to the mom who feels stuck

I’m just going to be real.

I think I’ve lost me a bit in the last year.

I’ve spent so much time making sure everyone else is happy and good and the kids have what they need and that things are taken care of and in that journey I’ve forgotten me. I don’t like to talk about it, really, because I think that you all would think that I’ve gotten it all together.

But I don’t.

And then when I try to write it comes out forced and cliched and maybe it’s because I’m afraid of really being real and telling how painful it is when you feel stuck in life. I don’t even know if it’s so much forgetting of self, but rather much much more of being stuck. I now understand why in the Middle Ages there were indulgences sold so people can get out of Purgatory.

I never wanted motherhood and life to have this part. We don’t talk about stuck often. We talk about next steps and what to figure out and goals and dreams. We talk about learning from the past and fixing ourselves. But we don’t talk about stuck. We don’t talk about wanting to just move forward in life.

I think that’s because no one likes to talk about it when they’re there. And there isn’t a good solution oftentimes. And, well, truth is sometimes we just have to exist in stuck. Stuck is uncomfortable because it goes against every self help book, Anthony Robbins video, Oprah charge and so forth because even though there are solutions sometimes we just are stuck waiting.

And it sucks.

Like friends I have tears going down my cheeks writing this. Not because I want empathy or all of that, but because I’ve been trying to hold it all in. I’m such a fighter for what’s right and when life gets unfair and I feel tied or that I can’t make a decision or all of it – well, it just hurts.

I know that there are so many of you stuck too. In jobs you don’t like, relationships that need mending, with financial issues that don’t seem to have a resolution point, with rebelling kids, with sickness, with babies that just won’t sleep through the night right now. Sometimes life is just being stuck.

decisionsfindingjoy

I don’t have a solution.

I don’t have 32 simple steps to do over the next week that will make you make the right decision and life will turn around and the rainbows and glitter will appear. I can’t write to you telling you that if you just got up five minutes earlier and wrote down everything and danced and made a new goal it would disappear. I just can’t. But what I do have are these words to you, right now, about you not being alone. Because sometimes when one is stuck the lonely parts creep in and make it worse. It seems like everyone else has it together, right? But, you know what? You’ll get unstuck. So will I.

Until then?

It’s grace. It’s where we look at ourselves and don’t grade ourselves so damn hard, but with the same empathy you would give me. It’s where we are proud of the little things and where we have hope and see how hard we try. It’s where we salute the moments that others would deem just normal but for us their victories.

I applaud you.

I am thankful for you.

And, my friend, we will get through.

So, friend, reading this who is stuck or who knows someone in that place — be a friend, give grace and make sure every day to do one little thing that makes you smile. You know what? If it’s a Snickers bar then it’s that. If it’s watching Modern Family it’s that. It’s just something that makes you feel happy.

Love you guys.

~Rachel

Want more community and a group of moms determined to get unstuck? That’s this page.

40 Responses to “to the mom who feels stuck”

  1. July 20, 2016

    Adrienne Reply

    I just started following and I just want to thank you. Everything I read of your is like you are in my head. It is comforting seeing things I have thought or felt or am living currently, in words. Thank you for sharing and being brave with your thoughts. I cant read enough. Feeling really stuck and suffocated right now.

  2. July 20, 2016

    Julie Reply

    I feel like you read my mind and wrote it down. I sat with my laptop two days ago and listened to at least 6 versions of U2’s song “Stuck in a Moment” I just keep hearing the words over and over “You’ve got to get yourself together You’ve got stuck in a moment And you can’t get out of it” but the last two lines are what I am holding on to, “It’s just a moment This time will pass” It’s like a skipping record but I know eventually just a small tap on the needle and the music will play on….I just have to hang in there and wait for the needle tap….I have loved you blog from the first time I read it…Thank you Rachel for sharing your heart…

  3. You completely hit the nail on the head for me. I’ve been ‘stuck’ for what seems like years and it’s turned into my comfort zone. It’s come down to a decision I have to make soon and it’s terrifying. Thank you so much for writing this, I wasn’t through the third sentence and the tears were rolling.

  4. July 21, 2016

    Frog Reply

    I feel you sister every step of the way! Keep on moving forward and do not let anything STOP YOU FROM YOUR END DREAM/RESULT!!

  5. July 21, 2016

    Anni Reply

    Thank you. You’ve helped me gain perspective this morning. I follow several blogs for various reasons, and I started following yours after the death of my mother last year because every time I thought about my mom, I also felt overwhelmingly sad about our three babies that were born too early to survive here, born in 1998 and 1999. I felt that maybe my heart was telling me I wasn’t done grieving them, even though I thought I was.

