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Slack, and the cutting thereof

There are many moms who really have their act together.  They can homeschool, keep a clean house, launder the linens, and serve up a hot meal.  All without breaking a sweat.

I am not one of these moms.

I may go along, keeping all of my plates spinning at a nice clip, and then with no warning whatsoever, I have a day like today.

And I find myself short-tempered and ill equipped to deal with what would normally come easily to me.

Let me just say that at one point I had to lock myself in the bathroom and cry.  A good full throttle ugly cry.

While a small 4 year old dropped to his knees and hollered through the crack underneath the door, “I NEED SOME MOMMY TIME NOW, MOMMY.”

And you want more than anything to give him that, but you just feel like you have nothing left to give.


That’s about when you dry your tears on your stained t-shirt and slow, oh so slowly, hoist yourself up off the dirty bathroom floor, brush the hair off of your black yoga pants, and face your fears.

One of which is still laying on the floor trying to talk to you from underneath the door.

I hold on to the thought that we all have days like that.  And you know what?  It’s okay.  I think we all hold ourselves to a higher standard when we have a family that depends on us.

The Mom sets the entire tone for the house.  And that’s a lot of pressure.  Most of which comes from ourselves.

One of the lessons that I’m learning is to cut myself a little slack.  And to utter a simple prayer, “Oh God.  Please help me.  I can’t do this alone.”

Because know what?  We’re not suppose to do this alone.

That was the revelation that I had as I sat on the couch, holding my 4 year old as he melted onto my lap, as I softly stroked his hair.

Just breathe.

Have you ever had a day like that?


36 Responses to Slack, and the cutting thereof

  • Way too often! Homeschooling, keeping the house clean, healthy homecooked meals, taking care of myself, my vegetable garden… Dispite my best efforts it seems I can only do a good job of about two things at a time. I’m just learning to rotate. You can only come over to my house on the first week of the month 😉

  • OK I give….where do you have the camera hidden in my bathroom??
    My last night went just pretty much llike that…i was sitting in the floor of the bathroom crying my eyes out worrying about money, boys being crazy right now missing thier daddy, baby teething, 4th flat on my van in 2 weeks with a bolt I couldnt get off….
    yep…pretty well told nana to come get her grandkids i needed a nervous breakdown.

  • Okay, not a mother yet, but I have completely had days like that, and I always feel horrible, because I think “I don’t even have kids running around!” I think you’re right and it’s important to remember that God is there willing to lend strength when we need it, but He’s not pushy, He waits until we ask.

  • Today, actually.


  • Um, yeah, definitely! Great description. 🙂

  • I had this day last week. And posted about it too. It was good to hear that other women had those days, and that I wasn’t alone in my struggles to parent, maintain my home, and keep my marriage in the positive.


  • Please reassure me. Linens don’t really need to be laundered, do they?

    Seriously-2 months after our two older-adopted girls came home from Ethiopia, one of them brought me into her room, tugged at the bedsheets, and said, “These? Change?”

    And I realized the poor kid honestly wondered if people ever change the sheets in America. Housekeeping standards in a 3rd world country apparently being higher than mine.

    Hang in there- I have those days too.

    Mary, mom to 10

  • i think i have that day once a week…

  • Oh gosh Dee Dee! Do I ever have days like that!!!

    I have one 16 year old daughter who has an 18 year old college freshman boyfriend, who wants to marry her, like right now!

    My 20 year old baby boy is going on a mission trip in a couple months to Guatemala.

    My kitchen is under construction and it doesn’t look like it will be done by the holidays.

    I’m a 45 perimenopausal woman who breaks a sweat everytime she walks across the floor.

    So yeah, I find myself locked in the bathroom about once a week these days.

  • Oh wow! So I’m not the only one. Last week I felt so unhinged by my poor parenting that I literally dumped poor Jesse in her cott for 45 whole minutes because I didn’t trust myself not to lose my temper. Rather an unhappy baby crying in her cott, than me doing something not nice. Funny enough, this week has been going SO MUCH BETTER! Thank Heavens! But, I’m still not above the occasional emotional meltdown. We may be moms, but we’re still humans. Imperfect, grace-needing, mistake-making humans.

  • That first sentence? That’s me to a T.

    Awww…just kiddin’! I have so many days like the one you described. And, like you, I always realize I am blessed and have nothing to complain about.

    Which makes me feel worse.

    But you’re so right…we CAN’T do it alone!! Thankfully, God is gracious! Hang in there. Hope today is better. And I hope it helps knowing that there are so many out there who have days just like that!

  • Best thing about my closet? I can hide in there for crying and praying and cry praying and pray crying. Right next to the sleeping bag, the small suitcase and Husband’s old army jacket. Just hide. Just for a little bit.

  • Oh boy, yeah. I’m so glad you remembered that we are not in this alone. It’s the only way to get through. Praise God.

  • And all of you, my friends, are why I blog.

  • I have felt like that all week. And then my 4 year old comes up to me and says to me, “Mommy, I am thankful for you” and I just melted. How can I stay upset when I hear that, followed by the 2 year old saying the same thing because she doesn’t want to be left out.

    Hope today goes better. I will keep you in my prayers.


  • I have many days like that, however, they have gotten less and less as my kiddos have gotten older.

  • Too often. And these days, when I have the kids, I AM doing it alone. And I’m all too afraid that I am not doing it well.

  • Oh boy, do I hear you – and letting go of the mommy guilt is tough, but just hold on tight to the One who made you and won’t ever give you more than you can handle WITH HIS HELP! And know that it’s OK to throw up the white flag and ask for help right now… my husband is gone for the next two months, we move 2500 miles a week after he gets back, with two children’s birthdays, Thanksgiving, and Christmas all at the same time. There’s just not enough hair dye in the stores to cover the grey appearing in my roots right now!

