I Am Not That Mom

I am Not that Mom

I am not that mom who sits on the floor with you playing My Little Pony for hours. I am not the mom who builds entire towns on Minecraft. I have never learned to play Pokémon and I never (ever) will. I am well aware of my failure in this aspect of parenting.

I am thankful for my husband, who excels in watching cartoons and playing video games. I smile when I see him and the kids tossing a football in the yard. (In the yard. No Throwing Balls in the House. Jesus.) I laugh when they wrestle and tickle and play, play, play.

I’m just not that mom.

I was the young soon-to-be mom, scared to death but determined, so determined, to bring you into this world and love you like no other. I was the single mother of two who worked long hours and still held dance parties with just my two boys where we sang at the top of our lungs and the laughter rang as loud as the music. Before you were even born, I was the mom eating cherry cheesecake so I could see you dance. (And because cheesecake.)

When I first saw you, I knew that you would hold my heart forever. Two more times I met my new sweet babies, and two more times my heart grew to wrap around all of you. When you were a baby, I was that mom who couldn’t sleep for looking at you. I can still feel you, so tiny, snuggled on my chest. When I see you asleep now, I still picture you curled up in footie pajamas, all wispy hair and dark lashes against perfect skin.

I was that mom who rocked you all night, patting and bouncing and shh, shh, shhing when you cried. I was the mom who panicked over every bump and bruise. I was the mom who kissed boo boos. I was the mom who spent untold hours waiting on casts for broken bones or bandages for cut fingers. (Safety scissors, my ass.) I was the mom whose leg you were firmly wrapped around the day we toured preschools. I was the mom who went to school online in order to work from home because you needed me.

I am the mom who signs notes and checks homework and packs lunches. I’m the mom who makes the doctor’s visits and dentist appointments and parent teacher conferences. I’m the mom who hasn’t worn anything but thrift store clothes for years so that you can go to school wearing clothes that are apparently hand-sewn by the famous athletes of the world.

I’m the mom who makes stupid jokes and sings off-key and acts sillier than I am just to see you smile. I’m the mom who wouldn’t trade those smiles for the entire world.

I’m the mom who loves you so much more than I could ever explain. And the mom who tries so hard to show you that.

But most times I feel like I am also the mom who is failing.

I’m the mom with chronic recurring depression. I’m the mom with generalized anxiety disorder. I’m the mom with PTSD. I’m the mom who has chronic migraines. I’m the mom with chronic pain. I’m the mom who sees more doctors than hairstylists. (Hahahahaha, I don’t even remember the last time I went to a stylist. But you have an appointment tomorrow.)

I am the mom who struggles every single day to accomplish the things that have to be done so that you can have a “normal” life. I am the mom who does your laundry even when I have to sit down to sort it. I’m the mom who makes sure the water bill gets paid so that you can shower. I’m the mom who clips your fingernails and buys you toothpaste and nags you to wear deodorant.

I’m also the mom who forgets things. Not the big stuff, like birthdays or Christmas, although there have been a few notes from the Tooth Fairy instead of cash. But I forget things that you already told me. I forget that when you were playing a video game yesterday, you scored 58 touchdowns and a free throw, and spawned…maybe a chicken? I don’t know. I forget.

But I’m also the mom who can tell in a single glance when you are upset, and who listens to you when you are sad and angry and when you are happy and excited, even if I do tend to forget your ponies’ names and LeBron’s stats and how to catch ’em all.

I’m the mom who wants to slay all your dragons and breathe fire on anyone who dares to hurt you.

I’m also the mom who too often hurts too much to cook dinner. I’m the mom who lets you eat an unhealthy amount of macaroni and pizza rolls. I’m the mom who has piles of clean laundry on the couch because my arms ache so badly I can’t fold it. I’m the mom who gets overwhelmed too easily. I’m the mom who has to hide when things get to be too much. I’m that mom who cries in the bathroom when I’ve let you down.

I’m the mom who stays awake at night worrying about you. I’m the mom who wishes she could save all your hugs and all your “I love you’s” and get them back out on the days when there are no hugs, just slamming doors.

I’m the mom who loves you SO MUCH. You are the children who save my life every day. I’m the mom who is trying to be the parent you deserve, even when I’m not the one you might want.

