This Stage of Life? It’s Hard.

 

This Stage of Life-_opt

This stage of life. It’s hard, you guys.

I’m talking right now to you moms who are in your early to mid 30’s. You have kids. Likely two, three, maybe four of them. They probably range in age from newborns to  7 or 8 year-olds. (Give or take a few, on all of the above mentioned stats).

In this stage of life, you are dealing with exhaustion. Mental, physical, and emotional.

In this stage of life, you are dealing with teething. With ear infections. With stomach viruses. You are juggling nap schedules, and feeding schedules and soccer schedules. A million balls you are juggling, and you probably feel like you are dropping most of them.

In this stage of life, you are dealing with guilt. Guilt over having a career, and not spending enough time with your kids, or guilt over staying home with your kids, and not doing enough to contribute financially. Guilt over being too harsh with your kids. Too lenient. Guilt that your house is clean, but your kids were ignored, or guilt that you enjoyed your children all day, and now your husband is coming home to filth. Guilt.

In this stage of life, you are bombarded daily with a whole host of decisions. Some of them life-changing, some of them not. None of them with clear cut answers. Do I vaccinate my kids? Do I not? Do I send them to public school? Homeschool? Charter school? Do I continue to breastfeed? Do I blow the budget so that I can buy all organic? Do I force my child to apologize, even though the apology will be insincere? You don’t know the answers to ANYTHING, but you feel constant pressure to figure out EVERYTHING.

This stage of life is less and less about watching your friends get married and have babies, and more and more about standing by and witnessing your friends struggle in their marriage, and even get divorced. It’s a stage where you’ve got to put in the time and the effort and the work and the energy to make sure your OWN marriage stays healthy. And that’s good, but it’s hard, too.   At this point, you or someone you know has experienced infertility. Miscarriages. Loss of a child.

It’s a stage where you are buying houses, selling houses, remodeling houses, packing up houses. And then you do it all again a few years later.

It’s a stage where your hormones are all of of whack. I mean, you’ve basically been pregnant, postpartum, or breastfeeding for the last ten years, right?

It’s a stage where you are struggling with identity. Is my entire identity “mommy”? Is there anything even left of me that isn’t about mothering? Is there something more glamorous I could have/should have done with my life? I LOOK like a mom now, don’t I? I totally do.

It’s a stage where you are on a constant quest for balance, and can never find it.

It’s a stage of life where you are overloaded. Constantly. You are overloaded with questions. Your children never stop asking them. You are overloaded with touch. Someone is constantly wanting to be held, holding on to you, hanging on you, touching you. You are overloaded with to-do’s. There is so much to do. It never ends. You are overloaded with worry. You are overloaded with THINGS. Your kids have way too many toys. You are overloaded with activities. You are overloaded with THOUGHTS (thoughts about how to not be so overloaded, perhaps?).

It’s hard.

So….what do you need to do to survive it all?

You need to ask for help.

You need to accept help when it’s given.

You need to not neglect your marriage. You need to put your kids down for bed early. Sit outside on the back porch with your husband, drink a glass of wine, and have a conversation.

You need girlfriends.

You need your mom.

You need older friends, who have been there and done that. Who can reassure you that you AREN’T screwing it all up as badly as you think you are.

You need to not feel bad about using your kids nap time every now and again to just do whatever the heck you want.

You need to lower your expectations….then probably lower them again.

You need to simplify.  Simplify every single part of your life, as much as it can be simplified.

You need to learn how to say “no”.

You need to practice contentment

You need to be ok leaving your kids overnight, and going away somewhere. Anywhere.

You need to do something you enjoy, every day, even if it’s for no more than 15 minutes.

You need to pray. Girl, you need to pray.

You need a coffee you love, a wine you love, and a bubble bath that you love.

Finally, and maybe most importantly, you need to remember that…..

….this stage of life is beautiful, too. Like, really really beautiful. This is the stage of life where every single older person you ever meet tells you, “you’re going to miss this”. And you already know it’s true. It’s the stage where your kids love you more than they are EVER going to love you again, for the whole rest of your life. It’s the stage where they can fit their entire selves into your lap to snuggle…and they want to. It’s the stage where their biggest problems ARE ear infections and teething and stomach viruses, and you’re not having to deal yet with things like broken hearts or addiction or bullying. It’s the stage where you are learning to love your spouse in an entirely different….harder…..better…. way. The stage where you are learning together, being stretched together, shedding your selfishness together, and TRULY being made into “one”. It’s the stage where you get to see Christmas, Halloween and the Fourth of July through your kids eyes, and it’s so much more fun and magical than it would be just through your own eyes. It’s the stage where you get to watch your parents be grandparents…and they’re really good at it. It’s the stage of life filled with field trips, class parties, costumes, swim lessons, bubble baths, dance parties, loose teeth, and first steps. And those things are so fun. It’s the stage where you are young enough to have fun, and old enough to have obtained at least SOME wisdom. It’s SUCH a great stage.

But, man it’s hard.

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542 Responses to This Stage of Life? It’s Hard.

  1. Heather M April 20, 2016 at 2:05 pm #

    such refreshing words and so very, very true! Love all of it 🙂

    • Amy April 21, 2016 at 2:32 pm #

      I have a 3 yr old & 10 yr old.. Everything you wrote is so true & I’m here reading this & crying… ??

      • Scarlett April 26, 2016 at 8:18 pm #

        Shut the freak up! She helped a lot of us in writing this. Go put on your mom jeans and get a life! If you wanted to hear from old ladies having babies you should of found another column to read instead of insulting her. Bet you wouldn’t say that to her face, because your a freaking coward.

        • Mou November 25, 2016 at 3:37 am #

          Vow ! People slamming each other for having different opinions; or otherwise being sanctimonious about not having taken offence. Life is different depending on age, wealth, health, support etc. Reading an article and commenting is like a safety valve. Its the writer’s prerogative to comment on what he / she receives.

      • Jess August 16, 2016 at 11:02 pm #

        Mine are 4 and 10. This is perfect and everything I needed to hear tonight. Thank you so much for sharing this with us.

      • Sarah December 29, 2016 at 4:19 pm #

        No u r not the only one crying here 🙁

    • Purple April 21, 2016 at 11:04 pm #

      This article lost me when it put an age limit on the mom experience. Most people I know (including myself) with babies and little kids are late 30s-early 40s. Thanks a lot for leaving us out and showing your age bias.

      • Bre April 22, 2016 at 7:51 am #

        I shouldn’t even waste my time replying to someone as ignorant as yourself “purple”. I’m on the opposite side of the spectrum, mid to late 20s, and I fall perfectly into this entire article. Age bias never crossed my mind. Get a grip.

        This article is beautiful.

        • Purple April 22, 2016 at 6:49 pm #

          Bre, it’s really not necessary or nice to call another mom “ignorant” for having an opinion you don’t share.

          Perhaps with age you will learn to handle conflicting opinions without insulting people.

          Re: the other replies, I’ll give it another read. One of those weeks….

          • Jen April 23, 2016 at 4:14 pm #

            Purple…you are a jerk! Generally speaking most women are in their mid to late thirties when they have children.

            Sorry you are such an old mom!

          • josie April 23, 2016 at 5:37 pm #

            Clearly you are age bias, since you are suggesting that age has anything to do with wisdom. Experience is wisdom, plain and simple, not age: one 30 year old could have lived ten times more than the 40 year old next to her.

          • SpencersMom April 24, 2016 at 12:01 pm #

            Maybe with age… now who is showing an age bias?

            People try so hard now a days to be butt hurt over stupidness. It was a beautiful article about UPLIFTING women who feel like their identity has faded away and all that is left sometimes is mom.

            Read the article… feel good for a minute instead of trying to nit pick shit to bitch about.

          • Daddy82 August 13, 2016 at 8:41 pm #

            The part of the article that is incorrect, is stating moms instead of parents, Or am I ignorant also.

          • thorbjorn82 December 31, 2016 at 4:14 am #

            @DADDY82: You are a man… This is for the woman in mind… the strength of a family has the woman as the backbone that holds it all in place… If you have fathered a child with a wife who had given birth or raised a child with who had nurtured a child or breastfed a child, then this article is not for you… Men support the wives the best we can…now, random as your ID name, I would say you were born in 82, but then so am I, and I can tell you, every family I know in my community has their own system but it starts with the mother being 24/7 with the kids… Men, stop being pansies, love your wives, love your kids, remember this day, because tomorrow it will be in the past… This article, in my mind, is like Chicken Soup for the mothers whose kids are from newborns to teenagers… Surely the author has something for each age bracket from late teens to late 40’s, but this is centered for 30’s average…. Men should not even be in this category,,, unless you are an only parent, and if this is so, I bet there is a different article you can read to make your mind at ease…. To the women who fit this category: I hope your husbands support the hell out of you who have committed your lives to raising the kids and keeping the spouse in check… hats of to ya..

        • Jennifer April 25, 2016 at 11:27 am #

          My thoughts totally.

        • Cody September 23, 2016 at 11:57 pm #

          Since I can’t actually reply to Jen, the average age of motherhood in the US is 25. Absolutely not “generally speaking most women are in their mid to late thirties when they have children.”

        • Chelsea December 29, 2016 at 9:10 pm #

          Are you teaching your children to call people “ignorant” because they might have viewpoints that might not be in line with yours?

      • Heather April 22, 2016 at 8:31 am #

        If it lost you there then thats unfortunate. It was lovely. She said give or take a few on all stats mentioned above. I’m a 40s Mom too and didn’t take offense at all.

        • Bella April 22, 2016 at 2:01 pm #

          Heather: I am a mom in her 50’s with a 3 year old and a 6 year old. I know that I am outside the norm when it comes to mothers of young children, but I feel blessed that I am able to experience the highs and lows that you so eloquently captured in your blog. It made me cry and laugh and for that I am grateful.

        • Olive April 23, 2016 at 12:09 pm #

          I’m in my 40s. In all honesty, I found it alienating and ageist. There wasn’t any reason to mention age, yet she took the time to so its concerning. Once we reach adulthood we should move past only relating to people of the same age, and relate through shared experience. If you have little kids IDC if you’re 18 or 48, maybe you have some wisdom I can learn from.

      • dobes April 22, 2016 at 8:49 am #

        But why the bitterness? It left me out in several ways. I had my 3 kids between 18 and 24, so in my mid-30s my kids were teenagers, even leaving home. I was a single mom all the way through , so the comments about a spouse don’t apply. I was never so lucky as to be able to even THINK about buying a house, and never mind organic – I could break the budget just by buying FOOD. I don’t believe vaccinating is a choice – it’s a communal necessity.

        So what? I adjusted downward to my mid-twenties, and the article was true. I worked 2 jobs at a time while going to school and parenting three kids, and worried about everything, all the time. I don’t know when I slept. The kids meant the world to me – and I had so little time with them! And, now, well past this time, with all three grown, happy, productive, and two with families of their own – well, it was the best time. The very best time. Little kids in a house are a joy and a blessing – and that’s what this article was about.

        • Christina May 1, 2016 at 12:37 am #

          Thank you! I cannot believe these women whining about “ageism”. Maybe the author included that age because that is what she and her friends relate to. I’m 28, with one child, who is 9 years old, and I’m not married. Do you see me whining because I wasn’t included in the age range? Do you see me whining because not all mothers have more than one kid? Do you see me whining because not all mothers have spouses.

          GET OVER YOURSELVES! The author wrote it from her perspective, but if as a mother in any stage you can’t read this and get something from, because your demographics don’t match up to hers, you have some serious issues. And you 40 year olds complain about Millennials being perpetually offended.

          • Jessica June 17, 2016 at 12:15 am #

            Exactly! Just pick the positive of what you relate to! Why do people take something beautiful and tear it apart. People will find anything to be negative about!! Grrrr. This was perfectly written and me in almost everything written.

          • James 4 kids March 27, 2017 at 8:25 am #

            Lol I have heard it all, now we have ageism breaking hearts. I agree.with you.

        • Nefe May 18, 2016 at 11:39 am #

          I agree with you. I’m 25 with 3 children so they will preteens when I am that age but I can’t agree with article more. It was comforting. Question for you though, did you have guilt working 2 jobs and going to school? I do. Just looking for advice from someone who was there before.

        • janice May 28, 2016 at 7:08 am #

          Dito……working 6 days and 3 night for 5 years while these little people grew up and my mom shared the important events.There was no option for guilt when it was a necessity only pain for the missed experience. And prayer is the number #1 for survival. For a moment this blog took me back to some tender moments thanks

        • Mary October 27, 2016 at 10:50 pm #

          I only felt a little left out because…….I’m in my 30s and having kids is all I’ve ever wanted, but I’m still waiting. And a virgin. And had a lot of heartbreak. Feels like it will never happen. But I read these things because I identify so much with motherhood, I started asking for subscriptions to Parents magazine when I was 12. Most of those difficult existential anxieties mentioned apply to people like me, too; difference is, I wish I had the reward of motherhood to offset it. I’m not the target audience, but I found the article very well written and wise, though it did leave the hole in my heart a little bigger- I think that means it was effective.

      • Identify as Mom April 22, 2016 at 8:57 am #

        Just an FYI, she said in parentheses after that to “give or take a few on all the above mentioned stats”. It’s sad if you didn’t finish reading this beautiful article because you were so easily offended. 🙁

      • Alana April 22, 2016 at 8:59 am #

        This was a wonderful article. I’m in my mid 20’s with 3 kids 2, 4 and 6. I wasn’t offended because she was using a general rule of thumb. She wasn’t being bias on purpose.

      • Danielle April 22, 2016 at 9:10 am #

        I wasn’t lost when age was mentioned, but I did wonder if the rest of the post was going to apply to me. I’m in my 40s and have a teenager and a toddler. This post is so accurate. It captures this stage perfectly, aside from the age criteria.

        • Diane Persons August 13, 2016 at 8:33 pm #

          Hey Danielle, I’m like you with a 16, 9 and 3 year old – all boys ( like the author) If I were to take the age comment hard it would pry be due to having to stretch out the child rearing years – having to wait longer for that empty nest when I can sort of “retire” from raising children. I don’t envy the multiple children under age 10 mom’s but I will say having and raising a child at 37 showed me that it was easier getting up at night at 23.

