Lost in The Parking Lot of Parenting

I lost myself recently. Kind of in the way you lose your car in a parking lot. You know you parked it somewhere; how else could you be standing in the middle of a shopping center, juggling kids and a cart full of groceries? But until you find it, you feel like you’ve lost your mind as well as the mini-van that got you there. You doubt your faith in ever finding it again.

That’s how I felt in our kitchen a couple of weeks ago: Lost in the parking lot of parenting.

The joy of motherhood had sucked the joy out of my life. I was overwhelmed with commitments I was not fulfilling. I was disgusted that the bathrooms hadn’t been cleaned in over a month. I was remembering that my partner had called me a grump earlier in the day. I was making my daughter’s lunch for the next day, trudging through one task so I could get to another. I felt lost.

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My kids are little — my daughter is three and a half and my twin boys are a year old — and because they are so little, some days feel like an absolute grind. Between the babies’ crying and whining, the amount of times I change diapers or wipe someone’s ass, and the number of meals I make each day, I crave time. Time to get stuff done that doesn’t involve catering to my children. Time to sit. Time with my partner. Time alone. I crave time.

Parenting is the most selfless thing I have ever done. Yet, because of the nature of having young kids, it also makes me selfish. After a day of being talked to, talked at, touched, climbed on, and cried on, I want to find a place to crawl into so no one can find me. I don’t want to communicate with anyone. I don’t want anyone to ask me for anything. And I don’t want anyone to touch me.

My friends and partner get the brunt of these selfish feelings, and my kids get the selfish thoughts. When my boys are fighting sleep before a nap or bedtime, all I can think is, Shut up! Go the fuck to sleep! And when I’ve had enough of playing with my kids or enough of watching them play, I can’t help but think how goddamn bored I am. Then I think of all of the other things I rather be doing than being right there with them.

Them. My kids. The three beautiful beings I couldn’t be happier to have. The three amazing people that have made my life perfect. I wanted them more than anything, but sometimes I want nothing more than to be away from them.

I don’t ever hide my emotions, yet it’s rare that I am pushed to the point of tears. I cried that night in the kitchen. My partner was much better than I am when she cries. She listened, and unlike me, she didn’t try to fix anything. What we did instead was talk about ways for me to find some balance between being a work at home and stay at home mom. She reminded me that it won’t always be this hard. She helped me restore faith in the fact I’m not really lost.

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The person I was before I had kids is still there. She’s just harder to find on some days. What keeps me going are the everyday things that make having kids so much fun. A tea party with my daughter. Giggles from my boys. Our first family hike. The before and after of those blissful things are usually exhausting, stressful, or even mind-numbing, but the during is where I am found.

My kids will be young for many more years, but as they get a little older we are able to do more with them and less for them. This gives me faith. This is the optimism I need to remind myself to breathe. This near future ability to do more for me and less for them is intoxicating. It’s not quite tangible, but it’s certainly there. The very real possibility of losing myself again is there too, along with the feeling I have lost my mind and the mini-van that got me here.

It’s there, though. It’s all there.

Related post: Motherhood: The Big, Fat Fuck You

About the writer

Amber Leventry is a writer and SAHM. She tries to be good at both each day, but never the twain shall meet. She lives in Vermont with her partner, the kids, and their attention-deprived and Cheerio-fed dog. She writes for The Next Family and InventorSpot. Follow her on Twitter @AmberLeventry. Her writing has appeared on Scary Mommy, BLUNTmoms, and Huffington Post.

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Renee 5 months ago

I want this tattooed on my forehead! “After a day of being talked to, talked at, touched, climbed on, and cried on, I want to find a place to crawl into so no one can find me. I don’t want to communicate with anyone. I don’t want anyone to ask me for anything. And I don’t want anyone to touch me.” This is so hard for people to understand. Husband, mother, sister…I constantly say “it’s not you, it’s me”…I just want to be left alone sometimes.

Melissa Raffel 8 months ago

When my two were little, I found myself thinking all of those same things you wrote in the article. Now that they are big(ger) and I can do more for myself and less for them, I find that I miss playing and being the center of their attention. I miss them.

Amber Leventry 8 months ago

Wow. Just wow. Thank you for the kind words and support. You are my virtual village.

Rose Nunez 8 months ago

Very true! Proud of u

Laura C. Arias 8 months ago

Can I just chime in and say, never seen so many twin moms in one comment thread! We’re awesome!

Stephanie 8 months ago

Thank you for this.. It’s good to hear I’m not alone!!!!

Dani 8 months ago

Dead on !

Sonja Marie 8 months ago

Kids are great but they suck the life out of you! Anyone who says no is full of shit!

Delilah Magão 8 months ago

Great article, couldn’t have said it better myself.

Megan Landers 8 months ago

I’m so thankful that there are mom’s who aren’t afraid to stand up and speak of this. As a stay at home mom, I feel this way a lot. There aren’t any breaks really when you’re a stay at home mom. I love it, I know it’s a blessing that I get the opportunity to stay at home and raise my children, but it can be so hard when you can’t get a break. Thank you for showing me that because I have these feelings, I’m not a monster or a horrible parent, that I’m just a normal mother trying to figure out how to raise well behaved, respectful, and independent children. Thank you

Mama Body Love 8 months ago

These are not selfish thoughts. This is reality for some of us. For some, parenting small children comes joyfully and maybe even easily. For others of us, it is a challenge and it is emotionally draining. I connect it to being an introverted person who needed a lot of alone time to do whatever I wanted before I was a mom. The uncovering of the pieces of yourself comes; it’s often in those unexpected moments between pushing the double stroller up a giant hill and doing a craft project; then you remember that you used to actually like making crafts or going for hikes, in that other lifetime.

Deirdre Kirke 8 months ago

It’s part of Parenting we all get lost at times, no shame in that

Giorgia Bomben 8 months ago

Thank you for this…it’s like you read my mind…

Alina 8 months ago

You describe motherhood in such a negative light .Not all mothers feel like this . Maybe mothers who feel like this more than 3-4 times a year are just doing something they are not cut for , something that is in conflict with their life aspirations. Motherhood should feel a blessing , even though it is not easy , but you should feel joy and accomplishment . I think a lot of mothers just complain and complain and overreact ,as if they are sacrificing their lives away , as if they are humiliating themselves instead of going out and seek adventure in life, instead of being purely , utterly independent and not stuck with 2-3 kids. It is so unfair to so many other women who wish so much to have children and cannot procreate. Life is so short and passing by so quickly and kids grow up so fast and instead of just whining like babies you should just enjoy that one year , one year and a half of your life when you have to change diapers, because there might be one day when you wish you could have turned back time and enjoy motherhood at its best. Motherhood is a privilege and next time all the mothers should just pay more attention to where they are parking their motherhood cars, because this is the most important thing you can do for your kids : your ultimate attention, because they are so worthwhile of your full attention! Don’t take babies , kids for granted, don’t take their childhood for granted, don’t take motherhood for granted, and above all don’t just blame your kids for the other aspects of your life that you feel unsatisfied about.

Becca Phillips 8 months ago

I’ve been there. I suffer from crippling anxiety and some days, though I have only one bashful, funny, lovely 5 year old daughter, I find myself alone in the bathroom sobbing through an attack of selfish thoughts. But in the end my girl asks if I wasn’t to play Barbies or babies or collie and I remember that she is my while reason for being. What would I ever do to full my days without her? :-)

Jenny Cox 8 months ago

Very true. Good to feel like you are not the only one. :)

Karen Abramson 8 months ago

Spot on. I miss me time!

Shannon Facundus Djukic 8 months ago

Thank you.

Danielle 8 months ago

I agree. Cried to my friend the other day too.

Danielle 8 months ago

I just had this breakdown/breakthrough the other day. I am a full time working mom with a 7 month old and a stay at home husband. Thank you for this article it really hit home right now.

Becky Lewis 8 months ago

Reading this article while recovering from a day like this yesterday, so the timing was impeccable. Great read and so true!

