for making my survival tactics of macaroni lunches and long coffee rides home seem normal.

    Jill

  155. January 26, 2014

    Dawn Reply

    Thank-you for this beautifully real glimpse into your world with your children, and for the reminder that I desperately needed tonight on accepting my motherhood and more so for me personally, my abilities as a mother to the children I have been blessed with, exactly as they are!

  156. February 25, 2014

    CorningNY Reply

    Very nice post, so true! I do agree with Shaun, though (#186) that this all applies to dads, as well. Thank you.

    • February 26, 2014

      Rachel Marie Martin Reply

      yes! Of course it applies to awesome dads!

      I just happen to write to mothers, but yes, yes, yes…dads are awesome!

      rachel

  157. February 26, 2014

    Jenny@TheSugar&SpiceLife Reply

    I just discovered you and am officially in love with your site! Your writing is beautiful and so honest – and is exactly what I needed to hear! I have been feeling especially guilty as I struggled through being really sick during my first trimester and having even less energy and patience to do this mothering thing the last several months. This is a good reminder of what “normal” is!

    • February 27, 2014

      Rachel Marie Martin Reply

      Thank you, Jenny. I appreciate your words and am so thankful you found this site. I just really want this place to be a community of real, understanding, and encouragement.

      Blessings!

      rachel

  158. March 25, 2014

    Alexandra Reply

    You’re brilliant. That is all.

  159. May 31, 2014

    Catrena Reply

    Thank you for those words. I needed to hear them today. I was feeling like I wasn’t doing a good enough job and your words hit my heart like nothing else has. God Bless You!!

  160. May 31, 2014

    Mia Reply

    I’m in tears after reading this. I spend so much time trying to be perfect and then the rest of the time beating myself up incessantly for not achieving perfection that I am not giving my kids me. Thank you for this.

  161. May 31, 2014

    Kelly Reply

    I’m glad for your candidness. Know that you are definitely a normal mom. I for one, have a shoe rack sitting on the floor in my kitchen that makes me soooo nutty, but is important because the door to get into the house from the garage is in my kitchen. I will spend so long washing clothes on the weekend it is sometimes 3 days into the week before I find enough steam to spend time putting all the hanging/folded clean clothes away… I hang my clothes from the treadmill instead of exercise on it on the weekend. I plan to do a bunch of fun stuff with my kids on the weekend after working full time all week, then find I spend half my day exasperated with them by the constant need for repeating directions, stopping fights, and telling them to stop things they already know, not to run or throw or spit or lie or on-and-on goes the list… Then I hop on pinterest sometime when I get lucky with the kids napping and see all these cute ideas and wonder how anyone else keeps up the time/motivation/enthusiasm to follow through on so much. Then I read things like your blog and remember I’m not the only mom who doesn’t have a magazine ad life and it’s okay–it’s normal. Thanks for sharing your heart and thoughts.

    • June 6, 2014

      Rachel Marie Martin Reply

      Thank you, Kelly. It’s so good to know that I’m normal as well. Sometimes life just keeps throwing expectations at us moms and it’s refreshing to say, “enough” and to carry on. Boxed macaroni cheese and all.

      With joy.

      Rachel

  162. June 2, 2014

    Julie Reply

    Thank you so much for being a blessing through your authentic writing. Your willingness to be real and share is a huge encouragement to me. For the time, talent and treasures that you pour into your work, THANK YOU!

  163. July 11, 2014

    Kristin Eldridge Reply

    I love your blog posts but I feel like you mock moms who try to be healthy too much. It kind of bums me out when I read it.

    I don’t want to be a perfect mom but I want to try to live a healthy lifestyle and be aware of what we are putting in our bodies.

    Just being honest. I pick up on it a lot.

  164. July 11, 2014

    Julie Chitester Reply

    Thank you, your posts are very encouraging. As a new older aged mom, I am in constant state of trying to be prefect and measure up to other moms! Thank you for being real, honest and saying what is in my heart.

  165. July 11, 2014

    Susan Reply

    Fabulous! Thank you! Thanks especially for the part about not buying organic apples . My insistence on buying all organic has brought much stress on our marriage as our budget has been tightening lately. (Baby #4 is on the way !) I had to give up on organic stuff. Thank you for letting me know it ‘a ok.

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