          • Jennifer August 27, 2016 at 9:52 am #

            Yes, definitely. Mine are 8 years apart. I notice that parenting, in general, was easier when I was younger. Plus, she’s much more difficult to parent. I feel so guilty because I don’t feel like she’s getting the attention her sister did.

      • Simone M. April 22, 2016 at 2:23 pm #

        Oh Purple, Purple, Purple… (sigh)…

      • Elena April 22, 2016 at 2:25 pm #

        Well i don’t think the article said ” only” that age group. No offense but I don’t think it’s all that typical to have small kids in your early forties and this article is referring to the masses. Most people I know in that age group are becoming grandparents even.

        • Yep May 1, 2016 at 11:51 am #

          Are you for real? Tons of women in their early 40s have young kids. what a dumb comment. But hey, “no offense.”

          • Elena May 17, 2016 at 11:04 pm #

            Of course women that old get pregnant! I guess whoever wants to be that old and have a newborn! Everyone knows that’s definitely not a woman’s prime for pregnancy. That’s why at that age you have to undergo special testing! The eggs are old!!!! Don’t be offended because you’re probably an old mom!

          • Erika June 24, 2016 at 9:56 am #

            So true! I’m 39 with a 3 1/2 year old and my first thought was “way to alienate an entire age group”. Those of you referring to “old moms” have no idea how much that does sting. We are just moms who happened to live a bit longer before having kids. Having small kids is HARD no matter how old you are. There was no need to specify an age range, even with the qualifying “a few years either way”. Stating her age and then saying being a mom is hard, no matter your age, would likely have eliminated the ageism comments.

      • Anonymous April 22, 2016 at 3:22 pm #

        She wrote to give or take a few on all of the criteria she mentioned.

      • Anonymous April 22, 2016 at 4:06 pm #

        She didn’t put a number on it, if you continued to read the sentence you’re referring to she goes on to say give or take a few.

      • Rai April 22, 2016 at 6:19 pm #

        What a weird thing to say. I am mid 20s married with 3 kids under 4. My mom had me at 43. My sister had her kids at 35. As Moms, I would say we can all relate to this article and each other. She is writing about her experience based on her life…and for her those stats are her reality. She was also pretty clear that all those numbers given were of course give and take on either side.

      • Kimi April 22, 2016 at 8:41 pm #

        She clearly said give or take on ALL above mentioned stats. I’m in my last 30s with a newborn and a 3 year old, agree bias NEVER crossed my mind. This article was about mom’s with little ones and nothing more than something UPLIFTING. I think you have a bit of a complex about your age purple, maybe read it again and insert your age. I thought it was beautiful and inspiring for all mom’s of any age! Thanks AMB

      • Sommer April 23, 2016 at 3:07 am #

        Wow! U might need a “SELF CHECK”…i have no problem checking you myself…. News flash….her blog and this part of it is geared towards that age group OBVIOUSLY! SHES NOT BIASED… Shes sharing….shes helping, and I guarantee shes making a gazillion woman/mommys feel validated and nit so crazy. …And how dare you accuse her of such ridiculousness…. Get a freakin life! Haha fead something geared toward your own age….is that age bias enough for ya?

      • KB April 23, 2016 at 2:30 pm #

        She said right in the article to give or take a few to all the previous stats. No need to be so easily offended. I don’t fit in the stats either. It’s okay! 🙂

      • pababycakes April 24, 2016 at 9:03 pm #

        It’s funny, I’m a pretty laid back person but that’s the first thing I noticed too! All of my friends and I are in our late 30s and early 40s with little kids. No one I know had a newborn until their early 30s. So right off the bat I thought “This isn’t for me.” Otherwise I enjoyed the article. But the age thing did jump out at me.

        • Jo May 17, 2016 at 12:06 pm #

          Fantastic response. Would have been mine too had you not got to it furst. Totally laid back where others take offense but as a 42 year old with young kids, the age thing jumped out at me.

          • Ann May 22, 2016 at 12:14 am #

            I am 40 with 10 and 8 yr olds. I noticed this also, but I know a lot of young moms, so I realized it might be something to share with them. By the end of the article I was crying a little…Even if you haven’t actually been in this situation personally, perhaps one could feel empathy?

      • Forever mom. April 26, 2016 at 9:02 pm #

        Maybe she just referred to her age because she can’t speak from experience of what it’s like beyond that. Maybe she was afraid she couldn’t speak to what older moms deal with because she didn’t want to be accused of not knowing when she hasn’t been there. How about just ignoring the age part and appreciating that someone is willing to acknowledge what she’s going through so that other moms will not feel alone. I’m a 60 year old who raised four kids starting in my upper 20s. I wonder how she got so wise at her age.

      • Yep May 1, 2016 at 11:48 am #

        100% agree with Purple. And I know a lot of moms in their early 40s with young kids so it IS typical. What a dumb comment Elena. But hey, “no offense.”

      • Amanda May 12, 2016 at 8:49 am #

        Thank you so much for writing this “purple.” I am 29 and single; reading this article made me panic that I am behind for not being married with my first child already.

      • Diane L May 13, 2016 at 7:26 am #

        Seriously! Im in my 50s and child mind. I know exactly where she is coming from and I still feel it not just for my own grown up kids but also for and with each of the kids I mind and have minded. Age is just a number once you reach your twenties.

        Its the points Hayley was making are what matter and are so true about being a parent at whatever age you happen to be or wish to be!

        Hayley wonderful words and so so true. I truely wish we all got to be stay at home mums and learn to love our kids and appreciate them for who and what they are and appreciate their journey for the brief time we are there guiding them. They are such a special gift they need not money, fancy clothes, fancy toys or fancy parties. They need love and out door space and open ended items to use their own imaginations to bring to life.

        I shall be reading more of your posts, your doing a great job.

      • Mary May 14, 2016 at 7:56 am #

        The age reference threw me off, as well. In the region where I now live, most moms are significantly older than the national average. Actually, they are practically the norm at my oldest son’s elementary school, and a good chunk of the moms in my younger son’s preschool are older by national standards.

      • jessie May 15, 2016 at 5:46 pm #

        I was in my 20’s in this stage.

      • Isabelle May 15, 2016 at 10:11 pm #

        Article was excellent , although I 100% agree I felt kinda lost with age range limit but I kept Reading, glad I did . Spot on!

      • JD May 18, 2016 at 12:51 pm #

        I agree that this article should have been written without referencing age. Whether you have kids in your teens, 20s, 30s, 40s, or 50s, it’s hard to be a mom. There are challenges at many different stages. To some of the younger moms that posted rude comments (Bre, Jen, Elena, Christina), maybe you should have waited to grow up to have children. I hope you aren’t teaching your children such disrespect. Waiting to be married to the right person, completing your education, providing a stable home, etc. sometimes puts a woman into her late 30s or 40s to have children. That is not a bad thing. That is being a responsible adult and responsible parent. The best mothers I know waited to have kids until later in life. I’m not saying younger mothers aren’t good mothers, but the ones commenting above sound immature and uneducated.

        • C-doodle May 22, 2016 at 11:16 pm #

          Amen!

        • S August 13, 2016 at 4:07 pm #

          JD, what a passive aggressive comment. You are essentially saying that being a responsible adult and parent means you must be a married college graduate with other qualifiers (presumably a “good job” or else there can’t be a stable home, right?) AND be in your late 30’s or 40’s or else one cannot be one of those good moms you have the absolute privilege of knowing.

          Rude.

          .

      • ~Mina May 19, 2016 at 12:07 pm #

        This was written right after the age stats: “(Give or take a few, on all of the above mentioned stats).”

      • Lisa June 11, 2016 at 7:12 am #

        Did you relate that’s what’s important not the age. Some people are really just so ignorant.

      • Rach June 18, 2016 at 1:06 am #

        she did say “(Give or take a few, on all of the above mentioned stats).”
        I’m not ‘cookie cutter’ what she said either, but still sitting here balling at the reality of it! Such beautiful words!

      • Marnie July 18, 2016 at 6:41 am #

        Agreed! She lost me there too!

      • Mandy July 18, 2016 at 11:55 pm #

        She’s referring to a stage, not an age.

      • Amanda August 3, 2016 at 12:37 pm #

        I’m in my very late 30’s and in no way did I feel as though this “left me out”. Ya’ll need to quit nit picking and support each other. As mentioned in the article, we have enough guilt and this certainly doesn’t need to be added to the list. And since an “older” mom pointed out the age reference, she should know better and not be so rude. Let’s see your blogs. I’m pretty sure there would be mistakes made there. We all make them. No need to point them out.

        This article was a much needed reflection of where I’ve been and decisions I’m currently struggling with. I’m grateful for it. Thank you!

      • harry August 12, 2016 at 12:10 pm #

        Lol… seems like you still haven’t aged enough to get the point of the article. You missed the point. And no she didn’t leave out the 50+ that have had children either.

        Anyway… this was a great article. As a dad I struggle with some of the same things mentioned.

      • Meme August 12, 2016 at 9:47 pm #

        Guess you missed the author’s acknowledgement that the numbers aren’t engraved in stone. Quote “Give or take a few, on all of the above mentioned stats).”

      • K August 19, 2016 at 6:18 am #

        I’m mid 40’s. Shhh, don’t tell anyone. Its fine, the age doesn’t apply but the words VERY much apply.

      • Labendar August 27, 2016 at 11:47 am #

        Purple … It’s okay. Be offended. You always are. Cause people like you … Well, you’ll always find something wrong with everything, because that’s what you do.

      • Older Mom October 6, 2016 at 3:49 pm #

        The stage is the same whatever the age. Some of you “younger” moms don’t realize that it can be hard in itself to be one of the handful — if that, depending on where you live — of “older” moms.

      • sice October 19, 2016 at 9:04 pm #

        Who the hell cares about the age in any of this. Her story is her story. And it’s beautiful and true… for all mothers of kids that age. Yes it’s tough… and guess what? It get’s a whole lot tougher.. and treasure all of those hugs and snuggles you can get. And be thankful that the only problem right now is an ear infection. And if the kids hit puberty when you’re going through menopause – Good luck!!

      • Young Mother October 26, 2016 at 4:14 pm #

        Umm, there is no age bias. I can relate even though I’m on the other spectrum and had my sons very early. I’m just in my mid-30s and have a 16 and 15 year old, as well as step sons younger than my oldest. This is the AVERAGE experience, and I remember the self-doubt of working while having little ones, of wanting to be a great mom but also needing some time to be more. And you know what, I see women my age having their first or sending them off to kindergarten, and I get to be that older mom that has been there and done that (even though I’m their age). If you are feeling left out because you’re an older mother than the ones in their mid-30s, that’s your own issue. I meet moms like you all the times at my sons’ middle school who are now in their mid-40s and late 40s with their first child and they ask me if I regretted missing out on my younger years…and you know what I say, “hey, the way I see it, I’ll be 42 by the time the youngest is 18 years old. I get to be young still.”

      • Kyle November 7, 2016 at 10:10 pm #

        Over look the age and just enjoy the article.

      • Leslie December 28, 2016 at 9:47 pm #

        I don’t know if she “lost” me, but I thought it was really weird that she mentioned an age range. Someone could be 25 and in this stage, or 40+. I have a friend who had her FIRST kid at 44 (and she did not have medical intervention).

      • Anonymous December 29, 2016 at 5:49 pm #

        You must have missed the beginning paragraph. Re read it she says the ages of parents and kids could vary but the feeling of the article would remain the same. Don’t take it personal, it was meant to touch mommy heart strings not make you feel older than the rest

    • Cindy April 22, 2016 at 2:25 pm #

      I do remember it being like that, but now I am the grandparent, and I AM LOVING IT!

    • Lori May 31, 2016 at 6:04 pm #

      This is phenomenal.
      Please keep writing and blessing others.

    • Matt Black June 23, 2016 at 1:42 am #

      Spot on article and very meaningful in every way.

      Sadly in my experience it was also the stage where my wife ‘found herself’, had an affair, left the marriage and broke up our family. Guess that’s what can also happen and is a high risk factor in this stage of life.

      Thankfully she screwed up so much that I was able to survive financially, keep the house and am now the primary carer of my kids.

      As a single Dad my life is possibly harder than all what is described above but that’s life.

  2. Gail April 20, 2016 at 6:50 pm #

    It’s so hard when you’re in that stage! I am a mom to 4 kids aged 19-23 – who were once ALL under the age of 4! My husband was building a company so couldn’t always be there. I DID get help in the form aid a high school girl who came every weekday for about 4 summers. It allowed me to take them to the zoo, water parks, on hikes etc. (and to allow me to grocery shop in peace). I never felt guilty because they loved her and she loved them (and I REALLY loved her!!). Now that my kids are grown and we are empty nesters (another REALLY hard stage), we miss these busy days and look back with fondness! Cut yourselves a break young moms – it’s all good and you’ll survive!!

    • Jenny April 21, 2016 at 7:36 am #

      Oh how I love seeing responses like this. You survived and so will I. We had 4 in 4 years and now have #5 coming in the 6th year. HARD, so hard, but so much fun being engrossed in their lives and it’ll be so fun to know them when they are adults and we’ve lived and learned so much from each other.

    • Jenna April 21, 2016 at 7:11 pm #

      Hi Gail! I’m a mom with 4 kids under 4. Glad to see you made it out alive 😉

    • Diane L May 13, 2016 at 7:33 am #

      HI all, Its such a wonderful journey and such a privilege though very tough at times. Gail sounds like you made the best of it. Well done you and what a birll example that others can follow. even if not able to have the help you did. there are ways of surviving even if its helping out other friedns and them helping you in return. Enjoy your journey its the best one!

  3. Ruth April 20, 2016 at 7:06 pm #

    That was wonderful I wish I had had this re assurance when I was at that point in life. My daughter is there now she is expecting baby 3 . I know she will get through it I did we all do but having a place to share is awesome

  4. Chantal April 20, 2016 at 7:15 pm #

    This is SO true. I have a 4 year old and a 10 month old, and some days, it’s a struggle.

