The other day I stood in my closet and I just screamed.
It was a scream of frustration. Of feeling lost and unimportant. Of fighting, fighting, fighting and never feeling like I measured up. Of feeling overwhelmed. Of not wanting do one more thing and yet knowing that the to-do list had a dozen one more things to do. Of being tired of dealing with fighting over boys that decided today was the day to irritate every one of their brothers. Of my phone dinging.
Of me feeling alone.
I wasn’t going to write about it.
After all, I had just returned from Pittsburgh where I stood in front of a room of women, of moms, where I told them that they are enough and that they can do this and that I believe in them. And here I was.
I wasn’t going to share that I got to that point in my day where I just had enough.
But we don’t talk about those days as moms.
Let me rephrase that – we don’t share about those days that much. We live in a world of edited disclosure of life. We live in a world where Pinterest tells us that there are 52 Easy Crock Pot Meals that we can make (insert guilt for the cold cereal we served last night) and 119 Cleaning Hacks Using Vinegar so That We Don’t Have to Use Chemicals (insert guilt for the Lysol below the sink) and 13 Reasons Why Motherhood is the Best (insert guilt for the times when it certainly doesn’t feel that way) and 44 Handmade Christmas Gifts for Kids (insert guilt because we don’t have time or money to do this but now we think we should).
We live with Facebook status updates with friends outside of DisneyWorld (insert guilt for never taking the kids to Disney World) with the words we are so blessed that make us sit there wondering why some are blessed and others are not.
We live with options options options options – so much that it can make our heads spin and hurt. And then, instead of loving who we are as moms, the options have this crazy superpower to allow us to question almost every decision because inevitably it’s not the right one and we become more frozen in fear and indecision than my kids toys which were left outside and are now frozen in piles of snow (insert guilt for not getting everything put away and following the 8 Easy Steps for Fall Cleanup Post that is out there).
There are articles endorsing this parenting method and another slamming it to pieces. There are those adamant about the evils of vaccines and those adamant about the evils of not vaccinating. There are worries about GMOS, plastics, artificial sweeteners, over scheduled kids, under scheduled kids, and influenza. There are pressures to have our kids in sports at three and speaking languages at four and attending science classes at five and being in advanced reading at six and being on the honor roll at seven and doing leadership training at eight and on and on. There are voices endorsing only breastfeeding and then those talking about bottle feeding and then those talking about co-parenting and then this type of labor method and this type of parenting style and this type of family and marriage and what is best and I could go on and on but I try to keep these posts to a certain number of words.
And then there is us.
With a world of expectations that we must sift and wade through and decide if it’s really important even though the world and everyone is screaming at us that this is the only way even though none of the only ways ever match with another.
We make a decision and then come across 18 ways why it’s not the right thing.
So we doubt. We read. We try.
We feel like we don’t measure up. We buy the coffee from the neighbor kid for the fundraiser because we feel like we need to do that but then it makes our budget tighter and we didn’t feel like we could say no.
And sometimes, sometimes we just want to be loved and to feel like our contribution to this crazy thing called life is making a difference. And when we don’t or when the expectations press down on us like a ton of bricks and when we’re constantly feeling like we’re dropping the ball or when we’re simply simply simply tired we get to that point that I was at on Sunday night.
I think that somehow we forget that we’re only human.
Somehow motherhood became this expectation of greatness and awesomeness and there are so many of us out there that are running so hard to just keep up that we’re out of breath and we don’t even have time to sit on the sidelines and catch our breath. And we don’t give ourselves grace to have those moments where we stumble and fall down and cry tears of exhausting and sadness and feel the emotion of life and not rationalize it with the logic of life that will tell us that we’ll be okay.
When I’m at that point I don’t want to be called supermom.
I just want to be told it’s okay.
It’s okay to feel overwhelmed sometimes. It’s okay to feel super frustrated at your kids. It’s okay to be angry that your life isn’t where you want it. It’s okay to feel worried about money. It’s okay to feel like you’re not getting everything done. It’s okay to feel. It’s okay to feel like you’re doing it all and you’re tired. It’s okay.
It’s okay to be real.
I think that’s the part that we don’t talk about too much.
I think social media allows us as women to like a status and to move on. It lets us pin things adding to a list of things that we never got done. It allows us to read quotes that are inspiring but doesn’t often allow us the space to feel.
Feeling isn’t a bad thing.
We weren’t designed to be without emotions and thus always perfect.
Because the truth is – I didn’t stay there. I had my moment of overwhelm. A bad day. Or just a bad hour. And then I moved on. Did the next thing. Put the boys to bed. Said I was sorry for being curt and crabby. Felt some guilt over not always being strong but then realized that there is not ever one Pinterest Pin out there that says 21 Ways Mothers Should Always Be Strong.
You know why?
Because deep down we all know that there are moments where we just need to be told you’ll be okayand that you will get through and that you matter. Motherhood is not ever ever ever about perfection.
It’s about starting again.
It’s about sifting through the barrage of social media expectations and knowing that even if you never ever ever did one more thing on any of those lists that you are still an awesome mom. It’s about looking at the mom next to you and loving her in her brokenness and encouraging her to keep going.
It’s about believing in each other and admitting that sometimes raising kids isn’t always sunshine, rainbows, and glitter.
It’s about not sitting in the weakness moments but having the courage and the bravery to try again.
Even if it means coming out of your room and gathering your boys together and looking them in the eyes and telling them I love you so much. So so so much. And I love being your mom even when I get tired. I know. Because I did that.
So dear mom reading this raw and real and vulnerable words of mine I want you to know two things. One, there is no expectation placed on you to be supermom. Just be you. Try your best. Love your kids. Give yourself grace. And see the amazing things that you do in life. Two, you will be okay. Your kids will be okay. And it’s okay to have days where you’re overwhelmed. It’s okay.
