Sometimes the toys, the mess, the snot, the accidents and our emotions are just too much. We can feel like we hate being a mom. You are not alone.
Faith

For Those Days When You Hate Being a Mom

I just sat my two-year-old son in front of Thomas the Train…again.

Today hasn’t been hard. My husband fed the baby a bottle (even though I exclusively breastfeed most of the time). I slept in. The house wasn’t even THAT much of a wreck this morning when I finally trudged down the stair for my morning coffee.

Even though my house isn’t a wreck, my heart is.

I spoke to my heathen friend last night. She’d readily admit to being a heathen. But I just needed to talk to a non-Christian about my emotions. I didn’t want the “Godly” answer — I just wanted someone to “hear” me, not “counsel” me.

I had already admitted my feelings to my husband (who understood me), to my sister (who encouraged me), but last night I spilled out my heart to a friend that would identify with me.

This is hard to type. It’s hard to type because it’s not my ETERNAL TRUTH…but it’s my truth right now:

Today, I hate being a mother.

There. I said it. I wish it weren’t so. Especially since I have six kids.

Actually one of my little ones is calling my name right now to “wipe her hiney.”

I’m back…even though I didn’t want to. And this is my life. Doing a long laundry list of things I don’t want to do while totally forsaking anything I want to do. I’m that great invisible mom in that one poem.

No one sees all I do. But that’s not totally accurate…they may not see it, but lately I’ve made VERY sure they HEAR about all I do. In fact, my daughter told me yesterday, “You HATE being a mother.” And in a fit of anger, I agreed with her. Because in my heart, I do agree with her.

After we both cooled off I reminded her that even though I currently hate being a mother, I DO NOT HATE HER.

She said it sure “felt” like I hated her. I apologized and told her that I’m super sorry that she’ll need therapy. I’ve told her in the past that I’d pay for therapy when/if she needs it. But I don’t tell her that anymore because I’m pretty sure that given our current financial status we WILL NEVER BE ABLE TO AFFORD therapy for her…and we definitely won’t be able to pay for it six times over.

Crap. Crappity. Crap. Crap. (This is the more “Christian” version of my heathen friend’s words, mind you.)

Why am I even putting my words out there? I can just imagine the judgement…judgement is my worst nightmare.

For all your Christian high-horses, I’m a fan of the Duggars. I’ve read the Pearl’s books. I love the Maxwell family. I respect the opinions of Voddie Bauchman. If you doubt my absolute sincerity and love for my children, search my posts OR just give me the benefit of the doubt. Or just post hateful comments “in the name of Christ” how I shouldn’t FEEL this way.

For those who aren’t judging me, but might be where I am at. Know the truth of my spirit is: I LOVE MY FAMILY. I submit to my husband. I want to pour out my life as a drink offering to my children and my community. I want to be like Jesus.

But all these desires are intersecting with some other desires. There is a war. Inside my heart.

I am ignoring all my responsibilities this morning. Homeschooling: nope. Working out: nope. Cleaning: half-nope. I’ll feed the kids today. I’ll love on them the best I know how. I’ll try to smile. I’ll try not to yell. I’ll try…because that is all I have.

I am putting my words out into cyberspace, because I’m pretty sure that someone…somewhere is drowning just like me. And they need to know they are NOT alone. I’m putting my words out there because I need prayer.

I don’t want to hate being a mother.

I want to love it. I want to make the bowl of oatmeal my five-year-old daughter just requested and NOT be annoyed. I want to deliver it with a smile. But since my son is shoving a book that I refuse to read to him and now he’s aiming to crawl in my lap, I’m pretty sure I just can’t will myself to do it.

And I’ve tried. I’ve ignored all my internal warning signals that I’ve reach a boiling point. I’ve smiled when I felt like crying. I’ve been sweet when I would have rather been bitter.

But somewhere in all my efforts to love motherhood — I’ve lost my joy. I’ve lost myself. I’ve lost God. My mission statement is: Learning to Thrive, instead of Survive by the power of the Holy Spirit. But lately, ya’ll…I’m surviving. Definitely not thriving. I’m not sure when the Holy Spirit left my house-party…but he has.

I’m desperate to get him back. I don’t want my children to remember me like this: miserable. Maybe it’s hormonal. Maybe I’ll get over it. I’ll return to my kid-loving happy self tomorrow. But I doubt it. I need God’s power to do this motherhood thing. I need God’s power to LOVE IT. And I don’t have it. I don’t know how to get it.