  5. Diana April 20, 2016 at 7:37 pm #

    My heart needed this so much today. At one point I was sitting on the floor just crying because it was just a really hard day. 3 kids 4 years old and under. I feel everyday like I’m failing or negligenting someone or something. This. This. Is what I needed. Thank you.

  6. Kimberly Peython April 20, 2016 at 7:50 pm #

    My friend turned my on to this post and I’m very happy she did. It was like she took everything that I have been think, feeling and wrote it down. By the time I finished reading it I had tears in my eyes it was just so refreshing. Thank You!

  7. Andrea Ramirez April 20, 2016 at 8:32 pm #

    Kudos Hayley! So poignant and well said. You nailed it.

  8. C. Carlton April 20, 2016 at 8:36 pm #

    Girl. You said this perfectly. I do not have a gift for writing and creative thought…so when I find someone who puts it into words for me, it’s a wonderful thing!

  9. Susan Seale April 20, 2016 at 8:54 pm #

    As an empty nester mom who went through most everything Hayley mentioned, I can attest that it is the best time and you won’t recognize it until years later. Enjoy it while it last.

  10. Steph April 20, 2016 at 9:09 pm #

    Thanks, I needed this today. 🙂

  11. Laura April 20, 2016 at 9:13 pm #

    This is brilliant. Just brilliant. You nailed it dead on. I’ve read it 6 times, and I’ve cried 6 times. Thank you. (PS I have a 3 year old and a 7 week old).

  12. Laura April 20, 2016 at 9:14 pm #

    I hope this goes viral.

  13. Lindsey April 20, 2016 at 9:37 pm #

    THIS. All of this. Thank you, thank you, thank you.

  14. Lexy April 20, 2016 at 9:57 pm #

    This is so true and so very spot on. It left me feeling a little bit bummed, though. Like, this stage is hard- but, soon, I’m going to have to deal with the EXTRA hard. All of the positive things about this stage are things that are going to go away. I don’t like that they’re going to go away. Left me sad.

    • Anonymous April 21, 2016 at 10:31 am #

      Very insightful comment. I raised 8 children and long so much for those busy crazy days, chattering kids who are so enthused and tell you everything, crying children who just want a hug from Mom and to cuddle up to you for comfort. What a great but very busy and hard time that as you said goes away way to quick. Thank heaven’s for grandchildren! I also lost my house cleaning helpers!

    • TN April 22, 2016 at 1:26 pm #

      Ah, but there will be other positives with older kids. The author just hasn’t had the joy of experiencing them herself yet, so couldn’t accurately speak to them. Look forward to seeing your baby suddenly standing up for someone else, standing tall with the sure knowledge that they did the right thing. Look forward to seeing them make hard decisions, but having the skills and the confidence to do so. Look forward to hearing them discuss and debate ideas, and being open to others’ points of view. And look forward to those times when they when they still wrap their arms around you and say, “I love you.” Their arms are longer, but it feels just as good.

      • Susan April 23, 2016 at 12:55 pm #

        So true! My sons are mostly grown and parenting them brings joy yet unknown to the parent of young children. Thank you for adding this, TN.

  15. Helen Gregson April 20, 2016 at 10:29 pm #

    *shrug* Every stage of life is hard in its own way.

    • Christina April 21, 2016 at 8:25 am #

      Other stages of life at least allow for breaks.

      • Beth April 21, 2016 at 9:00 am #

        Christina…exactly!!!

      • Helen Gregson April 21, 2016 at 2:18 pm #

        Not necessarily. Caring for an ill or aging family member is terribly stressful and doesn’t come with many breaks. Speaking from experience.

        • Julie April 21, 2016 at 9:38 pm #

          I agree that every stage has its own challenges. We need to be caring and compassionate no matter what stage of life someone is in. My 5 kids now range from 2nd grade to college – 3 are teenagers. This is very hard too and I haven’t found much time for breaks. Enjoyed the blog! Many of her points still apply.

    • Katherine April 21, 2016 at 12:58 pm #

      I completely agree Helen! Thank you!!!!!!!!!! No matter what season or stage we find ourselves in-they are all difficult in someway. It has nothing to do with breaks. That’s why we offer help, encourage and love others who are in a season we have passed or we seek help from those who have gone before us. It’s a constant give & take. It’s praying and realizing it is hard wherever you find yourself.

      • Pamela April 22, 2016 at 9:58 am #

        BEST RESPONSE YET, Katherine. How about the woman in her late 30’s who hears her biological clock ticking yet has no prospects of marriage, and is not about to bring a child into the world without a committed, caring father? How about the woman who in her 30’s becomes chronically ill (fibromyalgia, chronic fatigue syndrome, hashimotos disease, MS) yet still must raise her young children through the daily pain? How about the woman who becomes a young widow during those same hectic years of raising children?

        People need to stop whining about how hard life is, and instead look around at the difficulties others face compared to ones’ own narrow world.

        Take a minute and look back and ask yourselves how your grandmother did it without an automatic washer and dryer, a microwave, a cell phone and a laptop. Did she experience more joy than you? Why or why not?

        Recognize that much of the pressures we feel today are self-inflicted due to the never-ending demands of keeping up with the Joneses.

        Practice gratitude daily and let your wonderful life unfold in front of you. This stage of having small children will be gone before you know it.

        • Rissa April 22, 2016 at 8:21 pm #

          “How about the woman in her late 30’s who hears her biological clock ticking yet has no prospects of marriage, and is not about to bring a child into the world without a committed, caring father?

          This hypothetical woman is making a very conscious choice, as is her right. Recasting her as the suffering victim of that choice significantly diminishes her (hypothetical) agency. I can’t pity a person who carefully considers her situation and makes the choice she feels is the best fit for herself and any future children she might have had: to the contrary, I completely respect her decision (quite different from my own choice to adopt) and the thought that went into it.

          “Take a minute and look back and ask yourselves how your grandmother did it without an automatic washer and dryer, a microwave, a cell phone and a laptop. Did she experience more joy than you? Why or why not?”

          How in the world is anyone qualified to answer these questions? Accurately comparing one’s own private, personal experience to that of another and quantifying your respective “joy”? You cannot.

          You really have no idea what your grandmother’s day to day was like. Even assuming she shared detailed stories with you in person or in a journal, whatever she may have shared is almost invariably coloured by the speaker or author’s perception. Comparing your day–your “joy”–to hers is a cross-generational cross-cultural exercise in utter futility.

          Maybe your grandpa beat her. Maybe she was suicidal. Maybe she was the happiest woman this side of Heaven–but you cannot ever know for sure. Not without actually living her life.

          What profit, then, comparing your situation to ANYBODY else’s, unless to create a false burden of guilt or a false sense of superiority regarding one’s own choices?

          There is none.

          • Melissa April 23, 2016 at 4:34 pm #

            Amen. The worst comments to me are the ones diminishing others opinions of their OWN situation, telling them to simply ‘get over it’. You NEVER truly understand someone’s struggles unless you’ve been in their shoes, their head, their position at the time of their struggles.

          • Meags May 5, 2016 at 9:11 pm #

            Thank you, Rissa.

          • Dee May 22, 2016 at 7:19 am #

            But her point is valid: be thankful each day for what you have…

  16. Kari April 20, 2016 at 10:39 pm #

    You nailed it. All of this is me. My babies are 4 and 2 and as much as I love them, I can only give so much. It is a huge relief to know that its not just me that’s exhausted, I have to keep telling myself that one day the boys are going to grow up, not need me anymore. All of the exhaustion is worth it.

  17. Liz April 20, 2016 at 10:42 pm #

    Blog posts like this are the reasons why I’m choosing to be childless. Thankful that moms today are real enough to admit it sucks. Facebook sharing of these ever-popular “I see you, momma” posts is probably the best birth control ever.

    • georgia April 21, 2016 at 12:10 am #

      Good for you. You do you, Liz, whether that means with kids or without. Thankful that women these days have the choice the remain childless and not feel guilty about it. (Well, forget some of the comments below.)

      • Krissy Murphy April 21, 2016 at 10:13 pm #

        Agree with this! I am a FTM and love it so much, but also recognize it’s not for everyone…and that is OKAY! <3

    • Feminist April 22, 2016 at 3:34 pm #

      Hi Liz,
      I thought the same way till I had a child.

      Parents feel so much love for them. I love my parents and my husband and my cat but have never loved another living creature as much as I love my daughter. I feel this surge of love whenever I see her. She makes me so happy.

      I had her late (biologically speaking) and because of that decision I had to go through a lot to have her. So I am very thankful every time I see her.
      Maybe if I had her earlier, I would have resented all the time and energy I have to put in her.

      Now, I am so grateful. I love it all…the birthday parties I would not have been invited to otherwise (and all the new people I get to meet),
      the play dates with other moms/parents ,
      the trips to places I would have never visited (some don’t allow adults without children! And these places will probably be boring without kids!!),
      the holidays I would have not celebrated (because it is too much work!).

      I was starting to get jaded with stuff I love to do – traveling, eating out. For my daughter everything is exciting, every small little, tiny thing and it changes my viewpoint and increases my enjoyment.

      I have started exercising regularly because I want to see my daughter grow up. I am learning new skills/games/sports because of my daughter, I have better work-life balance because I draw the line now (and am so much more focused at work because I know I can’t linger…), I have another person (my daughter) to so stuff with.
      I could go on and on…

      You have heard the cons/negatives/downsides but there is a huge biological/hormonal upside. It is a high, a high when you see/interact with your child that is like no other.

      I am a feminist and believe in choices. Hope your choices make you very happy.

  18. Melissa April 20, 2016 at 10:57 pm #

    Life is hard slash beautiful slash worth it. Every stage and every person.

  19. Adrian April 20, 2016 at 11:01 pm #

    Thank you for being real!

  20. Robyn April 20, 2016 at 11:07 pm #

    As a mom who has passed this stage and has teenagers, I look back at that stage with fondness and nostagia. Already. My family almost always together, for meals, trips, outings, holidays, evenings and weekends. If your teens are social or in to sports, or theater, choir, band, etc (esp in TX!) you will only see them for a couple of hours a day during the week. They want to speak weekend time with friends. The decisions gets harder and your children become who they want to be–which might not be what you’ve hoped and dreamed for them all their young life. They don’t want to be home by mommy, so you definitely will have time to pursue some thing(s) you love; but the battles are way more emotionally and draining. I agree with your final paragraph–it’s one the best stages because your kids love you, huggle you, kiss you and wait for you (even go to the bathroom with you…that does end, luckily!) and because they enjoy life and get excited about so many things. ENJOY THEM WHEN THEY’RE YOUNG and excited to be with you; when their problems are very simple and not usually dangerous or life-altering, as they can be during teen & young adult years. You’ll pray more than you ever have before. Ever. My biggest advice to young moms is not to let you kids get addicted to your cel phone games and i-Pads, you can’t imagine the power it has over their minds as teenagers. We didn’t have that stuff for our kids and they became teens who knew how to talk to adults, others, work, hang out in nature, outside, etc. I see babies scream for their mom’s phones and are more “in charge” than their parents; who can’t take a car trip without media; or sit in a doctor’s office or church and read a book instead of being plugged in to media; and I worry about the future of that child and this entire generation. This is one of my soapboxes, sorry! Enjoy every minute with your “littles” and help them experience life, emotion, play, build their mental stamina and patience and creativity with real activities, words, people and places. Take breaks for yourself, yes, overnighters, yes. Date nights. Totally. Babysitters you trust are your best friends 🙂 Keep up some of your hobbies, passions, for sure. Keep growing. Take time to read and study healthy communication and conflict styles–learn how to listen and not react. This is the most important thing to help with your next phase. Listen, validate, restate, empathize and still retain parental leadership with kindness and integrity. Prayers to all of us, whatever stage we’re in with our kids and grandkids!

    • Denise April 21, 2016 at 8:00 am #

      Well said! I agree with you wholeheartedly!

    • Ginger April 21, 2016 at 7:38 pm #

      Oh my yes, Robyn, I couldn’t agree with you more! I would love to go back to the time when ear infections and stomach viruses were the worst of my problems.

    • Not the girl next door April 21, 2016 at 9:27 pm #

      Please understand this comment comes with good intent and not to stir the pot. I read this whole article with tears and thought it was so well done. So non judgmental, and open. I began reading comments and when I came across this comment, I got to the middle and stopped. For the sake of other moms and myself I needed to reply.
      We live in a world of technology. And the future will be more advanced (with even MORE devices) . While the use of iPads and phones, or other electronics to “pacify” can be abused, it is NOT what prevents our kids from being real people or stale their ability to become functional adults. It will NOT prevent them from being able to talk to people, enjoy outside, look at nature , “experience life” , etc. as you stated.
      These tools….because that is what they are, just tools, are used to HELP in more ways than you may be seeing through your clouded view.
      I feel that most of us would do every other option than throwing a screen in front of our kids when we are able to, but sometimes we are just going to have to pick the battle.
      Please don’t judge mothers who give little ones their phone to keep them quiet in a grocery store, so they can just finish getting through it without a meltdown. Or the mother who keeps their child content with an iPad in the Doctor, dentist, wherever. You do not know their story, and it is shameful to place that kind of judgement on someone. period.
      This is not damaging your child. Not every mother has the time to pull their screaming 3 year old out of the cart, or out of the doctors office and give them a good old stern “talking to”.
      That baby you see screaming that you THINK is in charge, is not. They could very well just be throwing a fit, but that’s what kids do when they want something….it’s what they have always done…even before all these evil devices.
      There is not much difference when you are talking about the act of “contenting” your kid. You can give them a rattle that has beans in it to shake around and keep them happy for a few minutes or give them a device that actually may teach them something, something at that very moment you do not have time to do because you are frantically trying to get through the store without forgetting anything (you will undoubtably do anyhow)
      Ive heard children….YOUNG children, 3-4 years old that are bilingual , learned from interactive toddler apps….not from a person that could sit down and teach them face to face daily.
      My son is actually self teaching himself to play an instrument, from watching instructional videos on his iPad. Do you know how much lessons cost?! Way more than an iPad!!
      My point is, you cannot simply say or assume that because of these media tools, the future generation is doomed or parents are failing by allowing this. Certainly a mother of teenagers would be slightly more open minded.
      These tools provide far more than one parent can sometimes even offer their child as far as teaching goes….as far as education goes! A chance to give them an opportunity to have a jumpstart on how the world is around us and not just in the bubble they live in at home.
      Can it be abused? Absolutely. And there are terrible things on the internet that no adult let alone child should ever see. THATS our job. To protect them from that(the best we can) and make sure these tools are used responsibly.
      If I were you, I wouldn’t be so worried about the future generation as much as I would be worried about how you Sre going to handle this when your future grandchildren are doing just the same.
      We are all doing our best, and sometimes that best is going to be handing a screaming child a media device. This does not make us bad parents. It makes us survivors.