Because the bottom line is this -> You matter.
On the Good days. The bad days. The normal days.
That’s the real truth.
So gather your resolve. Look at yourself in the mirror and see you for not everywhere where you could list you didn’t think you measured up but rather start to see the truth.
You are strong. Powerful.
read -> Why Being a Mom is Enough
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[…] the motherhood days we don’t talk about that much but we should. […]
I don’t have kids yet and from my perspective it’s other parents that perpetuate this pressure and fear. It terrifies me to join the ranks of peers that use harsh judgment and one track thinking to cope. Definitely one of the scariest part of becoming a parent for me is the aggressive harshness of other parents who don’t know how to use empathy. I feel for you all and the constant barrage of hordes of judgmental friends and online forums disguised as “helpful” and “caring”. Ack!
Tee, you should have ended your comment with “I don’t have kids yet”. BEFORE kids, you envision all perfect scenarios and, rarely, do any of them pan out. Unfortunately, AFTER kids, or shall I say the day you announce that you are expecting, you are automatically thrown into a world of judgmental friends and criticisms disguised as “helpful” and “caring”. There is not one mother out there that isn’t shaking their head in agreement with everything stated in this article. This is in NO WAY meant to be argumentative, just more “helpful” and “caring” advice from a mother of three – ages 21, 15 and 13. Just accept it and become thick-skinned because it’s going to happen. 😊
Donna, respectfully, I don’t think you must have read or understood Tee’s comment. 😎Cheers!
I’ve had the opposite experience in real life – and ftr, I don’t consider the internet real life. My experience has been that the most supportive have been mothers in my peer group. The loudest dissidents to the parenting choices we make for our children come not from other parents, but our own parents. They choose to internalize that our choice to parent differently than they did is a judgment and condemnation of their parenting and react selfishly to it, instead of responding intentionally or being supportive. But other parents, especially experienced ones, especially in our peer group, are overwhelmingly supportive of our parenting choices, if they choose to make known any opinion at all – and many don’t thanks to experienced wisdom. Please don’t let the vitriol of a singular subset of people who truly aren’t very real anyway scare you away from what is easily the best thing you could ever do in life. You will find a supportive peer group. People in your life that disagree become unimportant and fall away. Moms who love and agree and support your lifestyle rally around. There is sisterhood in motherhood. And there are more gifts and blessings than can be ever be expressed in intentional parenting.
Tee, it’s really not that bad. Yes, there are people who judge, but you don’t have to fill your life with them. Radiate love and acceptance, and surround yourself with others who do the same. Stay away from online forums that make you feel like less than you are, and seek out those that truly inspire and uplift you. And then do the best you can, and realize everyone else is doing that too. Motherhood is beautiful and joyous and crazy and hard and wonderful–it is intensely full a whole range of emotions, and in the end, it isn’t about anyone else anyway, it is about you and your own little family, and nothing else matters. (Hope that helps.)
I was (and still am) a mom of 4 in the 70-80s before social media posed the challenges you speak of. But none the less, the pressure of keeping up with everything was still the same then. I too doubted how I could make it through the day. I had to do it without much physical assistance from my spouse and none from my mother who was suffering from dementia and incapable of being there for me. Somehow, I did it and I survived. And the rewards of seeing my adult, married children now as parents themselves and receiving the gratitude from them for giving them a secure and loving childhood makes it all worth the hard work. Raising a family isn’t eas now, nor has it ever been. But love will prevail, so keep that as the utmost of importance.
Thank you very much for redoing this post so we could read it. This was what I needed, especially today! My daughter is being emotionally manipulated and isolated by my soon-to-be ex husband – just as I was for 28 years. I really struggle with these days because I am petrified that she will be taken from me.
It is reaffirming to read that these days happen to all of us, not just me! Thanks as always, Rachel.
Anna, you are so right! Motherhood is beautiful! Thanks for your wonderful advice!!!!!
I want to grab the next mother I see and give her a huge hug! We are truly amazing at our best and otherwise. You speak the truth and I commend you. Why is it so hard for mothers to be honest with ourselves when the day hasn’t gone perfectly? Oprah hit the nail on the head when she said years ago that “being a mother is the hardest job in the world”!
Thank you so much for above words. Today was such a day for me, exactly the same.
Of course, I survivied and kept going on 🙂 What else could I do ? Always do the same 🙂
Anyway, we – mothers – need to let ourselves not to be perfect, nobody is. Instead trying to be perfect, let’s try to be more real. Something like me, myself and I … 🙂 Would be easier and more fun. Sometimes when I surf the internet, feel like wasting my time. Feel like real life is somewhere else and it’s not worth reading all that facebook & pinned stuff over there. But sometimes I’m glad to find place what’s really valuable, like yours. Hugs from Poland 🙂
[…] post you’re about to read from Rachel’s Finding Joy blog ‘the motherhood days we don’t talk about that much but we should’ is important. It went viral 48 hours ago when she posted it on her Facebook page. It was shared so […]
Thank you for this.
Today was good for me and mine, but even on good days we have moments. And the guilt? Yes, today I felt guilt for the moments I lost it.
I’m bookmarking this page to read – for the next time I need a reminder.
A reminder that I am enough . . . . just how I am.
whatever you do, don’t feel guilty if you never remember to read this bookmarked post until you accidentally stumble across it. That’s what I end up doing. Keep on keeping on!
The honesty and openness of this post came at a critical point for me. I’m really struggling and needed every word of that. Your putting this out for the world to see has helped me through another day and probably many more. Thank you so so much.
You don’t know how much I needed to read this today. The past few weeks have been rough, overwhelming, and trying. I have felt just here, just going through the motions and feeling so bad for snapping at my little girls for things they don’t mean to do but because where I am at emotionally I take the wrong way. I have set super high expectations that I haven’t been able to reach and have just been so sad and lonely.
