not your usual mothers day post
I remember when I was pregnant with Landon and we were setting up his nursery. I came across a lullaby CD we received at his baby shower and put it in, just so it was ready, and pushed play. I was sitting in the rocker, folding some of the new clothes and I had an overwhelming sense of joy. I was going to be a mom! This was going to be the best thing ever! I envisioned all the wonderful things we would do as a family – all the things that Landon would do and become in his years growing up. I was so excited about this great thing called motherhood I was about to begin.

Mother’s Day is supposed to be a time when we celebrate all the wonderful things about motherhood. All the joys of having children in our lives and a chance for them to say, “thanks!” for all the hard work moms everywhere give to their children. It’s a day where moms are supposed to be re-affirmed about all the great things about being a mom and get warm fuzzy feelings inside, right?

Well what if that doesn’t happen?

Life has not been full of the warm fuzzies at our house lately.

Landon is in full 3.5 year old mode. He’s the sweetest boy I’ve ever met – but he’s also stubborn, has started a talking back phase, and has had an increasing case of choosing not to listen. It’s tiring to be in a constant discipline mode. It’s tiring to not have a day filled with wonderful moments of playing together and happy times.

Riley has been battling ear infections. He’s also cutting in his 2 year molars. He’s pretty whiny. All. The. Time. It’s tiring to constantly have a toddler on your hip because holding him is the only thing that he wants. It’s tiring to go though 30 different things, trying to find something to make him feel better and stop crying when none of them work. All while I’m 5 months pregnant. Honestly, life as a mom right now is really not all that great.

I don’t write this to seek your sympathy, or even empathy. I write this to say – it’s ok! The internet can be full of stories that focus on the positive side of motherhood. Stories of super moms that have spotless houses and planned activities with¬†home cooked¬†meals every day. I love those. But it can also send a message to those who may not be experiencing those joys that something is wrong with them. You are a bad mom. Something is wrong with your children. It really can make you feel a cold and spiky (not warm and fuzzy…) inside thinking that you are alone in the way you feel.

It’s normal to feel this way (if not, then I’m just weird and you can have a good laugh at my expense). Kids are a lot of work and it’s not always the job we think we signed up for.

It will get better, or at least different, which in many ways is better, because the battle that you’re fighting right now WILL be over, eventually. Hold your head up high, do what you need to do to survive and make the best of it and “this too shall pass”. And please don’t be so hard on yourself by thinking that you’re not doing a great job. There are days I feel really bad for letting Landon watch more TV than I know he should, but I know that it will allow me to regroup, and have a break to be ready to face the rest of the afternoon.

I love my children. You love your children. We may not like the things they do. The things they do might make us want to find a room to lock ourselves in until they have figured out what it means to be a human being again. They may push us to the ends of our rope, and then some. I wish I could say that at the end of the day it’s all ok, because sometimes it’s not. And that’s ok. But there are good, even great moments in the hard times and I do what I can to focus on those.

Love yourself. Love your children. Most importantly – love your children by loving yourself and know that it’s ok. You are a great mom, don’t let yourself convince you otherwise.

Oh, and happy Mother’s Day!

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20 Responses to Not Your Usual Mother’s Day post

  1. A says:

    I really needed to hear these words tonight. Thank you for posting this.

  2. Great post! I spent last month on a 30-day cleaning challenge, knowing that today’s surgery meant I probably wouldn’t be cleaning much for the next 30-days. Oh well! Some days I’m good at one thing, some days I’m good at another. This month maybe I’ll be good at reading stories and building legos since I won’t be able to lift more than 15 lbs for the next 6 weeks. You’re a great mom, and I hope you have a happy mother’s day! (By the way, my 3 1/2 year old and 2 1/2 year old are in similar phases…thankfully the baby is pretty easy to please!)