 

*EDITED TO ADD: I am completely overwhelmed by the response this post has gotten. I love all you guys so much,  and even though everyone keeps saying that I’ve made them feel less alone, the truth is that YOU GUYS have made me feel less alone. Thank you all SO much for every like, comment, share, and kind thought. I’ve been trying to respond to all the comments, but as I guess y’all know, I’m sick a lot. But I have read every single one of them, and each one brings a smile to my face or a tear to my eye and sometimes both. I just wanted everyone to know how much your love and compassion for each other and your “me too” and your stories have affected me.

Love,

Steph

About Steph

I like words. I suspect I would like sanity, but I really have no way of knowing. I can be reasonable, but not often. View all posts by Steph

323 responses to “I Am Not That Mom

  • Grey Dove

    You’re my kind of Mom! You’ve got all the important parts down, the rest are trimmings, … well not for you of course, but in the world of Mom! Congratulations! Wish there were more Moms like you out there, it would be a better, kinder world.

    • Steph

      Thank you! I’ve got teenagers now (and through poor planning, will have teenagers for the next 16 years, lol) and this phase is both wonderful and heartbreaking. ❤

      • Nicole V

        I have a 21 and 19 yr old and a 6 yr old. I was a single mom the first time around and have chronic migraines with depression as well, so this is exactly me too. Thank you for this today. It actually came at the perfect time.

  • Just Plain Ol' Vic

    You are the mom every child should be lucky enough to have. I am lucky to be married to a wonderful woman that is that type of mom too.

    • Steph

      Thanks SO MUCH. I was worried that this wouldn’t come across the way I meant it…I’m glad people are seeming to “get” it so far. And give your wife a high five for me!

      • Victoria

        You and I have a lot in common..my mom is the same way and so am I..who cares if my house isnt spotless..my kids are happy and know they are loved…even when they are mad cause I said I just couldnt do something cause I was soo tire or had something else i was doing for them…like checking over their homework..loved the post.

  • Faith Simone

    Moms are living miracles: imperfect people who love perfectly.

  • Mental Mama

    I’m getting all choked up over here…

  • Kristine @ MumRevised

    It took me three times to get through this. I had to stop and ugly cry. I am the same mom (without the physical pain). If it was easy what would we write about? Sounds like we both need to give ourselves a bit of slack for forgetting the small stuff and remember that our kids won’t remember it in 5 minutes either.

  • Bon Steele

    I am the same Mom.
    It is good – really, really good – to know that there are other Moms who also worry about that stuff.
    No, no Barbies. No, no tea parties. No, no bouncy castles.
    But, yes long stories to be read, over and over. Yes, singing in the car and holding your hand ’cause that rainstorm was scary, yo. Yes, bring your bleeding (ACK!) wound to me, and I will bandage them right up.

    It sounds like you are doing an amazing job. Also, I am a little awestruck at the fact you will have teenagers for sixteen years. That is bravery personified. (I only have the one and sometimes even that is too much. I am a wuss!)
    I will be here, chin propped on hands, watching and learning. 🙂

    • Bon Steele

      Erm. Sorry about the strike-out. Apparently “” means strikeouts.

      *themoreyouknow.jpg*

    • Steph

      That’s great. Lol at the strikeouts! I have no idea how you managed that! When I calculated 16 YEARS I was like, I will never survive this. I mean, every stage is hard–just being a parent is hard–but teenagers! In my heart I know they love me, but in my head..oh, in my head. And I know they are just kids, and that they know I will always be there, but still…words from the ones you love the most hurt the most.

      • Bon Steele

        “words from the ones you love the most hurt the most”

        Oh, yes. Yes, they do. And because they love you and know you, they also get exactly where it’s going to hurt the worst.
        The upside to this is that this is often offset by the sweet moments of hugs and snuggles.
        Even when their breath could knock a buzzard off a s**t-wagon.