  • Thank you for sharing this…I have so been there these last weeks…can’t seem to get motivated…too much on my plate…etc. And I too have nothing to complain about. When I finally say “I can’t” and “Lord please help”, HE DOES! I know we can’t do it all….taking time to stop, breathe and snuggle our kids is always the best choice!

  • You are not alone. Yesterday before lunch I went out to our front porch and had a good cry. Paced around. Did some praying. I’m sure our neighbor’s llamas across the road thought I had lost my mind. So much for a married mom of 3 teens, who home schools…along with “normal” household problems….I’m pulled in all directions….we just built a new house and my husband was let go from his very nice job of 23 yrs. just as we were half way through the construction…..I can not begin to tell you the kind of stress I’m under….So, yes I understand and I think you sound perfectly normal to me. Cheers to you sister! Keep running the race. Lots of cyber hugs to you:)

  • Yep. I recognize that struggle because I face it often. However, for as many bad days as I have, God graces me with more good days and I just praise him for that!

  • Yeah. Right now.

  • Oh yes… I have had days like that. Thank you for the encouragment this morning!

  • My bathroom door does not have a lock. That is unfortunate and the results include very little “private tear time” for me.

    Once, two dogs, and two kids (with homework questions and NEEDS) were in our tiny, little toilet closet with me all at the same time, and I thought I my head might fly off my neck and hit the ceiling.

    Then my husband came home from work and said, “why don’t you just tell them to leave you alone for a little while”.

    I am happy to tell you God intervened and he is still alive. It was touch and go as to whether I was gonna let him live for a little while, but I felt a murder trial would just complicate my laundry/meal schedule.
    Hang in there!

  • The moms who have their acts together- they are just good at acting. If you could peek into their house I’ll bet it would be just like yours (and mine)!

  • Oh…and from the outside looking in, people think I AM that one that has it all together. I homeschool, my house is clean, I keep on top of laundry, I serve a hot meal most days…blah, blah, blah. That kind of stuff just comes naturally to me.

    But, the bottom line is: Parenting is HARD and, like you said, the pressure can really get to ya’.
    I have to stay focused on the little choices every minute of the day or my brain goes into emotional roller coaster overload. A bathroom meltdown is not out of the ordinary. :>)

  • Oh, most definitely. It is HARD. I don’t homeschool (yet) but I have a 3yo and a 5mo & struggle with anxiety & depression, and it is HARD.

    One thing that helps me is to remember that we’re all making this up as we go along. None of us has experience with the exact situation they find themselves in at any given moment – kids are growing & maturing, relationships are changing, and our culture is changing. We all have to figure it out as we go, but like you said, we DON’T have to do it alone.

  • I have. A lot. I don’t care for them. It was a revelation to me when I realized all my “perfect” friends have crying fits on the bathroom floor.

  • I’m sorry you had a rough day, DeeDee! Hugs. I know what that’s like.

    I managed to keep it together pretty well today, on the outside at least, which was surprising. I’m trying not to think about the fact that my 17yo son came home with a speeding ticket (50mph in a 35), what that’s going to do to our insurance, and how he’s going to pay for it. Or the fact that I don’t feel very connected with him anymore, or the fact that my 14yo son gets so little attention and I don’t know how to better connect with him, either. Or that I wish I could be doing a better job with homeschooling, especially with my 12yo and 10yo. Or that my 10yo’s throat hurts today and I’m scared that our brand new baby will catch something like the swine flu. Or that the kitchen floor is so dirty and paper is piled up everywhere or that Christmas is coming and how in the world am I going to handle that? Just. not. going. to. think. about. it.

  • Thank you SO MUCH for sharing this – I had a grouchy, snappy morning today, and then of course my little boy followed my lead… I’m glad other moms all have days like this, too.

  • Oh, this afternoon, after my MOMS meeting I was desperately clinging to/reading the free book they gave me called “Who’s in Charge Here?” by Bob Barnes.

    I was crying and frantically paging through it to find that section called “The exact 3 things to do for Coleman to make him not be such a contrary and disrespectful child – and make his Mommy be nice to him and show him love, even if he is contrary and disrespectful, because you don’t want him to grow up feeling unloved AND to be a total brat too, DO YOU?!”. I couldn’t find that chapter ANYWHERE!

    My husband came in and talked me down from the cliff. Sort of. I don’t know if him saying, “You shouldn’t whine at him and nag him so much” really helped me… but it did refocus my anger! haha.

    We ALL have those days. And you know, reading other people’s blogs makes me so thankful that I “get” that now. I’m not sure I did before, not really. Thank you for sharing.

    And – in my opinion – most times snuggling is the best answer for mom and child.

    Can we form a commune? Somewhere cooler than armpit (and south) FL?? You could provide the food and I could … well… I could teach the kids … to do laundry? Not math, though. I really stink at math.

  • Oh wait! Umm, you wouldn’t do any grilling in the commune, would you??? Just checking.

  • This is the first time a post of yours made me cry. I had that day yesterday, tears bathroom and all. And at one point I thought, “I’m sure there is no other homeschool mom having a day like this.”

    So thank you. Thank you for reminding me that someone understands how hard it can be. Of course, not all days are like that…


  • I had one just last week! I did absolutely nothing school-related with the Kindergartner nor the pre-schooler (does grouching count?). The teenager hid in her room until nap time, then she came out and made a half-batch of chocolate chip cookie dough and brought it to me with a spoon. I don’t know if she did anything educational that day, but after the cookie dough, I really didn’t care!

  • I think you described my year.