I listened to Lysa TerKeurst this morning. She illustrated a story about a time when God asked more of her than she was able to give. She recounted a story of locking herself in her closet in tears. She admitted that she couldn’t do it anymore. She couldn’t homeschool her five kids. And God spoke to her basically this. “If you just show up and bring the little bit of obedience you have, I’ll do the rest.”

Today, I hold out my palm with my metaphoric tiny handful of dirt — an offering — to God. It’s not much. In fact, I think I see half of it blowing away as I look at it. It’s next to nothing.

I hold up the hope that one day I won’t hate being a mother. That I’ll REGAIN a love for motherhood deep down on the inside of my heart. I know it’s possible. Not with me…but with God.

But today, I’m at the end of myself, hoping that God catches me as I fall.

 

37 Comments

  • Daryanne

    I know it’s 4 years after the fact, but I am there today. I have a 2 year old and one on the way. I have cried out all my tears and simply felt empty. My 2 year old just woke up and needs me again…back into the furnace I go. Thank you for sharing your feelings.

  • Jen

    This post is old, but it’s me today. And yesterday. And everyday for months now. I cant shake it. I hate it all. I want to run away and never come back. The mess, the yelling, the constant bickering between the kids. Everything always breaking. Never enough money…im just so done. None of this was supposed to be this way. I used to do crafts with the kids and plan day trips and make pillow forts, now I just count the minutes until bed time. Ive spent the better part of today hiding in bed crying. I’m just so done. This post gives me hope for a better tomorrow. I hope your tomorrow was better.

  • Alias

    I’m struggling sooooo much right now and feel the same way…also my
    Marriage currently blows. We have zero family nearby and can’t keeo paying childcare and date night so I don’t remember the last time I went on a date. He’s admitted some
    Seriously sins to
    Me lately…just feeling so….sad

  • AME

    I just sobbed and wept like a baby. Thank you for sharing your story. Your truth. I have 4 children and may be possibly pregnant with a 5th. I can’t bear it. I have never really enjoyed being a mom, it’s been hard. Like you, I love Jesus, I want to be like Him, I want my life to be an offering to Him! But for some reason I am NOT enjoying motherhood. I am thinking that the problem may be in my own heart. My own soul issues. I’m contemplating counseling. I didn’t have a great mother, she was hardly there for me and my siblings. I”m thinking there’s a connection. I don’t know how. But I just wanted to tell you that I felt every, single, word on this post. And I don’t want to be “counseled” either! I just want my christian friends to be there and to listen. But it’s so hard!

  • sarah

    ” I’m not sure when the Holy Spirit left my house-party…but he has.” Best. Quote. Ever. I totally feel you. I sometimes hate being a mother. I feel like this is the hardest thing I have ever done and I suck at it. Any redeeming qualities my children have are in spite of me not because.

  • Karmin

    While I don’t necessarily agree with the terminology, I understand the sentiment. It’s tough to constantly be “on”, to constantly do for others, to never feel like enough, to never have enough to give, to wonder where the “me” went. But I suppose that’s the point. We aren’t enough. God is. I have prayed for you, that you find the “me” in the equation and locate your joy once again. It’s not gone. It’s just misplaced. And that’s a feeling you share with many of us. And it sucks.

    I may be out of line, and I realize you don’t want the “Christian” response, but I’d like to add… make sure that you really mean “hate” when you use it because it’s such a strong word. I know you love and care about your family. Missing your old life, wanting more time to dedicate to poetry and writing, wanting to not hear 6 voices going at the same time all day long, longing for the day they can take care of themselves, not wanting to wipe one more butt or make one more bowl of cereal or clean up one more spill or listen to one more 45-second sounding out of “c-a-t”, feeling down-in-the-dumps, wondering what real, adult conversation sounds like… they just are what they are. Hatred of your role? That hurts my heart. Might it just be longing for what could be, instead? Longing for a different role? In time, Friend. In time.

  • kirsten Oliphant

    Love you! Just NOW getting to read this, because that’s what my life has been like the last few weeks. All of this. Right now a girl who is half sick is crying for me and I’ve already held her for an hour and forsaken all my post-bedtime plans and I’m just so struggling. Thanks for writing this. I have a post I’ve been writing in my head that will totally link to this. Love you and hope we can both love it big time. Not every moment, because that isn’t reality. But in a very real and big way.

  • Christine Leeb

    Thank you for your honesty. You are not alone. I have days like that too—even seasons like that. I went through almost 5 years of infertility to get pregnant in the first place, so I have another layer of guilt over times I feel that I’m not enjoying motherhood because I nearly ended my own life at one point because I thought I was never going to be a mom. For me, it’s a daily conversation…asking God to fill me with His joy and allowing me to find joy in being a mom. They are truly gifts from God–although annoying gifts sometimes! 🙂

    Praying for God to overwhelm you with His joy as you love and serve your family and your kids. Praying you can find that even by tomorrow, you will wake up with a new focus and a new energy!