    I have indeed been feeling stuck right now. Stuck in relationships that need repair because I spent so much time caring for my mom. Stuck in a house that is barely above landfill status, again because I spent so much time caring for my mom. Stuck in a very intensive class I’m taking that had to get put on hold because of caring for my mom. Grieving (pre-and post-death varieties) has me stuck, mired, and bogged.

    But your post has helped. I felt this way when we lost the babies. But looking back, I can see that I didn’t stay there. I can see that even though I felt stuck, like …. Well, it’s a weird word picture that I can’t nail down entirely yet. But it’s like a big mixing bowl full of goopy stuff, and something (me, stuck in the goop) is floating in the goop. But then the Baker tips the bowl over, and all the goop pours out. Then slowly, the something floats to the top and is carried out to the edge of the goop by the momentum of the goop. The something then rolls free, still goop-covered, but free nonetheless.

    Reading your words helped me look back and understand that I didn’t stay mired in grief before, even though it felt like it. That I did eventually roll out of it, still grief-covered, but able to carry on. I think now I’m just in another mixing bowl of emotions and circumstances. I will indeed roll out, grief-covered but able to carry on. Thank you for that.

  6. July 21, 2016

    Anonymous Reply

    Thank you. You’ve helped me gain perspective this morning. I follow several blogs for various reasons, and I started following yours after the death of my mother this last year because every time I thought about my mom, I also felt overwhelmingly sad about our three babies that were born too early to survive here, born in 1998 and 1999. I felt that maybe my heart was telling me I wasn’t done grieving them, even though I thought I was.

    I have indeed been feeling stuck right now. Stuck in relationships that need repair because I spent so much time caring for my mom. Stuck in a house that is barely above landfill status, again because I spent so much time caring for my mom. Stuck in a very intensive class I’m taking that had to get put on hold because of caring for my mom. Grieving (pre- and post-death) has me stuck, mired, and bogged.
    But your post has helped. I felt this way when we lost the babies. But looking back, I can see that I didn’t stay there. I can see that even though I felt stuck, like… Well, it’s a weird word picture that I can’t nail down entirely yet. But it’s like a big mixing bowl full of goopy stuff, and something (me, stuck in the goop) is floating in the goop. But then the Baker tips the bowl over, and all the goop pours out. Then slowly, the something floats to the top and is carried out to the edge of the goop by the momentum of the goop. The something then rolls free, still goop-covered, but free nonetheless.

    Reading your words helped me look back and understand that I didn’t stay mired in grief before, even though it felt like it. That I did eventually roll out of it, still grief-covered, but able to carry on. I think now I’m just in another mixing bowl of emotions and circumstances. I will indeed roll out when the Baker tips the bowl over (when the mix is right, has risen the right amount, etc.). I will roll out, grief-covered but able to carry on. Thank you for reminding me and giving me perspective. God bless you.

  7. July 21, 2016

    Shaima Reply

    U ended with u love us and I start this by saying I love u way more! We don’t know each other personally (now I really want to be ur close friend so bad) but the way u Wright and talk to us makes it feel amazing..
    I want to thank u for this post because EU just described something in me that I have been trying to explain but on to off it I feel suffocating too, and I’m always afraid to sound lie a bad mom bUT here is why I’m telling u this, I have a special needs child and unfortunately the kids stage or taking care stage for me might not end ever 😔 bease mine will always be a child in his brain development but so far we don’t know the level of it will it stay or become profound or will it be mild but still would be below the age where u can reason or expect them to understand and Common sense plus ofcourse all the regular things u do to help a child will be my everyday for the rest of my life
    And to be honist that is like a burden and worries me and makes me sometimes feel I’m tied up and will never get that brake or be the empty nester like I always thought as a regular mom when I had my first child .. pray for me and if u have any solutions or a why for me to get out of that thought but until now I do as u said the small happy things that gets u buy if I can since some times days go by before I can do that!
    Love u loads and hope life will allow us to cross paths sometime
    Xoxoxoxoxoxo

  8. July 21, 2016

    Beth Fried Reply

    Thank you. I was beginning to feel like I am the only one stuck. Everyone else seems to have “found their passion,” while I have none. It is good to know I am not alone.