      • Aleasa

        I am the mom that is trying to comment on your beautiful post while sheets of tears flow down my cheeks, and I am in the mom that is so amazed at how perfect you took my thoughts from my head and turned them into yours and words in this post. I have a 23 year old boy, a 14 year old boy and a 13 year old daughter. My daughter told me 3 times today about the new my little pony coming out, and after three times I still can not tell you if she was talking about a movie or episodes for the season. I am the mom that she has asked at least 5 times today to check her newly built buildings on minecraft. I am also the mom who has never and will not ever have any interest in Pokemon, I do not know or do I care about which card has power, energy, or is legendary. I am the mom who has push mowed or almost 2 ares today, I am the mom who had to take breaks from the heat, catch my breath, just to come in and hear mom can you will you, mom, grabbing laundry to hang on the line and promising soon, give me just a bit more time. I am the mom that hesitates to say no again, going over in my head how many time I said just a moment, let me get this or that done, give me ten minutes and realizing it has been 2 hours. So I stop what I am doing and I go and look at whatever creations drawings, or and anything else they need me to see, listen to, or check out. Took a bunch of stops and goes but the yard is done, MOST of the laundry dried, but yes after everything else required of me today my hands and arms will not co operate with me to fold not even a towel. The aching muscle burning throb just wont let them. So they are clean but there is 3 large baskets of laundry on the couch to fold, still waiting for me. But first there is dinner to eat, you know what bologna sandwhiches and sisters birthday cake for dinner. Yes now that I did not cook yes I will sit and watch the movie with you. I know I miss half the movie but the dogs have to go out, I might as well get this or that done while there is a commercial break. I am the mom that head is pounding, ankles swollen and knees are burning and just plain hurting, but yes I am the mom that will go for a walk up the road because your PE teacher told you you were out of shape weighing only 90 pounds and 5’3″ you thought you needed more exercise for building stamina and endurance, yes I will help and motivate you. I am the mom who is sitting in the bathroom taking deep breaths cause GOD knows I am out of shape in pain and begging God for help cause there is still shit to do. I am the mom that you will never know any of this cause when you walk in the room all of a sudden I am wonder woman and pointing your attention somewhere else other than myself. And on that rare occasion you catch the tear in my eye, I am the mom that is just silly crying of a damn commercial, or song on the radio, that’s me silly and emotional but there is nothing you need to know or be concerned with. I could not help but to laugh out loud when I read that comment about the “safety scissors” I remember using the exact words you did ” my ass” LOL. few years back. 🙂 I am the mom who gets up 20 min earlier than you, and cooks eggs toast, grits, omlets, waffles pancakes, or whatever breakfast item we have discussed the night before, because my kids believe cereal or pop tarts are for a snack or desert. I am the mom that still comes in and says a prayer with you and get a hug good night. I am the mom that comes in just so I can see you sleep and so I can feel close to you cause where the hell did yesterday or today go. I am the mom that sheds tears cause I seen the hurt in your eyes and that is the last thing I wanted to do. I too am the mom that saves and balances, and budgets and still comes up short for whatever it was that we thought we would try to get this month. I am the mom who has my own physical and emotional shit, and has the husband that is bi polar, and suffers with paranoid schizophrenia, I am the mom who has the son that they are concerned with showing symptoms of childhood onset schizophrenia, anxiety, and a touch of Asperger. I am the one begging God to give me the strength and the ability to hold it together so that my husband, my son, keep it together, while at the same time praying that my daughter keeps smiling, laughing and does not suffer any issues from everything going on around her. I am the mother that does not smoke, do not do drugs, do not take pain pills, do not drink, because frankly I do not need anything else on my plate. I AM THE MOM THAT KNOWS ONLY GOD HAS GOTTEN ME THIS FAR AND ONLY GOD WILL KEEP ME GOING! I AM THE MOM that loves my children more than they know or more than anyone else will know, I am the mom of a 23 year old young man who has graduated from UT, is a second LT in the army, goes to church, volunteers in homeless shelters, but wants to ask me why I can not get ahead why am I always tired and I should being doing this and or that. I just say I am sorry I do the best I can, but I do not get mad or upset at him, cause JUST like my younger children he does not know what I keep inside or all I really do or have had to do JUST so he can be EXACTLY where he is right now. I AM THAT MOM So sorry for this but after reading your post I guess I really just needed an out myself and figure if anyone might understand, it might just be you. Thank you

        • Steph

          Oh! I just love that you connected with this so much, but also ache for you. I’m going to go backwards on your comment I think.