Jennifer Lyn Weigel Warren 8 months ago

Cameo Harmon — I understand the numb. I m in counseling and working toward losing the numb…. I honestly think numb is better.
I don’t know how it gets so bad even though we both know we are blessed beyond reason but I am beginning to think numb is protective of our sanity.

Ypsi 8 months ago

This is my experience. My kids were all colicky, very high-need babies and toddlers, and now that they’re 8 and 12 some things are so much easier (I haven’t unloaded the dishwasher or set the table in months because they do it) but as the 12yo goes into her teens, it is mentally and emotionally much more challenging. It’s always something, I guess…

Mila Kulba 8 months ago

It’s kinda sad when you think of it that we get tired of our own kids… I love my 2 year old and 4 month old to death but raising a child is extremely draining of everything a mother has! Some days all I dream of us having a shower alone without someone telling my name and banging on the door. The little things…. I do know this will all pass and I’ll miss my babies but when you are in the chaotic moments all you want to do is scream and cry.
Reading this gave me some relief that I’m not alone in feeling this way.

Deanna Hurst 8 months ago

I relate to this 100%.

Alexis Reilly 8 months ago

Been there. Done that. I think every parent goes through this. Sometimes I feel like I’m on the verge of insanity and wonder WTH I was thinking having 3 kids. Then one of them crawls in my lap and hugs me and I remember that’s why. I love these little creatures even though they drive me nuts sometimes.

Shannon 8 months ago

Oh girl! Do I ever know how you feel! Hang in there. You will make it. If I made it, you can. Your kiddos are at such a busy age right now and they need you for every. single. thing. It’s never ending. My only advice to you is, if you never have a night out, start taking one. You will be a better mother for it. I didn’t do that for several years but looking back I wish I had.

Carol Zeale Sears 8 months ago

Every mommy has been in her shoes and if they are honest with themselves can relate to her overwhelming thoughts. We all need a few minutes of alone time, regroup time, girl time whatever label you give it, mommies need it. No, we may not need the before baby/children women we once were, we just need a bit of sense of self, sense of accomplishment and sense of worth that a partner, spouse, friend or family member can often remind us of.

Elizabeth Schultz 8 months ago

This is exactly how I’ve felt more times than I can count. Lately I’ve been able to find more of a balance and I always tell myself that it won’t be this way forever. So I try to enjoy all the things I love about them being this age and I also look towards all the things I’ll love as they get older, including more time for me. :)

Melynee Fontenot Finch 8 months ago

I thought that when my youngest finally started full day kindergarten that I’d finally have “time”… I STILL can’t get everything done every day. I need to figure it out ASAP because this is ridiculous.

Danelle Garcia 8 months ago

I lost myself as a parent once so, I threw myself into something completely unexpected: Brazilian Jiu Jitsu. Just earned my first stripe at 33. I needed the challenge, to learn something different, and to get out and make some friends. Get crazy and add something new to your life. You won’t regret it…! ; )

Jess Ledoux 8 months ago

I have felt this….and it was too scary…..I was so lost….so sad….I hated that I’d forgotten myself….and allowed myself to be in a not so good place in a marriage….and it took a family breaking…earth shattering….multitude of events…..but I found me again….and my kids are happier for it….hard for them to see it at times….but it’s there….

Traci Riso Nucera 8 months ago

Thank you for sharing! So true!

Sarah 8 months ago

Thank you for this. It’s exactly how I feel. Reading this made me feel less alone.

Cindy 8 months ago

Amen, sister.

Cindy 8 months ago

Here’s a novel point of view. I was also a stay-at-home mom. I am now a stay-at-home grandma. Speaking from experience…those children will not stay little for long. The years you have with them will disappear like a fine mist. Take pictures, lots of them, because in your total immersion of parenthood your brain will be too busy to catalog those fleeting moments of childhood. I literally remember very little of how my children looked, sounded, felt. If it wasn’t for the adventure of caring for my grandchildren, and the photos my husband and I took, I would be struggling to recall my children as they used to be. I also had many days where I longed for contact with another adult. My husband was a contract software engineer and was gone for long days of traveling. We lived an hour from my family and in a lake community where during the winter most residents were gone. My children and I made our own version of life. We took long walks, we cooked, baked, colored, drew, painted, played play-doh, fished, swam, and did a lot of pretending. When my children were babies we spent lots of time rocking and napping in the recliner. The dishes waited, the laundry waited, the housework waited and we were none the worse off. When they cried or whined we cuddled, when they were sick we snuggled, when everyone was well we piled into our old van and drove to parks to play. Yes, it was exasperating at times. Yes it could be lonely on my part due to the limited contact with other adults, but each and every day I reminded myself that this time was a blessing and as such I needed to make the most of it. Now I am seeing the same pattern with my grandchildren. The oldest is ALREADY in school all day. Where did that six years go???????? I miss his sweet, upbeat attitude and frequent hugs. The two younger boys are 2 1/2 and 1. I know that in a few short years, they, also, will be out and about and I am dreading it. It means I am getting older, and life goes on and before you know it I will be just a memory for them. I want those memories to be the best. As parents we need to remember that we only have one chance raising our kids. There are no do-overs. Make the most of every day and be thankful for each and every moment, no matter what. There are parents out there who may have lost a beloved child, and wish they could have their children back, even if it meant cleaning up constant messes or listening to whining.

Lena Meany 8 months ago

Truth.

Robyn Lowry 8 months ago

This is how I read this article. I’m in there somewhere. I think….

Kristin Donahue 8 months ago

I have a 4 year old and 2 year old twins… I get this!!! It’s hard!

Dana 8 months ago

Thank you so much for this…I have been struggling feeling like I am a bad mom for thinking the thoughts I do!

Leanne Browne Feldman 8 months ago

Amen. Thank you for this!

Stephanie 8 months ago

Yes. Exactly. And btw, the parking lot is a place where I have quite literally cried countless times.

April Bailey 8 months ago

I have a 21 year old and a 4 year old. I wish I could have a do over with my 21 year old.

April Bailey 8 months ago

I understand 100%. I can’t even go to the grocery store alone because when I try his dad has something else to do.

Tiffany 8 months ago

I could have written this. I now have a five year old, and two 2 1/2 yo’s but a year and a half ago I almost lost it. I spent three hours hiding in the bathroom with the twins safe (but unhappy) in their cribs and my oldest watching a movie, and I was so lost and struggling to see myself. I ended up going back to work full time, but that wasn’t a solution. It just helped me be me a little bit more. I try to be in the moment and not judge myself (or my kids) from even 5 minutes ago, so that every moment is fresh and enjoyable.
Thank you for this post.

Aviva Comet Hoback 8 months ago

The almost funny thing about reading this kind of stuff, is that it is real. But I am one of those women who wish more to turn back the clock and be lost. My six children are 18, 16, 13, 9, 7.5, 4.5…..I really miss the promise of more time with my children to help them grow and learn about their world. I miss knowing that the days of fright over their ill-preparedness (despite my work in their lives) are far off in the future. So now, even though I have younger children, I have a hard time feeling compassion for forlorn mommies who feel like they are drowning in poop and snot. Sorry.

Amanda Pace 8 months ago

Legit tears in my eyes as I read this.. This post couldn’t have come at a better time, I sat on my best friends couch the other day in tears saying exactly all of this…and knowing my husband nods and says he understands he truly doesn’t.. I will have him read this.. I feel like the author was reading my life as she wrote it!!

Tracy Shattuck Foohey 8 months ago

The good news is once the kids get a tad older, you don’t get lost in the parking lot as often, just as the article says later. I used to get this way. My kids are all 6 and up and it allows you to get back to being able to do things for yourself and with them. Hang in there if you are feeling lost, it does start to loosen up.

Angela Mills 8 months ago

I so need this right now. I am often left feeling guilty because I feel like this with one toddler and the cats, but with a husband who is gone 5 days a week for work I so feel this. I miss being able to just do stuff. I’m fortunate enough to be able to work from home a lot, but sometimes that just makes it worse.

Kim Heijdenrijk 8 months ago

You just wrote exactly how I feel. Thank you. I am so happy that I am not the only one feeling like this. It made me feel guilty and like a bad mom.