    You are a beautiful writer! Thanks for sharing your heart…no judgment at all!
    Blessings-
    Christine

    • Elaine Mingus

      I actually thought about all the people who struggle with fertility when I wrote this post…how horrible I must sound and all that.

      Having four of the six kids under the age of 5 is crazy. I know I “signed” up for this. Most days, I’m okay. But sometimes it’s just plain exhausting and overwhelming to constantly “give of yourself.”

      Thanks for being honest with your struggles and the encouragement.

  • Sharon

    Elaine, my heart goes out to you. My children are grown and they do grow so fast. Is there anyway you can get some “me.” I’m praying you get an uninterrupted hot bath with a good book every day. I used to take a night away from home being away about 36 hours to regroup after my third was born. He was a pistol. If there is anyway you can get a battery recharge time, I know it would help. You are running on fumes. No wonder you are fuming. No one could give 110% to 6 children and a husband and home school without losing it sometimes. Refuel. Love and Prayers to you!

    • Elaine Mingus

      I totally agree. I am learning to “put my foot down” a little more so this “me” time doesn’t get trampled on. I think that has cause MUCH of my frustration! Thank you for praying for me!

  • Liz

    Pure bravery, Elaine. I love that you shared this. Because it’s OKAY to admit where we’re at – but also, from someone who has no children and plans to have no children, it’s refreshing to know that motherhood isn’t all blessings and pure joy and sunshine… because that’s what I’m told I’m missing. I never hear about how hard it can be or how sometimes the bad days outweigh the good – maybe because there’s the worry of judgement for admitting it, or maybe because they really want me to cave and have kids so then I can relate and commiserate. I dunno. I just appreciate your honesty – and I have NO DOUBTS how much you love your family.

    • Elaine Mingus

      Thanks, Liz. No one’s life is all roses…if they say it is they are lying! I support your decision to remain childless. You may/may not miss our on certain blessings, but you will reap others.

  • Sarah

    I so get this. Sometimes motherhood is the pits. I didn’t quite connect until you said you wanted to get your 5 year old’s oatmeal without rolling your eyes. Oh My Gosh. . .yes. Hang in there.

  • Lisa

    No condemnation, just lots of empathy. I’m glad your husband understands and gets it. That helps. We all go through hard seasons– you’re not alone. Praying for grace and REST.

  • Martha

    OMG Elaine, I love you, thanks for putting that out there. I have those seasons, I might be in one right now but I don’t want to admit it…but thanks for being raw and being honest. I often think I’ve ruined my children…and I won’t be able to pay for their therapy either. Oy…

  • Amanda

    You are a brave mama. Love you and love your honest. I am a Mom of 1 and sometimes get overwhelmed. maybe more than sometimes. You are not alone and you are loved. Thanks for sharing your heart, i know it must have been really hard to hit publish, but I’m so glad you did.

  • Kristin

    I have SO been there. Grace, grace, grace. We have all been there, if we’re honest. God loves our ‘dirt’ offerings, because it’s important to just show up. It’s when we are in the depths of despair and don’t show up, or deny our feelings, that we lose out on that all encompassing grace of God meeting us where we’re at – of friends who have been there and don’t try to fix it but are just THERE. And our kids getting to see us be real, and struggle, because sometimes life is hard and messy. And then see we can do hard things – just not on our own.

    Thanks for sharing your brace and honest words. I really love your heart.

  • Leah

    Thank you for your honesty, for baring your soul in front of all of us to see. I hope you know that YOU are not alone. That I and others will pray for you today as you hate this part of life so much. And that God will redeem it.

    Jesus, be near this desperate mother. Love her. Help her know she is loved. Amen.

  • Melissa

    Heathen here – and I completely get where you’re at, because I’m there most days, too. I love my kids. I don’t love being a mom – it’s soul-sucking, honestly. I want to love it, but when I hear about all of the “la-la-la everything about motherhood is wonderful!!!” people, it just makes me want to crawl further into a hole.

    Hugs to you, and hope for both of us to figure it out.

  • Susan Shipe

    I hate my life today too. Just plain cannot stand it. I want to love it because everyone says I should but today I DON’T. You’re in good company. It’s full moon. Maybe that’s the problem.
    I’ll hang in if you do.
    xo

  • Crystal

    Take heart from a half way heathen, you’re not alone. Praying for better days for you ahead. There’s a season for everything, and not all Moms are happy all the time!

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