to the mom who feels like she’s drowning

You are not alone.

I just want you to know that before you read one more word.

And if you can’t even read another word because it just feels like too much I want you to know that you will get through and that you, the one that is drowning in stuff and expectations, are the most important person ever to your kids. Even if they don’t show you.

I want you somehow – in the core of the overwhelmed you – to know that you aren’t alone. You aren’t alone in being the only mom that feels like she can’t keep her head above the water or the only mom who is afraid to articulate that sometimes life feels like a crazy amount of too much.

Do you know the thing about drowning?

It’s not being able to breathe and yet still fighting for that breath – for the footing.

I know that you are a fighter and sometimes there are days where you’re looking to just breathe.

I know that about you. I know that every morning for some of you is a fight. I know that there are some of you with rebellious and defiant kids. And I know how core crushing and draining that can be to the spirit. I know that there are some struggling with finances or relationships or health or all of it and trying to keep every single ball of expectation in the world is impossible. I know there are some with newborns or kids under five or facing an empty nest. I know some work and some stay at home and some wish things could be different. I know that no matter the story you are still fighting, still hoping, still believing even when you’re feeling like you’re drowning.


It’s exhausting.

But here is what I need to tell you. When we have this feeling it’s so often because something needs to change in our lives. It’s like the big loud warning warning warning that so many of us ignore. We put us behind the other things to do and don’t look face to face with the fact that we are running faster than is humanely possible.  And then it gets to a day where it’s impossible to ignore and we come face to face with needing to put our oxygen mask on first.

And that is what I need you to do right now.

I need you to step back, just for a moment, and breathe. A slow deep breath. I need you to stop looking at all the pressures and the anxieties and try really hard to ignore what needs to be done and I want you to tell yourself one thing. I want you to tell yourself this:

I am doing a good job.


I don’t want you to tell yourself anything other than that. And yes, I know that there are many of you reading that doubt that truth. But it is truth. You are doing a good job. You are not quitting. You are not stopping. You may be or feel stuck, but you are still going. And when one has the perseverance to push through even in the face of hard times they are doing a good job.

Not perfect, not Pinterest worthy, not the most awesome Facebook status update, but the most important thing that you can ever do.

You are moving.

So often we fill our heads with the negative about ourselves and what we do. The pressures of life threaten to crush our spirits. Friends come and go.

But my friend, this is your breath.


This is your moment in life where you can inhale and decide that you are doing better than you might think.

But don’t stop there. I want you from this moment on to make one change in your thinking. I want you to not judge yourself with a ruler of expectations of perfection or get after yourself when you have these days, but rather I want you to get out a piece of paper and I want you to write – I am enough.

Yes, that.

I think that sometimes my writing purpose in this world is to remind us carrying the world on our shoulders moms that we are enough. It’s to replace the feelings of failing and inadequacy and worry about worth and if one is doing enough with the truth about you being enough. Because when you start to believe that in your core then the impossible in your life will begin to be possible. No longer can fear claw at identity or worth. Just truth.

So sweet mom I am so so so proud of you.

Exhale. Let the tears fall. Watch Hulu if you need to regroup. Or eat some ice cream or call a friend or go for a run or clean that kitchen or whatever you need to do.  Because often the first step is getting that breath again. Looking in the mirror and being proud. Fighting again.

You can do this.

And you know what?

You, the one in the midst of this crazy life journey,  are enough.

Now breathe.


for more encouragement read Why Being a Mom is Enough (with almost two million likes)



9 Responses to “to the mom who feels like she’s drowning”

  1. October 24, 2016

    Debbie McCartney Reply


    I have been reading your blog for a good month now. I can’t believe how crazy it is that the day I read, it’s like it’s exactly what’s happening. All the emotions pouring out of me and yet reading them through your words. I coukd write a book on everything going on but whoa! One day at a time and thanks to your blogs I’m beginning to not be so uptight. My kids aren’t going to care if the sink has 6 dishes in them that need to be put in the dishwasher but they will be affected by me being stressed because the house isn’t “perfect”. They don’t care, they want mom. Not crazy, stressed out, med student who has this crazy thought the house has to be perfect every second.

    Any who, THANK YOU for your inspiration, motivation, devotion to your writing. Please know that YOU do inspire me. ♡ Hugs and smiles!!

  2. October 25, 2016

    Denise Pass Reply

    Beautifully said. 🙂

  3. October 25, 2016

    Paige Reply

    I’ve never been one to search online for help but tonight I did, and I’m glad I did so. My daughter is 2 1/2 and today was one of my worse days. Your writing has helped me feel at enough ease that I feel hope for tomorrow. I don’t have a helping hand or someone to tell me I’ve done a good job but I honestly believe I am a good mom. I just have a lot to learn. Her stubborn, restless, adventurous soul will kill me but I wouldn’t want to miss a single day, even a bad one. Thank you .

  4. October 26, 2016

    ilene Reply

    Thanks, Rachel. You always know what to say.

  5. October 27, 2016

    Joanne Reply

    Love this!

  6. October 27, 2016

    Nicole H Reply

    I appreciate your encouragement to moms. However, on my own, I am not enough. But Jesus is enough. He is the only one who can right my shortcomings and smooth out the dark and lonely places of my soul.

  7. October 28, 2016

    Wendy Keppel Reply

    I needed this today. I have three teenagers and a newborn. I work 8 hour shifts. I have an amazing husband who works a weird shift, on two off three,on three off two. Sometimes it feels like most of my time at home consist of clean this cook that go here be there. I love my family and wouldn’t trade it for anything. Today however was one of those days were I felt like I was drowning in the sea of what needs done. The not understanding as to why Noone else could or would do the laundry or sweep the floors and so on. I had a moment that I can’t take back. I just went on a screaming rampage. So this article couldn’t have shown up soon enough. Perfect timing. So thank you. I can do this. I am enough. I do love my family. Well wrote. Thank you!

  8. December 13, 2016

    Tracy Lane Reply

    I’m writing on behalf of Barbara Rainey, founder of FamilyLife and Ever Thine Home. We are looking for guest contributors for the Ever Thine Home blog. We’d be interested in talking with you about possibly sharing a post or two that you already have written and asking you to contribute a new post to be published on our blog in 2017. Please contact me at Thank you!

    Tracy Lane
    Content Editor, Ever Thine Home
    501-228-3485 | facebook | twitter | instagram

  9. July 15, 2017

    Paulene Merrell Reply

    Parenthood is such a responsibility! I think that we grow into it with our children! God intended it to be joyful. You can’t help feel overwhelmed at times because you put your whole heart into it! Those little people come into this world as a precious gift and at a sacrifice and work from their mother. There isn’t anything we wouldn’t do for them!! We give it our best and that is something that varies from one day to the next. Whatever you’ve got, it is enough!

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