Sarah Margetts 8 months ago

You feel so selfish and ungrateful thinking and feeling like this. It makes it a lot easier to know that you are (most definitely!) not alone.

Susan Healy 8 months ago

Oh yeah

Christi Dueñas 8 months ago

I was thinking that today, 7 year old daughter, 5 year old son and 5 1/2 month old twin daughters. Monday can’t come soon enough!!

Carrie Davis Segura 8 months ago

Man I don’t know why anyone would have that many kids so close in age. I would have lost my mind. Not an insult just hearing and reading about parents with so many little ones literally makes me feel exhausted for them. I had 3 children but 6 years between each one. Currently they are 22, 16, and 10. I loved the way I planned it the only issue I really had was readjusting to a baby again after 6 years and by the last one that was kinda rough. But it really did work out great for me.

Louise Nicholas 8 months ago

Marry me

Jennifer Osso 8 months ago

Argh. YOU need to get over yourself. And zoom back about 25 years. An hour or two of “alone time” once in awhile is hardly missing out.

Annie Boudreau 8 months ago

There are days that I wish I had taken more time to appreciate the little things, but my teenagers require more of me now then they did as little ones.

Christie Fitzgerald Pillado 8 months ago

That was when I started getting therapy and drugs (anti depressants). Sometimes all we can do is go back to taking care of ourselves bc if we can’t function then we can’t care for anyone else. Hang in there Cameo Harmon!!

Darcy Louks 8 months ago

It can seem like 3 only children at times…

Christie Fitzgerald Pillado 8 months ago

I think every bride should start off making “me time” part of the marriage. Then when we have to use the drive thru at Starbucks as me time it won’t be difficult to get some actual personal space.
My sister asked me to go to a yoga class with her but it would require 3 hrs on a Sat. She must be kidding?? Three CONSECUTIVE hours?!?

Darcy Louks 8 months ago

My boys are the same difference as yours, they are now 17, 14 and 10 and a half.

Darcy Louks 8 months ago

You definitely need and deserve breaks as often as possible, but I still miss it…

Kim Nguyen 8 months ago

So true!!!

Jennifer Osso 8 months ago

( Btw.. I also have 3 ) 7,4,15m :) day by day!

Jennifer Osso 8 months ago

It’s so hard when you have a infant. My little guy is now 15m and I’m just starting to feel like ME again. Talk to hubby. Tell him how you are feeling. It is important to care for you. Start leaving kids with hubby for little bits of time. To go to the store. Get a coffee. Browse a book store. Take a community exercise class. Whatever. Just do it ALONE. Your marriage and children will benefit from not having a lost mom/wife. And the kids and hubby will have some time to form a bond outside you being there. Win, win! Good luck mama :)

Siera Silva 8 months ago

Good read

Olivia Martinez 8 months ago

Lol Taara Datta Donley I do the same. Have to sneak a goody once in a while without give me give me lol

Carole Gibbs Astley 8 months ago

I have these thoughts too!

Jennifer Osso 8 months ago

Yoga/ coffee date Saturdays and Gym time with childcare during the week are my sanity. I am with my 3 kids ( 7 and under) everyday from sun up to sundown. I NEED this time to just breath. My kids need to have a mom that isn’t a crazy overwhelmed mess. My husband needs a wife that wants to be touched and smiles and communicates. My “alone time” is necessary to be the best mom and wife I can be. Guilt. None here. Not anymore.

Jamie Farn-Benjamin 8 months ago

Why is it so hard? How the heck did my grandma handle 11 kids? I lose my mind with 1?!

Cherish Foreman Davis 8 months ago

Yep. I am a stay at home mom and homeschooler to our 6 year old, 4 year old, 3 year old, and 6 month old!
I literally am NEVER away from them, ever. 24/7, 365. I know I need a break once in a while, but I have no idea how to.
Since I was 16 when I met my husband, it was in my mind and life all about him-I fell in love and I lost myself in the process. Then, when we had the kids, my world revolved around them. I lost myself almost 15 years ago when I was a kid, and I don’t know how to find me again! Sometimes I joke that I don’t even remember my own name (it feels like it figuratively!).
My “break” or “alone time” is nonexistent. I can’t go to the bathroom or take a shower without an audience or without refereeing from the shower.
My husband and I haven’t been alone together on a date without the kids in YEARS. YEARS!!!
THIS IS REALLY REALLY HARD! Yikes, if I think about it for too long I just feel frustrated. I am a person too! I feel like saying. What about me!
The kids are are greatest love, our highest purpose, our whole lives-but where am I?

Kayla Hodge 8 months ago

But yes it is very moving to see everyone being so open and honest. I try and focus on the positive. I am blessed beyond measure. But it’s 2 am and I’m trying to disinfect my entire house to rid us of flu germs and times like this you just can’t help but feel like a failure :(

Jessica Halupka-Wold 8 months ago

Omg I so get this. My husband is in a wheelchair which is fine….he’s very hands on with our 2 1/2 year old twins, but he can’t take them out right now. I have not been in my house alone in 2 1/2 years! We do have a nanny, and when she takes them to the park on a rare day I have off from work, im almost at a loss as to what to do!!!! And I’m not calling that hour “alone time” because they could come home at any minute! And I usually spend that hour picking up toys and taking a shower :). And as I write this I’m sitting in my car in the dark garage…..hopefully they don’t know I’m home yet :)

Kayla Hodge 8 months ago

If only more mom’s would be honest and not make it look like such a breeze maybe we wouldn’t feel this way. I know you all seen the post of a toddler covered in their mons makeup with a caption like Aw she looks so pretty. Yes she does but you know you flipped your lid over that mess stop acting like you didn’t lol

Kerrie Ann Egner 8 months ago

Kayla, your not the only one!!!!! Reading the post made me feel like ” phew” my thoughts are normal… And seeing the comments I was moved by how important it is that us mothers stick together :) great club to be a part of id say.

Jennifer Gogna Kavros 8 months ago

Aww guys, hang in there!! I feel like that most days too, but I see a smile or a laugh and it reminds me how lucky I am. Try and look for the positive. Xo

Kerrie Ann Egner 8 months ago

Hang in there girl! mother to mother …it’s hard, it’s hard work that no body seems to credit us for. There’s a lot of unseen work and effort that goes into the bad days or nights . I have a 18 month old and a new baby of 7 weeks. Trust me … It will all be worth it and they will thank you for it in there own little way when there older :)

Kerrie Ann Egner 8 months ago

Amen ! Time is one thing you crave, time to do the simple things that add up and by then end of the day when the kids go to bed you have a mental list of things that need to be done and a list of things that you would like to get done if your not too tired ! I have a 18 month old and a 4 week old and I feel swamped with the day to day runnings of a house hold. Every now and then I sacrifice sleep just to get the list done. And boy it feels good. But soon enough it starts to grow.

Anna Buckingham 8 months ago

Definitely not alone.

Shelly Ryan Jones 8 months ago

So, so good to know I’m not alone. I don’t feel this way every day, but I do often.

Lisa Renee Benson-Kase 8 months ago

I know the feeling. All too well. Is winter break over YET!? Two weeks of bickering 5 and 7 year old girls has me crazy.

Stephanie Lewis Jensen 8 months ago

Thank you SOO MUCH for posting this, I often feel crazy, mean, selfish and awful. Like I’m less because I want to be alone for even a few hours..thank you!!

Kendra Wolgamott 8 months ago

Sometimes I stay up late (like tonight) just to get in some ‘me time’ after a long day. Should I be cleaning something that’s been driving tv me crazy? Yes. Should I go to sleep so I can face it all again tomorrow? Yes. Will I sit on the couch and just enjoy the quiet instead? You bet!

Anna Buckingham 8 months ago

Right there with ya!

Jessica Holden Lauderdale 8 months ago

Hindsight is 20/20! Mine are 14 and 17.. I feel ya, totally.

Crystal Capps West 8 months ago

Yes!!!!

Jessica Holden Lauderdale 8 months ago

Don’t resent people who say that. They really do mean well.. Having breaks is so very important. You need to be able to recharge.

