“I don’t like being a mom right now!”
“Have you ever said that? Be honest. You’re a mom, right? So you know that being a mom can suck (the life out of you) sometimes. Well, if you’ve ever thought that you didn’t like being a mom and felt you were a ‘mom-fail’ because of it, let me assure you—you’re not, and here’s why.”
To know me is to know that sometimes, I have no filter.
So, if anyone will say what someone else might be thinking…it’s me. And because of that, I have a way of, let’s just say, surprising people with my “cut right to the chase” feelings.
On one day, in particular, I blurted out something, I guess, moms aren’t supposed to say…”I don’t like being a mom right now!”
Yes. I said this out loud and in public! Which, in some circles, would qualify me as a ‘mom-fail’.
But I have a perfectly good explanation.
As a young mom, I attended our church’s weekly Wednesday morning Mom’s group.
Aside from our short bible study, there was a segment at the end of our meeting called “Share and Prayer.” This was the part of the mom’s group meeting where we each took turns sharing the blessings and triumphs of our week.
I sat quietly, stewing in my own misery, listening to the all the other moms talk about their weekly “mom victories” having to do with their children.
I absolutely dreaded this part of our meeting!
You see, earlier in the week, I had been having an incredibly difficult time with my ADHD son. And quite honestly there was not one single blessing to be found in my situation and sharing anything “victorious” or “triumphant” was NOT about to happen.
So…I prayed I wouldn’t be called on.
My prayer didn’t work.
Eventually, it came around to me. The group leader asked how things were going with my son.
Rather than my usual bob-and-weave deflection response, in my sweetest Texas drawl, of “Oh…just fine!“, I blurted out in a less than congenial tone, “Things are NOT good, I’m struggling and I DON’T like being a mom right now!”
Well…I managed to raise a few eyebrows.
Cause I guess you’re not supposed to confess such things.
Immediately I became worried that I may have been a little too blunt or had broken some secret “mom-code” rule with my apparently overly candid statement. So I quickly went on to justify my feelings by recounting a recent grocery store incident, where my son had thrown a fit and proceeded to melt down (at the top of his lungs) in the middle of the aisle.
“Truly, truly, TRULY embarrassed and at a complete loss on how to handle the situation I did something I have never done—I left him screaming in the aisle and…I walked away.“
Clarifying to the Mom group…
“Not far away…just to the next aisle. And as I walked away with my cart, I was given some icy, judgmental glares from a couple of shoppers.”
Adding, “I’m sure they thought I was a terrible mom!“
At this point, shock may have set in.
I wasn’t completely sure if it was what I had said or what I had done that stunned them more. Because now, the mom-filled room was awkwardly quiet.
Leaving me to wonder what was worse…thinking I had failed as a mom, knowing I had been judged by other shoppers for walking away from my child or confessing to the mom group how I really felt about being a mom.
I guess it didn’t really matter because at this point, no matter which way I flipped it in my mind, it was all adding up to an incredibly embarrassing, publicly professed, epic mom-fail admission.
And now it was too late to take it back.
I’ll admit it. Sharing my mom-fail wasn’t my proudest moment.
But…it was honest, candid and from the heart.
Although with the eye-popping reaction and the deafening silence in the room, I was absolutely convinced that every mom in our group was out there rockin’ the ‘mom-thing’ flawlessly and none of them had any idea how to relate to my parenting blunder.
So I braced myself and prepared to be judged.
Thankfully, in place of condemnation, the moms in my group were understanding, supportive and kind. Along with their comforting words of encouragement, some of the moms revealed how they too had been struggling. Experiencing difficult, trying moments when they wanted to admit defeat and throw in the “mommy towel” as well.
A few others were relieved to hear me verbalize what they had sometimes thought but weren’t willing to share. And, as it turns out, not all of them were ‘rockin’ the mom-thing’ flawlessly.
It felt good to know I wasn’t alone.
All moms have limits.
You see, being at the store that day with my son and reacting the way I did, didn’t really make me a ‘mom-fail’ for walking away. It made me a real mom, with real feelings and real struggles who had hit her limit.
I know as moms, we make motherhood look like it’s no big deal. We masterfully carry the responsibility of an entire household on our shoulders. And we can do it holding one kid on our hip, nursing another in a baby sling while pushing a vacuum cleaner.
It’s nothing for us to prepare a meal, answer homework questions, talk on the phone and load the dishwasher simultaneously. Then switch gears and effortlessly manage an emotional, erratic little human with the wisdom of Solomon and the patience of a Saint.
All while wearing high heels and a smile.
We can do all of that — just not all the time.
As moms, we make what we do everyday look easy. And because we make it look easy, our silent struggles can be overlooked and our quiet frustrations can be hidden.
With that in mind, I have a gentle word of caution.
There are limits to what you can do. In spite of feeling as though you can do it all, you were not meant to carry the load alone.
Seek out support—
- Reach out and be a part of other moms lives. Befriend only positive and encouraging examples.
- Share what you’re going through. Be honest.
- Entrust your feeling to a kindred soul that you can talk with candidly.
- Seek support and wisdom from someone that has been through your season of life.
- Admit when you can’t do it all. Ask for help.
- And…NEVER assume (like I did) that all the other moms are “rockin’ the mom-thing flawlessly.”
Always, always, always remember…no mom has it together 100% of the time.
Every mom will (not might) come across times when motherhood gets the better of her. And, it’s completely okay, and healthy to confess our overwhelm and rely on each other for support.
So, don’t hide your feeling and downplay the struggles you may be going through because you’re worried you’ll be perceived as a ‘mom-fail’.
Because there’s really no such thing as a ‘mom-fail’.
The only way you can ‘mom-fail’ is if you fail to share what you’re going through. By confessing how you’re feeling when the overwhelm hits, does not, can not and will not ever make you a ‘mom-fail!’
So cut yourself some slack because there will be times when you hit your limit and need to admit that you’ve had enough.
When that happens, just wave the white flag of surrender and blow off some steam by announcing how you’re really feeling. Even if it means you have to say — “I don’t like being a mom right now!”
Notice…I said, “right now”— not forever.