I had a feeling we should have just stayed home. But these days, I have that feeling more often than not. I decided to endure the wrath of the toddler that morning because I thought, “maybe we both just need to get out of the house.”
I fought with her to get her shoes and her coat on. I wrestled her into the car seat hoping her screams wouldn’t alert the neighbors and make them think I was torturing my child or something.
I turned the radio up to drown out the screaming child, stopped for a coffee and thought, “O.K. we’re good now.” No one was screaming anymore, the hardest part was over (or so I thought) and I was just glad we made it out.
We went to the mall to run around and burn off some energy in the play area. Everything was fine and dandy until a couple epic tantrums about who knows what that lead to me carrying my child kicking and screaming out of the mall under my arm.
She fell asleep in the car and apparently because I don’t know when to quit, I thought it would be a good idea to stop and grab a few things I needed from the store “really quick.” I let her sleep before going in, hoping she’d wake up the as the nice girl I know and love. I gave her some snacks, she had her drink and I thought she’d be good for awhile while we shopped.
Wrong. Oh, was I wrong. The snacks were dumped all over the floor. She wouldn’t sit in the cart. She wanted me to carry her. I begged her to let me put her down but she cried and cried every time I tried. So I carried her. I just needed to grab a few things and we would be done.
I was so frustrated at this point. Everything was just so hard. I just needed some milk.
There was an older woman who was standing in front of the refrigerator door I needed. I didn’t want to be pushy, but she was taking forever. I was trying to keep the cart out of the way while holding my screaming child at the same time. Just then, another lady came up and pushes our cart out of her way and right and into the middle of the aisle.
It was the last straw. Tears started pouring down my face. I was so frustrated. I mumbled “excuse me” to the lady and reached in front of the woman who was still standing in my way. I tried so desperately to stop crying. But I couldn’t. I stood in line with my baby on my hip, my muscles were burning from holding her, and tears were just rolling down my face.
The lady at the cash register asked if everything was okay and I said “yeah, it’s just been a hard day.” She didn’t know what to say and I don’t blame her. I made it to the car as fast as I could and cried and cried in the parking lot of the grocery store.
I was so frustrated and just so overwhelmed. And I couldn’t stop.
I thought, “why is this so hard for me?” As a mother, you put your blood, sweat, and tears into doing the best you can for these little people. And yet, everyday just seems so hard and I am left wondering, “what am I doing wrong?”
I know deep down in my heart, I am doing nothing wrong. And if you are feeling frustrated and overwhelmed, it just means you aren’t either. It means you are a darn good mother just doing the best you can.
Motherhood is an emotional roller coaster of extreme highs followed by extreme lows. Dealing with these constant ups and downs every single day is enough to make any mother feel overwhelmed.
I don’t have to tell you motherhood is hard, I know you know that. But you don’t have to pretend to be strong every single minute. Some days you just need to cry and that is okay. For your sake, I hope it doesn’t happen in public. But if it does, you are not alone!
When I am feeling overwhelmed the most helpful thing I’ve learned to do for myself is ask for help. Ask Dad to take them out so you can have a bubble bath in peace. Find a baby sitter if you just need to get away. Call your mom or a girlfriend. Or get into the shower and just have a good cry.
Needing to get away or letting those tears fall doesn’t make you weak. In fact, I think it makes you an even stronger mother than you already are.