Debbie Ann Noble 8 months ago

It’s called being exhausted! All moms need time alone to recharge… Must find a way !!!

Desiree Marie Roberts 8 months ago

I always mention the trains at Barnes and noble in front of the kids so my husband has to come with us. Then I leave all three at the train table in the kid section “to grab a coffee and I’ll be right back” he knows I won’t be back for at least 45 minutes. I take the time to browse books and sip my coffee quietly.

Patricia Oyole 8 months ago

As I read the article and what you wrote, you know what I think I miss the most? Do you remember the feeling when you went out to do whatever it was that you wanted and you didn’t have a single care in the back of your mind? I don’t refer to regular responsibilities like work deadlines or paying the bills, because there’s nothing like having kids to worry about. And that careless feeling is gone forever. We have no idea how weightless that feeling is until we lose it.

Sarah Gerke 8 months ago

Exactly.

Kim Cunningham 8 months ago

My exact feelings…. So glad not to be alone!

Sheronda Lewis 8 months ago

Every mom, dad, ANYONE, needs “alone” time. No matter what. Even if that means you have to hide in the closet, whole your kids are playing hide and seek. Or, in the garage, in the car, with the seat all the way down. In a crawl space, attic, wherever. And keep a snack on you, just for you. Take a deep breath and relax. Five minutes is all it takes.

Jolene McClatchey Carder 8 months ago

I think 5 is the magic age where they become very independent and life gets a lot easier. I have 6 children, ages 17, 12, 12, 9, 7, and 5. I’m swamped all the time with work, activities, homework, bedtime stories, meals, housework, and sports, but I traded in the diapers and tantrums(mostly) and always having a little one in my arms for that. I’m still lost some days, but it does get easier. ❤

Jennifer Osso 8 months ago

My hubby got me a gift certificate to a day spa. I can’t wait to use it! There are a lot of amazing men that get the importance of “me time”. I respect my husbands needs for his time also. It took us some time to find our balance between the kids, couple time and personal alone time. But, it’s so worth it. Happy to see there are other hubby’s that get it :)

Patty Mussell 8 months ago

Oh me too – so relieved.

Crystal Clemens 8 months ago

Wow did this article come at a perfect time! I had just a few minutes tonight by myself just walking through the yard switching laundry and I went the slowest speed possible and I just inhaled and exhaled just taking in the silence around me! This is how I’ve been feeling with a 3 yr old and 6 month old!

LaKea Hayes 8 months ago

My husband needs to learn that, feel free to give him pointers lol Bobby Hayes what he said ^^^ haha

Jennifer Costino Roeltgen 8 months ago

Make time for date nights. I didn’t, and ended up thinking he wasn’t for me anymore. We survived, and I am so grateful. He is my best friend and we are growing older together. 25 years. :)

ChadandAmy Duggin 8 months ago

Haha! I said once either I can look good or the kids can-but I don’t have the time or energy for both!

Marittza Hernandez 8 months ago

This is beautiful!

Claudia Hughes 8 months ago

I guess the days are long and the years are short.

Cristy 8 months ago

This really hit home for me. I have an 18 yo son at college and homeschool my 13 and 7 year old daughters. My 13 is very independent, but the 7 year old has special needs. I used to have books I read, hobbies, passions, etc. Now, in this season of life, I am mom and teacher, cook and laundress and nurse. Its overwhelming at times and even going to the grocery store alone is a treat. But there are other times when my older daughter is talking biology with my biology husband and is really excited about it, or when my youngest daughter creates a puppet show and performs it for me-there is joy in those moments. Being able to nurse my son back to health when he came home with pneumonia and hearing about his college experience-wonderful. But there are those times of loss of self and boredom mixed in too. Im thankful that the seasons do change and I try to enjoy the good moments fully(sans phone)!

Veronica Herrera 8 months ago

I’m there with ya sista!

Jen L Loos 8 months ago

Love this!!

Lori Boz-Rossi 8 months ago

Let’s face it, being a mother is a job unto itself. Like any job, there are highs and lows. Do you love your job every single day? Do you relish each and every moment of your work day and think to yourself “I have to savour each and every moment before I retire, before it’s all gone?” Motherhood is a blessing and children are to be cherished. But let’s be realistic, not every moment is rainbows and roses. Life happens. It’s acceptable to not be enamoured with your role as a mother 24/7. It’s called being human. AND if you were, or are separated from your children, my heart goes out to you. I think that I can speak for all mothers when I say that our children are the centre of our universe and despite some bad days, none of us would ever want to be separated from them.

Candi McComsey Shank 8 months ago

And this is exactly what I felt 2 months ago

Jean DiMaggio 8 months ago

I read the end when she said as they get older they will need less. I have five children 23,16,16,14,13. When they were young I was crazy, but now they don’t need me. I wish I had stopped and smelled the baby hair one more time before they all grew up.

Jamie Korn Pie 8 months ago

Its as if you were in my head writing what I’m thinking

Patricia Fox Ricketts 8 months ago

I have a 13 and 16 year old…it definitely gets better! We are still busy but I sleep when I want shower when i wany, they cook for themselves alot!!! I can go to the store with only 1 or none it’s great! Hang in there it does get better!!

M Elissa D As 8 months ago

I feel this way a lot. Thank you for putting it in words.

Crystal Woods 8 months ago

I seriously can relate this this article on a spiritual level. Lol.

Alyssa Tinsley 8 months ago

My mom was the same way :)

Charlene Flores 8 months ago

@alyssa My kids get new clothes and good brands lol way more often, I’ve just recently started buying myself new clothes, but even still just a discount stores…I don’t mind though.

Randi Cassano 8 months ago

Wow, what a great read! Nice to know we’re not alone. Thanks for sharing.

Kim Trefz 8 months ago

I have a 7, 4, and 1. My 7 shows me that it really does get better and easier… But then my 1 snaps me back into reality. The younger two take up so much time, and I feel like I don’t spend enough time with 7. Makes me sad.

Paula G Ristevski 8 months ago

Thanks heaps Lori Boz-Rossi

Kimberly Mendez 8 months ago

This explains why it’s so easy for me to be a single mom! I’m to exhausted at the end of the day working and taking care of my two beautiful girls to invest effort and time into a significant other. Wonderful read. ❤️

Paula G Ristevski 8 months ago

I think I can handle that. I don’t mind being busy it’s tiring and time goes by quickly but that’s ok. Right now my almost 20 mth old can’t really communicate what she needs and is constantly whinging and whining. Nor can she really entertain herself. Its just relentless

Crystal Woods 8 months ago

Lol… Are you giving classes? I knew a few men who could stand to learn this lesson.

Katelin Holloway 8 months ago

Me too! I’m not wanting to rush that. But the rest.

Danielle Walters 8 months ago

Omg. For sure. Except I’m going to be sad when she’s big and these moments are gone.

Lori Boz-Rossi 8 months ago

Paula- it’s going to get wayyy easier! It may not get less busy but it’s way less physically taxing; you will get your sleep back (yay!), you will be able to dress in peace in addition to shower in peace, you will find the old YOU once again. My kids are 7, 10, and 13:). PS- I would say that it was when they were around 5 years old when things got a lot easier. Hang tight momma…the best truly is yet to come!

Heather Elliott 8 months ago

Sometimes, I just need to be invisible. I have a beautiful 2 year old girl, a wonderful husband, and a full time career as a nurse. I spend most of my time caring for others. There are days it’s just too much.

Alyssa Tinsley 8 months ago

“Homeless mommy look.” I died laughing only because I’m known to often tell my husband “our children are impeccably dressed, mommy looks like a hobo. 2 out of 3 ain’t bad…”

Amanda Ayers Campbell 8 months ago

Been there. Felt like this. Some days I still do. Sometimes all I want is a day or a block of hours to sit on the couch and watch mindless tv without anyone saying my name or needing something.

