Reflection on being a Frazzled Mother

  1. elyse wright says:

    You should be proud of yourself for taking the children to mass by yourself.

    I am a 42 year old mother of a 7 year old and a 3 year old. A 42 year old mom of young children is an older mom, I think. There are aspects of being older that are transforming my journey from a formerly disciplined march into a gentler stroll. I think that it would be okay to wait until the children are a little older before you take them to more religious services. There’s no right path, or wrong path -but I think we owe it to ourselves to guard against unnecessary stress, and avoid overly challenging situations when we possibly can.

    Caring for our young children can be the most spiritual of practices … and I feel that my daily devotion is to do my very best to pursue daily activities that are truly meant for me. It can be so tempting to be dragged over rocky paths in a frightened chase to achieve mastery over situations that are truly unmanageable for mothers, with young children in tow. I have recently been loosening my grip on my desire to keep up with what I may imagine other people may be doing … and walk to the beat of my very own drummer.

    I enjoyed reading your post, and have experience times like that for sure. Kids in restaurants. Kids on vacation. Kids on a plane. Kids at the movies. Kids at the supermarket too close to nap time. Kids who have literally stayed too long at the fair. Or at the mini-golf. I think you get the picture!

    I am strengthening my No muscle. No to my husband that wants to take them on overly taxing adventures. No to my full time employed best friend who want me to host bbqs at an hour when my kids would normally be sleeping. No to my son who wants me to see a movie at his sister’s nap time. No to overly ambitions dinner recipes that require that last minute stop at the market.

    Yes to keeping things simple. Yes to avoiding overexertion so that I have the energy to spend an hour each evening doing something that I enjoy. Like sewing a table cloth. Or painting a watercolor. Or stitching my needlepoint. Or reading a touching blog like yours – and reaching out to connect with another Mom that is working so hard raising children, too.

    We deserve to be at peace, and to love ourselves – dare I say it? First. Love ourselves first. When I truly make my decisions based on taking care of my self- physically and spiritually- that those are the decisions that lead me and my family down a good and healthy path, that day.

    It’s a struggle to quiet the inner voice that says , my kids should. Should be potty trained (when my daughter’s resisting). Should be swimming (when my son has special needs) Should be playing competitive sports (when my son hates them, and shows no aptitude for them). Should be on time (which I struggled with when I didn’t have kids!). Should host play dates (which drain me).

    When I ignore that voice, I listen for the voice that says … Let it be. All is well. Take your time. Enjoy your life. Do what you can … and Be Proud.

    • This comment is such a blessing! Thank you for this!

      You write with such wisdom. It is okay to love ourselves first. I need to bring that more to the forefront of my mind and get over all of these little voices whispering what my child SHOULD be doing.

      Yes! Yes! All is well–it is! be proud.

      Just thank you for writing this!

  2. […] also reflected on being a Messy Mom, a Frazzled Mom and a Supported […]

  3. I love this! Thank you so much for sharing it at Love in Motherhood. I nodding right along with you and smiled at the parts that you will look back on and smile. You are doing a great thing and being a great witness to your children! I hope the days have been bright since then 🙂 I know with my girls, every day is totally different, filled with ups and downs and smiles and tears. Hang in there, sister. ~Jenna // A Mama Collective

  4. Cheryl Cross says:

    Nancy – I actually stopped my car in the middle of a highway when my kids wouldn’t stop bickering (yes, I looked first and there weren’t any other cars anywhere in my rearview mirror). I thought, I can’t keep saying I’ll stop the car right now, if I wouldn’t actually follow through. It did work….for a while at least. I also try and give struggling mom’s at the store a look of understanding. Yep, been there, done that.

    • That’s so funny Cheryl! thanks for sharing this. My parents threatened to stop the car many times, but I don’t think they every actually did! And you’re right, even a little look of understanding can make it a lot better, because we really all have been there!

  5. Susan says:

    Nancy, I’m always fascinated that everything “wrong” gets blamed on the mom, yet when the TV camera is on someone they always mouth, “HI, mom!” Days like the one you had is what makes us a mom. I’ll have to tell you some of my stories some day over chocolate. 🙂 Hang in there, Mom!

    • That is so true, Susan. I have reflected on this a lot, actually, and I think we women are just so hard on ourselves. I want to be super mom all the time, and that’s just not possible–and I am really hard on myself when I don’t live up to my own expectations…

  6. Catherine says:

    Big hugs to you and a high five for being a good mom. I had a very similar experience with my son at the store yesterday. He had a total meltdown after I said he was “behaving naughty” which led to the attention of every woman in that store – – their judgment, their reasons for why he was acting that way (“I think he’s too warm in that coat.” “Someone is tired.” “Oh, it’s so hard for them to be dragged through the mall all day.” Gah! This was 10 minutes into our first stop!!!), and their rolled eyes. Getting to an actual counter to buy the one shirt I needed to pick up felt like an all day battle.

    And when I tucked him into bed, he asked “Do you still love me even if I was naughty?” Of course! Our children really are wonderful. There are just moments when seeing that is a challenge. 😉

    Hope you have a fantastic week!

    • Oh, that question he asked broke my heart! The kids really are so sensitive, aren’t they! And, shame on those other women! What’s wrong with us women, it’s like as soon as it isn’t our kids we forget what it’s like and start judging! You have a fantastic week too-and hopefully a few moments of calm!

  7. Krista says:

    Hugs to you on this one. We end up in church without my husband often, too. It can be such a challenge.
    Even though we may not get a lot out of the service we are setting the path in hopes that they will someday followv
    and that they will get something out of it.
    I think most times we invision ourselves as so much worse then others do. The other moms/dads in the cry room
    likely were feeling similar. It’s great to hear such honesty from another mama:-)

    • Oh, Krista, I love hearing from you! It is so fun that we grew up together, and now have some much in common as mothers. I also have to remind myself that this is a season. My kids won’t always have to be in the cry room, and one day I’ll be able to pay attention in mass again!

  8. Chris says:

    Since my husband passed away a year and a half ago I find mysel in more of these moments than I care to admit and have even ended up in actual tears on the floor with my kids. On these days I find that some time snuggling on the couch watching a short movie or reading some stories helps get us all back on an even keel. On days where we all go to bed exhausted I sneak in and give them extra kisses while they sleep and remind myself how truly lucky I am even with all the chaos and craziness to have these little people in my life.

    • Chris–thank you for sharing this. My heart breaks for you, and I can’t imagine how hard it must be to be without your husband, especially with little children. I promise to say a prayer for your family tonight, and I admire your calm and perspective. Thanks for being here!

  9. Tawna says:

    I have definitely been there! As sad as it is it somehow makes it better to hear other mom’s having these same struggles. I’m glad that at the end of the day you got your reminder that it’s worth it. Those days are the hardest to remember to see the little things. Love that you shared this story!

    • I’m so glad you can relate (well, not glad that you’ve been there too, but you know!). I just have to keep reminding myself that this is a season of my life–I won’t always be crawling around the floor of the cry room, nearly in tears myself. Just gott keep telling myself that!

  10. Nell says:

    REALLY love this!!

  11. Debbie says:

    I remember those kind of days. Enjoy them. They don’t last very long. You will literally turn around in a couple of weeks and they will be 26 and 28 like mine. Don’t be so hard on yourself either. When you have one of those days, and you put them to bed, treat yourself to some hot chocolate or a bubble bath. These days don’t last. XO

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