I can’t even type that without raw tears falling from my eyes.
But that’s what I whispered in the phone.
I know, I know you will tell me that I haven’t. I know. I get it. I write all the time about how we have not failed because we keep on going and we keep on keeping on and we keep on trying, but today, today was on of those days when I don’t know if the strongest earthquake will jar that thinking from my brain.
I could list to you the failing stuff.
It’s like this blur of weight of years and days and minutes and seconds all smashed together sometimes.
Not good enough education. Should have spent more time. Feel lost in life. Feel like I didn’t try enough. Tired of motherhood. Not knowing what to do for dinner. The kids playing too much media. All the just waits and in a minutes that never came. And the laundry. But, of course, laundry shouldn’t be on the list, but somehow it made it.
If you saw it overflowing in my bathroom you might think otherwise and let me keep it.
Sometimes I don’t know what to write.
Do I write the witty clever little posts with ten tips and silly things our kids do? Or do I tell you that today I sat on my bed at 2:44 pm and cried sobs of failing feelings from my eyes?
Because that’s the truth.
I love to be clever and funny and silly – and when you meet me in real life you’ll see that about me – but in the same breath I want you to know that there are times where I so don’t have it together. There are times when I’m driving home and I just have no clue what to do next and as the horizon passes over I’ll wonder how in the world did this become my life and why is there so much weight on my shoulders?
It’s a great deal of weight we carry as moms. Weight that when we just let it build can crush us slowly under the guise that today we totally failed at motherhood. There are some days where I’m thinking just take my motherhood card from me because I know I messed it up.
I know you feel it too.
I know that there are so many times when you walk into those school rooms and you look like you have it all together but we didn’t see the moments five minutes earlier as you worked to get those feelings of frustration from the morning under control. We didn’t see the tears in the bathroom. We just see the outside – the external – which because of our world of filters and instagram and facebook looks crazy ridiculous good. And then we all collectively have this idea that everyone has it together except for us.
That’s a bunch of I feel like I’m failing pressure right there.
Motherhood is this crazy place of emotions and of being forced to keep it together and of dealing of our kids and when life throws us those failing days it feels so ridiculously lonely.
Do you want to know the truth? I cried because I could see all the things I wish I had done.
I could see all the extra math practice I should have done or the time spent looking at homework or the times when I wish I had just gave more and I was so dang hard on myself.
So hard that the crushing feelings of being a failure as a mom overtook.
And as the sobs mixed with words came out my friend told me that I was way way too hard on myself and that hearing me be that way was crushing because I missed seeing the good. And this friend got teary. Teary because I was so hard on me.
Someone fought for me to see the good in me. In a me that had labeled so much of her parenting journey as a failure and thus slapped the today is a failing day label not only there but on herself.
I could have listed off every single place I had failed.
(I’m sure you’re going through that list too.)
But he told me that I was missing seeing where I thrived.
Where the little things that I celebrate where encouraged to grow. Where I brushed my hair back into the pony tail and gathered that resolve and mothered. And so much in the last day I have mothered so very alone. I don’t know how to explain what it’s like to wake every morning and to look at the to-do list of the day and to think get up get up get up get up and fight even though I am bone dead tired. And there are so many days where I don’t even get that pep talk because they are already waiting for me.
But I know you get that too. I just do. I rad emails and comments and messages from a whole collective us who just are tired and want a break and see the errors and not the stars.
I know you totally understand that mad rush and sprint and crazy dash through life until the days smash together into a blur. And today, today for some reason, the blurred days looked like a big universal fail.
I know there are some of you reading this thinking how did she know? How did she know that I feel like I am failing as a mom? I know.
I know. Because I am with you.
You are not alone.
You are not alone.
Listen, my dear friend reading these words of mine – it took my friend telling me that I was not failing but instead that I had done my best and that in that moment there was no manual for motherhood and that it is new for all of us. He told me that the things that I saw as failures clouded the beauty that he saw behind that was allowed to grow in those place.
He saw the strength. The power. The trying. The love.
Don’t ever dimiss how much you love your kids.
That love is what makes our hearts ache with feelings of overwhelm or failure or wanting to know worth. I want you,right now, to know how much you are worth it in the middle of this murky motherhood story. No one promised us the fairy tale story.
Instead we get this real life.
And I’m beginning to see that maybe the fails are actually places where we excelled. They are places where we fought or where we learned or where we did what was best for our kids and not what the world told us what was best.
So sweet mom reading these words of mine please please please just know that you are not alone.
And I think that you are pretty amazing. Even if you have those failing days on the list.
Those days aren’t fails.
They are part of the story.
Where your strength grows. Where you discover you. Where you fight for your kids. Where you are pushed to the limits.
Where you really mother.
So brush those tears from your eyes and gather your resolve again. And replace the fail with the truth.
You do your best.
You mother and love and give.
And dear mom, that’s what matters.
Want more community and a group of moms determined to find happy? That’s this page.
I needed this so very much today! I feel like Somedays I’m just going through the motions….my kids are fed and pretty much happy and I feel like I’m not there enough. I have four, including a toddler and a child with some seeker sensory issues….and the days can get tough. Thank you for this! Ones things for sure, even when I may “fail” my kids always go to bed with a goodnight kiss and an “I love you” because everyday should end on a positive no matter how tough it was.
How did you know? How did you know that I needed to read this today, that this week was so incredibly hard?
Thanks. Just….thank you.
I so, so needed to read this today. Sometimes it all feels like a big frantic mess. I am constantly on the go yet feel like nothing is ever really accomplished. I need and want so much more quality time with the kids and there’s never time. The guilt is overwhelming. When we do play together my mind is never truly on it as the millions of other things that need done are nagging at me. Motherhood defo the toughest job in the world xxxx
love your blog. its true. i have the same feelings and emotions. we all do. facebook and blogs post the best of motherhood not what we are all really. Heck my son peed on the deck and stepped in it this morning. up to his room and it wasnt even 9 am yet. ugh.
Thank you, Rachel. Thank you for speaking words of encouragement to my mother’s heart. I was up at 3:30 this morning not able to sleep, pouring my soul into my journal, tears falling, crying out to the Lord that I am struggling and feel like a failure in so many ways. I know I’m not, but sometimes negative feelings are just so overwhelming. Thank you for sharing.
Thank you for this post and all the honest, down to the nitty-gritty feelings that you express. I read a few blogs but none help me as much as yours. Your thoughts and feelings really do help me to feel as though I am not alone on this motherhood journey.
Thank you again for writing such beautiful, heartfelt words. I feel so alone but your blog makes me feel as though at least one person knows. For me it’s helped me truly enjoy my children and realize that I was (and still am) tired of fighting their abusive father, not them. For that, I thank you and my children. I still cry because I have to share my kids with him and I can’t protect them from the greatest bully so I have to settle for teaching them to stand up for themselves. I know it’s a necessary skill and part of life, but it’s terrifying…
Thinking of you Shana.
Thanks you for always writing posts that really hit home. Especially when its things people just don’t want to talk about. This particular post really hit home with me today. It’s always nice to know I’m not alone
being a mom can be hard on the emotions and self confidence. My teen girls remind me I am not a failure when I am so frustrated at them and me and I put myself down. I know, I’m supposed to be the mature one. But like you wrote our love counts. And so does theirs.