      • Jane April 28, 2016 at 10:41 pm #

        This is perfect.

  21. Rachel Barber April 20, 2016 at 11:11 pm #

    I have 8 kids- so I have been pregnant, nursing, not sleeping for 17 years. And I’m in all stages of life- not sleeping, almost potty training, field trips, football games, Apts, and graduation. (Our oldest is a senior). But let me tell you- it’s amazing! Even though I promise you all I don’t sleep- and my house is still a mess daily.
    Thanks!

    • Suz April 21, 2016 at 10:50 am #

      Sleep and Cleaning are overrated 😉 Enjoy your life and your kids 😀 It sounds like you are!

    • James 4 kids March 27, 2017 at 8:34 am #

      Lol. You tell em. Google job and keep up the hard work.

  22. viv April 20, 2016 at 11:43 pm #

    So many friends have referred this article to me tonight. I left my two kiddos with the hubby before bedtime so I could have a devoted work night. The juggle is so real. But I’m incredibly grateful for a message like this that just reassures moms that they’re not alone in this mom-hood walk – in the guilt, and the exhaustion, and the unknown answers. This article is so perfect I want to hug it and you. Thanks for this and how it’s encouraging so many mamas, like me, out there right now.

  23. Alice April 20, 2016 at 11:52 pm #

    Wonderful article..

    I am left with a question… Why “you need your mom” ?
    What do moms do?

    • Amy April 21, 2016 at 1:40 pm #

      Alice, good ones listen to you cry and reassure you that they had the same struggles, too, and reassure you that it DOES get easier.

    • Rachel April 21, 2016 at 4:45 pm #

      This was the part that really got me in the feels. I lost my mom 12 years ago when I was 19 and I so wish she was here to know her 4 and 2 year old grandkids. She would’ve adores them and I wish that my kids would’ve known her and that she could’ve known me as a mother. And mostly, so I could tell her how grateful I am to have had such an incredible role model of mothers love and how desperately I wish I would’ve told/ shown her that when I had the chance.

      • Ashley April 22, 2016 at 10:10 pm #

        Me too! I lost my mom 12 years ago when I was 19, I agree with everything you said Rachel, I feel the same way about my mom.

  24. Laura April 20, 2016 at 11:52 pm #

    I needed this today…I needed this more than you can imagine. Thank you.

  25. Samantha April 20, 2016 at 11:58 pm #

    Thank you so much for writing this article as I comment through my tears. It is hard and perfectionists in me wants me to be flawless and I can’t be and that realization is the hardest. I need to start to enjoy this, because it will all be over soon and I’m not THAT bad! Lol!!

  26. Tracy April 21, 2016 at 12:02 am #

    This is spot on. I’m 35, our kids are 8, 6 and almost 2. I’m trying to return to work to help our family financially and I’ve been rejected more times then all the bachelor women combined. I also just got nominated to be the PTA president so doors are opening to jobs that don’t pay. But I would love to be the PTA President. My husband travels for work so he is so thankful that I’m home and available to be with the kids and handle piano and baseball and basketball practices but he also wants me to utilize that Masters degree that doesn’t do anything for us right now except remind me of my professional glory days. We worry about college and yet also long for more children. It’s so hard.

  27. Tara April 21, 2016 at 12:17 am #

    Thank you.

  28. Clarice April 21, 2016 at 12:30 am #

    Hmm. Yup, it’s not easy and being a “good parent” it’s a challenge – I’m pretty sure no one said it would be easy. I’m pretty sure a sign that you’re doing a good job, is if you’re feeling exhausted, because being relentless and consistent is..exhausting!! If anthying, I think this blog post illustrates the importance of being grounded and confidant as an individual. Be sure not to rely on an ideal, or marriage, a house or a family to make you happy or to feel fulfilled. Know yourself, be content with yourself and find fulfilment as an individual before sharing who you are with a significant other or a family.
    I work full time, I have 2 boys I am a mother, a sister, a wife, a boss and a friend and I don’t feel quilty. I feel that in order to have sustained happiness – my health and balance come first. In order to be as effective as possible in all roles, I need to be content internerally. I need to feel intellectually challenged. I think in doing so, I will be the best I can be in every area of my life. I believe being true to myself is being the true ‘myself’ to everyone I know and to set an example for those around me. I don’t connect with this atricle but value the insight and experiences of others. Thanks for sharing-

  29. Marie April 21, 2016 at 12:57 am #

    I am 30, and I do not live this way. I have no children. My fiancé passed away three months before we were supposed to be married. We had baby fever, bad. We were planning on having children right away. We had a room set aside for a nursery. We talked about names and school districts and parenting styles.

    I would give ANYTHING to have my husband and children. To have a family to come home to and to take care of. When I see my friends with children, I am proud and happy for them, but there is always a knot in my stomach.

    I have so much respect for you moms, and I know that I am not missing out on just fun and games. But please know that to some people, you are living the dream.

    • Rebecca April 21, 2016 at 6:50 am #

      Marie-

      Thank you for your input! People often do not realize how lucky they are! Your message is valuable. Reality checks are ignored too often in today’s world. Hayley’s message has its place and she said it wel!! -but if any Mom could be in your head for 5 minutes there would be no need for this article. – from a 55 year old grandmother with children 29 and 33. Bless you Marie.

      • Jane April 28, 2016 at 10:46 pm #

        Praying for you Marie. Thank you for adding your perspective. ❤

    • TT April 21, 2016 at 10:25 pm #

      Thanks for posting this Marie. I am so sorry for your loss. I’m 35 and while I am fortunate enough to have a great husband, we have not been blessed with a child yet. It sometimes frustrates me to read things like this because, while I know motherhood is a huge challenge, I would love to have the opportunity to experience it. I know I am guilty of taking what I have for granted, but some people are lucky to have such problems.

      • Glenda April 22, 2016 at 12:07 pm #

        TT, It’s not to late to try to adopt. 78 years ago a spunky 21 yr. old unmarried woman

        gave up a little girl for adoption that a wonderfu couple in their 40’s desperatley wanted.

        Now 58 years later that little girl has reared 4 children & they have given us 14

        grandchildren & I’m hoping for “greats”. This blog was wonderful. All of you moms have

        the greatest occupation in the world & are completing it just like you were designed to do.

        Keep praying and hang in there. if you have a husband, enjoy him and your children &

        leave the guilt where it belongs. There is light at the end of the tunnel.

        • Christal May 21, 2016 at 9:56 am #

          Hi Glenda,

          While I count my lucky stars everyday for my wonderful husband, we are struggling with infertility as well.

          I am so glad that adoption worked out for you. But please know that it isn’t an option for some people. That not all couples are able to adopt due to monetary constraints (i.e. All money was spent on infertility treatments such as IVF) or for a myriad of other very emotional, very private reasons.

          I also wanted to add that I get that motherhood is the hardest job there is, there is no denying it. But please, please hug and squeeze your kids. Try to enjoy every moment. Don’t take it for granted for a second. Many of us would give anything for a house full of rambunctious kids with the tantrums and the meltdowns…and then the one sweet smile, hug of kiss that erases it all.

    • Renee April 22, 2016 at 7:21 am #

      So sorry for your loss. People sometimes forget how blessed they are until they see someone that would give anything to be where they are.I hope and pray for healing, strength and blessing in the future.

    • Lizzy April 25, 2016 at 6:12 pm #

      Thank you! My husband and I have been through everything and can’t have children. We’re both 30 and wish more than anything that their struggle could be our happily ever after.

  30. Dani Wagner April 21, 2016 at 1:10 am #

    This is right on. With three girls three and under hard and beautiful sum up life. Without the exhaustion, would we see
    The beauty?

  31. Anna April 21, 2016 at 1:15 am #

    wow ! I really needed this ! thank you thank you and again thank you ! ITS HARD ! my boys are 4.5 , 2.5 and 1.5 so TRUST ME I understand ! 🙂 BUT again its a beautiful life and I would not change a THING !

  32. Anna April 21, 2016 at 1:15 am #

    LOVED IT !

  33. Kristin April 21, 2016 at 1:16 am #

    THANK YOU> SAID ALL THE MOMS ON FACEBOOK <

  34. Kevin Dillon April 21, 2016 at 1:37 am #

    God can help…find a few minutes for Him daily…

  35. K D April 21, 2016 at 1:58 am #

    I fully agree… but, I’m stretching your age bracket. I’m 41 and I have 2 teenaged stepdaughters and ages 4, 2, and 6 months.

  36. katie April 21, 2016 at 2:07 am #

    So encouraging to read this and know I am not alone in my feelings! I too have 3 little boys 5 and under. Thank you for writing this and sharing it!!

  37. Gertrude Henderson April 21, 2016 at 3:17 am #

    What an appalling piece of writing. Privileged, much? My life is so hard, I have a family and have to look after my children. I love my life, it was my choice and it is a privilege to live in a developed country where I can afford anything for my child even while taking time away from work.
    And yes, there is an easy answer to vaccinating – if you want your child to be healthy, then you vaccinate.

    • Alena April 21, 2016 at 10:12 am #

      How, rude Gertrude.

      • Stephanie April 21, 2016 at 11:35 am #

        I don’t think she’s being rude…just stating the obvious. Young people are extremely self-centered and have an entitlement attitude. This article is clearly focusing on first-world issues. I’ve raised 2 kids and believe that every stage is difficult in its own way but in no way do I agree with the majority of this author’s remarks. Very dramatic.

    • Megan April 21, 2016 at 1:46 pm #

      I completely agree with you!! This article and these comments are laughably privileged. Life is hard for everyone. It’s much, much harder for the poor and uneducated — the majority of the world. At least try to make an effort to see how charmed your lives are, people! You will probably be a lot happier.

    • Corinne April 21, 2016 at 2:38 pm #

      I agree 110 percent with Gertrude- you are not the only mom in the world- you chose to have kids- don’t whine about your choices- some women have it much worse in less developed countries.

    • Melissa April 21, 2016 at 7:55 pm #

      Couldnt make it past where she starts complaining about how right now she’s buying and selling houses. Even in the first world there are many moms without husbands or houses…bluugh

    • Shannon April 21, 2016 at 10:05 pm #

      It is amazing to me that only some people deserve compassion and understanding from people like you. Everyone is allowed to have problems and no matter how big or small you might think they are you will never fully understand until you walk in someone else’s shoes. I am appalled by the rudeness of this comment and those that followed. If you were truly the bleeding heart that you try to sound like (under developed countries…how cliché) you wouldn’t be trying to shut anyone up when expressing their feelings, no matter what their station in life. I think people like you call that bullying. Have some respect, even while hiding behind your computer.

      • Sarah April 21, 2016 at 10:31 pm #

        I completely agree Shannon. These people have never walked in the writer’s shoes. Life is hard for everyone. Yes we chose to be moms, but of course you can never know how difficult it is until you’re there. And we need support from others who are there too. I have a very blessed life, but being a mother is so so much harder than I ever imagined. The writer was spot on.

    • Ivette April 22, 2016 at 11:04 am #

      Being foreign-born and raised, I hear you, Gertrude! I have learned to be more understanding towards the priviledged American moms, though. This is the only environment they have ever experienced, so they just have no point of comparison. My favorite example is a 35-year-old suburban mom who once shared with her friends that, while her childhood was not bad overall, she does regret bitterly that her parents did not give her an opportunity to participate in a swim team. I didn’t know whether to laugh or cry…. My own childhood being not the worst, either, trust me, being on the swim team was NOT the primary concern:). I didn’t try to burst her bubble, though. From previous experience, people only see their own problems as true hardship. Unless they have to live through what I did, my whole life struggle and heart-breaking imperfect choices are still going to matter way less than swim team in their book. And that’s just life.

  38. Vivian April 21, 2016 at 4:22 am #

    Just what I need after a very hard day. Thank you!!!!!!

  39. LD April 21, 2016 at 4:35 am #

    Absolutely loved this and needed to hear all of this! I love my boys more then anything!! But some days are hard…she said everything I am thinking especially about feeling guilty of leaving the house a mess to play with them or cleaning up and not playing. Even though we all have those “days” I will treasure them because before I know it they won’t need mommy like they do now…:-(

  40. Elizabeth April 21, 2016 at 4:54 am #

    I have ONE 3 year old boy and I’m not sure how parents with multiples do it. The last two min the have been…well, hard! We just want him to be liked and to grow up to be a gentleman, but it’s hard to know if we’re doing it right. We want to show him that some things are wrong, but what if he doesn’t feel loved? It’s all trial and error…and tears when no one is looking. Thanks for this post!

  41. Elizabeth April 21, 2016 at 6:08 am #

    You’re right. It is hard but glorious in ways too! It’s way too lonely when they all grow up and move far away. Then you wonder what you did or didn’t do that made that happen.

  42. Tess S April 21, 2016 at 6:11 am #

    Oh my goodness it’s like you wrote this article just for me, Hayley! We are contemplating some big decisions about our work/family life balance and you had some really amazing insights that are actually helping us shed some light on a million discussions we’ve had about this over the past few years. Thank you for being real and honest. You are an amazing writer. Thank you for sharing your gift of writing and wise words with us all.