This article was a good reminder, and as you put it this is my, “It’s okay, your okay.” Thank you for reminding me that I don’t have to be perfect, I don’t have to be that super mom that I always thing I have to be because if I am not I will some how screw up my children for the rest of their lives…but I won’t. It is okay.
Thank you for reminding me that I am not alone.
Thank you for reminding me to breathe.
Thank you so very much.
TIME OUT FOR MOMMY! Realizing that when the kids lost it, I was overwhelmed, and that I could give myself the time out..got me through those days you describe. My kids are wonderful grown ups now, and, yes, I miss even those days….but I still insist on time outs for myself.
Thank you. I feel like this every day. Not wanting to talk to anyone because all that will come out will be negativity – and no one wants to hear that, right?! You have hit the nail right on the head for me.
I have no words except thank you. I really needed to read this. You are the light at the end of this frustrating dark tunnel!
Thank u so much for posting this =)
Thank you for this post, it made me feel much better! I have had days of feeling worthless, thinking I am the worst mother in the world…it all gets too much sometimes, but know this i ADORE and LOVE my sons so much….i would NEVER ever change this life EVER! Thank you!
What an inspiration !!!
Thanks you so much for being real! I have had several days like this this week and am holding on to the fact that it is Friday! Life is real and sometimes it is hard to admit that so are we. Thanks again for the reminder that it is okay!
Oh my! How did you get into my head?! The guilt over leaving toys out under the snow? The not taking to Disney or many trips at all? The food, toxins, languages? Have non stellar scholars? THANK-YOU!!
I’m getting old for that sort of day now… it’s the sort of day that happens when they’re small and far more demanding, when you’re a mum to teens + the supermum bit is out of fashion and you get a bit more time to get perspective! But I remember how much it cheered me to see other kids bicker, sometimes I felt only mine seemed to hate each other for a lot of the time. I think we need to let go a little too. When we take them to the playground we need to interact with other mums and sound a bit more sypathetic to each other instead of boasting about how wonderful our kids are. Being a Mum is a bloody lonely business for a lot of the time.
I don’t usually leave comments but felt I had to after reading this. It was so beautifully well written and resonated so strongly with me. Thanks for putting it out there!
Thank you for your words. I was good until the end then I started crying.
Thank you for your words. So much truth! We have to be able to let go of expectations, be true to ourselves, and take care of ourselves, before and while we are tending to our children and families.
I just want to say: Thank you! I really needed to hear this today!
This article made me cry … because I’m having one of those days … Thank you for the lift … I pray that mothers everywhere see this and realize … we are moms and we aren’t perfect but we love our children with every ounce of our beings and sometimes we have to give ourselves a break and your words came thru loud and clear to me today … I can fall down for a bit … just don’t give up … gotta brush myself off and get up and keep going … and pray always … because God WILL help us make it … always! Thanks again.
I felt like I was reading my own feelings. Beautifully written.
I’ve been having a very bad week, and this article just made it better. 🙂
Thank you very much for this frank blog!
Thanks for sharing your thoughts. I can’t tell you how many times I have apologized to my kids for being grumpy or getting mad without truly listening but the one good thing that has come from it, they’ve learned to apologize for being grumpy or mad as well. So there is a life lesson in being grumpy too!!!
Thank you so much for this post. I feel like this days are happening to me more and more often and I do blme myself. My husband never understood and I honestly thought there was something wrong with me for being so inadequate. Now I know its ok, im not alone and it gives me strength. Thanks
Thank you for this. It is true and really hit the mark for me. Being a SAHM (stay at home mom) sometimes makes me crazy, sad, overwhelmed, frustrated, sad, angry, resentful, and bored. All I want to do is play with my kids one day, then the next I just want to wash the floor but can’t because I HAVE to play. I watch ‘working’ people chat and get coffee together……..I have my 3 yr old wanting to lick a car, jump in a puddle, or whatever. I know it’s hard, but it’s also rewarding. Sometimes we need to pat another mom on the back, say it’ll be ok, and let them know they aren’t alone.
I have an Overwhelmed breakdown almost monthly! Ha! Somebody told me recently that their mother was saying how sorry she felt for our generation of mothers because we have SO MUCH information telling us what we should do and shouldn’t do that we are ALWAYS feeling like we are screwing our kids’ lives up forever. She was saying how “in her day” there weren’t any books, or blogs… you just went by your own judgement and instinct.
Very true and really makes you step back and try to figure out what your values/ideas/feelings are about how you should raise your own children and what you feel is right.
I was just thinking the same thing…my mom raised eight kids and she never experienced the guilt, shame, and overwhelming expectations of herself that plague mothers today. I think its great to acknowledge all of that, but why not go one step further and give yourself permission to throw off all those unrealistic expectations? If that’s what’s causing you stress and anxiety, then there’s something wrong with society for making us feel like we have to measure up in ways that never even occurred to mothers a generation ago. If the burden is too heavy, don’t just get up, wipe your tears, pick it up and keep trying…why not throw the burden off your shoulders altogether and walk away head held high!
I was just having one if those days where I could have stood in my closet and screamed when I reached out of a friend who admitted she was having the same sort of morning and sent me your post. Thank you. Thank you thank you thank you for saying what I was feeling and making me feel like I’m not crazy or the only woman who feels this way. That’s all I needed. Exactly what I needed…
Thank you so much for reminding us moms that it is okay to be overwhelmed. No matter who else I’m able to talk to when the times are tough, no one seems to understand that frustration with your children and exhaustion with everything, as another mom that’s in the trenches with you. Thank you again and please know that your writing makes such a difference in my life!
