July 22, 2013

For When Motherhood is Kicking your Ass


This is a letter to the mom who feels weary and burdened and broken today.

For the mom who went to bed last night promising herself she'd have more joy and patience and energy today but doesn't.

This is a letter to the mom who's constantly trying to find the balance between work and home, healthy and convenient, clean and clean enough.

To the mom who sometimes silently fears that she's made a huge mistake.  That she's in over her head.  That maybe she can't do this mommy thing.

To the mom who feels like everyone is keeping it together except her. Who scrolls through her facebook feed feeling inadequate because everyone else seems to have a picture perfect life and you can hardly manage to keep up on the laundry.

To the mom who knows that her children are blessings but just doesn't feel it lately. 

To the mom who fears she's failing at the thing she most wants to succeed at. This is what I want you to know today...



Friend, know that you aren't alone. You so aren't alone. The more I tear down the walls between myself and the women I know, as we probe deeper into each others lives and bare our own souls and find community in our own brokenness, the more I learn that we are all weary and weak and struggling sometimes. You are not alone.

Motherhood is hard. It is reasonable and rational to feel overwhelmed by the huge task set before you. Simplify. Prioritize. Choose to be present when it's easier to get lost into the computer screen. Be good to yourself. Ask God for strength and patience. Cry a little.

Please stop comparing. You and your children each possess a unique set of skills and challenges, joys, strengths and fears. You aren't your mom or your sister or your best friend or your favourite blogger. And nobody is asking you to be. So stop comparing and dig in to what it means to be fully you.

Brokenness is the beginning of grace, and boy are our kids going to need to know how to extend and receive grace. The grace of God, the grace to navigate relationships and life and love, the grace to forgive us one day for all the mistakes we will make. We learn about grace together, big knees and little knees knelt together on cheerio laden floors.

Survival mode is okay. You aren't planning any paper bag crafts or cooking a four star meal, you are just making it through until bed time. Maybe tomorrow will be easier, maybe it won't. Survival mode is okay.

It's okay to need help. Whether it's from friends or family or a Molly Maid or ordering takeout or making an appointment with your family doctor. We weren't designed to be independent and perfect and alone. It's okay to need help.

And finally, let's commit to remember these days. I am so thankful for women in my life who remember what it was like to have little people at their feet needing them all day and are willing and able to stand in the gap and help me and encourage me through this season of motherhood. Commit to remember, so that one day you can hold a friend's baby while she showers alone.

Keep going, mama bear. You can do this. 

116 comments:

  1. Thank you. I needed this right.this.minute.

    ReplyDelete
  2. Amen! Thank you for sharing what I needed to hear today...and just about every day!

    ReplyDelete
  3. I need this today. Honestly, I burst into tears halfway through. I've been a mom for 18 years and it still kicks my ass at times.
    Thank you. Thank you so much.

    ReplyDelete
  4. Thank you I so needed this today. I am so overwhelmed and upset today, the last few days to be honest it's nice to have it verbalized that I am not the only one.

    ReplyDelete
  5. I was just going to say the same thing Ani. I've been a mom for 18 years and still have days the tears come and I'm totally defeated by the time I go to bed. Thank you Kelly for reminding me I'm not alone, in fact it seems we are in good company!

    ReplyDelete
  6. its funny how you see these things exactly when you need to. :) so thank you! :)

    ReplyDelete
  7. This is a beautiful post. I would so like to believe that most of the things you wrote about apply to all humans, not just moms. Thank you for keeping it real. Wow, I'm going to re-read this post and then bookmark it.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Rest assured, this applies to all people. My domestic partner is a single father with full custody, so trust me, it's not just moms.

      Delete
  8. Thank you ... and happy belated birthday!

    Cheryl

    ReplyDelete
  9. Thank you. I'm not a mother right not, but life is still kicking my ass, and I find myself doing the opposite of your advice more and more. I think it's time for me to slow down and try the day again with a smile. Thanks again.

    ReplyDelete
  10. I, too, needed this today. I am aso glad God's grace is sufficient.

    ReplyDelete
  11. How did you know I needed to read this today? Thank you so very much.