          It’s hard when they get older and they start judging you…that is where I’m at right now, and they just don’t realize, they have no idea of the sacrifices we make for them. They just don’t know…mostly because we don’t want them to. I am proud of your son, but I hope he starts cutting you some damn slack, lol!

          Your husband. That has got to be SO HARD. There is a lot of bipolar in my family, so I know a little bit about that, but I’ve never dealt with schizophrenia. How do you even handle that? I feel like you need a hug.

          Cereal and poptarts! Grrr, mine are the same way! If it’s not pancakes or waffles, they will just not eat breakfast. About 4 years ago I finally just said fine, drink an instant breakfast and get out of my face. There’s all kinds of breakfast stuff here; I hurt the worst when I first get out of bed and I’m just not doing it. Won’t eat cereal or poptarts for breakfast…you know we did that, right?

          That P.E. teacher sounds like a damned idiot.

          I hate hearing myself say, “Just a second!” but really, when it’s like you say, mom, hey mom, mom, can you, will you, mom, mom, mom….lol. JUST A SECOND!

          Thank you for your lovely comment and I hope you stick around. I think we have a lot in common.

          Oh! And that’s way too much mowing. 🙂

  • Rebekah Miller

    Yep. That’s me. Wearing bobo clothes, haven’t gone to a hair stylist in forever, have all the doctor’s appointments, has no time to sit and play games with the kiddos. We just do the best we can.

  • Margot

    Wow. This is written just beautifully. I struggle with very similar physical, mental, emotional (and thus financial) issues as you do, so this resonates with me in a huge way. The way you conveyed loving your children with such intensity and fierceness, all the while never feeling like you can do enough because of your health limitations is perfect.

    I read this and my heart hurts for you and feels proud of you at the same time. The really sad and ironic thing is that we can feel tons of empathy for others who are so much like us, yet can only be critical and judgmental when it comes to ourselves.

    Well done. I hope you can see that your ability to love and understand your children so well, while having to struggle with your own frustrating limitations, makes your children very lucky to have you as their mom.

    • Steph

      “The way you conveyed loving your children with such intensity and fierceness, all the while feeling like you can never do enough…” THAT. Thank you so much. This may be the nicest compliment I’ve ever gotten. I loved the whole thing.

      • Margot

        You are very welcome and I’m so glad it meant something to you. Look how many people are relating to this! Seems like we all might benefit from some type of support group, since most of us in this situation feel so alone.

        It’s too bad that you hadn’t written this before the Surviving Mental Illness Through Humor book was published. This piece would have been perfect for it. I’m so glad you were brave enough to share it with us, at least.

        • Steph

          I’m seriously AMAZED at the response from this. It has been read almost 20,000 more times than anything else I have ever posted.

          We DO need a support group. Maybe I should start a secret FB group…but I’d feel kind of silly doing that…so maybe YOU should start the group! 🙂

          I really want to have a piece on depression in the next book, since mine this time was funny. It would be super awesome if Alyson would just take this one, lol! The ironic thing about the SMITH book was that I was SO depressed during submission time that I could barely bring myself to do anything, but I knew I really, really wanted to be in it. Hopefully I’ll pull something together for this next time around.

          • Margot

            You don’t know how to work the twitter, I don’t know how to work the Facebook! 🙂 Seriously, I know people do a lot with FB, but I only seem to post and read the boring stuff.

            It IS ironic that you were too depressed to write a serious piece for the SMITH book and I remember you being disappointed that you only had a funny piece for it. That’s what depression does, though. It knocks you down over and over again. If they do put another book together, I really think that this piece should go in it (unless there’s a rule about submitting only work that hasn’t been published before, if even only on your own blog). I’ve watched the response grow and grow over the past few days, and that’s just from those who commented. With soooo many more views than what you normally get, this must be getting passed around and forwarded like crazy. So clearly there are lots of women suffering in silence. There are so many “I thought I was the only one” and “it’s like you were writing about me” type responses, along with a ton of tears and gratitude. And chronic pain almost always leads to depression and then they bounce off of each other in such complex ways. OK, back to receiving these continuing accolades, girl. No need to respond to this, I just wanted to reiterate my vote that this be included in any future SMITH book. Hugs to you and enjoy all of the compliments that are coming your way.