I deal with feeling like a horrible mother all the time. My therapist suggested that I remind myself every night of one thing I did that day that made me a good mom. If nothing else, remind myself that I tried. Sometimes that’s all we can do is try. If you apologized for being crabby to them, you tried to make it better. It has helped me a lot. Hope it helps someone else.
Oh my word. Thank you, from the bottom of my heart, for this. I have been feeling this way more and more recently. I could have written this because it’s exactly where I’m at. Only it’s been more than an hour, or a day. It’s been on going. I needed to see that someone else is feeling this way too. I am a fairly confident woman and hate struggling with the feelings of inadequacy and discontentment. It adds to my guilt. Not fun. Anyhow…I ramble. Thank you. I reply to this as I wipe tears from my eyes of understanding and maybe some painful relief.
There’s a VERY good movie out, that tells us this very truth. It’s fun, fast-paced, and oh, so very real….it’s called “Mom’s Night Out”. Watch it! It’s wonderful!
Thank you! This some up my last week, now I don’t feel so lost as a mom
This was a fantastic read! Exactly how I feel more often than not. I am not one of those moms who constantly posts sappy FB statuses about how wonderful, bright & sunshiny motherhood is because it doesn’t seem real to me. But that’s just me. I love my kids so much, but I have 2 boys…well 3 if you count my husband & it is NOT all sunshine, rainbows & glitter…not even close lol! Thanks again for this…it’s refreshing to read something real 🙂
For the real and honest moms who feel this way……we need each other!!! Been a mom for 27 yrs 27-5 yrs old….still feel guilty that the curtains don’t match the bedding…Big Hugs to ALL moms!!!!
Beautiful Beautiful Beautiful article. Thoughtful…respectful and authentic.
Although I agree that we should be more real and talk about this, I find myself retreating more and more into that lonely place. It seems that even when I do open up about those hard days, I’m either met with uncomfortable silence or dismissing comments. I think this is a post every mother should read, but it’s also a post that everyone who loves a mother should read. It’s not just social media putting the pressure on us, it’s our own mothers, husbands, mothers-in-law, other relatives, friends with kids, friends without kids, the person at the grocery store, the crabby old couple at the diner, and countless others in our everyday lives. It really makes me wonder if parenting is really harder these days, or if we are finally ready to NOT accept the pressure and judgment we receive as parents. Anyway, a long-winded comment to really just say great article and thank you for sharing something that is so hard for most of us to share!
Thank you so much! This was perfect. I love reading how my crazy sometimes unproductive days are just fine. We just started homeschooling this year and I don’t have lots of support from family and I greatly appreciate words of wisdom from moms that have kept a realistic perspective and manage to find the joy in motherhood. No matter what our responsibilities, motherhood is hard and it’s nice to read blogs of encouragement.
Oh Rachel! I sat in my van and left trails of tears (and, let’s be honest, snot) on my amazing hubs as I bawled and bawled this very thing! Thank you for your honesty, hugs from one Rachel to another <3
Being a mom is the best, hardest job there is! I’ve been a mom for 27 yrs now! While recently watching my daughter being a mom to my granddaughter, and my younger daughter being a mom to her baby boy, I realized that I didn’t do as bad of a job as I thought! By loving your kids unconditionally and introducing them to a God that loves them unconditionally, you are giving them everything they need to succeed in life! Everything else, the things we think we fail at everyday, doesn’t really matter in the long run! Just love them and be there for them!
Great blog. I wish more women would realize that just because you find yourself screaming in the closet every once and a while doesn’t mean you not a really awesome mom. It’s the fact that you do that is what makes you a really awesome mom.
this is beautiful. thank you for your honesty!
Now I feel better about being late for preschool thanksgiving feast, looking terrible, & being late to drop off the carrots because I missed a memo. Thanks for saving my day.
When I first saw this article, I figured that it didn’t apply to me. I’m a wife with no children, and two unsuccessful pregnancies that basically haunt me in some form or another every single day. I don’t know what it’s like to have kids and feel guilty and overwhelmed by the things I’m doing or not doing for them, but I know what it feels like to see other moms and feel guilty for not being ready to trya third time because I couldn’t face another miscarriage, or to be overwhelmed with emotions caused by shattered dreams, even on the better days. There are times when I feel like I only share the happy stuff on my blog & social media profiles, but when I do try and be a little bit more real, someone says I shouldn’t do that. I’m really not sure where the line should be drawn between publically-acceptable and too-personal-for-the-internet, but when I read articles like yours, I realize that I benefit greatly from reading about the trials of others. As humans, brothers & sisters, we are meant to share; we have a God who listens to us when we speak to Him, but we also need the comfort of an arm in the flesh. After reading this, I don’t want to be afraid to be myself anymore. Thank you for sharing your struggles and your joys, Rachel. God bless.
Beautiful, true words from a heart that has tasted of the grace of the Lord Jesus Christ. May you and we all continue to feel and believe His grace is sufficient for our every need, and may our kids receive that same grace and blessing from the Lord God Almighty!
So it seems to me that Rachel, like millions of moms, has come back to the reality that life is impossible to conduct by committee–the committee of social media. Don’t forget that all that screen time and all your “efforts” are being observed by your children. They learn how to live by living with us. What we have taught them up until this morning is a twisted-pressurized-always running way of being. As my hero, Anthony de
Mello, said, “Don’t be a monkey! The world twists your tail and you’re “up”! Twist it again and you’re “down”.” All the nameless, faceless people in the universe can’t tell you how to connect with YOUR child. Inquire within yourself about that–and among the real people who know you. Pull the plug! I really mean it. Can you imagine that? I’m the mom of two beautiful people in their mid-30’s. They are not perfect and I’m so glad. But they are wonderful. They are my desert island people.
I really needed to read this today as today was one of those days! Thank you!