    ReplyDelete
  12. There are a lot of us who needed this today! Me, too. Thank you.

    ReplyDelete
  13. I wish someone would have said that to me so many years ago. Thank you for putting it into words and letting it go to those who need it.

    ReplyDelete
  14. This is wonderful. Thank you!

    ReplyDelete
  15. What a great post, thank you so much for sharing!

    ReplyDelete
  16. Today, my kids DESTROYED their bedrooms. This post was good timing.

    ReplyDelete
  17. I too needed this today. We moved a couple weeks ago, and the house is still full of boxes, and the kids are going crazy and keep saying they want to go back to our old house, and money is tight, and I am just. so. tired. Thank you for reminding me that survival mode is okay!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. The day you wrote this, Rachel, I was giving birth. Now, less than a month later I'm feeling hopelessly overwhelmed as I try to pack so we can move next month, take care of my baby and toddlers, and help my hubby with his business. I'm not getting it done. The house is a wreck. The packing is lacking, and I'm frazzled. Don't we all need grace?!

      Delete
  18. Thank you...needed this right now. Having a rough day and Google searching local daycares because I am not sure how much longer I can hold onto my sanity.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Been there!!!! Good luck, mama! A Mother's Heart is a wonderful book.

      Delete
  19. Another thank you, I needed this today!

    ReplyDelete
  20. I so very much needed this right now as I sit at work near tears just ready to pick my kids up from daycare and be done for the day. Life is crazy. Thank you.

    ReplyDelete
  21. I am not a Mom...not a bio mom, but I just retired from teaching. I have my 88 yr old mom with me. I never planned to be an old maid schoolteacher caring for her widowed mother, but here I am. I love your sentiments...because they are SO adaptable to my situation. I'll be back...and if anyone out there knows of a "spot" for parent caregivers, please post.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. This website helps me a whole bunch. God bless and good luck!!


      http://www.caring.com/

      Delete
  22. my babies are 12 and 14 years, not months!.....I still need this!

    ReplyDelete
  23. I also needed this today and will probably need it every other day it seems. Thank you!

    ReplyDelete
  24. Wow...so needed this! Thank you for being willing to share this to bless so many of us moms out there that are feeling the same way!

    ReplyDelete
  25. Yay! Thanks for posting this! Today, I am happy that at least the kids ate dinner - even if it was pizza pops. Tomorrow will be different and hopefully better but if not, we will survive. Thanks.

    ReplyDelete
  26. If I didn't know better I would have thought you spent the day at my house! I so needed to read this today. It is wonderful to know that even when you feel like you are the only one that feels this way, there are so many others just like you. Big hug and prayers to each of you! :)

    ReplyDelete
  27. You are great, Kelly! I've been having a rough few weeks with my 3 & almost 6-year-old. Keeps things in perspective! And I love that you used the word "ass." Because sometimes there's no other way to put it . . . and that's just all there is to say! Thanks!

    ReplyDelete
  28. A Simple Thank You, for saying just what I needed today!!!... Again!

    ReplyDelete
  29. Motherhood is kicking my ass. And knocking me on the floor. And stealing my lunch money.
    Thanks for posting this. It helps to know I'm not alone. :)

    ReplyDelete
  30. So very awesome and needed today thank you, you are a blessing!

    ReplyDelete
  31. Thank you!

    I am a mom to a five year old, a 10mo.th old, and a 4 month old puppy... Motherhood kicked my ass today. But this letter made me have a sense of belonging and comfort on a crappy day. So now i will tuck my weary head into bed and try again tomorrow, and maybe motherhood will only nudge me into a locker tomorrow

    ReplyDelete
  32. thank you...so needed this!:)

    ReplyDelete
  33. Perspective...! Also thankful for Grandma taking the kids overnight, giving hubby and I a chance to chill...! This past week kids asked for cereal at about 5:30 or so, I said "Yes!" and told them to eat up and enjoy, that was dinner! You just gotta let go sometimes and go with the flow... they will survive. Two days later they had pork chops, mashed cauliflower and string beans, next day, they ate at Grandma's (think they got cereal again...?!). I was looking at some food post... thinking how cool to have these home-cooked hot meals during the week... feeling like these bloggin' crockin' mommas had it all together. Not so... well maybe, but nonetheless I am not them... but I am who God chose me to be... the mother of this family... live for Him and not them!! So freeing!