  • Darcy Perdu (So Then Stories)

    Gorgeous, honest, amazing — love this post, Steph!

  • Maureen

    Well said! We should all be so lucky!

  • naptimethoughts

    I’m the mom who totally gets where you’re coming from.

  • Marie

    I love this I feel like you just wrote this for me! Thanks for sharing

  • Andrea

    My first thought…..how do you know me? Then I contemplate that this article is about you, and suddenly I realize I’m not alone. Thank you.

    • Steph

      It’s good to know, right? I am completely amazed at the number of people who have been SO kind and supportive after I posted this! This was one of those more “personal” posts that I thought about not sharing…wasn’t sure anyone would understand or care. I’m clearly an idiot, lol!

  • Jeannie

    This made me cry and when I read it to my son he teared up as well and said “that’s just like us mommy”. Perfect.

  • Cathy

    What I would have given to have “known” you when I was raising my kids. Kid 1 (who shared this with me), is about 5 weeks from having her own little bundle or horror and joy. Daughter 2, only 19 decided that the Army was a great idea and is now halfway across the world. So, a little late for me, except for the mental issues of course. But, if you don’t mind, I’d like to stick around anyway.

    • Steph

      This makes me so happy, that your daughter shared it with you! That is just so awesome. And you’re about to be a grandma! Congratulations to you and your daughter! Both of them are clearly very brave – one to become a mother and one to join the army! You must have done something right. 🙂

      It is never to late to “find your tribe” as one of my favorite bloggers, Ms. Jenny Lawson, says. I would absolutely LOVE for you to stick around. Thanks so much for reading and commenting! ❤

  • Rebecca Hoy-Bowmaster

    I am this mom of 2 boys. I have a 10 year old and a 15 month old. I am also a mom with Ms. So my days are stressful and painful no matter what I do. I still play with both of my kids. Baseball with the oldest and whatever toys my lil one wants to play with at the time. I still work the hrs I need to so I can pay the bills. So yes my house isn’t perfect. Clothes are clean but usually in baskets lol. So I know exactly how you feel.

    • Steph

      Oh, that has to be hard. Is your MS under control? I admit I don’t know much about it, other than having an acquaintance who deals with it. Hang in there. We’re all doing the best we can, right? *hugs*

  • lovemorningwood

    The Mom you are loves them. They love the Mom you are…and that is enough.

    This is a beauty full post, friend.

    • Steph

      Thank you Tara you sweetheart! That means a lot coming from an amazing momma and writer like yourself! The kids DO know I love them, and I DO know they love me, but teenagers, OMG! Lol. It’ll be okay, I know it.

  • Trish

    I’m also that mom, and I hate it. I have a new understanding of ongoing pain and exhaustion, and how much it hurts – not just outside, but inside – because I just. can’t. manage it all some days because my joints ache so badly. I go in the bathroom or the car and cry, then suck it up and walk back out and pretend it’s not so bad and keep going. I wasn’t like this when I became a Mom, and it kills me that just a few years later… this is the case. Thank you for being honest enough to write this.

  • Salome Mallgren

    I read it and what I don’t understand is if your depression and anxiety are as crippling as you say they are and if you get overwhelmed so easily (as I do), why did you choose to have so many children? I chose to have a child because having never had one before, there was no way to actually know how overwhelming it can be at times. But now that I have my son, I am fully aware that having more children would put an unnecessary strain on my mental health and emotional well-being as I have borderline personality disorder, which is a very hard and volatile mental illness to live with and one that makes it imperative that I take care of myself and put myself first at times for the good of everyone around me. It’s just hard for me to understand your choices given that you claim you are in so much physical and emotional pain.

    • Steph

      Well. I’m not really sure what to say to this. I feel a little offended, or maybe hurt is a better word, at some of your word choices, such as “as you say they are” and “that you claim you are…” It’s obviously up to you as to whether or not you believe what I write is true, and I will go ahead and answer your question, choosing to believe that it is an honest one. I’m 36 years old. My kids are 17, 13, and 6 and 1/2. Seventeen and 13 years ago, I was healthy. I was in good physical health and my mental health was much better than it is now. Even 7 years ago I was in better health than I am now. Regardless of all that, if I could go back, knowing that at 36 years old I would be dealing with these personal issues, I would still have had my kids. Because I love them, and I couldn’t live without them, and no matter how hard it is, I will always put them first. Hope that answers your question.

