You're Not Alone: All the Things Other Moms Are Struggling With Today
by Gretchen Bossio
Photograph by Twenty20
It’s not even light and I’m already tired. Exhausted actually. My baby doesn’t sleep through the night, my middle boys pretend battle with swords and make messes and banter for snacks all day long and my sweet daughter just wants to have my attention for longer than five seconds. I’m torn. In so many directions. All directions I want to go, but can’t—at least not in the same moment.
And that means someone is always left wanting—one of my children, my husband or me.
If you ask me how things are going though, I’ll cheerily say that they’re wonderful. Because life is truly, very good. My kids are healthy. We just bought a new home. I have nothing to complain about. But if you dig a little deeper, there are countless struggles and a deluge of heartache waiting to be shared to a listening ear.
Maybe you’re simultaneously caring for an elderly or ill parent alongside your own children. Maybe you’re attempting to potty train this week. Maybe your marriage is in a rocky patch. No matter the struggle, I can assure you, you’re not alone. In fact, many moms are struggling with the exact same things you are today.
Here’s what a handful of moms shared when asked, “What's your biggest motherhood struggle right now?”
“Trying to parent kids with special needs while I myself have needs that directly conflict with how they are wired. It's really hard.” - Laura R., mom of 4
“Food. I hate food and feeding all the tiny humans. I deal with food all day and I'm so tired of dealing with it.” - Charissa, mom of 4
“Not reacting to my child's fits.” - Sheila M., mom of 1
“Juggling all the things. Like schedules and housework and quality time with each kid and volunteering in classrooms and date nights and all the animals and the laundry! And grocery shopping and feeding them all! And don’t forget my own stuff like teaching my yoga classes and starting a new direct seller project. It’s all so much. I feel like if I just don’t sleep anymore I’ll get it all done. I mean, who needs sleep?!” - Rachel B., mom of 3
“Worry ... about everything! Do they feel accepted at school by their peers? Are they being bullied? Have I taught them how to have confidence? Are they happy? How many years of therapy will they have because of my shortcomings as a mom? Do they truly know how much I love them? Do I show it to them enough? And those are just my worries today. I will have more to add to my growing list tomorrow!” - M’Lissa F., mom of 2
The struggle is real and we're all in it together.
“I always find myself telling my kids, 'Just a minute until I finish this one thing,' but they should be my first thing,” - Erika T., mom of 3
“My kids throwing all the tantrums and I yell because I cannot handle the sass.” -Kristin S., mom of 3
“Seriously, they are all always making noise. Always. I read an article awhile back about living at the edge of your personality type and yeah my introverted, highly sensitive self is struggling.” -Darah H., mom of 4
“Finding my own identity in it all.” - Kelby P., mom of 3
“Keep up with housework. Which seems like I shouldn't worry about, but a messy, dirty house causes me anxiety! I cannot relax if my house is messy and I just can't keep up with it lately.” - Diane H., mom of 1
“Balance. Working from home is amazing but it means I’m trying to squeeze in ‘me time’ wherever I can, which usually means staying up way too freaking late. I need more hours in the day!” - Lauren R., mom of 2
“Having the emotional energy and stability to deal with each day.” - Alexis H., mom of 4
“Guilt. Guilt about how tired I am and how short I am with [my son]. Guilt over how much we are about to change his life with a new baby. Guilt over his less-than-stellar sleep habits. Do all pregnant mamas feel this much guilt while also feeling excited? Or am I crazy?” - Naomi N., mom of 1 with 1 on the way
“Working all day and then going home with kids who both need me and my focus and energy from that moment until bedtime.” - Tasha B., mom of 2
So no matter how hard your day is, just know you're not alone. The struggle is real and we're all in it together.