When Motherhood Defeats You

Motherhood is hard work.

It’s this journey of being responsible for raising other human beings, nurturing them in every way possible. I mean, think about it. You love them when they’re screaming and crying. You wear and wipe all bodily fluids. You cook meals only for them to be picked at or thrown on the ground. You take care of the laundry mountains only for them to pile back up again. You handle the spills, the sicknesses and the special moments requiring discipline.

The normal demands of motherhood? Yeah, they can defeat you.

mom holding two girlsI’m defeated today. My children aren’t feeling well and aren’t acting themselves which makes everything harder. They didn’t want anything I tried to feed them. So many crumbs ended up on the floor after I had already expended the effort to vacuum this morning in preparation for company this weekend. Their attention spans couldn’t handle more than about ten seconds of any activity so I constantly pulled out toys and books and Play-doh and music and tv shows to entertain them.

Then I would look at the clock and realize only ten minutes had elapsed.

The day was long. I tried to be patient during the crying. I tried to stay consistent during the tantrums but the Momster came out in me a few times. I even tried to still get my housework done, but that laundry in the dryer required about three “freshen up” cycles before I could take it out. I had a work call scheduled during nap time that I had to cancel because neither of my children would sleep. I wanted to send smoke signals to my husband who is away for work to just make him aware everything may turn to ashes before he arrives home.

I finally made the executive decision to eat dinner at 4:15 PM followed by bath time and books, just so we could move on with our evening. That dinner was thrown on the floor by one and ignored by the other, and they both cried in the bath. I wrestled with them to get pajamas on. Bedtime was treacherous. They were overtired and so am I.

mom and daughterBut now, as I sit here feeling defeated, I know some other mother out there is feeling the same way and this is what I would say to her.

Pick yourself back up. Dust off those feelings of defeat. You are strong. You can and will do this. What you are doing requires so much effort and resiliency, but it all matters. Day in and day out you put on your pants and get the day done. It doesn’t matter if they are yoga pants or jean pants or dress pants. You are amazing.

Don’t lose heart. There will be days that you wish would end. There will be minutes and hours within those days you will not love. But, that’s the thing with anything requiring hard work. It’s not enjoyable at all times and requires so much perseverance. But, you have what it takes. I am working on taking my own advice here, but for all of you who are feeling defeat – face-palm, pull out your hair, tear inducing motherhood moments – I am cheering for you.

And when motherhood defeats you, you just continue being you. Because YOU are precisely who those kids need. 

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