Charlene Flores 8 months ago

Can you talk to my hunny? LOL

ChadandAmy Duggin 8 months ago

Thank you! People act as if a woman is a totally different person once she has a child/children-as if all her own wants, desires, even personality vanish and she becomes this being that exists solely for her children. As if her mind is filled with nothing but thoughts of and anticipation for and every waking moment is filled with nothing but them. I love my children-more than my own life-and they have given me a greater purpose than anything I have known. But do they FULFILL me? No-I need alone time, time with my husband, time with my friends, hell time to go grocery shopping or in the backyard cleaning out the chicken coop without constant “mommy!mommy!mommy!” I need them but I need myself too.

Charlene Flores 8 months ago

I had lost myself for a long time and just got stuck in the role of being just a mom. We hardly had time to sleep let alone go out. Two kiddos on the spectrum and I’m a full time caregiver to my mother who has a terminal illness. It’s hard to find any “me” time, but I’m making it a point to make the time. Just finally bought some new clothes as the homeless mom look was getting old lol. Also a new hair cut after losing 40+ lbs was a treat to myself and I finally feel and see a newer version of my old self :) It’s worth the efforts ladies! Make time for yourself, you are more than just a mom <3

Taara Datta Donley 8 months ago

I get two cake pops from Starbucks that are MINE, all MINE and I refuse to share them with anyone, including my hubby! ;). A Mommy must have her secret stash of chocolate to survive!

Chantal Granger 8 months ago

I find it doesnt get less busy but easier now that they are older (8 & 5)

Ayesha Herb 8 months ago

I am so glad to know I’m not crazy or a terrible person/mother and many mothers feel this way.

Angelica Torres 8 months ago

I couldnt put it in better words

Alyssa Tinsley 8 months ago

If you can, please do make time for yourself. My husband and I were much the same. However, when we moved back to our hometown our wiser parents insisted on keeping kids for date nights. It has made a WORLD of difference. I wish that for you!

Laura King 8 months ago

Enjoy it all before its gone along with the kids. Best advice – never let anything separate you from your preciose kids
NOTHING .IF you do you will never be the same again .

Alyssa Tinsley 8 months ago

You go Philip, men should aspire! I finally got around to using some spa gift cards the other day for a facial and a pedicure. My husband says “is that all? Are you sure.” I smiled and said, they are booked up for massages! Support and understanding is the best gift you’ll ever give!

Alyssa Tinsley 8 months ago

Mini Reese’s are for naptime around here! Lol, mommies only :)

Dorothy Shealy 8 months ago

Feel the exact same way.

Cameo Harmon 8 months ago

When you watch everything fall apart year after year and you try to hang on, you get to the point of watching everything fall apart around you while being numb to it all. That is being lost in the parking lot of parenting.

Alyssa Tinsley 8 months ago

Hang in there ladies, despite all the glop we hear to the contrary we ARE in this together and I’m touched that how I feel could speak to you. Sleep well, and know you’re perfectly enough.

Paula G Ristevski 8 months ago

I feel like this a lot. But when does it really start getting easier? Like around what age? When I whinge or complain other parents of older kids are always quick to pipe up and say that it gets harder that this age (baby/toddler) is the best. It makes me feel so despondent

Stephanie Vought 8 months ago

I felt like this with one child. Which is exactly why I’m not having more. It’s getting better though. And I’m grateful for that 😉

Lisa Walsh Wittrock 8 months ago

This is spot on!

Mary Panstingel 8 months ago

I get it. Sometimes being surrounded by tiny little hands all day long is very lonely. I hate to wish away my kids’ childhood hours, but there are days when all I do is think about what I’ll do when they’re bigger & I have more grownup time. And I resent people who tell me how much I’ll miss these days because I think it should be OK to need a break from these days too.

Amanda Mitchell 8 months ago

I feel like this right now. It’s hard to find the happiness in parenting at the moment. It was a rough night.

Philip Bulhoes 8 months ago

this is exactly why my wife is having a day just for herself – one night in a hotel withwhirlpool tub- spa- time to breathe is necessary

Kassie Thorpe 8 months ago

I can relate. You nailed this! Although add on 2 more kids for me (6yo, 4yo, 3yo, and 8 month twin boy/girl) I always try to get that time, whenever possible.

Nicole Weaver 8 months ago

Great read!

Wendi Waldrop Medley 8 months ago

YES!

Lianda Jane 8 months ago

My phone won’t let me read the whole thing is there another link?

Lianda Jane 8 months ago

I feel like this all the time

Belinda Mathews-Bennett 8 months ago

I’m relieved reading this. Relieved that I’m not the only one.

Tona Ogle 8 months ago

Thank you so much! I love my daughter more than anything in the world, but some days are harder than others and I feel so all alone. My husband just doesn’t get it. He goes off to work while I’m working from home while trying to care for our three year old daughter. My husband also doesn’t believe in daycare since I do work from home or even babysitters usually. We haven’t been out alone together since she was born. Although in three weeks I have got him to agree to let his sister watch her for an evening so we can go out. We’ll see if it actually happens this time. (Tried before and he backed out).

Tania Carfa 8 months ago

I totally get this. I have two kids less than 2.5 years apart. It’s tough. Really tough some days. It’s also amazing. But by the end of the day, I’ve made so many bottles, wiped so many bums, etc, that it’s quite overwhelming if I stop and think about it. It’ll pass, though. I don’t wish these days away, because I will miss them, but I won’t miss the stress

Shelley Baca Orr 8 months ago

This. This has been my last two weeks. My forever.

Megan Abel 8 months ago

So glad to hear I am not the only one! Love this!

Shanda Arran 8 months ago

I also have a 3 yo daughter and 10 month old twin boys. I needed this after the day I had. It was exactly how you wrote it. Thanks. :)

Taara Datta Donley 8 months ago

Time. Precious, precious time. I carve it out whenever and wherever possible. Time ALONE. If that means taking five minutes longer in the bathroom or laundry room, or ten minutes longer in the grocery store, so be it. A hidden cookie in the pocket that I don’t have to share helps. (I’m hiding in the closet with a cake pop as I write this……)

Kayla Hodge 8 months ago

I needed this tonight.

Stephanie Geary 8 months ago

I am so here right now

Alyssa Tinsley 8 months ago

I so get this. I don’t need the woman I was pre kids often. I probably won’t need her for many years. Sadly, I don’t have much time for her. But sometimes little crafty projects or a spa day, a solo lunch at a fancy place – hell, I’m not picky a trip to HEB alone – reminds me that she’s still there waiting for me when I need her. My skills and talents don’t end at wiping up the last meal or butt and I’m still me. Even if I’m more fulfilled by having two kiddos clawing for the best spot on my lap. I wouldn’t trade who I am now for anything, sometimes it’s just nice to be reminded there’s someone else in there too.

Nicole Osepinglowe 8 months ago

been there

Zamsmomma 12 months ago

This describes me perfectly. I’m a first time mom of a 7 week old baby and while I wouldn’t trade him for the world sometimes I just want to hide. Being a young mother who is separated from her husband has been one of the hardest and most trying things I’ve ever done. You took the words right out of my mouth.

This overwhelming, sleepless, lost time is made worth it when he smiles at me or coos but I can’t wait until he’s a little older.

Amber Leventry 1 year ago

Thanks Heather! I am very familiar with Outright Vermont. So cool to make this connection! I am near Burlington, so perhaps I have bumped into her a few times. Cheers!

April Van Houten 1 year ago

Love your honesty.

My 3 children are no longer toddlers, but I can remember feeling this way like it was yesterday.

Rachael Amy Kendall 1 year ago

So glad I’m not alone, there’s a lot of guilt comes with negative feelings when ur tired n stressed- mum to a 15month old and 11wk old!

Christine Pasek 1 year ago

Loving how real she kept it! We’ve all been there I assume…. Somedays are downright hard to smile….

My hubby doesn’t understand how the simple phrase of “hey mom..??” Can make you wanna scream when repeated 1000 times a day, everyday, without fail.

Heather 1 year ago

Get out of my head, while I only have one tiny tyrant I am new to the stay at home mom things and sometimes in my head I am screaming get the F**k off me. My sister was in a similar situation to you with singleton then twins and it was hard helping her so I can only imagine what it was like every day. Her kids are older now and more self sufficient so she went back to work and runs Outright Vermont if you don’t know her look her up they are doing great things for kids.

