So God Made a Teacher Collection (Sale!) ➔

I looked up. She stood there holding a capless marker, feverishly gripping it with her whole hand, pushing the tip down so hard it was breaking the orange color down as she drew lines across my coffee table.

In that instant, I snapped, screaming out loud, “NO!” feeling the words vibrate in my own belly. My mouth wide open and my eyes wider, I could see myself through her little face as she looked up and was equally taken aback by my anger, bursting into tears.

But, I did not feel the pang of remorse for yelling as I have before. Times when I reprimanded her and she dropped her head and cried. Those times, I would rush in and scoop her up and kiss all over her buttery face, feeling bad for yelling or scolding, and apologizing as I wiped away the tears.

No, this time, the anger stayed in my gut and I placed her in timeout exclaiming, “We color on paper, not furniture and things.”

“You’re mean!” she cried out to me pouting and red-faced in the living room loveseat, arms crossed over her and anger in her little voice.

Still nothing.

My soul felt oddly cold as I turned to gather up the many markers laying on the living room floor, reuniting them with their caps. She screamed in the background, and I quickly tuned her out.

We have entered a new stage in toddlerhood. A stage of fierce independence, boundary testing, and declaring one’s many wants and needs. I am new to the stage, as she is my first child. And, while I like to think I am a good mom, on this day, I did not feel like one.

Not because I yelled at her for doing something that was clearly wrong, and not for providing a punishment such as a few minutes in timeout—but for feeling so desperately burned out that I had no feeling at all.

I texted my husband, asking him to come home. I texted my own mom, “I am having a mommy meltdown,” and then proceeded to cry as I sat in the middle of my daughter’s bedroom floor.

At that moment she came to me, and while I try not to let my daughter see me cry, I felt so depleted that I cried upon her shoulder. I did not hide the tears, even though I tried. Instead, they ran effortlessly down my cheeks.

“Don’t cry, Mommy,” she said, holding my face.

I whispered I was OK, but clearly, I was not. I  really was having a “mommy breakdown.”

When my husband arrived, he offered to take her to give me some time, which I did not turn down. As I closed the front door, I turned to the living room and sank into the couch feeling the nothingness churn inside me into a pit of sorrow. It was a broken feeling. A pain of failure.

Motherhood is a 24/7 duty that we cannot clock out from. Just like any responsibility, there is a sense of highs and lows, and that day was a new low. But, I am learning that it was and is OK. While we want so badly to be our best and deliver our “A” game, sometimes the cards are just not in our favor. We have to learn to muster through the messiness and do the best we can—even if that means feeling empty or crying on your toddler’s shoulder.

A feeling of helplessness as a mother. A feeling of sorrow and failure. A brief feeling of not feeling at all. Reaching a moment in your life when the piles of stress just build one layer too many and leave you feeling so weighted down. It can all leave you feeling broken. 

If you are reading this and feeling this pain, know you are not alone. You are never alone. Many, many, broken mommies are out there at this very moment. But, you will push through and have better days. Sometimes, it simply takes just knowing this to get through.

You may be broken in this moment, but the reality is it’s just a moment . . . and you are still great.

Ashli Mazer

Hi I am Ashli. I am a first-time mommy, full-time marketing professional, part-time blogger and no-time sleeper. I like to think I manage it all but really life is just me managing the chaos while dancing backwards in high heels. You can read more at my Blog, BackwardsNHighHeels.com.
 

Every Time the Doctor Says, “It’s a Girl!” My Heart Grows a Little More

In: Kids, Motherhood
Sisters sitting on park bench

When I’m in the grocery store with my girls, I always get comments. My oldest girls are walking near the cart with my two-year-old running up and down the aisles. “Three little girls! Wow! God bless you, Momma!” Then they look in my cart and see the car seat holding my nine-month-old. “Is that a baby boy in there?” “No, another girl!” I reply. I get a variety of responses when people realize I have four girls under the age of seven. “Wow, you’ve got your hands full!” “Going to try for a boy?” “You are truly blessed—your girls are...

Keep Reading

Raising a Child with a Severe Food Allergy Affects the Whole Family

In: Kids, Motherhood
Little boy looking at ice cream cone

I saw something recently that said, “It’s National Ice Cream Day today!” and I cannot stop thinking about it. Now I know that sounds silly, but as a mom of a child with a severe dairy (and egg) allergy, I must admit at times it makes me sad (and more often jealous if I’m being completely honest) when I know my son is going to miss out on another fun or “normal” thing that other kids his age are experiencing, like actual ice cream and ice cream parties. If I continue to be honest, I get jealous when I see...

