Please don’t tell me I’m strong when I’m in the midst of one of those days when I’ve had enough and feel like I just want to find my motherhood flag of surrender and throw it in but I can’t even do that because someone is calling my name and there is a fight to take care of and some homework project and my neck is tense and my patience thin and worn.
I just don’t want to hear it in that moment of chaos.
Or a fighter. Or supermom. Or amazing.
None of it.
I don’t know. I know I don’t feel like I’m strong when the tears fall and I wonder if I’m a good mom.
(I’m guessing you all can relate to those drive you crazy but really why are they driving you crazy days of motherhood that we all seem to have from time to time.)
Somehow I’ve discovered that when I’m in the middle of the battle of the Horrible Terrible Worst Day Ever that those are the times when I’m kind of tired of having to pull up my bootstraps and be super duper strong. Maybe I’m selfish in those moments or maybe I’ve just had enough or maybe I’m so far from perfect that I don’t see that the unbelievable power in those words which are truly meant to encourage me to keep fighting and moving. Because in those moments I don’t need that type of encouragement coming into the battle field from the sidelines I kind of just need you to be there. Or to know that I’m not a bad mom for having simple everyday things push me to the edge of motherhood patience. Those are the days when the fight is wearing one out, you know.
I think I need to almost hear – no doubt that totally sucks. Or that’s the worst. Or holy <insert what you would like here> that is the day from <again insert what you would like>.
Or empathy. You know like oh my word I hate it when my kids do that. Or I’m sending you some chocolate. Or something. Somehow hearing that I’m amazing when I’m in the middle of motherhood crazy makes me wonder when in the world I can just breathe and be just a little bit human. Human, you know? Not super mortal – but someone who feels and gets tired and hates it when the kids she loves yell that she’s the worst mom in the world.
That stuff is like a dagger in the weary mom’s spirit, in a way.
Or at least on the days when it is so frustrating.
I don’t know what makes some days more frustrating than others. I think you get it. It’s like this layering and layering of little moments – fighting, things spilling, homework forgetten, bills to pay – sprinkled with the words mom every two minutes and thirty-two seconds. By they way, tonight I told my kids to not say my name for at least five minutes because I was trying to regroup and gather my strength.
They lasted 49 seconds.
I counted. I sat at the table and counted the time until they needed me for something.
Oh I really love love love my kids. But somedays being a mom pushes me to my breaking point and I feel like I have had enough and when someone says to me you are so strong I want to snap back that I am tired of being so strong and that I just want to breathe.
Who thought breathing was a part of the motherhood story?
But it is – breathing knowing that one is not alone in feeling exasperated and pushed to the edge over unexplainable things. I know, imagine explaining it the next day like this — last night I had it when they fought over who got the better pair of blue headphones and I stepped in taco meat that fell under the table and then one started crying and then they said my name over and over again and I was just tired and – really? That’s the breaking point?
Here’s the deal. Let’s just be super duper real. Motherhood pushes us. It makes us stand in the kitchen with chaos around and tell them we’re not perfect. And even though deep deep down we are super strong and powerful and amazing and everything others tell us in those moment of crazy maybe just maybe we need to hear two simple words.
Not in that the night will turn out okay – because it will – you’ll make it though. But maybe, maybe just maybe that it’s okay that you feel this way. It’s okay that some nights push you to your breaking point and it’s over things like spilled chocolate milk and three year olds who won’t listen. It’s okay that you’re tired. It’s okay.
We know that we’re strong.
I could remind you of that right now. I could tell you how much you matter and how awesome you are and how you are making the most gigantic difference in the life of your kids. But chances are, if you’re like me and you’ve had one of those days, you don’t want to hear about how amazing you are. You just need someone to be there. Understanding. Not fixing.
Just being a friend.
Loving you when you feel weak – seeing your strength – and just being there.
You’re a great mom even on those days when those creatures make you feel like you’re going to go insane.
You don’t have to be supermom ever.
Just be you.
ps. And if you want to call me supermom I’ll gladly accept it when they’re all asleep, when I’ve got my ice cream and I’m watching a show on Netflix. Or folding laundry.
OMG! I wanna hug you right now, I am having this exact day!