Kim Marks Johnson 1 year ago

Thank you for being honest. This came at a good time for me as the guilt of just wanting some time away from my kids was making me feel like a crappy mom.

Stephanie Barth 1 year ago

This is all so true. I feel like my oldest was born yesterday, yet when she was a baby it seemed like it would be forever before she was a little bit independent. Now, she starts first grade in 2 weeks and I am starting to feel lost. I’ve devoted the last 6.5 years to mainly being a mom and now she is going to school full time. My heart is breaking. At least I have 2 more years with my youngest. It’s the hardest job in the world, yet something I would do over and over again:)

Stephanie Barth 1 year ago

My kids are 4 and 6 as well. The first 4 or 5 years were rough. It can still get overwhelming, especially because I hold myself at a high standard regarding my house and everything else I take on. If I could learn let some things go, I would benefit greatly. However, I am definitely enjoying them being a little bit older :)))

Emma Jesko Willich 1 year ago

I feel this way almost every day. I get so frustrated with lack of time and the things I feel I need to clean. I become so overwhelmed in losing myself in the mess of it all and the 10,000th “mom?” Of the day from my 4 year old had me answering, “what?” in a rather annoyed tone. “I love you.” And I’m back.
After he and my 7mo old go to bed, I pick up their toys, and when I remember that in time I won’t have to do it anymore, I cry because of what that will mean. So I leave some of the toys out. Someday the mess will be gone and so will they. So I take a deep breath and remember how we danced around the house that day in our underwear. I know I’m not lost in those moments.

Whitney 1 year ago

Thank you so much for writing my feelings every day! I feared I was the only mother on the planet to feel this way and felt like a shitty mom for feeling this way!

Amber Leventry 1 year ago

Wow. Just wow everyone. I feel so touched and honored to have spoken to so many of you. You and this online village keeps be going. And humble.

Amber Leventry 1 year ago

Thank you! Your perspective is just as refreshing. I am amazed at your strength and attitude. Cheers to you.

Yas Reid 1 year ago

Truth girl! Speak it!

Carrie Jacobson 1 year ago

I only have one child but I feel this way alot. I love my son and wouldn’t trade him for anything. But sometimes need me time.

Brooke Luna 1 year ago

You are not alone , I had one child at 21 raising her on my own working , & caring for her , my job was also child care with other kids 12 hours a day , then home with her !!!! All responsibility solely on me !!!! Six years later another child , married this time , but to a man who stayed gone all the time !!!! Divorced & cared for both girls now 15 & 9 , still don’t go out , but they are now more independent , & give me some time !!!! I love my girls we are very close now , but I ended up getting help for me , because when they were younger I was resentful of them and the constant demand for attention & behavior, work , school issues !!! My youngest turned out to be ADD too !!! One deceased father & the other absent parent !!! The point is it does get better & easier , and is so worth it !!!! Now I cry at the thought of my oldest leaving home lol !!!!

Robyn Lowry 1 year ago

*Raises head from kitchen counter: “YES”

Samantha Powell 1 year ago

Yes. So true

Kim Smits Foster 1 year ago

I feel the same way Amber does, but I only have one toddler! Her partner is right, things will get better. When feeling overwhelmed, I just think of the light at the end of the tunnel. Thanks for sharing, Amber!

Ludmilla Banks 1 year ago

Four kids, I’m currently hiding in my bedroom eating leftover Hamburger Helper. It comes in waves, just lost ATM

Jasmine Rodriguez 1 year ago

Mine are 15 and 13 and I still feel lost sometimes. Realizing now all of the things I let go over the years, relationships, my own likes, etc. Trying to find those things again and man, it’s tough.

Susie Meadows 1 year ago

Oh my goodness yes!!!

Sunshine 1 year ago

I’ve been driving around in circles in the parental parking lot with my three soul sucking children (although soul sucking at times they are the light of my life) your article hit the nail on the head. You put my feelings into actual words.

C. Smith 1 year ago

I needed to read this today. I feel like I’m about to have a nervous break down today.

Heather Richards Guenther 1 year ago

There was a time I had 3 in diapers and I never had a good night’s sleep. It was hard to get out because we didn’t have a lot of money for a sitter and we lived far away from family support to help us. Those were very long days.
Some of my feelings came from simple sleep deprivation. It really affected my energy and outlook on life. It is a very real, part of parenting I would really like to NOT be a part of.
Be gentle with yourself during this time. It is not the best time to have high expectations of what gets accomplished.
Try to get outside and walk in fresh air and sunshine. Clears your head.
Plan a time out for yourself whether it is a date, nap, long walk, hobby interest, or a favorite store, or TV show to unwind.
Do little things to reward yourself when possible. Don’t always use nap time as catch up on chores time. Sometimes it gives you that little boost that gets you through.
Your life will change and evolve with time. Today’s challenges will fade eventually and new ones appear. It is almost impossible to appreciate them when you are living them for obvious reasons… Now that I have teenagers driving and staying out late I catch myself thinking that I wish I could just put them in their cribs and know they are home, safe in bed.

Kelley 1 year ago

Thank you so much for putting this thought process in writing! I find myself constantly thinking about time just for me throughout the day and I always feel guilty about it. It is good to know that I am not the only mom that does that!

Liz Deken 1 year ago

I could not find this more true to my life right now unless I was also married to a same sex partner and my youngest had a twin. Otherwise, I could have written this (with less panache I’m sure). Parenting is so hard for so many reasons that you don’t know until you are one. Like this article points out – you can’t wait for them to need you less, but you know when they do it will be bittersweet. And hard. But in the thick of it, you just want some time to yourself, to be yourself, to find yourself for 10 minutes.

Julie Hickman-Rincon 1 year ago

Being “lost” as a parent comes in waves. I feel it’s when they are little and are so demanding and when they get older and you feel you are demanding and no one is listening. Article was spot on!

Jenny Hoke Hamblin 1 year ago

This article is so spot on. Keeping it real!!

Rosie Jimenez 1 year ago

It’s good to know I’m not the only one that feels like this

Jenna 1 year ago

We could seriously be BFF’s. I was sure no mother felt the same as me in the history of EVER. <3

Candice 1 year ago

I can not express how thankful I was to read this today. My son is 3 months old and for the past few days this is how I have felt…. I just couldn’t find the words. I feel lost in a sea of the next activity that helps make up our day. I envy my husband when he leaves for work in the morning or is cutting the grass or is alone in his car. I miss my work life and the freedom that it provided me. I miss having all the answers and the confidence of knowing I am doing the right thing. I have never felt the kind of love that I feel for my son and would never change things. It’s just been a tough transition from a career woman that is always on the go to a house wife. Here’s to finding the balance between the two worlds. Again thank you for putting into words how I have been feeling but more importantly opening my eyes to the fact that I am not the only one who feels this way.

Kayla 1 year ago

Exactly. Just had this epiphany the other day. Just because I am mom doesn’t mean I’m not still Kayla as well. Some days I just need time to be Kayla and need to realize that’s ok.

Kandj Benc 1 year ago

Thank you! Right back at you :o)

Anne Sausser 1 year ago

Awesome!

Sara 1 year ago

My son has autism and functions at a 2 yr old level complete with kicking-and-screaming tantrums and not sleeping through the night. I will mother a toddler in an adult body for the rest of my life, and I have peace with that – this is not a poor-me post. I love my son more than air, but after 15 years I am finally learning the importance of finding myself and living my own life, and finding the tools and support to do that. This helped me today and I wanted to say thank you. Love your writing. :-)

Vicki Ware 1 year ago

Nailed it.

GracieMae 1 year ago

Perfect! Thank you….we are not alone!! Have you seen my car?

Millie Giegler 1 year ago

I couldn’t have said it better myself. I had days like rhat when my 4 where little, heck I still have days (not as many or as often) like that and their all in double digits now.

Andrea Becker 1 year ago

Wow! I relate to this so much-but I have 2 little ones and an 18yr old-but the 18 yr old definitely isn’t the easiest to deal with! Thank you for this article!