  3. Brilliant! Some many struggle with this. I know I did.

    • Jessica says:

      I think it’s my biggest frustration. Even with my close friends, when we talk about the hard things of parenting they feel like they are bad parents for things that everyone goes through. I think it is such a shame that honesty about the hard times is so “secretive” among most parents.

  4. Jody waddell says:

    I remember those days. You’re right. It does get better and different. I remember not needing a diaper bag anymore. That was so weird! But our children still need us, just in different ways. My 12, 10, and 8year old still drive me crazy at times, but it’s all ok. Love you, and thanks for sharing and being real.

  5. kt from az says:

    So true.. you are in the middle of it… It does get different… I have 4 (15, 13, 8, 3) and I too felt pushed to have the clean house all the time- made me sick with exhaustion. … It’s very good for your mental health how you are viewing your life- to give your self the freedom to “be where you’re at” with your little ones. It isnt about anyone else but God and your family! I commend you on your “thinking.” Happy Mother’s Day!

    • Jessica says:

      Thank you! It really is my hope that someone feeling so alone in their exhaustion and frustration will have a glimmer of not being alone and feel a bit more normal in their situation!

  6. OneMommy says:

    Mine’s in that stubborn almost 4 stage… And big sister is in the “I’m going to run away stage…” No, motherhood is not all roses all the time — but definitely wouldn’t have it any other way.

    Happy Mother’s Day!

  7. Lindsay Taylor says:

    Wow, it’s like the universe led me to your post this morning. I’ve never read your blog before but saw this post shared through a friend on FB and decided to read it and wow, you have just captured my life in so many words. This is exactly what I am going through right now, and my Mother’s Day felt bittersweet because I love my children so much but we are going through tough phases right now and being a mommy feels pretty bad some days. Thanks for providing the “real” side of motherhood. definitely will be following you from now on. Lindsay

    • Jessica says:

      You are welcome! I know it’s tough, and it’s so hard when you think it’s supposed to be wonderful more often than it is. Hugs and hang in there, you’re not alone :-)

  8. Brandi says:

    Thank you for your honest words! I so should have read this last night since my Mother’s Day was not what I imagined that it should be with my 2 year old and 6 month old. It was almost like something had possessed my 2 sweet boys and made them little whining monsters for a day that should be special. Thank you again for your honest wisdom ;)

    • Jessica says:

      Both of my boys were not aware that it was Mother’s Day and they should be sweet little angels either! Hope that your days get better!

  9. Sarah says:

    You are so true! Great writing.

  10. Abby says:

    Great post! Followed your link in response to my post on TheBump.com. I kind of realized it’s unrealistic to expect my kids to recognize Mother’s Day and change their behavior for an entire day just to please me. My 6yo has just this year gotten to the point where he knows the day’s about ME and making Mommy happy. My 4yo? Forget it!

  11. Rebecca says:

    O I feel like this too. Great post which brought a tear to my eye.

  12. Erica says:

    I love my kids like crazy too (or is it just that they make me crazy?). Our kids are at 23, 12 (12 year old girl to be specific), 4 and a husband that regresses daily- just when the kids are maturing, the husband gets more infantile. From this viewpoint I have to say I long for the problems of three year olds rather than those of the older ones- it doesn’t get easier but it does change. Just about the time you figure out the solution to the current challenge. Let’s trade for a day- your backache for my non-stop lecturing, lol. After all- I only have a few years left to teach them all they need to know about life and not making bad choices! I’m sure we would both be ready to trade back at the end of the day. Hang in there- any mom that doesn’t sometimes dream of buying a one way bus ticket isn’t doing it right ;)

  13. Sophie says:

    I loved this! Thank you for making feel like I’m not alone….or crazy! :)

  14. cassey says:

    I’m really trying to understand why people even have kids if it’s so miserable. My fiance wants us to have kids someday, I love kids, I’m a teacher. But I hear so many horror stories, I just don’t see how its worth it. Maybe I’m selfish, but I come from a history of depression and it seems like kids cause more depression than joy

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