Today is the day that broke me.

The exact time was 2 p.m. But, now, isn’t it always 2 p.m.? It’s not quite time for a snack. Not time for a meal. Not time for a nap. Not the end of the normal school day. Not nearly the end of a normal work day. 

It was a Wednesday. I had to check that it was Wednesday though because every day, even Saturday, feels like a Wednesday. 

I think it’s been over three weeks since anyone went to school. 

RELATED: In Times Like These, It’s OK To Cry

This is also when I felt broken after having a baby each time. The first time, I got hard-core baby blues and mastitis. On a Wednesday at 2 p.m., my mother-in-law found me desperately trying to pump out the infection with my Medela, shaking with chills, and beyond exhausted.

The second time, my older child was sent home from preschool after falling on her head and was crying and my baby was crying and my C-section scar was hurting and it was 2 p.m. on Wednesday and no one had napped. 

Today, my husband gave me the “good news” that the bank had agreed not to make us pay our mortgage for the next three months. He was working on a separate loan in his office which would make it so he could still pay his employees (himself and me included) during the shutdown. 

I got a call from our kids’ therapist’s office that even though I had chosen our insurance plan this year specifically because they told me the office was in-network, our insurance was not covering the specific provider we saw. It is April and they are telling me this now? How much do I owe? And when will they expect me to pay it? And how am I going to break it to my husband, who is working hard to cover everything, that I somehow failed to realize our insurance wasn’t going to cover the mental health care we received?

RELATED: I’ve Never Been Tired Like This Before

Today, my daughter—now a kindergartner—had to write a poem for “distance learning” and had to fill in the blanks. “I worry,” she wrote, her handwriting a mix of capital and lowercase letters, “about coronavirus.” I heard her sound it out, “C-O-R-O-N-A-V-I-R-U-S.”  I checked her paper. She spelled “walk” “woc” and “about” “ubt” but she spelled “coronavirus” correctly. 

I cried.

My son, three, found me hiding in my bedroom and patted me on the arm. “What makes you sad?” He asked. I didn’t know how to answer. Finally, I sniffled, “It’s hard having everyone home all the time.”

“Well,” he said, sighing with a weariness of one much older than he, “are you going to be sad all day?”


But, I’ll fake it for you, kid.

I’m not fooling anyone. The gig is up. The kids know this isn’t the norm. They know Dad doesn’t usually hang out at home all day in his sweats. They know we usually leave the house. We are honest with them. 

RELATED: Dear Kids, Thank You For Being the Strong Ones

“Hey!” I call to my son who was wandering out, “Can I have a hug? I could use some love.” 

He climbs onto my bed, wraps his pudgy arms around my neck, and kisses me, putting his face on my face. 

“I’m hungry, Mama,” he whispers.

I’m up. Out of bed. 

I don’t have to fake it. I can be honest.

It’s OK to be upset about all this, even though we are healthy. 

At least I’m busy. I know being home with these tiny dictators can be exhausting beyond belief, but I think caring for them, entertaining them, and generally having their snuggly yet sometimes sticky presence in my life (and bed) is what’s keeping me from spiraling down the rabbit hole of internet news induced panic. 

I may be broken today. Broken hearted. Broken spirited.

The kids, though, they like me anyway. 

So God Made a Mother book by Leslie Means

If you liked this, you'll love our new book, SO GOD MADE A MOTHER available for pre-order now!

Pre-Order Now

Laura Wheatman Hill

Laura Wheatman Hill lives in Portland, Oregon with her dentist and two children. She blogs about parenting, writes about everything, and teaches English and drama when not living in an apocalyptic dystopia. Her work has appeared on Sammiches and Psych Meds, Her View From Home, Scary Mommy, Filter Free Parenting, Motherwell, and Distressed Millennial. You can find her at and on Twitter and Instagram @lwheatma

To the Teacher Who Let Me Dance: Thank You

In: Living
Feet of a young dancer on darkened stage

If you would have driven through my neighborhood in 2008, you would have seen a strange and humorous sight: a 12-year-old girl dancing outside her garage, blonde ponytail flying.  You would have seen the long, bright orange extension cord hooked up to a silver boombox and the concentration on my face as I practiced the moves from class. I’ve never been a confident or carefree person, but as I danced, you would have seen a girl who was free and fearless.  But what you wouldn’t have seen was the teacher who made it all possible.  It was the great recession...

Keep Reading

Marie Kondo Has “Given Up” on Tidying Up. Oh Marie, We’ve Been Waiting for You!

In: Living
Marie Kondo in red dress smiling

Dear, sweet, adorable, impossibly neat, put-together Marie Kondo, Pull up a stool to my kitchen counter, won’t you, love? I’ve just shoved aside a pile of odds and ends (including a teal hairbrush, a candy cane-shaped tube of half-eaten M&Ms, a notebook, pen—sans cap, always sans cap—, last week’s third-grade classroom teacher letter, and a toy motorcycle I still need to superglue) to make space for you. Don’t mind the little bits of nail polish on the laminate I can’t magic erase off from an appointment at the girls’ nail salon last spring (at least it’s coral, and coral never...