    ReplyDelete
  34. Thank you. So sweet and so true. I just received an internet hug from that post! ;)

    ReplyDelete
  35. Brilliant!
    I've been married for more than 30 years and in that time I raised three sons. In my time I endured Post Natal Depression and all that this entailed. In that time, my husband and I went through some troubling times. But we came through.
    I look back at those 30 plus years and I marvel at where the time went. I remember the good times so much more clearly than the bad. I can feel the warmth of the joy and the sun on my face. And I marvel.
    My sons are wonderful young men and are doing really well. One of them has four little girls of his own and they are just fabulous.
    Life is tough, but it is how we choose to live that life that shows our mettle. Everyday, be grateful for the small things that make you laugh and love, and learn from the stuff that makes you go "hmmmmmmm".
    Cheers

    ReplyDelete
  36. Thank you so much much for choosing to write this today! I really needed this. Mother of 2 little girls, who are 5 and 7, going on 15 and 17.... Work full time.... life gets crazy!

    What an adventure :)

    Salut!!!
    Jessica

    ReplyDelete
  37. You have no idea how much I needed this today!

    ReplyDelete
  38. Thank you! I needed to read this today. A perfect post to start my morning. :)

    ReplyDelete
  39. THe truth is magical, it makes us all human on this walk together.

    ReplyDelete
  40. I love your blog because it is SO REAL.
    Thank you for this.
    Francesca, from Italy

    ReplyDelete
  41. Thank you sweet lady. For your words reminding me that I am enough .
    Now following!

    ReplyDelete
  42. I so needed this for this week (and last week). And really, more than just those times. It made me cry, but in a way that was good and theraputic, I think. THANK YOU for writing this. I cannot thank you enough.

    ReplyDelete
  43. Good post, just can't understand how you can swear in your title and then talk about God. So disappointed to see it!

    ReplyDelete
  44. I'm sorry for anonymous above's statement to you. Thank you for encouraging every mothers heart today & im sorry she/he felt the need to hide behind anonymity & criticize you for what you say in your own space & question your talking About God. I don't remember the verse in the Bible that said not to refer to your rear end as an ass. Hugs to you. Hugs hugs hugs hugs a billion times over, bc my ass was grass yesterday & I am thankful that He is great when I am weak & is full of grace when I am graceless. Amen, sweet sister. Amen!!!

    ReplyDelete
  45. Tammy Ferreira-HenriquezJuly 23, 2013 at 1:57 PM

    Awesome Post and so true. These last two weeks for me have been hard and I so needed to hear this. Thank you.

    ReplyDelete
  46. I am so glad you posted this today! I appreciate your ministry towards moms. I needed to hear this today.

    ReplyDelete
  47. This was well-timed. Thank you. :)

    ReplyDelete
  48. This comment has been removed by the author.

    ReplyDelete
  49. Thank you so much.. I just had a moment with my youngest daughter and asked God for some help and I found this. It is like a hug from a friend. again thank you.

    ReplyDelete
  50. Oh. My. Thank you so much.

    ReplyDelete
  51. Thank you, thank you, thank you!!! :-)

    ReplyDelete
  52. So on time! Thank you for this post and the nice words! I really needed to hear this!

    ReplyDelete
  53. Thank you so much for this. Life is very hard for me at the moment and I struggle on every day with the hope the next day is better. Sometimes it is and sometimes worse. I adore my kids and I am ever thankful for my children but some days are an up hill struggle. My mum died just after my middle child was born, I have no support (other than my husband, and he's not always helpful!) and your words were very gratefully received as I cope with another tough day. x

    ReplyDelete
  54. Totally needed this. Thank you!

    ReplyDelete
  55. I am so happy that I stumbled upon your blog today, I REALLY NEEDED TO READ THIS!!!

    ReplyDelete
  56. My children are grown now and have left the roost so this does not apply (I feel) to my life as it is today. But I can remember those times and feelings very well...

