I do not know a mom who has not gotten overwhelmed. This is just a reality. By no means does this say that you do not love your children. However, sometimes you just need a break. Parenting on empty without replenishing is not a healthy trait. I have heard some say, why did you have children if you will complain about them? My answer is simple. Every mom is human. There have been times when I wanted to hide from my sons. I could not have a private moment in the bathroom without seeing tiny fingers under the door or one of the boys attempting to come in like a mighty rushing wind. The truth is sometimes my boys did come in the bathroom while I was on the royal throne when they were little. They were truly unbothered by any aroma that may have captivated the bathroom. I know another mom can relate. If you can just high five the screen! It’s just a mom with kiddos thing.
Just as much as there are many highs and joys in parenting. Sometimes there are moments of hard times. Some days it seems that as much as you do there are still mounds of things to do. There are activities, school things, church events, sports practices, dance recitals and the like. I remember I would have to leave work and get on public transit to get to my car. Once I got my car I had to drive to get my sons. Once I got them I had to grab something fast to eat in the car. Many times the boys would do their homework in the car if it wasn’t finished in aftercare. Then I would drive about an hour to their sport activity. I did this several times a week for many years.
I’m the mom who loves being a mom and I volunteer for a lot with my sons. But truth be told some days I would just be exhausted. I did not feel like a long commute. There were instances I did not feel like going to their activities or cooking dinner. I would steal 5-7 minutes to myself by arriving at my boys school a few moments early so I could just breathe and have some solitude. I knew as soon as the boys got in the car I had to be fully present. The first thing I would hear was, “ Mom I’m hungry”. I always packed snacks to hold them over until we got food. I was always the primary parent doing drop off and pick up for my sons. This has been my life as married and when I was a single mother.
We must allow mothers the space to say they are tired or frustrated without judgment. Saying things like some women do not have children and that you shouldn’t complain is not a consolation. When such things are said it doesn’t allow moms the space to feel what other human feels. We all get tired! Moms included.
There is no step by step book to being a mom that says, if this happens then this will happen. There simply isn’t such a book. There are mothers around the world who do their best and still come up short. Some children during periods do everything opposite of what their parents have directed them to do. This can cause such emotional turmoil for mothers. No mother wants their child to be hurt or harmed or to find their child in compromising positions. My mother use to say, “you can talk to someone until they are blue in the face”. Ultimately, my mom was saying you can talk and give wise counsel to your children but they must make their own choices at certain ages in their life. It pains a mother to see their child go wayward. But I wholeheartedly believe that praying for our children is necessary and key. Prayers have a way of reaching areas in our children that a mothers words may not.
I want moms to feel okay owning however they feel. As a society we have a bad culture I feel of denying our truths. So many fear judgment and ridicule so they try to convince themselves they don’t feel what they feel. Being superficial or sugarcoating things is just not in my DNA. Honesty is high up on my value systems pole. I believe in “keeping it all the way real”. So moms it’s okay if you
•don’t feel like cooking
•want to run and hide
•don’t want your name called all night
•want to skip a kids activities
•don’t feel like being hugged
•don’t feel like being bothered
I know moms have many strengths but we are not immortal, invincible, or super human. We should show our children and talk to them about humanity. We do our children a disservice when we give them this false reality that we can do every thing. Or when we act like we do not have weak or vulnerable moments. It’s even okay to cry in front of your children if it happens. Sadness or crying for different reasons is a real part of life. I know many moms who attempt to hide every difficult emotion that they feel from their child. I say so how will children know how to cope with their emotions if they have not been exposed to certain feelings. There are no bad emotions.
I believe with the right supports and transparency moms can navigate better during the tough parenting days. Find your village. Walk in your truth. Moms I’m rooting for you.