Keep Reading

We’ll Get Through Daddy’s Deployment Together

In: Living, Motherhood
Mother, father, daughter selfie, color photo

“I didn’t think we did that anymore.” I wish I could attribute that to one person, but I’ve heard it from multiple people when I’ve mentioned that my pilot-soldier National Guard husband is deploying overseas. Yes, we still do that. Men and women still suit up every day to carry out various missions, both valuable and confusing, around the country and the world. And for the whole of 2023 that includes my husband. My partner, my co-adventurer. The one who will use our flight and hotel benefits from his day job to visit Hawaii for three days on a pre-deployment...

Keep Reading

I Was Never Good Enough for My Mother, So I’m Done Trying

In: Living, Motherhood
Woman walking away

I’m on a path in life that is so different from what I ever imagined growing up. It’s a path I’m not even sure I consciously choose. And it’s a path that exhausts me. I grew up with a narcissistic mother, and I was the scapegoat. No matter how I tried, I could never gain my mother’s love. It was love that was tainted with conditions and taken away at any time—and that was often. And thus, I tried harder. Best grades, best behavior, cleanest room. It never worked. I was too fat. My thighs were huge—make sure they were...

Keep Reading

I Am an Immigrant Mom

In: Living, Motherhood
Mother and toddler in sunshine

I have many moments of What did I get myself into? during the day, especially when one of my kids is screaming at the top of his lungs and the other is having a make-believe experiment in the kitchen. We’ve heard countless times that raising kids is hard, but raising kids as a first-generation immigrant is harder. Obviously, there is no competition for who has more struggles or whose life is harder because child rearing is hard. Period. But this piece is specifically aimed at shedding some light on the unsung heroes, our so-called, first-gen immigrants raising kids in a...

Keep Reading

The Emotional Cost of Teaching Can Be Too Much

In: Living
Empty classroom desks and white board

“Do you ever regret leaving education?” I send this text to multiple former colleagues.  I feel a pain in my heart and tears swelling in my eyes. To be honest, I’ve thought about writing this multiple times but have always pulled back due to second-guessing myself. My goal as you read this is to not ask for sympathy but rather to be honest with you—and actually myself—in hopes that this time, I realize it is my time to go. RELATED: Want to Know Why Teachers Are Leaving Education? It’s Because We’re Exhausted Thirteen years ago, I proudly walked across the...

Keep Reading

I Went No-Contact With My Toxic Mom: Here’s What It’s Like

In: Living
Toddler girl looking out over mountains, color photo

Two and a half years ago, with tears in my eyes, an ache in my heart, and an eight-month pregnant belly, I walked off my mother’s porch for good, and I never looked back.  The month after I left was probably one of the most chaotic times of my life. My husband quit his job, I packed my house up into a 14-foot cargo trailer, moved into a new home that I bought online, then drove 2,100 miles to it with my husband and our 18-month-old daughter. I immediately hired a brand new OB-GYN and had my C-section birth alone...

Keep Reading

This Is Not a Drill: Ted Lasso Season 3 Is Almost Here!

In: Living
Ted Lasso Coach Nate Apple TV+ still shot

Confession: Ted Lasso didn’t interest me at all.  Soccer is not my thing. I live in the kind of Midwestern state where soccer is code for “I’m either freezing on the sidelines watching my kid play in 40mph winds and snow, or sweating so much I’m sticking to a camping chair in 100-degree heat, there is no in-between.” It’s just a fact of life for us.  So when the Apple TV+ series first crossed my radar, I skipped it. Who cares about soccer (nee, fútbol for our European pals)? Then my husband and I needed a new series to watch...

Keep Reading

There Are a Lot of Families Simply Trying to Get By

In: Living, Motherhood
Woman buying eggs

Times are tough right now. If you’ve been to a grocery store lately, or a gas station, or anywhere really, I’m sure your wallet is feeling it. I know mine is. My family falls somewhere between low and middle income—like so many families around the world.  We’re just on that line where we don’t qualify for assistance, yet we also don’t quite make enough to comfortably pay bills and have much leftover for anything else. And, boy, are we feeling it lately with prices the way they are. We stretch our food and our budget as far as possible, but...

Keep Reading

Hey Girl! Chrissy Teigen and John Legend Welcome Rainbow Baby, Esti Maxine

In: News
Luna and Miles holding their new baby sister

UPDATE: Hey girl, hey! We finally have the details on the new addition: Welcome to the world, Miss Esti Maxine Stephens! This rainbow baby is already clearly adored, which was apparent in the debut photo Teigen shared of her being cradled by her older siblings. According to her Instagram caption, Daddy John Legend “sheds nightly tears of joy seeing Luna and Miles so full of love.” Teigen also apparently gave birth for the first time via C-section, which she shared with the realization she still has to wear diapers. She says “the house is bustling and our family could not...

Keep Reading