  9. July 21, 2016

    Kris Reply

    I definitely have been “stuck” before. I think everyone has at some point or another. The thing I realized was that by focusing on the aspect of being stuck as a negative thing it made it ten times worse. What I did was flip that mindset on its hinges and turned that negativity to some form of hope through actively making a conscious effort to be positive.

  10. July 21, 2016

    Jenna Reply

    Wow. As I walked my dog this morning I tried to put my thoughts into words how I was feeling about work, marriage and family life. You got it! ‘Stuck” I know it will pass. Things will change. But right now I don’t have the energy or drive to make it all happen today or tomorrow. I just need to keep getting through each day. Thanks for your unbelievably timely post. ~ Hug! ~

  11. July 21, 2016

    Sandra Reply

    Thank you. It was something I needed to read while having tears fill my eyes. I’ve felt stuck for what feels like forever. Always doing for everyone one else. Making sure everyone has what they need. Wondering when I’ll have time to do one little thing for me. I feel stuck in this rut of having 3 young kids going thru difficult times all needing me at once and trying to give them what they need. Time. Hugs. Redirection. Kisses. Bandages for cuts and scrapes. Watching their every achievement. I love it all and wouldn’t change any of it but I feel I’ve lost me. The carefree person I once was always with a smile. I hope to meet her again soon one day.

  12. July 21, 2016

    Tina Harrison Reply

    Yes. Allow yourself grace.

    Thank you for being real.

  13. July 22, 2016

    Christy Shange Reply

    Thank you so much for writing this. I think perhaps you wrote it to me and I needed to read it today so badly.

  14. July 22, 2016

    Michelle Di Meola Reply

    Hi there thanks so much it is how many are feeling and my daughter is in the same place I have sent this too her just hang in there and try hold it together you will become unstuck eventually sending you lots of laughter light and power ( no I am not a tree hugger) but I believe in positive vibes xx

  15. July 23, 2016

    Jason DeVaux Reply

    Great post. I’ve read many of your articles and they all resonate; especially the one about forgetting to be happy a happy parent. That article is the one that got me hooke don reading your posts. I’m a single dad, raising two daughters (6 and 8) on my own for the past 6 years. I find myself substituting “motherhood” with parenthood a lot when I read what you write =) Parenting is tough. I constant;y find myself stuck; caught in patterns of repetition, just for the sake of survival and time management. Sometimes you just have to accept that life is what it is. That the sacrifice of raising children demands giving more and more of ourselves, sometimes at the expense of ourselves. Thanks for all that you share.

  16. July 23, 2016

    Hayley Reply

    Thank you.

  17. July 24, 2016

    Alyssa Corley Reply

    I’ve been here often in my 11 year mothering journey. It sucks. But you’re right – it’s grace. It’s putting one foot in front of the other and living a life of gratitude even in “stuck.” Thankfulness first, love for others always….and then simply just getting up and finding one thing you love and doing it that day …even if it’s only 10 minutes. Love to you

  18. July 24, 2016

    Alyssa Corley Reply

    Also….I wrote this awhile back…
    I hope it helps

    http://lightineightblueeyes.blogspot.com/2016/03/when-im-home.html?spref=pi

  19. July 27, 2016

    Heidi Reply

    This is exactly how I’ve been feeling lately and I have been searching for that “list” of how to get unstuck. I love your no nonsense answer to that – thank you! I feel that we are taught to be perfect Stepford Wives and it’s a reality that just isn’t attainable. It’s comforting to know others are in the same place as myself. I look forward to reading more. And thanks to the freckled fox for leading me to your site.

  20. July 27, 2016

    Jennifer Reply

    I am overwhelmed right now reading your posts! Finally I have found someone who is speaking right from “my heart”. I love it. Don’t stop!

    Greetings from Austria from one mother to another : )

  21. July 28, 2016

    Vidya Reply

    This is so beautifully written. I don’t know how write what I am feeling right now, but this explains me. Right now! Perfectly! I feel you Rachel and I really appreciate that you have said it, poured it all out. In doing so you have helped me sort out my feelings to. To begin with, I know I am not alone and that we will get “unstuck” soon. Love you for writing this :-)

  22. July 28, 2016

    Jolande Reply

    Just thank you!

  23. July 28, 2016

    Valery Reply

    Thank you ! From one stuck mother of two, with a job, and a mortgage.❤️

  24. July 28, 2016

    Lee Ann Reply

    This is where I’m at right now, and I thank you for your voice. For putting it into words.