    Your post today brought tears to my eyes as I read it, I wanted to thank you for it, for the support and validation.

    All us mothers, aunties, sisters and women in general need the love, support and connection of other women in our lives.

    The validation from those we love is a very important support to us in times of need, and all our needs are very different from each other but in the end we all need love. Thank you

    ReplyDelete
  57. Thanks for this post. It reminded me a lot of this video clip that I watch when I get feeling discouraged about being a mother.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WbYLKVgwztY

    Motherhood really is a partnership with God, and He will help us. It's okay to have a hard time and feel like it's just not worth it right now. Because in the long run it is as God makes us strong enough.

    ReplyDelete
  58. I have an 11 year old up past her bed time, scrambling to finish her book report that is due tomorrow. A 10 year old in her bed, who is supposed to be reading the very long book that must be reported on next week. A 5 year old in his bed, who I really hope is asleep. It is hard to wake up for kindergarten! And a 14 month old, who is going through a growth spurt, at my breast, as I read this. Thank you for reminding me that survival mode is ok!!

    ReplyDelete
  59. Thank-you, Kelly. I really needed this today. My little guy's been sick and crabby and sad and clingy all week and I'm going crazy. I can't get anything done and the less I get done the less I feel like doing and it's not been a fun week.....thanks for the post.

    ReplyDelete
  60. Also: "ass" is not a swear word, no matter what anonymous up there says.

    ReplyDelete
  61. kelly, THANK YOU for posting this. i am glad to read it and also glad to see (from the comments also) that i am not alone. this week has been a week in which everyday i have felt like "maybe tomorrow i will be better and have more energy and more patience and more WHATEVER it is i need to make it through" it's just a bad week i guess. anyway, i could've written all those things you wrote at the beginning and i was reading it all while crying. so just thank you for sharing the reality of it all. it has saved my day... <3

    ReplyDelete
  62. Oh my dear, that is just beautiful. I have tears in my eyes remembering how I struggled to be perfect, and to do it alone. I wish someone had told me then what you just told us now. God bless.

    ReplyDelete
  63. I really needed this today. I have been following you for awhile and hadn't been on your site. I always think if she can have so many kids why do I get stressed over one? Why do I feel bad for not wanting more but my husband does? I left facebbok for awhile because it.made me depressed. I have to remember to let go and let god. you touched my heart today. thank you

    ReplyDelete
  64. I love this because you totally wrote this to me today. I am in survival mode and hate that because I want to be such a purposful mother and I feel like I just don't have the energy. I read in my Jesus Calling devo book the other day that God gives us grace but only enough for one day. I have to remember that each day is new and to focus on that day only. It makes is a little easier sometimes and I only have 2 kids.

    ReplyDelete
  65. Thanks for this! I've been feeling a little defeated lately and this post really helped! I'm a new follower. Love your blog! Follow me here...http://lifeontaylorhill.blogspot.com/

    ReplyDelete
  66. T.H.A.N.K. Y.O.U! These were exactly the words I needed to read today. You are a blessing! :)

    ReplyDelete
  67. Love this (and your blog, btw, which I've been following for a few months now...I am so glad to now know how to wash my pillows!! Now if I can just find the time to do it...) An older mom in my Bible study told me this spring that, "it is sometimes ok to let your little ones see your tears when you are feeling overwhelmed by the sea of children/chaos....it softens them, too" it models (appropriate) weakness for them and that Jesus, not mama, is the Perfect One! thank you for this post.

    ReplyDelete
  68. thank you for this.

    ReplyDelete
  69. i soooo needed to hear this. Im a mum of a 1 year old and a 2 year old (and preagneant again). Seams like i do nothing latley than cry over not beeing the mum i want them to have. I find myself screaming at them, yealling and so on. Im så tired and never alone (but i always feel alone)

    thank you from the bottom of my heart for writing this. Lots of love! /mum in sweden

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Dont forget hun the kids will love u and forgive you no matter what niw you have to forgive yourself, breathe, and move forward. Much luv from the us

      Delete
  70. Thank you for this. Ever since I found your blog I have felt more motivated. I totally tried the paper towel thing only to find complete resistance from my family. We lasted about two months before I gave in. Because of you I simplified my life and found ways to live with less everyday. We are able to focus on what is important, each other, because there isn't so much "clutter" to deal with. I love your concept of giving away and each day I give away something. Sometimes it's material, sometimes it's a favorite recipe, spiritual advice or a hug. No matter what it is, this daily mission has made me glow from the inside out. Thank you for these powerful gifts.

