I Needed To Tap Out From Motherhood Today

by Regan Long
A sleeping toddler in a blue sweater
Regan Long

Today I wanted to “tap out” from motherhood for a bit.

I‘m ashamed to admit that as it sounds pretty terrible, but I‘ll be honest, it’s the truth.

Today I felt like, “I don’t have this anymore. I‘m not built for this. I can’t do this. I‘m done.”

Thanks to some pretty wicked exhaustion, I was feeling pretty low. I‘m done with sickness. I‘m done with hospitals. I‘m done with the stress of the last few weeks.

But it’s not just that.

I‘m done with talking until I‘m blue in the face because no one is listening.

I‘m done stepping over the same jacket or toy or shoe that, no matter how many times I ask someone to pick it up, still remains or gets shuffled around to a different spot that it doesn’t belong in.

I‘m not even going to touch on the dishes or laundry, because even just thinking about it, I feel like I’m such a broken record. I’m done with that craziness.

I‘m done with cleaning messes just for them to be recreated. I‘m done with putting clothes away only for them to be strewn about minutes later. I‘m done with feeling like a hamster on a wheel that is ready to break.

“I‘m done,” I told myself today, my body becoming sick and run-down.

I wish I were able to call my mother up to come over to help and make it all better and give me a hand, but I can’t. Oh, how badly I wish I did.

I wish I had the magic pill to make everyone better and put the other half of my family in a bubble to keep them safe, but unfortunately I haven’t found that medicine yet.

I wish I could duplicate myself so I wouldn’t feel like I just got to the point of nothing left, less than empty, like I did…again.

Today I yelled when I found the strength to.

Today I lost my patience and probably could have won the Worst Mother of the Year award.

Today I let negativity and exhaustion and sickness win.

But tonight as I held my baby, she knew — she knew all of it. She felt it and saw it and experienced my day with me, all day, every painful hour.

But then with one sentence, she healed me and reminded me how wrong I was. She looked at me and with such sincerity and such love, took her tiny hand and rubbed my cheek.

“I make you happy, Mama.”

She didn’t ask me this. She told me this. She point-blank told me that she made me happy, such affirmation and certainty: “I make you happy, Mama.”

I kissed her precious hands and cheeks over and over so much that it just may have put her to sleep.

It’s incredible how those five tiny words reminded me that maybe I can hang tough after all, and I just needed a 2-year-old to remind me.

When we think we’re done and there’s nothing left to give, something or someone refuels us when we least expect it. That’s the real deal of parenting, my friends. That is how we wake up for one more day.