Thank you. Thank you for being real, and honest, and for speaking the words that every person needs to hear. You just said what I needed to hear, but also what I always try to tell myself. I’m glad you reminded me again. Thank you!
Rachael, I came upon your above video on fb, and I watched and listened. I think you are good person, and probably a great person and Mom, etc. But I personally found so much “not right” with the video, your post, and frankly your self-centered view. Suffice to say, I listened to your video post for roughly 2:30 minutes, and not once heard the word “child”, “Son”, “daughter”, or even “kids”. Aren’t they after all, why Motherhood matters? I think when you, me (married father of three), and everyone signs up to become a parent, the terms of the deal are pretty much a given. It’s about them and not us. Thanks for listening.
Thank you, Dwight, for your comment.
I could not agree more about it being a time of giving, giving, giving…and it’s something that I am passionate about rallying moms who feel overwhelmed with motherhood at times. I love my children like crazy and think that what we get to do as moms (or dads) makes a huge life difference. I have never called someone who values others and gives words that are designed to encourage others self-centered. That came across as such a surprise and, needless, to say, if you knew me in real life you would see that this is the opposite of what I am as a person. I think one of the biggest struggles that others face in today’s world is the judgment of other people and their motives and my heart is always to look beyond and to love and not place labels placed on each other.
I hope that you have the most wonderful of day.
Rachel, this is a fantastic post. It is understandable why the original one went viral. I’m so grateful for coming across your blog this morning. I’ve already read many of your posts.
I just posted about the expectations we place on ourselves when entertaining during the holidays.
Thank you so much Cindi.
I truly appreciate your kind words.
I always wonder what Mums did before the internet, and before they had so many people to share things with. I think the Mums of our past deserve a lot of credit, they coped without half of what Mums today have.
I always love to see another Rachel, “just-with-an-E” ^_^
I saw your post shared on facebook, and wanted to take a look to see which direction you went after starting with, “Mum’s having a bad day…”. I’m always perplexed to see mothers telling other mothers that they feel just as down, depressed, defeated (and any other d-word you can think of 😉 ) as anyone, so that makes it normal and okay. Do you really want to be told that it’s okay? Do you really want to hear that standing in your closet, screaming, is a normal ‘mum thing’? Please, I beseech you, as a mother with obvious impact on thousands of women’s lives (not to mention the daughters of all those said women), PLEASE, re-think the message you’re sending here.
There are mums who don’t have those days. There are mums who love every second, and look forward to tomorrow simply because it will be even better than today. Because we don’t cry over spilled milk. We laugh, and have fun cleaning it up together with the ‘spiller’. We see a tantrum coming on, and we realise there’s a great opportunity coming to train our child in the way they should go. We spend all day with our kids, and our sleep is sweet at night.
Yes, I’m one of those mums. Nope – before you jump to it – my life is probably a lot worse off than yours, in a myriad of ways, and I don’t even know you. I just know my life; it’s very different to the usual. But it’s awesome. I’m not sure why he would, but it’s like God gave me the cheat sheet to continual joy, regardless of circumstances, and I just like telling others about it, so they can see the answers, too ^_^ It’s all in his word, the Holy Bible. It just takes reading, and asking him questions. I’m about the dumbest mum out there – really, it’s just a fact – and he gives me help to understand the answers! I serve the real, living God. He’s good. And that is why I.Am.So.Blessed. Nothing to do with Disney Land. Or anything of the sort. I’m blessed with the grace of God. I pray you will be, too, dear mother.
Thank you – your article tells it like it is!! I have two children aged 7 and 4, and since becoming a mother I feel strongly that ideally we would be well supported in a generational system of care, ie grandparents helping out with grandchildren, children helping out with parents and so on. I don’t mean living in the same residence (that would certainly not work for us…!!!), but being nearby, and offering understanding and non-judgemental support. Having stated that however, finding that kind of support from my own parents has been impossible, as they are unfortunately very judgemental and critical, even though I remember them as constantly stressed when I was a child.
Also, I feel burdened by my partner and father of my children: he has a definite and idealised view of what a mother should be, say and do – being stressed and exhausted and short tempered at times as I can be, only leads to him describing me as “struggling” and “not consistently good at being a mum.” I think the reality of motherhood, or fatherhood if the father has taken on the main role of parenting and care of the home and family, is idealised in our society by sitcoms, and how we should be in a perfect world, without recognising reality just isn’t so.
So, give me the support I need to do the best I can, not to be just running on empty trying to do it all and then being judged for my imperfections. Oh, and by the way, I am more than just a Mum, and I also deserve to be cared for and have the time to care for myself. My children and home are of the utmost and loved importance, but the rest of my life and interests aside from that should not be swallowed whole by it all.
I too have stood and screamed and cried with big tears running down my face. And i have felt able to share this with other mums. Its amazing the response i got, messages of support, others stopping me to chat. We are not alone. There is a reason motherhood is described as the hardest job in the world, because it is. My Granny used to say if you’re not exhausted you’re not doing it right! Its easy to share the good. Thank you for sharing your bad day.
I so needed this today… between a sleepless teething 7 month old, a tantruming 2 year old, a distracted 6 year old and a snarky 9 year old, I am completely wiped. I feel like I have nothing left in reserves today. My husband has been working lots and I’m feeling completely overwhelmed… thank you for telling me that these days are okay, that I’ll get through them. Some seasons of life seem never-ending. I’d be happy if baby would just start sleeping through the night! At least then I’d be well rested enough to deal with the rest of it!
Thanks so much for sharing this!