Jessica Farrell 1 year ago

People used to live closer to family. Now most of us are more spread apart and unable to help on a regular basis. I work outside of the home so I can’t really help other moms out myself. A SAHM neighbor clarified that most of the moms in our neighborhood work outside of the home (she is in the minority). I had no idea. It’s tough.

Chrissy Lawlis 1 year ago

I am so there. This is perfectly written and needs to be heard so people will stop feeling “weird” or “wrong”.

Lianda Jane 1 year ago

Whatever happened to “it takes a village to raise a child” our society expects mothers to do everything and then we wonder why we crash and burn. Give yourself a break.

Yvonne Creswell 1 year ago

Lost in the parking lot and can’t even find the security guy that helps you find your car….

Laurie Cumbie 1 year ago

My children are 20, 18 and 14…I still can’t find my mini van.

Mia Turner 1 year ago

As a parent of teenagers, I don’t think it gets all that much easier. It just changes. What was difficult before might go away as the kids mature, but then something else replaces that. But it’s all worth it. These little guys (and big guys) are a blessing.

Alexandra Light 1 year ago

Days are long, weeks months and years are short. This is exactly what I feel

Cristine Ann 1 year ago

This is very well written. Raising small children is isolating and relentless (for those of us without household help) and while we struggle to deal with all of the extra work it brings in the form of tedious monotonous chores, brain numbing repetition, and lack of sleep, if we dare to say we are losing ourselves, there is the backlash of “how dare you not cherish every moment”. What an honest article and yes, it gets better

Holly Anderson Kruse 1 year ago

The days can feel weeks long but the years are so very short. My oldest of three, my boingy ringlet curled, sweet baby boy — who was almost an only child bc he was, and still is, the most insistent and persistent person I’ve ever met and cried non-frickin-stop for 6 months — is leaving for college tomorrow. Whaaa? When did my baby turn into that 6′ 200# MAN?? You will have plenty of time to yourself before you know what happened. I promise. And, like I do, you might sort of miss those days of mind-numbing little kid drudgery, of feeling like my life was frantically trying to keep those circus plates on a stick spinning; of never, ever being alone except for a luxurious trip to the grocery by yourself (Whoo-hoo!); of reading the same book countless times; of days in sweats and tee shirts with barf down your back and cereal in your hair (still, at supper time); never enough sleep; tantrums in public (starting with theirs following by one of your own)… I’m finding it extremely hard to let the image of the baby he was morph into the grown man he is now. My parenting mantra was always “Do your best.” For everyone, myself included. Some days your best is another days worst but in hindsight they pass quickly. Really they do. Hang on and try to enjoy the days (and endless nights) in spite of the shit. Or at least don’t wish them away. It sounds trite and I’m not sure I would’ve believed it when mine were little, but don’t blink. Yours are the days of losing yourself, again and again. And again. Yet even when they get to be grown, you have to lose and find yourself some more.

Danielle 1 year ago

I feel the exact same way!! I was writing something very similar a few weeks ago!

Reanne Lynn 1 year ago

THIS explains parenting and every aspect. And maybe just maybe it will open the eyes of the parents that don’t have to deal with the kids at all hours of the day. Don’t get me wrong, I adore my children. But the physical and emotional stress that tending to them day in and day out can bring, and then having to hear “It’s my only day off, I just want to relax!” Can be so frustrating! Parenting doesn’t get a break and for most of us, we’re not in it alone, but we’re made out to feel like we are. It’s no wonder we break under the stress sometimes!

Corey Burrell DeLuca 1 year ago

Perfect.

Melinda Bradley 1 year ago

I heard myself in this! I loved it. So true. I wish my partner was as understanding as yours! He doesn’t empathize with the woes of stay at home motherhood, at all.

Justin Casalandra 1 year ago

The same goes for work from home and Stay-at-home Dads too….

Lisa Mcgann 1 year ago

Oh my god! Tht woman is in my head! Tht was me tht was my kitchen!!!!!

Stephanie Thiel 1 year ago

Story of my life,and I always feel bad and like a bad mom when I get this way,but I know I’m not alone.Last night I went to the ER for a nail I stepped on days ago,knew I needed a tetanus shot most is why I went,but I went after I got kids bathed and ready for bed ,lets just say my little visit to ER was a mini vacation,I sat in room laying on the bed cherishing the moment to myself haha sad but true.

Crystal Musa 1 year ago

Great story. I’ve been feeling this a lot lately.

Cortni 1 year ago

I can relate. I have 2 kids…4 months and 6 years. My oldest has ADHD and a serious attitude problem, my 4 month old is amazing and so calm. I have anxiety attacks and Im physically ill every night because Im so overwhelmed and anxious and the need to run is so strong. But I dont. Because I love my kids and they need me.

Megan Anne Tepper 1 year ago

This. Absolutely.

Tina Gillotti Stys 1 year ago

I have a 5 and 21 month old and I feel overwhelmed like this most days. Even worse now that we are about to move. I have no idea who I am anymore and it’s very frustrating. I am glad I am not the only one that feels like this.

Di Dawson 1 year ago

My hubby doesn’t understand either. He thinks my job is way easier then his, and when he makes comments like “I’m doing actual work”, I want to kick him in his face! I love them all, but man, do I need to have some time alone once and awhile!

Di Dawson 1 year ago

Thank you for this post!! I have a 10 year old,3 year old and 9 month old. I spend every second of the day feeding them, cleaning them, cleaning their mess, doing dishes, laundry, playing with them, getting them outside, trying to teach them things, ect, ect. I am so tired and worn out. And as much as I want to see and talk to my friends, I can’t even get 15 minutes alone. All I want is 15 minutes to sit in a dark,silent room!! Is that too much to ask?! lol

Marrianne Gallant-Leggatt 1 year ago

Totally hit the nail on the head. I have 4 month old twins who I adore but feel so lost most of the time. Hubby doesn’t understand. Just want a long soak in the bath and a full nights sleep! Xxx

Becky De La Fuente 1 year ago

Nailed it!!!

Connie Schmidt Pratt 1 year ago

I’m 43 with an 8 and 5 yr old. Been feeling very lost lately. At first I thought it was a midlife crisis then realized my precious children were slowly wearing me down. My hubs is great with them but sometimes they act like he’s not there and come to me for everything. It’s frustrating to say the least.

Amy Elizabeth Bishop 1 year ago

I try to explain this to my husband on a regular basis and I just get a ‘deer in headlights’ look. And guilt kicks in because I think maybe it’s me who should be able to handle 40 hr workweek, a pet, volunteer work, courses to finish a diploma, individual time with the kids, time for husband, keep up with friends and extended family. Every Christmas my dad asks me what I want, I say an extra 4 hrs a day. No dice.

Donna Hutchinson 1 year ago

I could have written this myself

Denise Gotwals 1 year ago

Well said. So true.

Chelsea Kelly 1 year ago

Resonated with me well recently. I adore my 3 year old daughter and 9 month old son, but holy WOW, when the lost feeling hits you in that chaos, it’s deep. Great post!

Casey Coleman 1 year ago

Oh god this is me!!!

Harper 1 year ago

Great piece! It is so hard to find the balance. I knew after a few short months staying home exclusively was not for me, but the corporate grind was the opposite extreme. 3 tipped the scales in terms of balance for me, so I can’t imagine going from 1 to 3 in one pregnancy. Be as real with yourself as you are with your writing, don’t try to engineer it, and be as open as possible. The right balance will find you. You got this!

Lauren S. 1 year ago

Bingo! I’ve been there with the twins. Sometimes I want to find a hole and hide.

Jamie Lay 1 year ago

I really, really needed to read this today.

Jessica 1 year ago

Spot on!!! I get LOST in this parking lot quite often! My boys are now 4 and 5 years old and I am currently in Australia ALONE (my husband and kids are at home in South Aftica) I am visiting 2 of my best friends for two weeks ALONE, did I mention that! Alone For two weeks! As much as I am missing them I am loving this thing called time for ME! I would highly recommend a mommy break of sorts, it puts life back into perspective! I can’t wait to see my 3 guys again though 😉

Jolie Eason 1 year ago

I can relate. My kids are 8, 6, and 10 months. It took me a while to find myself when my older 2 were younger. Now having a 10 month old, I find myself in the same place.