I am so right there with you!! Right now we are not only in the middle of baseball season, but my three boys are fighting like they are on summer vacation. Seriously we’re only in April for Pete’s sake! I also have one who is very strong willed and everyday, and I do mean everyday, there is a fight about something. I’ve looked at people who I knew were going to say It Gets Better and told them as nicely as possible not to say it. Yes I know it will get better but sometimes all I want them to do is sit next to me. (SIGH) I’ve had a lot of “those days” lately. I will buy you some chocolate. 🙂
Wow, that is totally my life! Except “one of those days” is starting to become “everyday”! It helps so much knowing other moms struggle too and I’m not the only mom out there who can’t handle all the chaos perfectly and patiently as much as I wish I could. Since my fourth child was born 2 years ago I feel like I’ve been stuck in a tornado that never ends. Chocolate would totally help if I still didn’t have 50 lbs of pregnancy weight to lose that won’t budge! It’s exhausting mentally, physically and emotionally. I’m just always…..so…..tired!!! I agree that the best advice I needed to hear is what you said. It’s okay to not be perfect and feel this way. Hopefully I can remember that when I feel guilty every night that I’m not doing more and being a better mom. I have to just take a picture of every huge mess they make hoping one day I’ll look back and just laugh. Thank you so much for writing this.
This was absolutely my day yesterday, all day from start to finish. I woke up with severe pain in my eye so contacts were out, and my eye doctor couldn’t see me until late in the day when I so far beyond done. While taking my husband with his barely recovering broken ankle (6 freaking months and two surgeries later, btw) to yet another doctor’s appointment, our 4 year old, who was not allowed in the doctor office (no kids allowed? ) managed to find and spill the 3 day old cup of milk that super mom had missed in her relief on Friday night. Thick, chunky, sour milk that smelled like it would make even the strongest stomach vomit….all over my new car. I mean on the leather/fabric seats, on then into the carpeted floor mats, under the mats which were more carpet, into the speaker in the door and into and under the trunk release mechanism. No soap or paper towels in the evil doctor office that doesn’t allow children, a single napkin left in the car, and no wipes because they cost too much and we’re past potty training. But I still found a way with what I had while wishing I had a leash for my son who wanted to run up and down the sidewalk and all over the parking lot while I cleaned up his mess. Yes, I yelled and I threatened and later I cried about it. And this was all before lunch and the remainder of the day followed suit. Nobody said a word for fear of my impending explosion….until late in the day a good friend just said “I absolutely hate those miserable days! That sucks so much!” And I knew she’d been there before and that I was not alone, not the only mom feeling like the worst mom in the world when I had actually managed quite well overall and with very limited resources. And then I smiled and lovingly finished what little was left of my day with my family.
Friday, I fell to my knees sobbing. I couldn’t stop. In that moment, nothing was OK and no matter what anyone said, it would never be OK. Sometimes, we just need someone to be there, not telling us that it’s going to alright or that we are strong, but to just BE there so that we know that even when we feel things will never be OK again, at least we aren’t alone.
Yes. Yes. I am the mother of four. The eldest is at college, the third child has Cerebral Palsy and does not walk independently, and our house is not wheelchair accessible, so we have to help him very very much at home. His needs are great, my energy is low, and it will never “stop”. Yes. Sometimes the best thing for me is (apart from actual help) for a person to sit beside me quietly and wring their hands. Really. Thanks for this. Spot on.
Thank you so much for this post. I’m the mom of a 2 year old and she is going through the awful terrible twos. Between battling the no’s and temper tantrums, not wanting to try any new foods, and potty training, it makes me mentally and physically exhausted. Thank you for the wonderful advice.
I am a SAHM of 3 children ages 4, 2 1/2 an 7 months
Daily I fail. Most days all I can do is get up and go to work and come home and be disgusted because my house is a disaster. When I don’t have to go to work I am going to the lawyers office or taking kids to counseling appointments. There is no time left, for anything. How am I not failing?
No one really understands what it is like to be desserted to have all of your dreams twisted into the mess that only a tornado can produce.
I want someone to fix the entire h ell I am living. My church is too big. My friends are too busy taking care of their lives. My family is far away and have no idea how to help. They can listen, but no one cares for the “widow” of this day and age they way she really needs cared for.