  43. Sara Bass April 21, 2016 at 6:37 am #

    I can’t relate to any of this.
    Mid to late 20s, no kids yet, not married.
    I guess I can join this club in 10 years but it won’t be the same.

    • BMUA May 17, 2016 at 11:20 pm #

      What does it matter Sara Bass? I’m 38, no kids, no mother who cares, no family, minimal friends, a loving partner, a wonderful career, two amazing little fluffball cats… So I certainly do not have any affiliation with the author..
      BUT… I resonate with so many of my mother friends.. What they may go through.. It gives me sentiment to them and what might be going on in their world.. Whether I end up choosing to have a child or not doesnt matter.. I still loved this article regardless of whether I can “join this club” or not..
      seriously..

  44. Jenni Blevs April 21, 2016 at 6:54 am #

    Thank you for writing this. It’s perfect and totally where I am at right now.

  45. Alli April 21, 2016 at 6:56 am #

    Love this! It captures so many normal emotions so well. Something I would add is the fact that this is holy work. From a Christian perspective it truly is. We are raising unique creations of God, for Him. These are borrowed gifts. Disciples. Arrows. That is what makes all of the above worth it. It’s so worth it!

    • Elizabeth April 21, 2016 at 9:43 am #

      Alli- this perspective is amazing and has saved me. Thank you.

  46. Liz April 21, 2016 at 7:17 am #

    it seems like just women write articles like this…do men have these same feelings or issues?

  47. paul b April 21, 2016 at 7:17 am #

    “you need to ‘pray'”

    LMAO what nonsense

    Girl, you need to pray.”

    Seriously, that is harmful stuff, propagating supernatural myths who will probably pass it on to their children unless they have a decent IQ..

  48. Marcy April 21, 2016 at 7:17 am #

    #firstworldproblems.
    How would this article look if written from the perspective of a women from Africa / Syria / etc.

  49. Brigita Toth April 21, 2016 at 7:22 am #

    Been there and done that. But ladies enjoy every moment with your children,before you know it they grow up and you have those wonderful memories. Don’t worry about the housework,don’t over aniline everything.All that will wait for you until your child is asleep. Trust me when I say I’m now doing the same with my grandchildren and enjoying every moment. It gives me great joy to create these moment in time that we will all treasure.

  50. Andrea April 21, 2016 at 7:23 am #

    Thank you so much for looking inside my soul and speaking every thought that was in there! My kids are extremely high needs and it drains me every single day. I’ve been contemplating if being home is best for them or if they’d be better off being cared for by someone who isn’t always so tired and grouchy. It’s nice to know I’m not the only one who feels this way.

  51. Stephanie April 21, 2016 at 7:24 am #

    what a wonderful, thoughtful post. it is always comforting to know you are not the only one going through it…and it is always good to be reminded to enjoy this time as it does pass so quickly! You are a gifted writer…thank you for sharing!

  52. M. Suzanne April 21, 2016 at 7:32 am #

    Quilting bees, gathering together to bake Christmas cookies, canning salsa, in the fall baking apple pies for all our freezers…. Through the ages women have found solice, commaraderie in sharing each other’s frustrations and bonding through activities. Now we have blogs!!

    One beautiful daughter, four amazing sons, fourteen grand- greats later I can guarantee these ” are the best times of your life.” And the wisdom you impart is perfect! I still take a bubble bath every night ( without anyone knocking on the door?) still have a glass of wine with my bestie- husband, still take a break from him gathering for book clubs, bridge, even “girl road trips!!

    After teaching beautiful minds from K- college, retirement is nice. But….I still miss the backpacks, shoes, smelly sox, endless laundry, meals together, tripping on toys, constant games in our yard or basement, school activities every night ( with 5, sometimes 2-3 a day?) and, most important….. waking up with youth and life in my home.
    That can NEVER be replaced……

    ENJOY THE RIDE!!! ??

    • Not the girl next door April 21, 2016 at 9:39 pm #

      So so beautiful. My heart melted with your comment. Thank you

  53. Sharon April 21, 2016 at 7:41 am #

    If you can’t handle your kids, you probably shouldn’t of had them in the first place.

    • Stella April 21, 2016 at 10:47 pm #

      My thoughts exactly!

  54. Dana @ Midwest Buds April 21, 2016 at 7:49 am #

    This brings comfort and validation to so many of us. Well done.

  55. Megan April 21, 2016 at 7:56 am #

    Just BEAUTIFUL. Thank you for summing up my life right now with my family. 🙂 and for reminding me just how wonderful this time in my life is. Brings tears to my eyes.

    Megan
    http://www.BurritoBuzz.com

  56. Kim April 21, 2016 at 8:11 am #

    Liked the post, but why out an age limit on it? I’m 40 with a two year old and a toddler.

  57. Kim April 21, 2016 at 8:12 am #

    Yikes that should say two year old and a newborn. Scrambled brain.

    • Anonymous October 29, 2016 at 12:10 am #

      Thanks for sharing…I. Was so blessed with the most wonderful Mother in Law..She would always help me out, and did not. Ha’ve to ask her..Delane Tart…

  58. Kristyn April 21, 2016 at 8:19 am #

    Thank you for this! I’m a mom who just turned 30, I’m in the first year of my second marriage and together we have 3 girls ages 4-almost-5, 5-almost-6, and just-turned-6. We’re pregnant and expecting in September, we just went through the process of my husband adopting our youngest and oldest, we’re living in a tiny apartment and going through the process of buying a house. He works full time through the week and I’m a full time RN every weekend so that we don’t have to have childcare other than one day a week so that I can attempt to homeschool my children. So yeah, it’s hard, and exhausting, and sometimes my husband gets home at the end of the day and the only thing I have to show for my day is children that are still breathing. But then sometimes I get caught in these moments that arrest my whole being while I realize that my 6 year old, my tall, graceful, beautiful girl, is also a really kind big sister who goes out of her way for her younger siblings and that my youngest would rather give up all her favorite toys to a sibling than see that sibling sad. And then ten minutes later they’re all refusing what I fixed for lunch and the craziness is back.

  59. Katie April 21, 2016 at 8:23 am #

    I fear with these kinds of articles, though obviously well-meaning: intending to be validating, they exaggerate and exasperate parents into feeling more overwhelmed and like they have the hardest life.

    It’s about balance. Validation is important, but so is perspective. These are first world problems. Our species has been parents …forever. We are lucky to have the kinds of worries that we do. This coming from someone with an anxiety disorder (and a psychologist). We have privileges that no one could have thought possible – and yes, challenges no one knew were possible, but the focus of these articles are on how hard it is and that kind of focus can blind us and make us feel entitled in ways that don’t help. Just some thoughts.

    • Suz April 21, 2016 at 10:55 am #

      Katie I’m with you. I see these going around FB and ppl posting “tears” and such and I’m just like sheesh, dramatic much?

      I’m perfectly fit into the description she gives same age range, 2 kids, work, etc… I love life and try to enjoy every moment. Stress creeps in of course but I don’t find any one stage of my life to have been harder or easier than the others. It’s all about your perspective.

  60. Cindy April 21, 2016 at 8:32 am #

    I have 4 grown children. When they were little it was a struggle but looking back those were the best years of my life. If I could live one day over in my life it would be when they were all under 10 years of age.

  61. Joshua April 21, 2016 at 8:36 am #

    I resonated with much of this, most certainly that it is a hard parenting stage – especially if done in the mid-thirties when most educated professionals do it, rather than the mid-twenties when our bodies and brains are better suited to it.

    But there are some assumptions that I will quibble with. Obviously I’m going to take issue with the sexism. First, stay-at-home dads experience this too. Presumably involved dads who work full time do too, but I wasn’t one of those so I can’t speak from that experience. On a related note, we don’t need our “girlfriends” and our “mom,” you need your “friends” and your “parents” to get through this stage. It was my community of male and female caregivers that made those early years as a stay-at-home parent possible.

    But my larger concern is with the concluding, encouraging paragraph. If this is the stage where you kids “love you more than they are EVER going to love you again, for the whole rest of your life,” then there is something fundamentally broken in both our culture and our parenting. The teen years are not inherently miserable, just like the elementary years are not inherently insulated from the harshness of the adult world. Personally, I found many of the norms of this stage to be cloying and patronizing, then and in hindsight, and I found each stage after to better, more fun, and more exciting.

    Yes, that stage was hard, and yes it is important to encourage other parents going through it, but I would recommend enjoying what is authentically good about it without setting people up for the deceptive illusion of the innocence and purity of young childhood, or the stereotypes of distance, incomprehensibility and loss of closeness in “adolescence.”

    • Ann April 25, 2016 at 4:12 pm #

      THANKS Joshua for pointing out that these “struggles” are really not just about motherhood as such, but parenthood.

      Leaving single parents aside for a moment (the post does not seem to refer to them), I would assume that most couples decide to have kids together. So why on earth should it be only one of them to worry about what and how to feed babies, bringing them to the doctor’s when they are unwell, decide on whether to vaccinate them or not (no brainer: do it), etc.? And on top of that also worry about either not working, or working too much?

      I feel many women actually like to put themselves in this situation – being THE PERFECT MOTHER WHO DOES EVERYTHING – and then complain about how hard is it. Of course it’s hard, nobody was ever meant to do all of that alone! Historically children were raised in extended families with little supervision (often let to their own devices), and no mother would have been expected to look after kids 24/7. Now we can share the burden with our partners – if we are lucky enough to have them with us – but some women just seem unable to let go this myth of the perfect mom.

      Leaving single parents aside for a moment (the post does not seem to refer to them anyway), I would assume that most couples decide to have kids together. So why on earth should it be only one of them to worry about what and how to feed babies, bringing them to the doctor’s when they are unwell, decide on whether to vaccinate them or not (no brainer: do it), etc.? And on top of that also worry about either not working, or working too much?

      I feel many women actually like to put themselves in this situation – being THE MOTHER WHO DOES EVERYTHING – then complain about how hard is it. Of course it’s hard, nobody is meant to do all of that alone! Historically children were raised in extended families with little supervision (often let to their own devices), and no mother would have been expected to look after kids 24/7. Now we can share the burden with our partners, but doing so challenges the “perfect mother” identity. Partners, on the other hand, are understandably fine when the only thing is required from them is to play with kids whenever they feel like it.

      If you pay attention to it, husbands are only mentioned twice in this post, and in both cases they appear as useless accessories. Note that husbands do not feature in the long list of people you (the mother) need to have near you: your mom, your girlfriends… Instead, the first time we read the word “husband” is to say that if wife does not find the time to juggle all the things she thinks she has to do, he would find a filthy house when he comes home from work. What a disgrace! Why can’t he just grab some cleaning equipment and help out clean the mess? Also the second time husbands are mentioned, they don’t do anything useful. It is the (good) mother who manages to put the kids to bed early, so that when he’s back, they can enjoy an evening alone with a glass of wine. Clearly he doesn’t seem able to put the kids to bed himself. I find this attitude extremely patronising towards men, who are described as they were basically unable to be parents – something that should be a shared decision and responsibility. In reality there are many fathers around who can do as good as mothers (and no one is perfect). Luckily the father of my child is able and willing to take his fair share of parental responsibility.

  62. Kimberly P April 21, 2016 at 8:44 am #

    Thank you so much for this post. It can be hard no matter what others say. By saying it’s hard, we aren’t saying we love our children less, we are just saying some days are tougher than we imagined it would be. Pre-kids we all have these ideals of how we will raise our children and once they arrive we often need to adapt. They are beautiful creatures with their own beautiful characteristics that although we cherish we can often find hard to deal with. I never expected a screamer when she doesn’t get her way and ways I help her are different to how I help my son and like anything learning new things on how to help our children is hard for us too.
    I loved the bit in the last paragraph that says it’s the stage where the biggest problems are ear infections and teething and stomach viruses and you’re not yet having to deal with broken hearts and addiction and bullying. I’m considering returning to work again and after having a failed attempt previously because of children who were constantly sick and an unsupportive boss, I feel that line has totally made me realize I have learned things and it’s not going to break me again. I can do this and I need to cherish that the kids having a cold or flu is not as bad as other things when they get older.
    So thank you so much ?

  63. Sarah Aerni April 21, 2016 at 8:55 am #

    This is a great article! Thanks for writing it 🙂

  64. Felicia April 21, 2016 at 8:55 am #

    Thank you! I loved every part of this! ❤️

  65. Brailey April 21, 2016 at 8:58 am #

    I love this post, and honestly I love this stage! Three boys, oldest turns 6 tomorrow!!! Three and 20 months. Yesterday my three year old wanted to sit in my lap all day and it was wonderful, he is the always going going going never stop type. But I enjoyed him in my lap and snuggled up next to me even if he was getting spaghetti (that he wiped on his shirt) all over me too.

    Oh and I totally feel like the epitome of Mom, we got our first minivan yesterday. And even more “mom like” than getting a minivan, is absolutely loving the minivan.

  66. Jessi April 21, 2016 at 8:59 am #

    How do you find the time to maintain a blog with three kids? I’m drowning over here with my two kids, and I by-no-means keep myself or my house in a presentable order. I couldn’t imagine having the free time to shower, much less maintain a blog. I only had the chance to read this while I sat on the toilet. I would love some advice on how you get that free time for your hobbies!

  67. Reality April 21, 2016 at 9:00 am #

    What I don’t get…did you think it would be easy? You’re bring multiple lives into the world and it is just supposed to be rainbows and unicorns? They get older and it doesn’t get easier…

  68. Rita Ramsey April 21, 2016 at 9:09 am #

    I’m 62 and my kids still love me, despite the mistakes I made when they were growing up. Just be there for them when they most need you.

