for those days when you’re pulled in every direction

Today I cried in the school drop off/pick up line.

Now, before you shake your head and think that I need to get it together or blame everyone else in the line for acting crazy (which some were, mind you), let me tell you – that moment as I went forward and another mom honked her horn at me the newbie in a new state pick up line who didn’t realize every single rule from the 10 page rule list – well that was kind of the last straw for me.

So when that horn blared and it wasn’t even 7am the tears filled my eyes.

(then I got frustrated…but before then…tears)

I made a mistake, I guess. Went forward when I wasn’t supposed to. But that’s not what this is about – I’m writing to you – the mom pulled in a million directions who cannot stop the pulling but must simply exist and because of that tears fill your eyes in events that most days you’d just brush off. And yes, I said exist. Because it’s not like we can play our go directly to Starbucks card and do not pass go card. No. Instead we have to be the mom who tries to smile with gritted teeth as chaos ensues.


Back to that pick up fiasco.

It was a good thing my kids didn’t see those tears. Again.

Because over the last couple of days it has been one thing plus one thing plus one thing plus one thing plus one thing plus crazy chaos and this morning as I sipped my coffee trying to keep it together in a crazy rush that horn of someone irritated at me was simply enough.

Isn’t this motherhood? Aren’t we supposed to love ALL the days?

That’s what I tried to tell myself as I waited stuck next to the lady who honked at me in line. Even though, and I admit it to you, that her impatience didn’t even matter because we were all at the mercy of the traffic lady ahead and I was secretly happy she was stuck too.

But sometimes motherhood isn’t chill. It’s absolutely filled to the brim with people needing you and feeling like you’re dropping the ball. Or everything. And not keeping up.

And then I realized as I still sat next to the impatient woman in line – why am I resisting this so much? Why am I thinking that motherhood is anything BUT crazy and being pulled in every direction? Want to know the truth? Every single time I just settle in and accept that this is part of motherhood is every single time when I allow expectations and anxieties to fall from my shoulders which is every single time where I can just breathe and not get so dang teary over the small stuff.

You see I think you and I carry WAY too much.


We carry expectations and pressures and we carry our kids – in all ways – and we carry worry and we carry carry carry. And oftentimes we don’t recognize that instead of saying more or expecting perfection from ourselves we just beat ourselves up in those pulled in every direction moments. I know you do. I know. I know there are times where the tears just fall and you utter the same words I did two days ago.

Sometimes I feel like I am failing everyone.

Yes, that was simply how I felt.

I think — hahah — I felt like I was failing in the traffic queue.

So back to the honking at me at 6:57 am today – that was the final straw. Normally I wouldn’t care. Just like I know for so many of you that there are so many times where little things matter and break you and times where it doesn’t. I know that sometimes it’s the baby crying or the note from the teacher or the kids fighting or that there isn’t anything for dinner. And let me tell you this.

You are not failing when you feel like you’re going to fall apart.

You are simply mothering in a normal world with imperfection.

For me, it means dealing with things one by one by one by one. And giving my grace for those times when I am a bit of crazy.

I want you to give yourself that same grace, sweet mom.

I want you to love you for trying.

I want you to love you for the messed up dinners and the crazy kids and the times when you yell enough when you’ve had enough.

I want you to judge you with kindness not perfection.

I want you to release all of those expectations and to just breathe.

I want you to see you and all the value you bring to this world.

Even if you doubt it.

I want you to know you are normal.

And that when you have these days, just like me, you WILL GET THROUGH.

You will.

After all, I made it home. Tears and all.


ps. And to the woman who honked her horn at me in the drop off line — grace, my friend, grace. You never know the story of the other person or what they are feeling — so to you grace from me for honking because you know what? I don’t know your story either. If we could just give a bit of space and love before reacting I think this world would be a kinder place.

My book The Brave Art of Motherhood is about celebrating your story, finding joy and rediscovering your heart again. Get your copy: Amazon, Autographed or Retailers

7 Responses to “for those days when you’re pulled in every direction”

  1. January 19, 2017

    Shannon Reply

    I really enjoyed this article. I felt an urge to share a moment from my chaos that took place yesterday as I was making dinner for my family, which four out of seven days a week I dutifully do. But then there are those other days. I started out scouring for leftovers. Not much luck. Spaghetti again? All the voices.. I dont like this or that. I dread these dinners. But you know I just threw something on the table. Not a perfect any stretch of the imagination. But it was fine. Everyone chatted and were nourished. A wise friend once said.. cereal is really okay for dinner. Letting go of expectations mostly our own is so important.

    • January 20, 2017

      Rachel Marie Martin Reply

      I know, sometimes I think that the expectations that I put on my own self are the killer things. And sometimes cereal for dinner is the best thing ever.


  2. January 19, 2017

    Samantha Jackson Reply

    I just want you to know how much your blogs help me through every day. I am a single mother of 5 ranging from 18,9,7,6,5. 4 boys and one little girl my days are so spread thin all the time it’s so good to hear that I’m not the only one. Thank you ❤️

    • January 20, 2017

      Rachel Marie Martin Reply

      You are amazing! Thank you for everything that you so Samantha for your family. You are a hero.


  3. January 19, 2017

    Kate Reply

    I love this message! Letting go of expectations once in awhile, giving grace to ourselves and to others. Good luck with your new home and all those adjustments!

  4. January 27, 2017

    Allison Reply

    Yes sometimes cereal is ok for dinner.

  5. January 27, 2017

    Allison Reply

    I had a friend Maren, she died recently and she was like that, her riches were her friends and her family. Her house was like a bomb hit it, she was often late, she was nice and I miss her even though I never saw her cos I was always running around being perfect and never being enough (in my mind) to be meet up with her cos I hadn’t ticked my own mental achievement boxes, and she didn’t give a hang and now she’s gone and I wasted all that time. Life is short and you don’t get another go at it. I’ll say I’ll try and feel enough and not always failing but I don’t know if even I know how anymore.

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