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Moms, When Every Day Feels Too Hard, Remember This

Photograph by Twenty20

Hey Mama,

Was it one of those days? One of the ones where you found yourself looking at the clock, willing it to move faster, wishing it was bedtime already? (But also dreading even that because bedtime is HARD right now?)

Did you find yourself huddled in the corner of the kitchen again, scrounging cupboards for a bite of chocolate or hiding away on your phone, despite the fact that you told yourself you most definitely would not do that today? You woke up telling yourself you would most definitely play with the kids today and you would probably make muffins or take them on an adventure to the park or do that one craft you saw on Pinterest.

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But now you feel crappy that none of that happened, on top of the fact that you just feel crappy in general. I mean, if someone could please explain to me how on earth I can feel so exhausted at the end of a day where I feel like I have literally done nothing, that would be great.

That is the hard part of motherhood, when the hard days turn into the hard weeks that turn into the hard years.

But the truth is, we all have those days. The even bigger truth is, I have those days a lot more than I would like to admit.

Sure, I could justify to you exactly why it feels so hard for me on most days. I have four young kids, I work a lot, I'm in general probably a lazy and selfish person, my 2-year-old has yet to discover the joy of a little thing called "sleep," but really, what's the point? None of those things are your truth, even if they are mine.

I am a firm believer that we all have different abilities, strengths and weaknesses as mothers. I am a firm believer that not every mother is meant to be a stay-at-home mother. I'm a firm believer that you don't have to love staying home to be a good stay-at-home mother. I'm a firm believer that sometimes, the best you can give means scraping by and that's OK.

And just so we're clear, I'm not talking about today, that day that was hard for you and so many other mothers. I'm not defining what your "hard" is, whether it be toddlers flushing stuff down the toilet or pregnancy that feels like too much to bear or empty arms or suffering watching your child have one more IV in the hospital or meet with one more specialist.

Because we know that the hard days will come. We know that the hard days are normal. We know that we can survive the occasional hard day.

It's when every day feels hard that it gets to be really, really hard.

It's when every morning feels like an impossible task that things get hard.

It's when you wonder, more than occasionally, if you were really meant to do this mothering thing.

It's when there is no end in sight and no room for respite, that motherhood is the hardest.

And that is the hard part of motherhood, when the hard days turn into the hard weeks that turn into the hard years.

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But as much as I am a believer in knowing our own weaknesses as mothers, I am a believer in knowing our own strengths. And I believe that on those days that feel the most hard?

Well, mama, those are the days that you are shining the most.

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