      • Cori Combee

        WOW…. Idc who you are you should never, ever, ask someone why they chose to have so many children. My goodness, are you serious??? Obviously, she wanted to have this many children. I am sure that as hard as her life is, having her babies around gives her a joy and a reason to live that comes from no other source. We ALL have our issues, we ALL have our problems, we ALL have things in our lives that make us inadequate.. but you know what we shouldn’t have???? People asking us why we have some many children. What should we have??? More people supporting each other and not mom bashing based on what they are going through. You may feel as though having more children would be an “unnecessary” strain but to others is a “necessary” joy and just what they need to make it through the day.

      • Carrie

        I just want to say I 100% understand what you are going through. I have a 19 year old daughter, a 17 year old son and a 9 year old son. My chronic pain didn’t start until my youngest was 2 1/2. My depression and anxiety started when I found out my ex husband was having an affair, my youngest was almost 6. 2 years after the affair came out, I found out that my ex husband had molested my daughter so for the last year we have been dealing with the fallout from that. The police interviews, the protective order, the supervised visitation with my youngest and his father, the loss of a home, a marriage, a life. I moved across the country with my ex husband 10 years ago and have NO family support here. I cannot move home until the family court gives me permission to take my youngest son away from his father and they won’t do that until his criminal issues are settled. The home I currently live in belongs to my ex husband and he hasn’t paid the mortgage in almost 2 years so every day I wonder if I will come home and have the foreclosure/eviction notice on the door. I have a home back in my home state but I can’t move there so I am paying a mortgage on a home I can’t live in. On top of all that stress I have lived with chronic back/ SI joint pain, to the point of having to take pain pills daily just to function enough to go to work. Would I ever give up my kids because of all of this? NO!!! Even if I had known I would be struggling every day just to get out of bed due to pain and depression I would never ever trade my kids for good health.

    • Claudia

      Wow…..I’m shocked at Salome’s comment. I also took it as quite offensive.

      While it wasn’t aimed at me, I feel like I could be reading about myself, and thus feel qualified to answer.

      I was married at 22, had my first son (now 17) at 25. While second son was on the way (now 14), I first experienced domestic violence. I was stuck, or so I thought at 27, being told I was useless and no good & no one would want me. A rape by my now ex resulted in a pregnancy that ended in a 2nd trimester miscarriage. My heart was broken.

      My daughter, now 12, I had for all the wrong reasons, but I’m so glad I did.

      I have PTSD, anxiety, 2 autoimmune disorders, and I’m raising 3 kids alone. I coach baseball, work full time, fish & hunt….all through pain. Why? Because being a mom & raising these 3 beautiful humans is all I’ve wanted to do and be since my own childhood. They have beautiful, compassionate souls, and would NEVER offer judgment or criticism or judgment of others based on ignorance.

      I feel bad that you must not have that in your life, Salome Mallgren. I hope you find it someday.

      • Steph

        Thanks Claudia. I love your description of your children, “they have beautiful, compassionate souls, and would….” I think that must describe you too. Thank you again. ❤

  • sandracharrondotcom

    Aaah you are a real parent. I think I’ve found a kindred spirit. The other day at work a girl asked me why I had four kids if I didn’t like playing with them. I replied, “Because they smell nice when they’re little.” Bravo. I love your authenticity.

    • Steph

      I LOVE THIS! OMG, I love this so much. “Because they smell nice when they’re little.” I can’t even. You win today’s comments. Sorry, there are no prizes, as I just made this up.

  • herheadache

    Hahaha. I don’t really like pie, great post

  • Cori Combee

    I have small children. I have a 4-year-old little girl and a 3-month-old little boy. Most days I just cry. I feel so overwhelmed and like such a failure. This is so hard to figure out.