Keep Reading

So You’re Not the Fun Parent…So What?

In: Kids, Marriage, Motherhood
Woman reading book while two play in background

I’m not the fun parent in our household. Of course, this comes as no surprise to me but it still stung when my 8-year-old said to me rather bluntly the other night, “Daddy’s way more fun than you.” And while the rational part of my brain knows better than to take this kind of comment to heart, my super-sensitive, highly emotional primitive brain did the exact opposite and ran with it.  Daddy is the more fun parent. I’m the stricter, more rigid, and more uptight parent. I’m not the type of parent who, in the spur of the moment, will...

Keep Reading

Mine Is the Shy Kid

In: Kids
Girl sitting on side of playground

I’m the mom of one really shy child. But not your quintessential shy kid. I don’t mean she is “slow to warm up,” because my daughter might not warm up at all. And I don’t mean that she’s only shy until she gets to know you. There are friends and family members she still hides from or won’t talk to. What I mean is my almost-4-year-old struggles so much with her shyness that it’s hard for her to interact with most people. Especially her peers. I’ve Googled more than you could ever imagine about this topic: How shy is too...

Keep Reading

In This Magical Place Called Kindergarten

In: Kids
Kids at elementary school circle time

It’s hard to put into words what happens in a classroom in the course of a year. Especially a kindergarten classroom. For many children, this is their first experience away from home, from their place of comfort and security—the place where they can always be themselves. But teachers are a special breed—especially teachers of littles. And they step into this substitute role with the biggest hearts and the most love to give. They take this unknown, intimidating place and then transform it into a magical, wondrous adventure. A classroom, a community, a family. A place where these little people can...

Keep Reading

Summer Goes by Too Fast

In: Kids
Boy lying on bench at park, color photo

To my oldest, As our summer vacation nears an end and we begin school supply shopping, I think about all the things we didn’t get to do together this summer. I instantly feel mom guilt. All the plans I had made? Only half of them done—if that. RELATED: Remember When Summer Lasted Forever? All the books I was going to read to you at bedtime? Only a couple short ones. All the creative art we would do? Maybe just one time. The fact is, I let time slip away from me. I was too focused and anxiety-ridden about work, my...

Keep Reading

Going on Family Vacation with Young Kids is Work That’s Worth It

In: Kids, Motherhood
Mom with two young kids on airplane

Our routine will be a mess. Our toddler won’t sleep in a new environment. Our baby needs all of the gear. The flight could be a disaster. I went through a mental checklist of reasons why this kind of family vacation would be hard. It was a pretty convincing list if I’m being honest. I considered throwing a pity party dedicated to the concerns I shoulder as a mother. A few days later I felt a wave of conviction wash over me. I was dreading a trip that was meant to be a blessing to our family. Any kind of...

Keep Reading

I Want To Raise Good Sisters

In: Kids, Motherhood
Four girls sitting on a rock in the forest, color photo

My current dilemma: how to teach four little girls how to be good sisters when I have no idea what I’m doing? I was an only child growing up, and a tomboy at that. It was a lonely, quiet childhood. I remember wishing for a sister, but knowing that with my single mom, it wasn’t going to happen. So, the sister thing is a big mystery to me. I’ve noticed (admittedly with some envy) adult sisters together and their inside jokes, shared history, and language known only to each other. I’ve read about sisters in books. The relationships between the four...

Keep Reading

I Don’t Just Love You, I Like You

In: Kids, Motherhood
Young boy standing at bridge, color photo

My growing child, my heart often aches when I look at how big you have gotten. You aren’t a baby anymore, you’re a whole kid. You are your own person, with your own thoughts and feelings. You have your own friendships, and interests.  Parts of me realize you don’t need me the same, but deep down I know you need me all the same. And I’m realizing, that in all of these changes, my love for you is also a like.  RELATED: Being Your Mom is the Greatest Honor of My Life Because now we can connect in a whole...

Keep Reading

Dear Kindergartner, I’ll Always Remember You This Way

In: Kids, Motherhood
Mother and child touch foreheads

The first magical flickers of your strong heartbeat on a black and white screen— the reassuring evidence I needed to know you were gaining strength for this world. My belly grew, and I proudly went shopping for maternity clothes to cover it. I felt the first dances of your little feet, and it reminded me of butterflies taking flight— the movement of a true miracle. I’ll always remember you this way. The sounds of your first cries—music ringing in my ears. You were real, Earth-side, and wanting only to be loved. The softness of your skin, the way you smelled,...

Keep Reading

Get our FREE phone wallpaper to encourage you as the new school year begins

It's bittersweet for a mother to watch her child grow—but you both are ready to soar.