  69. Kelly April 21, 2016 at 9:18 am #

    I’m a mom of 4 ages 10, 9, 7, 5 and this article was as if you knew me. I’m going to read it to my husband. He thinks I am changing and well.. I have. It is unreal what we moms go through and the changes we have made in ourselves and our lives for our families. Thank you for writing what I couldn’t put into words. –

  70. Sarah April 21, 2016 at 9:30 am #

    Thank you for this article. I needed to read this today. We have children age 7,4, & 1 year old twins. You bet-Life is hard right now. My daughter made me a card yesterday at school that said “mom I love you for being the best mommy in the world”. I definitely fall short of that title daily but kids love for you at this age is amazing. I love every truth you wrote in the article & thank you for putting it so eloquently into words we all understand.

  71. Jenna April 21, 2016 at 9:40 am #

    This is a great article, but as a mom that stayed in her career a little longer and started her family a little later, I wish you’d just leave the age out of it. We’re not that uncommon. I’m going to assume you don’t know this, but there is rampant age-ism in motherhood.

    • Charity April 21, 2016 at 11:21 am #

      Amen! Young children don’t always equal a young mom. I’m 39 and my one only child is 2 years old.

  72. sara April 21, 2016 at 9:57 am #

    I do love this as well but don’t necessarily agree with how this is the time your kids will love you the most ever. I think I love my parents the most ever now in my 30’s – I appreciate them as my parents and my friends and I respect them. I don’t think I have ever loved them more! No I can’t crawl up on their lap but I can cry to them about my adult worries and cares and they can make me feel better still.

    • Katie April 21, 2016 at 6:18 pm #

      I loved my mom more than anything in the world, when I was young. Right now, my kids and my husband are my world. Of course I still love my mom very much, but I can stand to be away from her, and I am okay with seeing her only once a year (we live in different states). I could not do that with my husband and kids, I need them close all the time 🙂 So, in a sense, yes, when our kids are younger, they love us more than anything, and when they grow up, it changes.

  73. Abby April 21, 2016 at 9:58 am #

    I so needed this today! I was just talking to my sister this morning about being the “hot mess” mom I so often see in funny videos now and how I have no idea what I am doing most of the time. I have 15 month old twins and a 5 year old which both bring their own unique challenges. It’s so true that this will be the time they love you the most and hearing that makes me really sad, but also helps me realize how fortunate I am to have that love. I did not understand unconditional love until I had my son. And the marriage stuff… ON POINT! Its super hard because the love is very different. Its no longer this romantic love that just comes automatically, but rather such a choice! Thank you for this article!! So great!

  74. Jess April 21, 2016 at 10:09 am #

    Feel like you wrote this to me… That’s how much I needed it 🙂 thank you!!!

  75. Shirley April 21, 2016 at 10:10 am #

    I am a mom of 4, grandmother of 10 and great grandmother to 16. Now you all know about how old I am. All I can say is cherish every moment you have with your kiddos and husband. Yes you are tired and weary, but I promise one day you will long to relive those days. Their years will pass you by sooner than you can imagine. They will be teenagers before you can bat an eye and you will wonder how you are going to get through their teenage years without a mental breakdown. I will tell you how you get through all of it. It is by the Grace of God every moment every day. Just remember they will be gone before you know it and you can then start enjoying those grandkids and you realize WOW, life is passing so quick. Enjoy, love, cherish everything about them even though you are tired.

  76. Kendra G. April 21, 2016 at 10:11 am #

    And now I’m sitting at work crying. Beautifully written and so true on every level. THANK YOU!

  77. Catherine April 21, 2016 at 10:19 am #

    This is AMAZING! Thank you for touching so many Moms by writing it. I can’t believe I’m not the only one that stresses over that fake apology!. 😀

  78. Roxi April 21, 2016 at 10:21 am #

    I love this. I am a mom of 4 boys, ages ranging 1-13, and yes…it’s hard, so very hard. I relate to every single thing you mentioned. Thank you, I needed this.

  79. Shaylee Webb April 21, 2016 at 10:25 am #

    I JUST wrote a post venting about this very thing! There’s something in the water. And at this stage of life it’s most likely a floater in the tub if you know what I mean. Such true words!

  80. Len April 21, 2016 at 10:25 am #

    What a great article, but don’t forget the non-Herero couples that also are experiencing these same things! There are many forms of family and many types of parents, and they all struggle like this, too! Not everyone is coming home to a husband, and not every parent struggling is a mom! ❤️❤️❤️

  81. kris garard April 21, 2016 at 10:28 am #

    Absolutely SPOT ON! Wow.. Beautifully written and so honest!

  82. Gabby Cullen April 21, 2016 at 10:33 am #

    I just cried while reading this wonderful testament to a hard stage. It was so touching, such a good reminder to appreciate the here, the now. Thank you!

  83. Monica April 21, 2016 at 10:38 am #

    Thank you for writing this article! Well said! So refreshing to hear… Love it!!

  84. Katie April 21, 2016 at 10:53 am #

    Is it sad that my single, childless, 31 year old self is sitting here crying at this article? I feel guilty for having an easy life, and instead of being thankful for it, I just wish I was that married mom that I though I would be at this age. I feel empty and broken and abnormal for still being alone, and I don’t know what’s wrong with me. I feel disillusioned because this article was supposed to be my life. I feel torn, because I love my friends and their kids and their families, but I don’t seem to “belong” with them. I feel upset because my Facebook feed is full of articles just like this one. I feel weak, because I hate how desperately I want to be loved and married and have children.

    But I can’t change this time. So I take some deep breaths, dry my tears, and choose to trust that the God who loves me and gave himself for me knows what’s best. I choose to enjoy this stage of my life and make the most of it, even if it isn’t what I dreamed my life would be.

    • P. G. April 21, 2016 at 1:45 pm #

      Katie, there is nothing broken or abnormal about you. You are not a lesser person because you aren’t married with kids. Articles about “mommyhood” are everywhere and in every woman’s face, making childless women somehow feel inadequate and unfulfilled. You rarely see articles about women whose lives took different paths than the expected wife/mother. But I promise, those women are out there, and they are happy too. You are right – enjoy this stage of your life and make the most of it.

    • Jame April 21, 2016 at 6:43 pm #

      Not single, not childless. However I AM childFREE (small difference in tone, semantics to some, important distinction to others). And PG is correct, taking a different path can be just as enjoyable and fulfilling as the status quo. I just thought I would encourage you, that there are things about YOUR life that even the exalted moms are jealous of! Maybe they will NEVER EVER admit it (well, except for the self-aware and secure ones). If you continue focusing on the comparison of yourself to others, you will fail every time. EVERY. TIME. You have a chance right now that many others don’t right now. Travel. Learn. Go to an art gallery, pick out your favorite and then really think about *why* it’s your favorite. Go grab a harmonica and a copy of harmonicas for dummies – then develop an affinity for blues music. IDK, I’m just saying, you can do ANYTHING. There’s a lot of power in what you see as lonliness right now. Just give it a shot!

    • Katie April 21, 2016 at 8:46 pm #

      Katie – I felt just like you at 31…. sad about where my life had taken me versus where life had taken most of my other friends. I longed to be a wife and mother just like them but it just wasn’t happening for me (and kind of felt like it would never happen for me). But have faith – your life is going just where it should. I had about 5 more years of fantastic fun. Dating, volunteering, developing hobbies, working on my career…. until 2 years ago I found my partner, bought a house, got engaged and then married, and now expecting a baby at 38. It’s been a whirlwind but I never thought it would happen let alone this fast. And now I’m too, reading this article and feeling left out, about not having enough kids at my age or friends my age going through this stage of life with me. 🙂 Our lives are all different and we should enjoy the ones we have… even if they are different from our original dreams. Your future will be here in no time at all!

  85. Kellie April 21, 2016 at 11:04 am #

    Beautifully said! Thank you for this…just what I needed to hear today.

  86. Faith April 21, 2016 at 11:08 am #

    It’s so easy to get lost in the crazy of every day and forget to care for yourself and your marriage. I really needed this today, thank you for the reminder.

  87. Kelly April 21, 2016 at 11:16 am #

    Wish you would have added one other component… Not only watching those parents become grandparents… But also watching them age, fall ill, become dependent on you, possibly pass away…

  88. Charity April 21, 2016 at 11:17 am #

    Every word is true and much needed.

    I’d just like to add that this phase is no cakewalk in your late 30’s or early 40’s either. Because of infertility I didn’t become a mom until 37. Now I’m 40 in a could months and I’m embarking on potty training a child for the first time.

    Lord Jesus in heaven help me – it’s hard!

  89. Julie Girdin April 21, 2016 at 11:31 am #

    This is excellent. Kids don’t come with instructions and they are all so different. My advice as the older wiser parent, embrace the chaos, don’t sweat the small stuff and later you will realize just how most of it was small stuff. And yes, sometimes you might feel like getting in your car and just driving until you run out of gas and money! Don’t worry. Every mother has had that feeling. Maybe dads too, but I don’t know about their feelings. And while these are the hard years, they are also the best years! The very best. Sometimes I would like to go back for just a day or two. And then the best thing ever happens. They grow up, get married and give you grandchildren! And that is the gift, the reward for all of the “hard” you went through! And ladies. It doesn’t get much better than that! Good luck young mothers in your adventures! Don’t forget to enjoy the ride!!

  90. frank incaprera April 21, 2016 at 11:38 am #

    A Difficult time,and all the advice is helpful.
    Asking the Good Lord to help you will do wonders.
    An excellent source of support that we tend to overlook.
    Let me know if it is helpful,after you give it a good try.

  91. Molly April 21, 2016 at 11:39 am #

    You have no idea what a blessing it was coming upon this post today. Going on day 5 of waking up every hr at night and having 3 kids under 4, I couldn’t put into better or more accurate words my thoughts and emotions. I couldn’t help but cry reading it. thank you for lifting my soul and healing a little bit of myself with your graceful words. Best thing I have ever read about being a mother.

  92. E. T. April 21, 2016 at 11:56 am #

    At this stage of my life, I’m a single, unmarried woman aged 34.

    I’m balancing it all on my own.
    Mortgage payments on my own.
    Making ends meet in one of the most expensive markets in the country on my own.
    Recovering from bariatric surgery on my own.
    Two full time jobs on my own.
    Dealing with the “oh, so you’re not married?”
    Dealing with the “how’s your dating life? any prospects?”
    Dealing with the “so I guess you’ll never have kids?”
    Dealing with the “I’m sorry you’ll never get to experience the joy of motherhood” comments.
    Dealing with the fact that every single gathering you go to is married couples with kids and you can’t relate to any of your friends anymore.
    Dealing with being too old for the men your own age and older, but too young (and poor) to be a cougar.
    Dealing with your aging parents and knowing that you’ll probably never be able to care for them the way they deserve.
    Hating your job and knowing you can’t quit to do what you love because you won’t be able to have the fall back of your spouse’s health insurance or second income.

    Having kids is hard. So is being on your own.

    • Megan April 21, 2016 at 12:02 pm #

      E. T. , everything you just said!!! <3 <3 <3

    • Katie April 21, 2016 at 12:34 pm #

      I feel you. Doing it all alone is really hard sometimes. I wish there was someone I could lean on for a change.

    • Katherine April 21, 2016 at 1:02 pm #

      I completely agree Helen! Thank you!!!!!!!!!! No matter what season or stage we find ourselves in-they are all difficult in someway. It has nothing to do with breaks. That’s why we offer help, encourage and love others who are in a season we have passed or we seek help from those who have gone before us. It’s a constant give & take. It’s praying and realizing it is hard wherever you find yourself.

    • Katherine April 21, 2016 at 1:04 pm #

      YESSSSSS! Thank you E. T. I was starting to feel very discouraged!! I thought I cannot be the only one feeling this way! Thank you for sharing!!

    • Julianne April 21, 2016 at 2:14 pm #

      You are amazing!

    • Tran Tieu April 21, 2016 at 2:26 pm #

      Tits up ET!!! Dating, relationship, parenthood status SUCKS BALLS!

      Golden Handcuffs and relationships in your late 30’s bring so much judgement on ourselves. The awareness of this is a start to “give yours(elf) to the air, to what you cannot hold.” (#rilke). Know you are are not a “difficult woman” #EmilyNussbaum but a “Warrior Goddess in Training” #HeatherashAmara

    • TT April 21, 2016 at 10:31 pm #

      This is great. Some people’s “problems” are what others dream of. Thanks for posting, ET.

    • Jacqui May 1, 2016 at 1:00 am #

      ET, you are so right. I wonder what life experience this writer had before having children?

      Caring for your own children IS NOT HARD. There, I said it.

      I’m 39 and have 3 year old twins (thank you, biology, for that little quirk of being an ‘older mother’). I completed a PhD in my 20’s. During my studies I was working nights, studying days and struggling to pay bills. I then ran a research facility, managing staff, budgets and deadlines.

      All of those things were far, FAR harder and more exhausting than looking after my sweet, energetic children!! And, what’s more, even through my hardest days of fretting about making rent, I knew I was privileged to get an education, and in a better position than most women, mothers or not.

      I acknowledge the author’s personal experience, but to my ears she sounds a little… inexperienced with real struggle..and… somewhat ‘precious snowflake’? Also, she doesn’t even tip her hat to her husband that goes to work, then has his share of fathering on evenings and weekends.

      Life is hard for everyone. If you get to be in your own home with your own children, while your husband pays the bills, that makes your life easier than most.

      • Jeena August 25, 2016 at 6:33 pm #

        Thank you Jacqui!!!!!!! On point! And I want more posts out there from moms to their husband for working so hard to make ends meet. It’s a privilege to stay at home.
        Thank you!!!!

  93. Megan April 21, 2016 at 12:00 pm #

    I’m NOT a mom & I don’t know that I ever will be, it’s looking grim at this point, tbh. In my own (completely unfounded, nonsensical) way, this post makes me angry that I’m expected to take this path in life. It’s what women are “supposed” to do and it’s the only path in life that makes your life worth anything. And I feel less of a woman because I haven’t experienced it, when all of my family & friends have. But at the same time it makes me really sad that I’m missing this part of life. Completely irrational thoughts, I know. Either way, I started out with this post angry for making me feel like less of a woman, and ended up really enjoying the read. Makes me realize that I kind of DO want this life. Thanks for sharing.

