Yesterday, I cried in my car.
I wasn’t going to say a word about it to you, or to anyone. I was just going to gloss over it and pretend like it never happened, because I was embarrassed. I was embarrassed because admitting that I was having one of THOSE days made it seem like I didn’t know what I was doing, or that I just couldn’t handle it. I was afraid that sharing this vulnerability was going to make me appear as a fraud, because here I am, nearly three years into the motherhood game, and I’m still losing my cool enough to need to go cry in the car sometimes.
It had been a loooong day, and one that followed an even longer night- a night that saw very little sleep- and patience was already running thin. And then, much to my dismay, my darling little almost three year old decided this was the perfect opportunity to refuse to nap. After being up all night. After keeping US up all night with her. We were all so desperate for sleep, and now suddenly, it was no where on the horizon.
To make a long story short, I will fast forward to 4pm. And because life has a funny little way of continuing to go on, even after the nights of no sleep and the days of worn patience, I was faced with the impossible. I now had to get my flailing, screaming, overtired but not willing to nap toddler into the car.
And mamas, I lost it.
It was a battle getting her in the car. It was a battle getting her seat belt buckled. It was a battle driving down the road with a shrieking toddler in the back seat. And all of these battles came after an entire day full of negotiating, and soothing, and putting out fires (you know, typical overtired toddler drama).
But this particular battle was the straw that broke the camel’s back. And when nothing was working, nothing was soothing, nothing would make the screaming stop anymore, I broke down and cried.
And as we cruised down the road- her screaming, me crying (also not the FIRST time that this scenario has played out in the past 3 years), I realized that these are exactly the kind of moments that NEED to be shared. I thought back to all of those lonely, confusing moments with a tiny baby at home. All of those times I was crying, and she was crying, and I would tell myself that surely no one else was struggling like this. Certainly everyone else was “doing better” and I must not be good enough, because there I was, reduced to a puddle of tears once again.
I thought back to all of the times I would have longed for nothing more than to hear someone else say that sometimes they hide in the bathroom and cry, too. That it wasn’t just me. That I wasn’t failing. That it didn’t make me a bad mom because I had a those moments where I wasn’t sure how I was going to push through.
The truth is, we need to hear about other moms crying in their cars while their children scream in the back seat.
We need to hear about other moms losing their tempers because they just can’t take it anymore.
We need to hear about losing our patience, and wanting to hide, and crying in the car, or the pantry, or the bathroom, because these are the very things that help us to know that we are not alone when we’ve hit desperation mode.
We need to know that toddlers everywhere are pushing buttons until mama hits her breaking point. And that fussy babies going on their third hour of screaming for the evening are making mamas all over the world question whether or not they were cut out for this.
Because this is the exact kind of thing that gives us the strength to not give up when we feel like there’s no strength left in our over tired souls. It gives us hope that we can keep going when we feel like our backs are against the wall and we just can’t take it anymore. And more important than any of this, it tells us that we’re not alone.
That we aren’t the only ones who struggle.
That we aren’t the only ones who want to give up sometimes.
That we aren’t the only ones who aren’t “loving every minute.”
Motherhood is a tough job, but above all else, we are not alone in this battle, my friends.
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