    • Steph

      Oh, Cori, that IS hard. Cut yourself some slack…kids that young, when they require SO MUCH care, that takes a lot out of you. At least mine are big enough to wipe their own butts. Do you have a support system? Anyone to help you? My best friend has a small baby and I tell her all the time that new moms (or any moms) have to have at least 5 hours of uninterrupted sleep a night. Not two and get up and then 3, but 5 in a row. Are you getting that? If you’re not, can you? Do you have depression? I have so many questions! So sorry, I just feel like I want to help you! Hang in there. You are NOT a failure and it WILL get better.

      • Cori Combee

        I do have help. But unfortunately, I can’t ask for help every day. They all have their own lives. My son refuses to nap, ever…. and I am trying to homeschool my daughter. I never can give her the attention she deserves and wants bc I literally never have any free time during the day. My husband is a huge help at night, but I feel horrible letting him help bc he works and needs sleep. Depressed… I am not sure. I feel overwhelmed just about every day bc he won’t nap. So after about the first 3 hours of the day he cries non-stop. Before I could just go and do any time I want with my daughter and now I can’t do anything. I love my son. I had to get past 3 miscarriages to have him. I know that this will pass, but I feel so trapped in this crying world.

  • Tiredeeyore

    Stunningly written. I enjoyed it until I got to the physical pain part. I sat, re-reading these words, soaking them up, marrying the emotional flavors, and breathing the fellowship in. My daughter said to me not too long ago, “I always forget you are disabled because I can’t see it. (2 back surgeries, 2 current herniated disks, arthritis, etc.) The Invisible Walking Wounded I call it. We don’t choose to be fragile, broken, or damaged. It just happens with life sometimes. Your naked candor is refreshing.

    • Steph

      Thank you. I’ve heard them called Invisible Illnesses. Sometimes I feel like it would be easier if people could SEE the pain, but that is probably not true. I hate that you are in pain too, but it IS good to know we are not alone. I love this comment…it is just so beautiful.

  • Emma

    I too ugly cried! Someone else who is in a similar position as me and fights every day. Thought I was the only one!

  • LB

    😦 I feel you. I am just like you. With two chronic illnesses, I am still trying to be the best mom I can be. Sometimes, I fail miserably and other times/most times, I get it right. (I think.).

  • Megan

    Steph, this is absolutely gorgeous; a testament to your inherent writing ability and an unwavering devotion to your family.

  • jeffingoff

    I’m the dad who cried a little when he read this. I’m the dad who thinks your children are lucky to have you and the world is better because you shared this.

  • Rebecca

    This made me cry. I thought I was the only one who felt this way. Thank you so much for finding the words I never could

  • Sarah

    I sat here for a while after I read this and knew that I wanted to comment, but I have been rendered almost speechless.
    This year, through some Lifetime movie type of insanity, my children were taken from me and went to live with their father. It has been the single most agonizing experience that I could have ever nightmared up. So many untruths, and then some truths, have been told along the way that I have struggled to remember the mom I truly am and the one I am not.
    Thank you so much for this. I want to say so much, but I know that nothing will accurately describe the way I feel after having read this today. Just know you have touched one person’s heart to the point of tears (of knowing, acceptance, a reminder, validation, and more).
    Thank you. Thank you. Thank you.

    • Steph

      THAT was beautiful and heartbreaking. Thank you so much for sharing it with me, and I am so glad if even one of my words helped you. I wish I could gather up all these moms and just hug all of you!

  • Andréa Lassiter

    I cried when I read this. Never have the words of another mom rung so deep in my heart. I am this mom and have always felt guilty that I am not June Cleaver. But not anymore. Thank you.

    • Steph

      Thanks for reading – you all keep thanking me for letting you know that you are not alone, but I think it’s ME that needs to be thanking YOU for letting me know that! I’ve never felt so understood as I do today. ❤

  • justkathy35

    I’m sobbing. Today is my daughters seventh birthday. It’s harder on her birthdays because I am not the mother I envisioned I would be 7 years ago when I held her for the first time. On good days I am. But on the bad days? On the bad days it’s hard to get out of bed, it’s hard to feed her, she eats too many sandwiches for dinner. On the bad days she feeds herself and watches tv with me in bed. I never asked for these diseases. I always was the strong one of my friends and family. Now I’m in pain all the time. The hardest part is she is soooo amazing. She loves me despite the fact that one day we are jumping in puddles and playing in the rain and the next mommy naps all afternoon.
    Sometimes it feels like no one understands. I needed this today. Thank you for being strong enough to share.