  25. July 29, 2016

    Georgina Reply

    A wonderful article !!!
    It is real and true … Being stuck is just what I feel right now .. And I am sure many others do too
    I loved this article because it is about accepting the fact that being stuck is a process in life .
    Love u Rachel

  26. July 29, 2016

    Kelli M Reply

    Mama, you have no idea how badly I needed to read this today. It may have literally saved my life right now.

  27. July 31, 2016

    mary Reply

    thank you so very much. Today I feel stuck. ……….its comforting to know am not alone.

  28. July 31, 2016

    Rhobie Reply

    This is very timely. I love the way how u wrote it. And that the feeling of being stuck really comes but will soon just go away. Thanks a lot!

  29. July 31, 2016

    Jillian Leda Reply

    Thank you for this I always feel stuck because I became a mom before I finished college. My new goals in life became to be a housewife but thats been difficult because my husband has trouble holding down a job. Today I’ve been in a crabby mood all day and took it out on my daughter now I want to make it up to her. I wish us lots of luck and happiness. Hopefully one day we’ll have the life we always wished for.

  30. August 1, 2016

    Kristin Reply

    This rings true in my path of weening my 3 1/2 yo son. I am so tapped out, but he wants me to “moo” him for comfort and tho it provides a loving crutch, it has been a battle for control of my body parts and my sanity. It has to get better, however I recall thinking this was all going to be over soon when he was 2 yo. I am taking it day by day. I wish an end was in sight because I AM STUCK!

  31. August 2, 2016

    Bee Reply

    This is beautiful! Thank you.

  32. September 2, 2016

    kelly Reply

    rachel
    as always you speak to me and its like you ARE in MY head and heart. THANK YOU for these words that need to be said..why does it have to come from someone else for us to be ok and release said feelings?? Or finally a sigh of relief and move on? well for whatever reason we need to do this.

  33. September 2, 2016

    Aim Reply

    I just recently told my husband that I felt like I am in that Purgatory or a limbo, then you just hit it right there. I’m currently stuck in a situation and I am the only one who feels absolutely alone. We moved in to my husband’s family bec of a financial problem. We target to be here for 2 years, and it’s only just a year and I feel awfully stuck and want to move out. I feel displaced, without a home. I have always been independently living with my own little family of 5. I couldn’t do anything just yet but I believe for each day will find its way. I just live one day at a time. I would find joy in the midst of being stuck and focus on other things. I just hope to be out of this in a sooner time. Thanks that I don’t feel alienated and this could happen to many. 😉

  34. September 2, 2016

    Megan Reply

    > I think I’m as stuck as a person can get. I don’t even know what I like anymore. I.have all the free time in the world and I waste it because I’m so stuck. I want so much to be unstuck but I haven’t a clue how to go about it.

  35. September 3, 2016

    Tara Reply

    Someone shared this article on FB and I just happen to come upon it. It must have been a God thing because it’s what I needed. I am a mom to an amazing, beautiful, 20 month old little girl and a wife, a full-time accountant in a new challenging job and just bought a new house 3 months ago and lately every weekend I just want to cry. I get down and moody and haven’t been able to put my finger on what’s wrong. I think about how blessed I am and how some want what I have so I shouldn’t be down, and yet I am. I’ve been wondering what’s wrong with me and I think you put it in to words. I feel stuck.
    Glad to know I’m not alone.

    • September 4, 2016

      Rachel Marie Martin Reply

      Glad you found the article at the perfect time….and you are not alone. I think the first way to get out of being stuck is recognizing that one is stuck. So well done. Now it’s getting rid of the shackles of stuck. You can do it. One day, one moment, one thought at a time. And give yourself grace. :)

      Rachel

  36. September 3, 2016

    Alice Reply

    Thank you! This is beautiful, hard and SO true. Sometimes we are stuck for really frigging good reasons or we wouldn’t have got there in the first place 😉 those ‘get up 5 minute earlier’ things do my head in. I already get up at 5:30. Peace x

  37. September 4, 2016

    Valentina Reply

    almost as hard as the part about being stuck and not being sure about how to get unstuck is the part when you being to get unstuck but the resentment, hatred, obstructions and guilt that you get from others as you move forward as you leave them behind this can be equally as painful to endure and often means you revert back to just being stuck as its easier

  38. September 4, 2016

    tammy Reply

    My friend posted this to her timeline.
    It struck a chord as I am finally coming out from this dark place. It holds so much truth, you really c’ant see how good a job you do when you are here.
    The most useful advice I was given was ask for help and take whatever is given. Never be too proud.
    Thank u for sharing your story.

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