As a mother of three grown children, please let me give you Moms currently in the battle a little advice. There will always be people who judge you as a mother, wife and woman. Unfortunately the people who judge (or PWJ for short) now have multiple forums to use as weapons, I.e., Pintrest, blogs, etc. The women who used to stand at the bus stop bragging on themselves and their magnificent offspring can now preach it to the world. Let me let you in a little secret. The women who criticizes a working mother is jealous because her husband works 80 hours a week and she sees your husband pitching in to help. The woman who criticizes another mother because she doesn’t do enough at her child’s school or PTA is deflecting her feelings because her husband drinks a case of beer and passes out every night. Defection is what humans do to make sure that others don’t peek behind the curtain. Once you begin the realize this fact, you feel free to ignore the PWJ.
Also, please do the world a favor. Stop treating your children as if they are the second coming of God. When they grow up, they are going to join the world and the world will not feel the same about your fabulous Offspring as you do. Teach them the skills to be caring and responsible human beings. The rest of us have to deal with them.
Yes- my children are 42, 40 and 35. I have gone through all of this , and have come out on the other end with a better understanding of me. I was never a perfect Mother, but I always did the best I could at the time. That is all they all remember- we had fun, laughed a lot, and loved each other. To all you Moms reading this- you are reading this and responding because you care- there are no report cards for parenting until it is all well past. Enjoy it, smile and vent- all the others will be borne out for the hypocrites they are.
Thank you for being real and sharing.
I totally agree and feel that often this idea of supermom doing everything perfectly is absolutely fictional!
I hope if encourages a lot of moms and will be sharing!
Thank you so much for sharing this! I started calling Facebook, Bragbook a while back because you just don’t ever see REAL posts. Everyone is constantly posting “bragging” about all the awesome stuff they have or do or achieve. Satan is doing an excellent job in getting everyone to build up the pride in themselves and their family and breaking down those that don’t have much or achieve much. FB bragging is disguised as “I only post this for family and friends I can’t get in touch with much.” or something to that effect. We are kidding ourselves though. I have great pride in my kids and I am grateful for all I have but the only thing I should be bragging on is my salvation. I broke down in anger the other night… anger is a big issue for me and the stress of singlemomdom is so great, that sometimes the smallest thing makes me snap. I am grateful for God and I am grateful for women like you that express the same frustrations I feel and wonder… “Am I the only one?” I pray blessings all over you. Hugs ~ Kristin
I think knowing that one is not alone is such a blessing. Thank you for being real and for all of that. That matters to me.
Oh my goodness! This speaks into my life BIG time! Thank you for beinging real, so that the rest of mamas don’t feel alone in our moments of frustration.
Smile. Thank you so much Hilary.
Thank you. Just thank you. I am not alone. You helped me see this. sending love…
Allow me to be the first dad to comment about this: All of the above happens to me too, especially with my wife and I being full-time shift workers and each having the child alone for one half the day. Throwing a bone to dads out there would’ve been nice, but I still enjoyed and drew strength from your words.
Thank you Andrew for everything you do. I, and so many others, are so incredibly grateful for dads. I’ve been asked so often why I don’t write more about dads and the feelings that you have – and truthfully – I respect you all so much that I wouldn’t want to pretend to write how it feels to be a dad. There are so many sites written by dads that so eloquently articulate your journey. So I write to moms, never once intending to discount the power of dads ever. Please know that you bless the world tremendously and I am grateful.
Thank you. Today was one of those days. This #4 pregnancy is not easy. Im so tired and nauseated all the time. My poor husband is carrying the lions share and more as i sulk and fight the massive headache that wont go away. Even now hes listening for the wash as he catches up on work for tomorrow morning. And i quietly celebrate that the baby fell asleep before i could give her a bath because i would never have mustered up the strength to bathe her. I must find a way to thank him for caring for us when i just cant help him.
Oh my God! Literally crying right now! I feel censored anytime I’m overwhelmed by my kids. By life. I can’t “vent” about it without I told you comments, or why don’t you do this. I feel like a single parent almost always even though I’m married. It’s always mommy! A bit like Marsha! Marsha! Marsha! The stress from the house, the bills, school, attitudes, fights, being climbed on, sat on, me the only one to deal with our only daughter. I’ve continually said I can’t deal like this and am ignored by everyone because I’m mom. I should be able to deal with anything guilt. Thank you! Thank you! Thank you! Thank you! Everything I’ve felt is in this article!
Let me just say, this article is amazing. Probably one of the best things I’ve read. I feel like you know me Lol. I have four boys and this is exactly how I feel. Thank you so much for this.
Thank you thank you thank you! I so needed this. I have 3 and sometimes keep 2 more and there are days when my husband calls me at lunch and about the only thing I can say before bursting into tears are: Please Please Please don’t work late. I have worries that maybe I am not cut out for this at home mom business and days were I count down the remaining days in Summer Vacation. Just thank you for this.
What about fathers? This is a great article but where are the ones about men? The men that take their kids to school and daycare. The men that change diapers and give baths and keep the house clean. The men that cook dinner for the family.
Wow, I really needed to hear that today.It just never seems enough, and therefore I don’t feel enough. Not enough of a mom or wife, or of anything sometimes. I just have to step back and breathe and keep moving. I tell my kiddos I love them every time I see them and I know they love me, but you have days that are just full of missed opportunity it seems. I think this article puts things in perspective of a life not just these fleeting frustrating moments (days). Great article.
I’m not a mom but I loved your post for this,
“Because deep down we all know that there are moments where we just need to be told you’ll be okayand that you will get through and that you matter. Motherhood is not ever ever ever about perfection.”
If you replace the words “motherhood” with “life” it is a good and true reminder for every single one of us.
What if you’re like me and suffer depression and anxiety, and there are days I grab their arm too hard or shake them, or spank in anger. Or I say really mean or harsh things. I always regret it later and I do say I’m sorry, but will I and they still be ok?
A friend forwarded this to me. As a single dad (with no
“Mom” in the picture whatsoever) I also appreciate the words you provided. Please remember – as few and far between we may be – there are single dads that can also appreciate these words. Thanks again.