    • Maria April 24, 2016 at 12:10 pm #

      So much this: “this makes me angry that I’m expected to take this path in life. It’s what women are “supposed” to do and it’s the only path in life that makes your life worth anything”.

      I think that’s the confusion for those of us without kids but in early 30s: in your twenties when your friends aren’t all raising toddlers it seems so CUTE with the babies and all and you think that’s wht you want.

      Then if you happen to be later in your group to meet someone, then you hit a big pause as you have seen the other side: the loss of self, the divorces, the lack of happily ever after even among the “lucky ones”. And you sort of wonder… why is this the path I was told was the one and only glorious one to take?

      I mean, I love my life as it is – great business, beautiful friends, dogs, partner, and so much wonder and love for life (I always read the thing about a benefit of parenthood being seeing holidays through kids’ eyes and I think: but that’s ALREADY how I see it, the world is incredible as it is, every day and I’ve never lost that childlike enthusiasm for the little things!).

      So while the world says differently, my most honest and self aware mom friends say privately to think very carefully before changing that reality (even though they really do love their kids)… and it’s why I love reading HONEST articles like this. Because why hide it under the glorification of something that is actually messy?

      Please continue posting like this – the honesty behind it actually makes motherhood more attractive to me. I think we’d all be better off if we were told that and then could enjoy the joys that came with it as and when they were there rather than expecting them to be there every step of the way like they show in the movies :). The best things in life are messy and there’s no one perfect way.

  94. Nancy April 21, 2016 at 12:03 pm #

    “Life is lumpy. And a lump in the oatmeal, a lump in the throat, and a lump in a breast are not the same lump. One should learn the difference.” ~Robert Fulghum
    Count your blessings. If you have your health, if your children are healthy, if your family has a roof over their head, clothes to wear, and food to eat, you are blessed beyond measure. Gratitude is what makes a person happy.

    • Tran Tieu April 21, 2016 at 2:20 pm #

      Lumpy steel cut oatmeal is the best! Slow cooked and worth it!

  95. Tami April 21, 2016 at 12:04 pm #

    This stage IS hard. Been there, done that. I’m now, at almost 60, I remember those days vividly. They were hard, but they were the best years of my life, and I wish had them back. I loved when my kids were little and were “all mine”. But alas, they grew up, and now they aren’t mine anymore. I miss those days even though they were hard. But ladies, they are ALL hard. From the 30’s to the 40’s (the 40’s were filled with trying to handle 14 and 16 year old daughters). Trying to help them through the years that they were losing their self-confidence, and fearful that they’d give in to protecting their self worth, fearful that they might not SURVIVE these years due to alcohol, drugs or car accidents. The 40’s as a mother, are filled with a fear that you cannot express, that you must hide deep within. You cannot express that fear because society tells you to “let go a little”, “let them be who they are”. We’re supposed to give them the car keys and “let them go”. You don’t sleep during your 40’s because you worry constantly that they might not make it home, and you fear that call that may shatter your heart forever. You also don’t sleep because you are starting to experience the hormone shifts of menopause. Your body is changing (and not for the better). Those stretch marks that you got with your pregnancies are minor compared to what your body is doing now. Then come the 50’s, when you really have to say “good bye” to your babies. They literally leave you and go off to college. I remember dropping my daughter off at college and promising myself that I wouldn’t cry when I left her. I promised myself that I wouldn’t look back at her because I’d see her face and it would make me lose it. Well, I did look back (who couldn’t?). I didn’t see my 18 year old daughter, ready to take off and pursue her dreams. I saw a little girl of about 3 years old, sucking her thumb and wanting her mommy. And I lost it. And, I cried half of the way home. At the halfway point, I stopped myself and said, “What are you doing? Why are you crying? You just did what you are supposed to do as a mother..you let her go”. Now, I’m almost 60. I’ve gotten used to them being gone, to missing them. We are best friends now. The years have been good to all of us, with God’s blessing. But now I’m 60. I’m really starting to age. Retirement is on the horizon. I guess the moral to my story is that every stage of Motherhood is hard. But it is all rewarding. You will remember every single stage of Motherhood. Your heart will swell with each of them. Being a mother has been the absolute joy of my life and I know it will be your joy as well.

    • Katie April 21, 2016 at 6:39 pm #

      Thank you so much for this! This stage can be hard, and I struggle like any other young mom with multiple kids. But through it all, I always know that this is the best stage, that I am living my dream right now, that this is exactly what I always wanted. No matter how hard it gets, I always know, that I do not want to rush this experience, and that every stage of motherhood is beautiful. Thanks for reminding me of that from your perspective!

  96. Tracy April 21, 2016 at 12:20 pm #

    What an awesome article BUT… you almost lost me a bit after the opening. I am not in my early to mid 30s. BUT you were talking to me too!!! … and so many others. I am glad I kept reading. This article has nothing to do with age and everything to do with parenting young children. Age and sex are irrelevant (I am sure that fathers of young children can relate as well). You may have lost thousands of readers because they didn’t fit into the group you incorrectly categorized.

    Regardless, it was a beautifully written article and I am thankful it landed in my FB feed today because I needed it. Well done!

  97. Dink April 21, 2016 at 12:45 pm #

    #dinks
    The stages keep getting better and better.

    • Dink too April 21, 2016 at 8:00 pm #

      Hear, hear!! Amen to livin like a “selfish” dink 😉

  98. Janee Musselman April 21, 2016 at 1:03 pm #

    Sooo True! I have been there and yes there are lots of regrets when I look back. My children are ages 22,20 and 16. Only the 16 yo left at home. I struggled for many years to find balance and be everything to everyone and failed miserably. If I could give advice to everyone reading this I would say Thrive! My 16 year old actually told me she likes me better taking Thrive and now “our mornings rock!” I do get sad thinking about how my older 2 were raised…I was a stressed out exhausted mombie. I would love to do it all over so all my kids could benefit from a mom with more energy, less stressed, focused and more pleasant to be around:(

  99. Tasha April 21, 2016 at 1:06 pm #

    This brought tears to my eyes because of the truth of this. I battle with the guilt of working and being away from my babies every day, often many times during the day. Thank you so much!! I loved this?

  100. Brooke April 21, 2016 at 1:22 pm #

    I love this – us moms need to have compassion for ourselves. I also hope that for those of us with privilege – warm safe homes, abundant food on the table, steady income from at least one person in the family – that realizing how hard it is for us also helps us to have even more compassion for moms struggling to find a safe place for their kids to sleep or to feed them well – migrant and refugee moms, moms who have to work two shifts and barely see their kids, moms who can’t find work and don’t have a partner to lean on, moms who worry daily about violence that might strike their kids from police or war.

  101. Tricia April 21, 2016 at 1:48 pm #

    And it’s all harder when you’re in your early to mid-40s! So many moms in your age group are working on high school and college graduations and some even grandkids. Meanwhile, I’m praying hard about the best school for our soon-to-be kindergartner and his younger brother. Wouldn’t change it, tho. I’m one blessed Mama.

    • Charity May 17, 2016 at 10:18 pm #

      Exactly! A couple girls I graduated from high school with just became grandmas and I’m struggling with potty training my two year old!

  102. Grandma April 21, 2016 at 1:58 pm #

    My kids are grown now, but as a young mom I was alone. Being a single/divorced, working mom with three kids and no support from their dad left me filling the role of both mom and “dad”. All the guilts, insecurities, and needs described in this blog were probably multiplied for me and for other women in similar situations. I survived, and so did my children, but not without some scars that we’ve had to learn to find lessons in. Divorce or choosing to raise ones children alone is even more common now than it was back in the 80’s, so today more young women are struggling to raise their children on their own now. They need this insight, they need love, compassion, and support, as well as time for reflection and relaxation, and so do their children.

  103. jane April 21, 2016 at 2:07 pm #

    Parenting is hard for both parents. Watching your babies roll over for the first time, pull themselves up, take their first steps, say their first words, start school and then it happens. They start losing all their innocence to a very big world that creates a whole different kind of parenting chaos. Sometimes a very ugly chaos. This is when you realize if your parenting skills up to this point made the grade. You will have to watch them be overlooked, underestimated, etc. That is the hard part. You want them to, above all else, be treated fairly. And then you realize, if you haven’t yet as a parent, life is not fair. You will laugh when they do not think it is funny and you will cry for them and with them because, life is not fair. I really can’t fathom trying to raise children in these times. There are so many more things to be concerned about their well-being. I am a mother of two. They are both parents now and I have the privilege of being a grandmother. I had my first child in 1978. I did not think it then, but life was a lot simpler as a parent. I am not saying it was easy but just more simple. I let them drink out of the water hose, ride their bikes without all the gear, I should probably be embarrassed about their car seats, and all those other things that make you a bad parent today if you let them. You worry about your child from the day the doctor tells you that you are expecting and the worrying never stops from then on. And then, when that baby gets here, you are like NOW WHAT! But you figure it out the only way you know how and you know what? 99.99% of the time you get it right.

  104. Noelle April 21, 2016 at 2:09 pm #

    it’s also hard when you are in your 40’s with little ones and you are taking care of aging parents and may have already lost one. oh, and you have no family or support system in the city you live in, and aren’t lucky enough to have a nanny or other hired help at your disposal….

    what I would like to say to the younger mothers… appreciate your parents, friends, and family that are helping you through motherhood… and reach out to those who do not, it means a lot!

  105. Julianne April 21, 2016 at 2:10 pm #

    Boo hoo. You haven’t even been through half your life yet. You chose to have children just like I did. I have three. You think it’s hard already? You are only a few years in! Buckle up, honey!
    You said “In this stage of life, you are dealing with teething. With ear infections. With stomach viruses. You are juggling nap schedules, and feeding schedules and soccer schedules. A million balls you are juggling, and you probably feel like you are dropping most of them” Teething and ear infections? Normal part of life. Nap schedules and feeding schedules? Normal. Sheesh! Figure it out. When you are going to take on the business of creating human life you better be able to handle naps. I could go on and list the countless things you will “deal with” as your kids get older, but I don’t want to scare you.

    • Greg April 21, 2016 at 3:05 pm #

      Some people would be more than happy to take over for these parents that complain their life is so hard. You know what is mentally and emotionally taxing? Seeing the look on your wife’s face after the doctor tells you that you just had a second miscarriage. You know what is really hard, dealing with the heartbreak of loss and not knowing if you can experience the “hardship” these other people “deal” with. I would gladly trade places with you all so you can see how hard it really is.

      • Emma Kates Mommy April 21, 2016 at 6:26 pm #

        We too did struggle. The heartache of miscarriages and the hoping each month the test will be positive is so tough. I wish the best for you and your wife. Just keep telling her how much you lover her and let her know she is not alone. All the best to you.

      • Charity May 17, 2016 at 10:24 pm #

        Being a parent IS hard, no denying. So is not being a parent when it’s what you desire. I lived with the heartache of infertility of 13 years before I became pregnant with my daughter. It can be deviating to be denied parenthood, it’s likened to a cancer diagnosis on the mental anguish scale by several studies. Try not to be angry when parents are just being honest about the trials they face. It’s as real as the struggle you face. I’ve been on both sides – I really do understand something of how you feel. I hope and pray you are blessed with parenthood one day. Until then try to enjoy your marriage and all that life can offer you right now. Doing so is the only way I survived those years. I will NEVER forget them.

    • Rose April 21, 2016 at 3:28 pm #

      You need to put things in perspective…We have it great here in the USA! We have clean running water, food & shelter, The poorest here are rich compared to other countries. We can walk down the street without worrying about being killed. We have freedoms others only dream about, Enjoy the going and stop worrying about getting there and most important know that life is good and you have it made! This stage of life is wonderful, enjoy it, drink it up and don’t listen to this whinny lady. What you truly need is to stop feeling sorry for yourself. Make the best of everyday and know that this time will soon be over and you will miss it. Stop complaining and start enjoying!

  106. Cosette April 21, 2016 at 2:11 pm #

    it’s also hard when you are in your 40’s with little ones and you are taking care of aging parents and may have already lost one. oh, and you have no family or support system in the city you live in, and aren’t lucky enough to have a nanny or other hired help at your disposal….

    what I would like to say to the younger mothers… appreciate your parents, friends, and family that are helping you through motherhood… and reach out to those who do not, it means a lot!

  107. Tran Tieu April 21, 2016 at 2:18 pm #

    Only the insane are sane to be a parent (tired, grateful and compassionate). As a co-parent of a tyrant alpha male 6 year old it’s my life purpose to instill values in him of compassion, perspective and never lose the sense of creativity to be his own man to shape the world as a better place.

  108. Katrina April 21, 2016 at 2:18 pm #

    Oh goodness. Yes to all of this. And now I’m in tears because it is so good and so hard and so worth it.

  109. Heather April 21, 2016 at 2:21 pm #

    Amen!! Amen!! And amen!!! I live in Austin and we should totally be friends!! Especially since at this stage of life we need friends!!

    Thank you for your kind words.

  110. ashley April 21, 2016 at 2:47 pm #

    Amen! This is wonderfully said and written and I am right there with you! I wrote an article called, “Just a Mom,” because I feel so much of the same!! http://ashleyglass.net/new-blog/2016/4/13/justamom

    I would love for you to check it out! Keep up the great work!!

  111. Tiffany April 21, 2016 at 2:47 pm #

    Really well put, I was struggling this morning with just how needy I am. It’s SUPER TOUGH to admit that . . . . but what’s even harder is to go on needing and never asking. Thank you for highlighting this stage of life’s ups and downs. Thank you for “speaking” out and sharing. Bless you!

  112. Brooke Kimbrough April 21, 2016 at 2:53 pm #

    Can we be friends? Like, really friends. I have not been able to put those words in a string of meaningful sentences in 9 years. I have felt them. They have rattled around in my brain, bouncing off calendars and schedules and dead space. I have lived them. I have yelled pieces of them at my husband and used parts of them to console my girlfriends. But, until now, I have never seen them put together in a way that brought so much validity to my life. The struggle is real and girl, you nailed it. #powertoyasister #businessowner #mommyof4 #surrogateof1

  113. kirsten April 21, 2016 at 2:54 pm #

    Interesting. Unpopular opinion alert, but i find this stage of life so much easier then my 20’s. 20’s were a heck of a lot of fun; but school, moving, dating, career, night shifts, more school, huge responsibilities at work, huge decisions to make, were so much more stressful then now. They were both great stages, but each has its own unique adventures.