  • Laura Zakhar

    I love you. What you wrote is 100% what’s in my heart

  • Kim Swanson

    Beautiful….bless you for posting and being so honest as it hits home with so many moms, including myself minus the pain. Thank you for sharing!

  • Becca

    Wow, I could have written most of this word for word. Thank you!

  • Michelle

    I read this first on Scary Mommy…I had you in my inbox and got distracted…I NEVER miss your posts…and then I read this one .

    Wow. This is awesome and beautiful and I get you completely.

    • Steph

      You don’t ever miss my posts, because you are the greatest Rage Michelle that ever was. Thank you so much. It means a lot coming from the mom and writer that you are. ❤

  • Ashlie Maugans Welcher

    Amazing, I’m in tears. You said everything I have ever wanted to say as a mother.

  • Brandy

    Choked up and teary eyed. Kids have no idea how much we love them do they?

    • Steph

      God, they really don’t. Not a freaking clue! But neither did I, when I was running around breaking my mom’s heart. Thanks so much for commenting! I love hearing from you guys.

  • Jennifer

    Amazing. I am also this mom. Systemic lupus, sjogren’s, fibro. On so many meds and now chemo.. mother of 5. I may not remember what day it is some days but they all know they’re loved and I would give my last breath for them. Thank you for writing this.

  • Amanda

    Yes! Yes! Yes! Depression and Fibromyalgia trying to find things to do to make money, so I don’t have to leave her with some stranger while I go to a job I hate, all while hoping she doesnt grow up to hate me for not giving her all the toys she wants, but really praying that I raised her to know that those aren’t the things that really matter! Know you are not alone. I couldn’t tell you the last time I’ve crawled into bed and not cried, then I cry again because I feel selfish for crying when I’ve been blessed with the most precious gift in this world!

  • Tabitha

    While I don’t have some of the same issues, I can certainly relate to hiding things and feeling guilty for not taking some of the most precious moments to heart. I do, however, want my children to realize that while I am their mother and love them dearly, I am still human just as they are.

  • Jana

    Oye, teenagers are the worst! They are so mercurial and you never know what to expect from them from one minute to the next. Actually (and I hate to tell you this), but that phase lasts all the way through college and maybe beyond if they are still living with you. But eventually, they grow up and realize all that you’ve done for them – especially once they start having kids of their own and understand how rewarding, yet difficult parenting can be. Hang in there!

  • Lorissa

    Thanks for being brave enough to put this out there. This is the type of mother I had growing up, and the type of mother I strive to be everyday!! I also suffer from some of the more minor ailments you’ve mentioned, (which can make my day to day difficult) so I can only imagine the kind of struggle my mom, you and so many others go through. However putting your/our children first is always a priority and trust me they do and will notice and remember this!! My mother missed her fair share of games, concerts etc because she was in too much pain to walk, but when I truly needed her she was ALWAYS there!! Trust that that is what counts. You’re an awesome mom keep up the amazing work. Wishing you all the best! ♡

  • Wendy

    Omg… I’m in tears…. I thought this was only me…. I feel this way all the time. And my daughter is only 3.

  • Val

    Deinitely needed this today 🙂

  • llctaylor

    Reblogged this on From the Depths of my Mind and commented:
    Amazing and emotional. The truth about being a mom? It’s never easy if it looks like it on the outside. You go momma for not being that mom!

  • Sarah

    Thank you for showing me I’m not the only one in the world who feels this way. I’m leaving my fiancé because of how much everyone says I’m not a good mom because I don’t play with my kids and I’m a manipulated because I cry when things get hard. I used to cook and I used to be more active than I am now. Now I’m so depressed I can’t get out of bed ever. Every day I’ve had off this week I’ve been in bed. And it’s because of all the harsh words that have been said to me recently. And this is just what I needed to give me some confidence back! Thank you.

  • spinningonthewebb

    Reblogged this on spinningonthewebb and commented:
    Love this so incredibly much!

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