Thank you so much for your kind comment, Joe. I appreciate your words and kindness.
Thank you Rachel. I am at a different place in motherhood — on my second child getting ready to go to college in a month or so. But no matter how old our kids are, these are words all of us moms need to read. This morning I sent my husband a text — “I need you to help me with our daughter (the 18 year old). I am overwhelmed. I am going to break.”
Watching our newly adult children try to fly is so heart-wrenching. Will they choose rightly? Will they follow Jesus? Will they remember and hold onto the things that really matter? Will they ever want to come home again? When they visit their college friends/significant others’ homes and meet parents, do I fall short in their eyes?
And put all that on top of waiting to move an entire household (to include five horses, three cats and a dog and the other kids) to a new community with so many unknowns.
This mom is spent, so emotionally spent. So, again, thank you for this post. I needed it.
Wow. I really needed this right now. Beautifully written. Thank you!
Thank you, Kristen. 🙂
Thank you so much for this post! Would I possibly be about to post the link to my blog?? This really would resonate with my readers!!!
Thank you so much for writing this! I am the mother of five boys, 10 and under. I feel like it’s impossible to keep my house clean, and keep my sanity. I’m constantly frazzled. A lot of days it’s just overwhelming. I love the pure honesty in your writing, it’s so refreshing.
Those words mean much to me, Karen. Thank you.
Have courage young moms. Before you know it, they will be moms and dads themselves and your turn at parenting changed forever. You will learn the joy of grand=parenting. You will know that you did great … despite the day you almost drowned your 2 year-old. Despite the time your 4 year-old landed in hospital with burn wounds that could have been avoided. Despite the bad examples you set when you were left to raise them on your own. You will know that LOVE overcomes all and because of your LOVE for your precious child(ren) – you did great. And as a reward, you get to be called Granny! What an honour!
Thank you so much for such a kind and encouraging message. It has blessed me and I am sure many more.
Great post Rachel. I am totally sharing!
Great read. Wonderful (& honest) perspective in my opinion. I am a stay at home mom to 3 year old twins and feel much the same way most of the time. Thank you for your words….only wish it was a wee bit shorter as my kids make sure I never have enough time to read more than a few paragraphs.
I want to share this on Facebook… But I don’t want to because I don’t want anyone to know I’m not coping or keeping up… And I know that’s part of the problem.
I have no problem being open with other mums who I know are struggling, but my mother inlaw (who is lovely) is coming over tomorrow, my husband has gone to bed and I’m up because I’m looking at the house and freaking out at the prospect of her seeing my house WORSE than it was last week, and not better (because I told her I was working my way through a big clean up). Intellectually, I can read this article and totally agree with it. But I can’t let go of the fear… The fear of being judged.
That fear is indeed a fear. For a long time I hid in my own life – didn’t want anyone to know the struggles I felt and it was so isolating and challenging. Thank you, Rach (which is my nickname too), for sharing you with me. It’s not in perfection but in progress. May you find joy today.
You rock! SO well stated. You matter too!
I just want to say thank you. I found this site because I googled, “I feel like a failure as a mom,” and it took me here. I needed to read these blogs, I needed them because I have been feeling like a failure as a mom for a week now. Here’s the story, today is hard for me because it’s the 1st day in 2 years that I didn’t cart my almost 3 year old daughter to swim lessons. I made her dad take her because last week, she threw the most epic fit in front of everyone at her swim school because I didn’t take the right outfit to change her into after swim. She screamed at me, she stomped her feet, she slapped me in the face, pulled my hair, and most of all humiliated me among my peers. I was almost frozen with indecision of how to handle the situation. I tried to talk calmly to her, I took her to a more private area to try to diffuse the situation, I explained to her that she couldn’t go out naked and must wear what I took for her to change into, etc. After 10 minutes of holding it together and trying to calm her, I lost it and yelled at her in front of all the other parents, forced her to put on her clothes and shoes and dragged her out of the building kicking and screaming. She’s the one making a spectacle and all I can hear in my head is, “I FAILED!” I failed to keep it together, I failed to be the bigger person, I failed in the eyes of everyone there, I failed as a mom! I have apologized to my daughter for yelling at her, but I’ve beat myself up for it for a week. After the incident, I called my husband and I told him that I wasn’t taking her back to swim lessons, but he insisted that she go, so I turned the responsibility of that over to him. Thinking that it would be best for him to take her and for me to have a break from that, he took her this morning for the first time. Instead of feeling a release from the guilt of losing it with her, I feel even more like a failure because I let that situation beat me into giving up. I have another week before she has to go back for another lesson, so I am going to try to take these words I’ve read today to heart and tell myself that I can do it. I can do it, I can handle her, I can handle the judgement from the other “swim moms”, I can….I can….I can….. And I guess I should forgive myself too. Thanks again for helping me to see that it’s not the end of the world that I made a mistake and that I’m not alone. I will get back on the horse and try again.
So glad you found the site, Heather. You can do this. I believe in you.
