Dear Google Searcher:
Today you landed on this page because you searched “too tired to be a good mother.” If you’re searching terms like this in what little spare time you have, it tells me one thing: you’re probably exhausted.
I’ve been there. Oh, I’ve been there.
I know what it’s like to lie down in bed and have the infant child wake up as soon as you have a split second to breathe. I know at that moment you would rather do anything than get back up out of that bed for the third time that night. I know the feelings of anger and frustration, and sheer desperation, when you think that you just can’t nurse or rock that child one more time without losing sanity completely. But in those moments, I got up out of bed and rocked and nursed my baby back to sleep — again — while praying for grace and strength, and hoping he’d stay asleep this time. Because I’m a good mother, and so are you.
I know what it’s like to drag yourself out of bed at 5:30 am (for the 40th morning in a row) to attend to your 2-year-old who is crying for you. I know how it feels to stumble into the living room, fumble with the TV (cringing with guilt because you already know how much TV this child will be watching today), unwrap a banana, and hide under a blanket while trying to muffle the sounds of “Thomas the Tank Engine” so you can get maybe a few more minutes of sleep. I know how hard it is to put a smile on your face when you greet that perky face before the sun wakes up. But I did. Because I’m a good mother, and so are you.
I know what it’s like to mother while having a condition that makes you chronically tired (chronic fatigue syndrome). To mother when your husband is gone for a year, and you’re left at home with the infant who refuses to sleep through the night that entire year. I know what it’s like to think to yourself, day in and day out,“If I could only get a little more sleep, then I would be a better mother. Then I wouldn’t yell at my child. Then he wouldn’t have to eat SpaghettiOs because I’m too tired to cook. Then he wouldn’t have to watch so much TV…”
I’ve been there so. many. times.
(And even though he’s 2 and a half, I still am many days.)
I can’t promise you’ll never feel tired again. But the tired changes. It goes in phases. There’s the infant-is-up-every-hour-to-nurse tired… the infant-is-sick-and-teething-and-screaming-all-night-long tired… the chasing-after-the-toddler-all-day-long-tired… the dealing-with-terrible-two-tantrums-all-day-long tired. Each one is hard in its own right. And each one is different to deal with. But each is a phase.
I promise your baby will sleep through the night… eventually. It might take two or three years. (Trust me, I know.) And it might take several years after that point, but eventually, you’ll look back, see how far you’ve come and think, “Naw, this isn’t so bad now.”
This isn’t one of those “Oh kids grow up so fast, so treasure every moment while you can!” posts. No. This is the post that says, “Hang in there, Momma. You’re doing great. You’re a good mom, even when you’re too tired to see it.”
I know you feel guilty about the hours of TV, the extra naps, the junk food dinners, the extra lattes. I know you feel guilty about being too tired for sex, snapping at your husband and yelling at your kids. I know you wish you had more energy to do things like taking showers and wearing makeup or going to the gym.
But “good” motherhood isn’t measured in the hours that your children don’t watch TV and how much money you spend on organic food. It’s not measured in how many showers you take or how many times a week you make it to the gym.
“Good” motherhood is immeasurable. I said it before, I’ll say it again:
“Good” mothers are the ones who worry about being good mothers.
“Good” mothers know that hugs and kisses and bedtime stories (even when you’re yawning the whole time you’re reading them) are more important than the external things like too much TV with breakfast and SpaghettiOs for dinner. “Good” mothers may yell and snap, but they always say “I’m sorry” and give a hug afterwards.
So take heart, tired momma. You will make it through these exhausting days. And you will be stronger for them. You are a good mother. You only need to look into the eyes of your children and believe it.
Follow this journey on Beautiful In His Time.
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