You, the one with the child hanging on your leg and look of exhausted defeat in your eyes. The one who is yelling out of sheer frustration rather than the malice. I’ve been where you are. In fact I still am. In a world filled with Pinterest perfect homes and Facebook posts of well dressed and behaved families, I’m one of those too. The mom who thinks she’s never good enough. Who wishes I could just get my two year old to stop peeing on the floor and my five year old to drop the teenage attitude. Who would give up eating if it meant a few moments of quiet or an hour to myself.

You aren’t alone. You are surrounded by other moms laboring in the trenches just as you are. But most of the time we don’t notice. We only see those we think are doing it better. How does she stay in such great shape? Why is her house always so clean? Her kids listen so well? Chances are she works excessively hard to look like that, or has an insanely high metabolism which has it’s own set of problems. Everyone’s house is dirty sometimes, or has developed an excellent system of hiding places for the messes. (In our house it was the extra bedroom until we didn’t have one anymore. I suddenly noticed how much messier the rest of the house became without a miscellaneous dumping group for homeless items). Every child has a bad day, the severity varies by personality. Some of us have the unlucky distinction of having our children’s bad days on display in grocery stores and libraries rather than in the privacy of our own homes.

Dear one, you are not a bad mommy. You have not ruined your children. (Mine are rolling on the floor like bear cubs as we speak.) Those thoughts you have during those dark nights of the soul, many of them are lies. Chose the truth instead. Some of this is a season that will pass. There will be new kinds of hard coming, but believe it or not (I chose to believe it) you will be stronger then because of what you are coping with now. So take heart, dear one. Take a deep breath and carry on. You are not alone.

This is my children refusing to pose with their grandparents when we all cut down our Christmas trees. This is the best picture we got.

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