Thank you for your words . I’ve been struggling with PPD and PPA since my son was born he’s now 7 months and I’ve come to realize I need real people in my life – people I can say on days like you described like motherhood is hard and some days I don’t wanna clock in – and have that person support me and be honest and real with me too because I know their days aren’t perfect either . I just don’t have the energy to fake the truth any more .. We have to be so ‘happy’ all the time and it gets to be too much to add being a perfect mom onto that! So thank you for speaking your truth because it resonated so much with me and I know I’m not alone but it’s hard when we don’t talk about these days and put up a front !
awesome blog..awesome piece…thank you for this reminder..this is AGAIN why i love your words.. thank you
And then there are the stay-at-home-dads like me. Not only at a stay-at-home-dad, but a dad with two Bachelor degrees, yet my wife, whom I love so very much, makes 2/3rds more of a salary than I ever could. So, we decided to keep it real and have one of us stay home for our daughter. Someone who would be there to take to and pick up from school. Someone who knows how clean and bandage and kiss better the owee on her knee from a tumble on her scooter. The dad who has signed up to be a “reader” to her class and to be The Science Guy when that part of the curriculum comes around. This, and more, while wrestling with osteo-something-or-other that has made my bones brittle, constant 24/7 pain etc… So, for all of us that think we aren’t enough… it’s time to stop in the middle of the day and watch a movie, relax with a sink full of dishes, undone vacuuming and so many other things. The point of it all is the children entrusted to our care, whom we love so very much, and to be there with them and for them when they are having the bad day. Be at Peace and Blissful.
Thank you for all you do, James. May you be blessed.
Thank you for being real and putting this out there. Just what I needed to hear. As a mom of 2yr old twins and a 9tr old and working life gets overwhelming. Twins add a whole new layer to parenting. Think I will print this as a reminder for those hard days.
A few weeks ago I posted a photo on my Facebook page. The photo was of my daughter’s room. It was a DISASTER. F5 tornado levels of disaster. Why? Because I kept telling her she had to clean it tomorrow and the next day and the next day, because I was too tired and stressed out to deal with it. Yup. (I’m that horrible mom that doesn’t have the chores/responsibility thing down to a T yet). I was surprised at how many of my friends just laughed or commented “been there!” It was a welcome relief from the horrid guilt I’d been heaping on myself.
Of course there were a few that had to make their passive-aggressive comments, and they bothered me. But they were far fewer than the “Thank heavens it’s not just me,” comments. I think being open and real about how we all have our sucktastic days can actually be a relief to other moms who think they are they worst parents in the world.
I think that so many moms feel like their suffering is their own. I remember the relief that I felt after talking to other mothers and realizing that I was, indeed, not alone. Thank you for this.
Thank you for this post. I to am feeling tired and sad and broken. I find other moms don’t want to talk about these times. Their lives seem to be all sunshine and rainbows and I am in my sadness alone. I find comfort in your words and this post brought me to tears. Its hard when you feel alone. I have no siblings and care for my two boys and husband and our aging parents. I am always let to take care of everyone and everything and it’s exhausting. I keep going though. Thank you for this and for making me feel less alone.
I love reading your posts mainly because you speak the truth. I am a mom of 4-21 yrs old;20 yrs old; and twins that are 16. My 20 yr old son just got out of jail for breaking into my house and ransaked it looking for money to buy drugs. Now he is in a mental health facility cause he is bipolar, depression, very bad anxiety, ocd, add. My bad days are everyday and im sure are affecting my other children and husband and i feel so guilty and question my every word, decision, and thoght. I am in a really awful place and cant quite shake it so your blogs give me hope that i can come out if this ok sometime sooner or later
Thankyou from the bottom of my heart! ❤️ I needed this today and I know many moms that need this!
You are very welcome, Erin.
This article is so annoying. You make no consideration for working mothers and the pressures they face. What is so difficult about leading your life, especially when the kids are in full time school? This is a 21st century pamperered middle class moan. I hate it. Get over yourself, pull up your socks and do the work that generations of women before you have done with no complaint.
I am a working mother, Melanie. and yesterday my van caught on fire, was destroyed, and my kids escaped. And this morning, I come on here to read your comment filled with hate, and I want to instead wish you the best. And kindness. Because you never know who the other person is on the other screen and what their story is. May you have a blessed day and learn grace instead of anger.
Here’s my response -> http://www.facebook.com/findingjoyblog/photos/a.207974645908511.50602.194522453920397/1496164377089525/?type=3&theater
Oh yes, one other thing, before you assume more.
I’m a divorced mom too. Who found much debt. So I work 80 hours a week and provide for my kids and my kids go to school. So before you think that I “FIT” in your parameters, perhaps you should step back. And you should never call another individual “annoying” for anything. Because that? That is the problem with today’s culture – judging, and not grace. So, Melanie, once again to you – thank you for all you do for your family. For how you love and fight and give. Because in the end – that is what ALL moms do. There’s no scale for love.
Melanie, you obviously don’t follow Rachel or you would know she is a single hard working mother who also is an encourager of other women. She lifts other women up instead of cattily trying to test them down. You could learn a great deal from her. Get off your judgemental working mother horse and realize how much easier it is to be supportive and kind. What will your kids learn from your actions?
I want to take a moment to thank you from the bottom of my heart for sharing this. I came across it at a moment where I needed to know it was ok to breathe and give myself grace. Sometimes in a world where we are surrounded by people, it really can feel like we are alone. Thank you for being human and admitting to it :).
I’m glad to know I’m not alone, regardless of how it feels so much of the time. Real life for me is spent at home with my baby while my wonderful husband is at work. God has blessed us beyond measure that I can stay home, and I am so very grateful. I also have ppd and ocd, feel quite lonely every day, feel ashamed on some days when I feel depressed and sad and therefore am lazy, sometimes feel so awful that other moms have it together, and I want to quit and not exist for a while to get away from it. I have a great therapist, and my husband, mom, and close friends are very supportive and helpful when I talk with them, which is often. I recognize that my situation could be far worse and also that it could be far better, but each of us is to live our own life, which means that comparing is ultimately and completely useless. We each still have feelings and hardship and human limitations regardless of how “good” or “bad” we have it. The point of being here on earth together is simply to do what we can in our lives and help each other-to say Hey, I value and validate your personal life experience, how can I help? And we probably need to say that to ourselves first and foremost.
Thanks for your endeavors and choosing to do what you do. Our impact for good on others has a limitless potential-I gained from reading and also from writing this response 🙂 To all-You are Not alone.