to the frustrated mom

For six months my six year old has gone to school without a problem. Well, at least most mornings. And then, in the last week or two, going to school has become a battle. A battle culminating now twice with him flopping on the floor in the school entryway and crying while trying to grab my leg while I leave.

I email his teacher. We talk. Within five minutes of me leaving his sadness is typically gone.

But it leaves me so sad. And so frustrated.

Deeply frustrated.

It’s not that hard. It shouldn’t be.

And yet there are all these things of motherhood that we don’t talk about that much that can just leave us feeling frustrated. And that emotion is really wearing – especially on Tuesday mornings that feel like Mondays because Monday was a holiday. We all know how frustrating it can be but don’t really share about how moments like that feel. Or dealing with defiant kids. Or the sassing back. Or the tantrums. The milk spilled that shouldn’t have been out. The lost homework.

I know that I preach a perspective of being grateful for the little things and the moments in life.

The mom stuff.


I remember the first time I was frustrated as a mom and it totally surprised me. How could motherhood, this thing I longed for and looked forward to make me also want to pull my hair out? I probably could have just remembered how I was as a child and how my folks had to deal with me (thank you mom and dad for still loving me — holy moly), but somehow when it happens I’m always surprised. Oh that first moment? My oldest had colic – and one night at a week or two old never went to sleep and I just wanted sleep so badly and it was so tiring. I remember it being three am and walking into the bathroom and just bawling while she kept crying. It felt all encompassing.

You know, it’s normal to get frustrated in motherhood.

It’s normal…

But I’m also learning to expect it.

Just like I wrote in the beauty of being expected, I think that the more I expect being frustrated or that this is the season in life the less jolting it is to my system. Yes, less of a shock. So if I know ahead of time that mornings are going to be like this then I’m going in prepared. For me, and maybe for you, so much of the frustration is because the plan for the day is going off track. We’re going to be late, it’s embarrassing (yep, that was my kid and I was that mom walking out), it’s tiring, it’s exhausting beyond tiring, we have too much to do and somedays we just want that break or the perfect day where everything worked according to plan card.

But this is motherhood.

It is motherhood to have kids throw tantrums. It is motherhood to have no one like dinner. It is motherhood to have the milk spill on the floor you just washed. It is motherhood to have kids squabble over toys and ice cream dished up fairness. It is motherhood to be behind in laundry. It is motherhood to have toddlers dump out toys over and over. It is mother to have colic babies cry at 4am.  It is motherhood to have to say buckle up buckle up buckle up we have to go! in the morning and still be late. It is motherhood to be exhausted. It is motherhood to feel like you set rules over and over and yet no one remembers. It is motherhood to have gone to the grocery store, come home and everyone tell you there’s nothing to eat. It is motherhood to have teens that think you’re not the coolest. It is motherhood to not know what to do next.

It is motherhood to give.


And sometimes even though we love those sweet faces that giving is still frustrating.

But, friend, mother in the trenches with me – because after all I’m waiting for today’s email telling me that Sam is doing great now – you are not alone. You’re not alone in those moments when the tears dot the corner of your eyes. You’re not alone when you put your head on the steering wheel and cry. You’re not alone when the alarm goes off and you want to just sleep.

You’re not alone.

So if you’re feeling this way know that it will pass.

There will be moments of good and moments where you feel like the Queen Bee of moms. There will be hugs and kisses from those kids that drive you nuts at times. There will be notes about how you’re loved. And even if you don’t see them or it’s been a season of slammed doors – know the magnitude of what you are doing when you push through the frustration and hard days and mother.

It takes work. Strength. Commitment.

If I could give you a hug or a gold star I would. And I’d look you in your eyes and I’d tell you this – you are doing well. Yes, you are. Even on these frustrating days. You’re never expected to be perfect. Just real. Real with emotions and tears and joy and kids that make the day jump the track.

But you know – you haven’t quit – even though there are days when it feels like it would be awesome to get on a plane and fly to Fiji and just sleep for a month.

You kept going. Frustrated or not, you kept going.

Keep doing well.


ps. If you’re super duper tired too then this is for you to the tired mom

And if you need community. Of real moms that get frustrated. This is the place.

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12 Responses to “to the frustrated mom”

  1. February 16, 2016

    Dona Haggerty Reply

    Love this! Thank you, again, for all your encouragement and for being so transparent! <3

  2. February 16, 2016

    Amy Reply

    I totally needed this today! Thank you!

  3. February 16, 2016

    Hollis Reply

    Tears! This brings me back to a call from school, saying my 5 year old was crying and they tried but they couldn’t get him to stop and they had never had this happen before but could I please come to school and try and comfort him. I had so many things TO DO, the never ending list but of course I went to school. He was coming off of steroids from croup (yet again). I walked into the nurse’s office, his little face, tears streaming down, til he saw me. Big shuddering sigh, he just missed me he said, “can I go home with you?” “Are you sick?” I asked “no, I just missed you” well then you have to go back to class, otherwise it’s kind of like lying. He started crying again, silent tears (aren’t those the most heartbreaking kind?) I said “come on I’ll take you back to your room and I’ll stay til you feel ok.” So I sat in the too tiny chairs, he went back to what he was supposed to be doing, checking often to make sure I was still there. I was so frustrated, sure I was doing it all wrong when his kindergarten teacher touched my arm and said “you’re so good for him, you’re such a good mom”
    That frustrated tired mom so needed to hear that.

  4. February 16, 2016

    Carrie Reply

    I’ve been finding myself more frustrated lately than I should be. Thank you for being open about this issue! It’s something I think we mothers are scared to talk about because we have to “love” it. And we do love it, but life is life and motherhood, in all its beauty, is truly hard!

  5. February 16, 2016

    Allison Reply

    Thank you! I really needed to read this today. It seems I’ve had more frustrating days than good days lately. And they have started to bring me down. Thank you for your encouraging posts.

  6. February 17, 2016

    dazzlinDD Reply

    I sure wish there had been social media like there is today when I was a young mom. So many of us before social media suffered alone wondering why we felt so frustrated when everyone around us had it all together.

    Enjoy and use the community you have available to you. It is precious.

    Thank you for writing this.

  7. February 18, 2016

    Joni Reply

    You are so amazingly gifted with being able to write the realities of motherhood. And always with encouragement. Thank you!

  8. February 18, 2016

    Kimberly Reply

    So true! Having just experienced a melt down precipitated by a diasterous play room, I’ve come to a breakthrough conclusion: the key is to remove the emotion that is associated with the situation. It’s just a messy playroom. It’s not proof that I’m a bad mom. It’s not evidence that my kids are not being raised properly, and will become terrible adults.
    It’s just a messy room, and it can be cleaned up, sometime. That’s all. Whew! What a relief when that’s all it is!

  9. February 22, 2016

    Margaret Wolfinbarger Reply

    I just stumbled across your blog and I am grateful! It is always so good to know I am not alone in my mother-stress-guilt-exhaustion. And while I only have 3 boys, and only one of them is still young and needy, this blog reminds me how precious the “spaghetti hand prints on the wall” are. Because I blinked and my oldest is now a Marine preparing for combat. And I am so glad because it makes me think maybe I did something right. And it also helps me cling to the few precious years of being “Mommy” that I have left. Thanks for the reminder.

  10. February 23, 2016

    Corina Reply

    Thank you! I just cried…I want to really feel that I am doing well…because most of the times I am not feeling that. Thanks again!

  11. March 1, 2016

    Amy Reply

    This is exactly what I needed to hear today! Thank you!

  12. March 2, 2016

    Jessica Reply

    Thanks so much. I’m relieved!

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