Amber Cochran Denoux 1 year ago

Throw in a full time job on top of all this and you are describing my life exactly. I feel this way A LOT of the time.

Jodi Kuhar 1 year ago

I love your honesty. Because we all have these moments but are ashamed to admit them and we should not be.

Chantelle Lafrenière-Reid 1 year ago

Thank you for being so brutally honest and vocalizing all the feelings we’re too afraid to admit out loud lest someone question our sanity.

Vanessa Morris 1 year ago

Quite honest :)

Jamie Ann Symons 1 year ago

This makes me feel a lot better, and to see all the comments too! I truly am not alone in this.

Danielle 1 year ago

This is so accurate. As I am in the trenches, hearing stories and thoughts of those who feel the exact same way is like balm to my soul more than anything else. Thank you!

Amanda Best Scoggins 1 year ago

Love this…Moms need to be supportive of other mom’s and acknowledge it is OK to have negative feelings…everything is not skittles and unicorn farts of rainbows in the world of work at home moms.

Lisa Marie 1 year ago

Totally get the craving TIME. All I want is TIME!!

Vicky Vee 1 year ago

I get this… and its even worse when your spouse becomes one of your children. Making sure he’s fed and has gotten plenty of sleep so that you don’t have to hear his shit when you’re dealing with the 12 year old and 15 month old on top of juggling a full time job and school. Its very exhausting and you completely lose your self.

Karina Lynch 1 year ago

Very very familiar picture :)

Heather Jones 1 year ago

Totally relate. Patiently waiting for this stage to pass and trying to find joy in the little things when I can. But it’s so hard…

Annie Mohr 1 year ago

With a 3.5 year old, 16 month old and 2.5 month old twins, I know this feeling entirely too well

Virginia Davis Adams 1 year ago

I’ve just had all of the memories of those times come flooding back while reading your article. I had 4 of those things under the age of 2. First daughter was 11 months old when twin boys were born and they were 11 months old when last boy was born. It is 45 years later….it does get better!

Jessica Brown Frymyer 1 year ago

Yes.

Debbie Neal 1 year ago

Oh yeah I know the feeling makes it harder when your partner grows so distant you can’t even see them anymore, if he’s not at work he’s working at home there’s never any me time or us time just me and the baby and my 9 year old who’s too busy with her game to notice me. I just throw myself into my baby because she’s the only one who notices I’m alive

Terri JS Molitor 1 year ago

Wow. Right on.

Emily Brunner Porro 1 year ago

My kids are 4 and 6. I am just coming back to myself. It starts about the time they can all dress themselves for school. You will find you again.

Nicole Woods-Sisk 1 year ago

BINGO
Parenting is the most selfless thing I have ever done. Yet, because of the nature of having young kids, it also makes me selfish. After a day of being talked to, talked at, touched, climbed on, and cried on, I want to find a place to crawl into so no one can find me. I don’t want to communicate with anyone. I don’t want anyone to ask me for anything. And I don’t want anyone to touch me.”

Jennifer Lamoureux 1 year ago

I could have written this last weekend. Rings very true. Glad to know there’s more moms out there that think the same way

Kandj Benc 1 year ago

I have an 8 year old, an autistic 3 year old and a very colicky 2 month old…. in the parking lot as I type this up haha

Amy Burckard-Jones 1 year ago

I have a four year old and an 8 month old, I’m totally there right now. Lost in the demands of the baby and the independence of the four year old.

Heather Nikulich 1 year ago

Well this makes me feel better :-)

Ashley Ardito 1 year ago

This made me feel human again

Sarah 1 year ago

Exactly!

Ashley 1 year ago

This sounds like I could have written it. Thanks so much for sharing! I have 4 boys, 6 and under. Love this!

Shawna Silvers Winans 1 year ago

I can totally relate. I have four kids ages 12, 7, 6, & 5. My youngest just started kindergarten. Your time will come mama! Hang in there!

Michelle Radford Mosley 1 year ago

This really hit home with me. I’ve been feeling this way and was very upset to think I could think this way. Cause all you ever hear is how other mothers are so kick ass and so good at being a mom. Thank you so much for this honesty each and everyone of you that has commented and to the woman who actually had the guts to admit it. This makes me feel like it will get better and that I’m not alone.

Amy Lawson 1 year ago

This is me. I’m being totally rubbish at the minute. Just apologised to my daughter for being a rubbish mummy. Now sat crying for no real reason at all. I’m not me anymore.

Debby Head Matassa 1 year ago

I feel the same ways at the end of my teaching day.

Sasha Sorvelli 1 year ago

Beautifully written, thank you so much for letting me know I am not alone!

Lisa Howatt Hamel 1 year ago

I feel ya! Add the exhaustion of still waking up 4-6 times a night with a 3 year old who just can’t be “sleep-trained,” and I really get the “joy-sucking” part . . .

Shannon 1 year ago

I have these days, especially with raising my 11 yo daughter and my 5 yo son alone. Some days I want to run far, far away; other days I can’t imagine being anywhere else.

Lawry 1 year ago

Did you crawl in my head….I was so happy when my only started kindergarten…the peaceful school day finally let me find me again!!

Liz Lauterbach 1 year ago

Let’s just say that I can relate and am currently facing quite an inner struggle within. Thanks for sharing!

Traci Muller Rylands 1 year ago

My son’s first two years are a blur because of my depression and not having the right meds. When he hit about four, I felt so much better. Some people do the infant/toddler phase so well but I…well, I sucked.

Sheila Lowe 1 year ago

Rock on sister, you nailed it right on the head! Thank you for saying what all mom’s have felt before and if they say they never felt that way then they are lying to themselves. And just so you know it does get easier to find yourself again but the parking lot is still there just in a different location but it is smaller and easier to find your way out again

Lara Turco 1 year ago

Yes!Yes!Yes! I have four between eight & one, I’m in the parking lot now :)

Heidi Ahlmann Greaves 1 year ago

I have been there a lot, I have 6 sons from 10yrs-1yr thanks for writing it so honestly.

Kristin Unrein Maiorano 1 year ago

So well said, the only part is I’m afraid of them growing up. As hard and frustrating as it is, I’m afraid of it being over. Crazy, I know

Melanie N Mecham 1 year ago

I have been there when my kids were little and sgain as they started their teenage years, That’s when I really felt lost.

Jenn Adrien 1 year ago

Parental parking lot is why I don’t dread Mondays.

Yomara Alvarado Cruz 1 year ago

There right now :(

Katlin 1 year ago

My thoughts exactly! As a mother of three beautiful girls (10, 8 & 6) I sometimes catch myself thinking ‘I can’t do this anymore! I am a complete failure.’ And when I hit the bottom, it is often the littlest hand hold and the biggest bringing me a fresh cup of coffee, or my middlest offering to make toast that help me see I am not lost. I am right here, under the piles of laundry and book orders, next to the weed filled garden, and behind their growing self confidence in becoming strong little women. Love your wonderful piece!

Kristine Stangle Olivarez 1 year ago

I have totally been also!!

Carolina Darcie 1 year ago

Dear Scary Mommy, I am a fan from Brazil, and would love to read your book. Amazon doesnt send it to me!!! How can I get a book? Thanks!

Catherine Lindsay 1 year ago

I can completely relate to this article…thank you for writing it.

Tawnya Krygoski Hulstrom 1 year ago

I have 5 kiddos, ages 17 to 6, and I thought I was the only one that felt this way. Thank you!

Michelle 1 year ago

So beautifully written….and so right on point. You’ve described me while describing yourself. Thank you!

KezUnprepared 1 year ago

Nailed it. I get it. While we wouldn’t swap being parents for anything in the world and it brings us immeasurable love and joy…well, it’s easy to feel completely consumed by it and just want to be selfish in our rare down time.