To the exhausted mom who is overwhelmed, frustrated, tired, and even unhappy, let my experience encourage and uplift you.
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I have a confession … I feel like a fraud. A hypocrite. A big fat liar.
I’m The Merry Momma. My tagline is “Embracing Motherhood with Peace, Joy, and Intention.” On my blog, I encourage other moms to be joyful, to enjoy the season they’re in. My whole blog centers around the concept of joyful mothering.
But I have to be honest that there’s been a lot of joy missing in my mothering these last few weeks. When Andrew was first born, I was relieved that I didn’t have the bonding troubles I had with my first baby. But adding a second child and juggling the needs and meltdowns of a toddler and a newborn have really challenged me. And I’m ready to come clean and admit to you all that I have not been the merriest momma.
I had forgotten just how hard new mom exhaustion is. I am longing with every fiber of my being for a full night’s sleep, or even just several hours in a row. Weeks on end of interrupted sleep is HARD. And that kind of exhaustion makes it reallllly difficult to be pleasant and patient the next day.
Then there’s my 2 year old … Until Andrew’s birth, he was a relatively easy toddler, as far as toddlers go. Since bringing Andrew home, however, we’ve seen fits and tantrums all over the place. Fits when I can’t play with him, fits when I tell him no, and even fits when I give him exactly what he asks for!
Related Post: 7 Things I Wish I Had Known Before My Second Baby
Dealing with the temper tantrums all day long on top of taking care of the needs of a fussy newborn who fights sleep has about sent me over the edge a few times. They’ve cried … I’ve cried … we’ve had our share of not-so-pretty moments.
I’ve had moments when I thought, “I cannot do this anymore. I don’t want to do this anymore.” I’ve even had moments when I wished I hadn’t had another baby. And then I’ve been wracked with guilt because I wanted a second child. I prayed for a second child. I had felt a calling to the sacred role of intentional motherhood. And these moments of discontentment led me to believe that I must be failing the task I had eagerly accepted from God.
I didn’t want to tell anyone just how much I was struggling. I often mention that we want more children, and I figured people would think, “If she can’t even handle two, she’s not cut out to have more.” I also didn’t want to share my struggles because I didn’t want to sound like I don’t love my kids. And thirdly, I didn’t share my struggles because … well… I’m building a blog around being a Merry Momma, and that’s just not good advertising!
So why am I sharing this now?
Because I know that I’m not the only mom that has ever felt this way after a new baby. The sleepless nights, the crying, the tantrums, the constant needs that must be met. They’re hard. They are SO hard. And finding joy in the midst of it all is a tremendous challenge. Even when you’ve been longing and praying for that baby.
I’m sharing my struggles and my failures because I recognize that there is no such thing as a perfect mom, and I don’t want my blog to be whitewashed. Motherhood is tough. It takes everything you’ve got and then asks for more. I try very hard to be a loving, joyful mother, but I don’t always act like it. I mess up. I yell, I cry, I long for simpler days when no one needed me.
But I also know that bad days do not make bad moms, as the saying goes. This transition has been difficult, and I haven’t always handled myself as gracefully or patiently as I had hoped I would, but I’ve had some really good moments, too. I have remained calm in the face of some serious tantrum-throwing. I have hugged when I felt like hitting (don’t tell me you’ve never had that urge!), laughed when I felt like screaming, and thanked God for my children when I felt like sending them back. I have managed to feed, clothe, diaper, cuddle, and talk to them every day. And even though I haven’t always been successful, I continue to try to appreciate each day and savor the season I’m in, knowing that it will be gone before I know it.
To the exhausted mom who is overwhelmed, frustrated, tired, and even unhappy, I hear you and I empathize. Know that your feelings do not dictate who you are. You may have bad days and negative thoughts, but that does not mean you are a bad mom. It means … well … it means you’re a mom! Pick yourself up, dust off your pants, and remember that tomorrow is a new day! You can do this! WE can do this!!
**Note: One thing that has helped me tremendously as an exhausted mom is the book Real Moms…Real Jesus by Jill Savage. (She is the founder of Hearts at Home and the author of Better Together, another book that I wholeheartedly recommend for all moms!) This book is fantastic and exactly what I needed during these difficult months! If you’re struggling with loneliness, exhaustion, or feelings of “I just can’t do this anymore!” then this is a book you definitely need to read.
- When You’re Not the Mom You Want to Be
- 10 Life-Giving Mom Affirmations (When You Feel Like a Failure)
- Flip Your Mom Script: Replacing Negative Thoughts With Biblical Truth
- 6 Steps to Freedom From Mom Guilt
- 10 Ways to Refuel Your Mom Tank Every Day
- 7 Calm Down Strategies For Moms