    ReplyDelete
  71. Sigh. That was awesome to read. THANK YOU. (From Dawn in Virginia.)

    ReplyDelete
  72. Thank you for writing that. Today was the actually the first day in a very long time that I DIDN'T feel like I needed that post, but there's every chance that tomorrow things will be back to SNAFU and I will need those reminders.

    ReplyDelete
  73. First time on your blog and Thank You! I'm sitting here trying to grind coffee beans and hoping my 3 n 6 yr old boys don't wake and give me just a couple mins to finish reading....and more importantly digesting "survival mode". I need it cuz I'm falling apart. thank you for letting me know I'm not alone.

    ReplyDelete
  74. Thank you very much...I needed these kind and supportive words at this moment in my life/day.

    ReplyDelete
  75. WOW. Very well said, and something I MUCH needed today. I've only been a mom for 11 months and NO ONE could ever have convinced me it would be this much work [or joy].

    ReplyDelete
  76. I've been cryingall day... 6 - 7 and under. Need I say more? My friend emailed me the link. Thank you thank you thank you.

    ReplyDelete
  77. Thank you! I needed this! We just moved overseas (military) and I'm pregnant with our third and have a 4 yr old and 2 yr old begging for attention while I unpack our house by myself. On top of it all I'm starting our first year of homeschooling next week. Overwhelmed is an understatement, but the Lord uses wonderful little posts like this to speak to my tired heart. Thank you for sharing and encouraging all of us.

    Katie

    ReplyDelete
  78. Hey Kelly,
    I thought you might appreciate this word of encouragement from someone who also struggles with motherhood at times.
    Your loving brother,
    Paul
    http://thebownfamily.wordpress.com/2013/08/07/mommyhood/

    ReplyDelete
  79. Those words are exactly what i need at this moment.god bless you.

    ReplyDelete
  80. I needed this today. Thanks for verbalizing my thoughts so eloquently. This morning, I woke up feeling guilty for dreaming of a weekend off. Just so I can get some undisturbed sleep. I'm exhausted. If it's not one child waking early/during the night, it's the other... and I'm back to work parttime now my baby boy is 6 months old. Maternity leave is never long enough for a mum IMHO. Especially as I'm still breastfeeding. I'm inspired by parents who have it much harder than me. Hope we all have a better day... tomorrow.

    ReplyDelete
  81. I really appreciated this post. Shared it on Facebook.
    I keep checking your blog, and it's been a while since this post! Hope you're doing well. Eager for your next post :)

    ReplyDelete
  82. I just had the worst day ever has a mother. You have no idea how much I needed to read something like this. It made me feel not so alone and little better. Thank you for that!

    ReplyDelete
  83. to echo so many here. thank you for your honesty. my kids are going to school all day now & i am having a hard time adjusting. i kind of feel unsure of what to do with myself now. this post reminded me of all the other transitions we've been through (& will go through). it is hard, but God is faithful & gracious. we aren't alone. all seasons pass. the challenge is to appreciate them as they come along.to look forward to better instead ofmourning the loss of the familiar. :) thx again

    ReplyDelete
  84. I havent checked your blog in months, but wanted to come get your granola recipe today. Wow, I was obviously sent by the Holy Spirit because I NEEDED to read this today. I have been in such a self-loathing funk with regards to parenting and life and this was a very comforting thing to come across this morning. Thank you.

    ReplyDelete
  85. I just sat down, taking a break from my 2.5 year old and cleaning the house. My pregnant feet are swollen and my back feels like it's about ready to detach. Thank you. This is exactly what I needed.

    ReplyDelete
  86. We miss you!!!!!!!!!
    I just like your pictures of your pretty house and awesome kids. Seriously. I miss your inspiration, even if you think everything is falling apart.

    ReplyDelete
  87. I am so glad I found this post today.......everything is kicking my ass at the moment! Thank you so much!

    ReplyDelete
  88. I found this today (all the way around the world in California) -- just finished talking to my oldest daughter who is going through a lot at her new job (replace "mommy" with "teacher" ) Your post reminded me that we always need to be praying for our kids. I found your blog because my youngest daughter sent me the instructions for making the car seat blanket. I' m guessing a yard of fabric will do, since a meter is a little longer than a yard? Thanks again.

    ReplyDelete
  89. Praying you experience an unforeseen little joy-filled moment to make you smile when you really need it. Your words here inspire me each new post and provide hope to a new step-mom (me).Thank you.

    ReplyDelete
  90. And don't forget Grannys who are helping to raise their grandchildren. That's me. I am also homeschooling them. They are 2 boys 8 and 11. The 11 year old is a special needs kiddo. They are a challenge for this old woman, but I wouldn't be doing anything else...well, maybe I would, but am lucky to be here with 2 of my 8 grandsons (the other 6 are too far away to see often).
    So, I have already lived through it once and here I am again. It isn't any less frustrating the second time around. Keep on keeping on.

    ReplyDelete
  91. Just checking in with you.... missing your wit and wisdom! :) Hope your day is blessed!

    ReplyDelete
  92. wow Thank you very much, I just had a bad day and need it.

    ReplyDelete
  93. I am a soon-to-be new mama, and I have read your entire blog from start to finish in the last 24 hours. Thank you for the many kind and inspirational thoughts, I'll be checking back frequently. :)

    ReplyDelete
  94. Thank you for this Kelly; today was one of those days.

    ReplyDelete
  95. Wow, I really needed this today. My husband works 65 hours a week and we have no family near us. I'm a stay at home mom and today my toddler refused a nap. It just got to be too much and I was questioning how I will keep going and then I read this..thank you!

    ReplyDelete
  96. You really touched my heart today. This is exactly the way I feel... but I couldn't even find the words to explain it. Thank you!

    ReplyDelete
  97. Your blog is so sweet! It has encouraged me in many ways. My daughter was the one that completed the tic-tac-toe project and we had fun making a tent. In addition, our home is "livable in" once again after the purge that our family completed thanks to inspiration from your site.

    I love the title "imperfect" and I love that you are a regular mom like me. Ok, you are quite a bit more A+ than me, but you are real.

    God's grace and peace to you in this difficult mothering season. May God continue to provide you with a love for your work at home. And may He continually remind you of what Jesus has done, is doing and will do.

    Thanks for sharing your heart with us.

    ReplyDelete
  98. Thank you Kelly. We stand with you, understanding. Sending you encouragement and love, strength and patience and if I could, time.

    ReplyDelete
  99. I hope all is well with you and yours....peace and hugs

    ReplyDelete
  100. Kelly,

    Miss hearing from you. Hope all is well with your family.

    A Concerned Fellow Homeschool Momma with Lots of Kiddos,

    Kari

    ReplyDelete
  101. Thank you, you have no idea what finding this blog has done for me today!

    ReplyDelete
  102. Just found your blog through Creative Cabin. How I wish someone had said these words to me 13 years ago when I was quietly suffering, thinking I was the only mom who felt this way. It is a blessing to me to see that your post has been a much needed encouragement to another mom who really needed it. Thank you. <3
    roberta

    ReplyDelete
  103. Thank you for your nice information.
    Please visit my website. Legal Books.

    ReplyDelete
  104. Fantastic post. I was verifying time and again this site and I am quite overwhelmed! unbelievably useful facts mainly the first part. I appropriate be concerned for such facts much. I was looking for this meticulous facts for years. Thank you and enjoy.
    <four courts.

    ReplyDelete
  105. Fantastic post. I was verifying time and again this site and I am quite overwhelmed! unbelievably useful facts mainly the first part. I appropriate be concerned for such facts much. I was looking for this meticulous facts for years. Thank you and enjoy.
    <Legal Books.

    ReplyDelete

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...