  114. Carol April 21, 2016 at 3:10 pm #

    Oh, wow . . . so very wow! This was so beautifully written & I know that there will be many women who weep while they read it. Thank you for encouraging mothers everywhere. May God richly bless you for sharing your heart with them.

  115. Milisa April 21, 2016 at 3:18 pm #

    Love this!!! No truer words ever spoken:)

  116. Jennifer April 21, 2016 at 3:29 pm #

    Love this article – all of it is so true! The only thing that I would add is that it’s not just for Moms in their early to mid 30’s – I am 43, soon 44, and I have a 2.5yo and a 6yo, and I am still going through all of these same things. 🙂

  117. Ra'Co Life April 21, 2016 at 3:48 pm #

    Thank you for sharing this article. Tears streaming and super grateful to just read what I am feeling on paper. Truth be told, I am terrified to not live in the moment and completely miss this stage. It was refreshing to read that it’s normal, but I just need to work harder at doing it.

  118. Casey April 21, 2016 at 3:49 pm #

    This spoke straight to my soul! Thank you so much for this blog post. I needed to hear every word.

  119. GLEWIS April 21, 2016 at 4:12 pm #

    WORD!!!

  120. Jenn April 21, 2016 at 4:56 pm #

    Love, love, love this!!! I found myself nodding to every single thing you said at the beginning and motivated and excited to jump back in to my crazy life with four young kids at the end of the post. Thank you!! I needed that reminder today!

  121. Brenda April 21, 2016 at 4:56 pm #

    At first I read this article thinking ‘what a nice article of encouragement’, but as I thought about it more and thought back to 30 years ago when I had two little ones in diapers, living 3 hours away from the nearest relative, a hubby working long hard hours to put food in those little mouths and pay the bills, while I worked and took care of our boys and keeping the house and yard work together, thought, “My God, mothers of today, quit whining and put on your big girl panties!” Even further back to the 50’s, our mothers had hardly no modern conveniences. A girl’s night out was unheard of. Are we coddling our young mothers of today? Most of the young mothers I know talk about how stressed out they are, that they must have that glass of wine, must have that pedi/mani, must have girls’s weekends and girls nights out, complain if they have to leave work to care for a sick child…I could go on and on. And these are mothers with a husband, nice homes, good jobs, family nearby. What about the poor mom struggling with four children, working 2 jobs, and trying to get a better education? I do think we need to rethink how society is coddling our young mothers, making them think how hard they have it when, in fact, they have it much easier than their mothers and grandmothers did. Yes, these are wonderful times to be a mother… let’s just remind these moms they’re very blessed to be where they are.

    • Emma Kates Mommy April 21, 2016 at 6:22 pm #

      Well said!

    • Lo April 22, 2016 at 11:09 am #

      This isn’t a comparison. Another reason this stage of life is hard. Women. Mothers. Constantly tearing each other down. You can’t do a darn thing right because someone is always waiting to tear you down and tell you you’re wrong.

      And please, modern convienances makes raising children easier?! It makes life easier, but it doesn’t change the struggles we all face… We are all in this together…

    • Nosfera2 June 23, 2016 at 7:19 pm #

      I feel like you do, but it certainly is not the majority opinion. I mean, we choose to have our kids, (or five or six), sooooo, yah, you give up your life once they enter the world. Pretty much. That’s the reality of being a mother and the reality of life. Kids take all your energy. The choices that she laments are “firsts world” problems: Do I breast feed? What school do I send my kids to?. Honestly? These are that excruciating for you? I get it, she’s tired and it sucks. But I look at my own parents (now deceased) and the lives they had. Born during the Depression. My immigrant grandparents struggling to feed their kids, get jobs, be accepted, make a life. We do not live in countries where our daughters are married off as babies or female circumcised.
      She has a right to her feelings and her blog. I don’t happen to agree with a lot of it.

  122. Katie April 21, 2016 at 5:53 pm #

    I think a lot of what you said is very relevant to many women, but on the flip side, there are also women dealing with fertility issues who would give anything to be in your shoes.

  123. Tom April 21, 2016 at 6:07 pm #

    Shoutout to the fathers who are doing everything above who dont get mentioned enough, time after time, in blogs.

  124. Emma Kates Mommy April 21, 2016 at 6:13 pm #

    Although I respect anyone’s opinion, personally I can’t take the women whining about having to take care of all of their children. We tried for 8 years and finally had a healthy daughter 9 years ago. After numerous times of trying again we were excited to get pregnant again only to have a miscarriage. Yes it is hard to raise a child (or children), but you do what you have to do. As far as “needing your mother”, it must be nice to still have a mother. Try having a baby then losing your mother. I can tell you, there are much harder things in life, like losing a loved one or having family in the military in danger everyday. (Plus if have 2,3 or 4 is such a burden, maybe you should have stopped having them.) Children are a blessing, not the horribe burden you portray them to be…..

  125. C.K. April 21, 2016 at 6:13 pm #

    Thanks for a nice, uplifting post. I want to point out that one of the biggest parenting stresses is caused by ourselves–all the judgement, judgement, judgement. If we could all judge a little less, we would be able to breathe a little more deeply. If we could allow parents to give kids a little freedom, let them play outside, even unsupervised (gasp!) or ride their bikes somewhere with friends, our kids would be mentally healthier, more independent, and we would have slightly more time to do the things we need to get done. And if anyone’s gut reaction is to judge my post or make assumptions about me and my parenting, then consider that my point of judging a little less just went over your head. 🙂 None of us are perfect, so let’s cut each other slack.

  126. Shelbyville April 21, 2016 at 6:27 pm #

    Rich people problems.

  127. Regina April 21, 2016 at 6:51 pm #

    Be glad that you can have children. In four years we have been through numerous rounds of IVF and three miscarriages. You all are very lucky.

  128. Lara April 21, 2016 at 7:04 pm #

    Overloaded with questions? I would give a limb to have that problem. My 4-year old has autism and is non verbal. When the day comes that I am overloaded with questions I will rejoice!

  129. megan April 21, 2016 at 7:09 pm #

    You have just expressed every thought I have had. You wrote that so well thank you!!! You are right on!!

  130. That last paragraph, man. It did me in. SO TRUE. Will be sharing and sharing and sharing. Cheers to all the mamas.

  131. Samantha April 21, 2016 at 7:41 pm #

    I’m sorry but all you people complaining how hard having kids is….you should grateful, someone women would switch places in a heartbeat.

    • Lou November 20, 2016 at 3:26 am #

      Yes, I would. Definitely in mid thirties and still watching friends get married, have babies, and be the one that’s there for them when they get divorced. When you’ve not married, or had children yet. I know having children will be difficult- but it’s a good difficult, compared to the daily heartbreak of being outside of the age bracket. A good career dosesnt satisfy like family does.

      The writing was beautiful, and good to hear the challenges. It would have been lovely to acknowledge the blessing of children and marriage in the midst of it, and how living without that is even harder.

  132. Rachel April 21, 2016 at 7:45 pm #

    I don’t EVER respond to blogs or articles but I want the author of this to know how touched I am to read this and know that I am not alone with ALL of these same issues. Thank you for putting yourself out there and risk others belittling and demeaning your message and struggles. You are not alone in this either and I would like nothing better than to give you a hug right now and say “thank you”.

  133. Kaitlin April 21, 2016 at 7:47 pm #

    This is going viral for a very good reason. I’m pretty sure ever single mother relates to each and every word of this. It’s absolutely perfect. Thank you from the bottom of my heart for your gift to write this so beautifully and perfect. It’s so refreshing to read something your heart could have written. Bravo!

  134. Ainsley April 21, 2016 at 7:48 pm #

    I love this and needed this. Thank you.

  135. Molly April 21, 2016 at 7:58 pm #

    Like she was writing just to me. I needed this!

  136. Liz April 21, 2016 at 8:00 pm #

    Hi- I’m a new reader. I cannot even begin to tell you how much I needed this today. Everything you wrote is 100% spot on. I am 31 (barley) four kids raining from 7- 2 months. And I feel like I just read a page out of my mind of thoughts. Thank you thank you thank you! I hope you realize how much this was truly meant for me today.

  137. Sara April 21, 2016 at 8:00 pm #

    Wonderfully written and when I was in the throes of those stages I would have agreed. Still do. But enjoy it. It does not get easier. It does not get cheaper. For some reason I thought it would. And the guilt and the worry don’t stop, only grow with each passing year. You better hug ’em cause they’re movin’ & shakin’ and very soon you’ll have too much free time.

  138. JPsarianos April 21, 2016 at 8:04 pm #

    Beautifully written, thank you for such poignant words. Cherish every day you have with your children, you’ll get through the exhaustion, and times will be a bit more rested. You are blessed with a healthy family, and having children after all was probably your choice. So now it’s about the children first.

    I empathize with you, but you need to know that there are many moms’s and dad’s out there who will live like this forever.

    I’m talking about parents with special needs children whose cognition is in toddlerhood permanently.
    I will never sleep at night, my son is up every night between 2-5 and it’s been like this since his diagnosis sixteen years ago. It will be like this forever. Imagine watching a toddler who cannot communicate for sixteen years.

    You see, he is a teenager with a mind of a toddler. So while you may have it tough right now, others have it much worse. Yet, I’m lucky, because others in my situation have it much worse.

    I thank you for your post, I truly enjoyed it and am happy to see vibrant, thriving families with caring, loving parents such as yourself. God bless you.

    You’ll inspire many moms out there to hang on until the ‘tough’ days subside. Enjoy your blessings.

    Thank you.

  139. Tessie April 21, 2016 at 8:10 pm #

    You teared me up, but there is a comfort in knowing you aren’t alone. We love these moments with our babies, but it’s hard not to be “us” anymore at the same time. We try to find balance, but feel that we fail. Guilt, like you said: hovers.
    You are so right, and I’m so glad that I read this.

  140. Annonymous April 21, 2016 at 8:17 pm #

    Are you seriously suggesting that being a mother, of multiples and with a happy marriage no less is harder than infertility or miscarriage? Are you suggesting that juggling nap and feeding schedules is harder than juggling pills, injections, and emotions? That you breeders get judged more than those of us who have to pursue the scientific route to parenthood? Let me tell u you are dead wrong. There are millions of women who spend thousands of dollars on infertility treatments every single month. Who dont get to buy a house every few years because they have to pay for ivf again. Who have to endure not only ignorant complaining like this but also comments like just relax, or have you done it doggie style? Who have to watch their dreams come true for everyone around them. As one of those women, i highly suggest u go sit in your closet and count your freaking blessings lady.

    • Lee V April 21, 2016 at 11:42 pm #

      First, I am truly sorry for your loss and battle with infertility. I can see you are bitter and angry, but everyone has THEIR OWN STRUGGLES. Just because one’s struggle is keeping food on the table by working 2 jobs and not seeing/spending time with their kids…or deciding which is the right school, etc—–while the other’s is not being able to have children due to infertility…that doesn’t make one person’s struggle “TRIVIAL.” No one is taking for granted they have children just because they have struggles as a parent, just as you have struggles becoming a parent. For you to comment so harshly and try to make someone feel guilty/ungrateful for being a parent and telling someone they shouldn’t talk about parenting struggles/being exhausted from it, is like someone saying you can’t express your desire to become a parent/overcome the battle of infertility and miscarriages, and make you feel guilty/inadequate for not being able to be a parent. Doesn’t feel good does it? So stop. And calling parents “breeders”…really?? How ugly. Maybe all that hatred in your heart is preventing you from getting pregnant.

      And by the way…witnessed people on this soap box step off once they got that baby and were sleep deprived long enough. Those are the people that have experienced BOTH SIDES. They understand both sides’ struggles. I’ve had miscarriage. It’s not easy.

  141. Tarsha Benevento April 21, 2016 at 8:29 pm #

    Sitting at my kitchen table here in Burlington, MA with tears in my eyes wondering how on earth you have managed to read my mind all the way from Texas!!!! Thank you! Thank you for sharing your spot on reflections and insight!

  142. Ashley Guelfi April 21, 2016 at 8:32 pm #

    Wow! Well put. Thank u for writing this, all I can add to this would be to live in the moment. Enjoy.

  143. Jamie April 21, 2016 at 8:42 pm #

    ALL OF THIS!! I am the mother of a 4 (almost 5) year old and a recently turned 1 year old. Both boys. Both full of energy and crazy. I also work part time and go to school full time. The constant guilt and worry. It is good to know that none of us are alone!

  144. John April 21, 2016 at 8:51 pm #

    Yes, you need your Mom. And your Dad. I’m a grandpa who LOVES being with my Grandchildren and helping our daughter, and does my wife. Good luck to all moms.

  145. Jenna April 21, 2016 at 8:53 pm #

    Thank you so much for writing this! Just today I was having a difficult time. Thinking, if it’s this hard with 2 do I really want to add another one to the mix? But yes, it’s worth it! All the experiences I’ve had with my kids, good and bad, I look at them and feel so much joy and love. Why wouldn’t I want more of that?

  146. Alicia April 21, 2016 at 8:55 pm #

    I think this article is beautifully written and I agree with it except for the part that says you are writing to women in their early to mid 30’s. I didn’t get married until I was 40 and am now in my mid forties with a 5 year old and 3 year old. I still feel all these things you wrote about. Women are having babies later in life now so I think this really applies to all moms with young children.

  147. Elizabeth April 21, 2016 at 8:57 pm #

    I just hit 40, but yes! I can totally identify with this. Four kids ages almost-2, 3 1/2, almost 7, and 8 1/2.
    Unfortunately, my husband left me – said I didn’t pay enough attention to him, and he doesn’t seem to understand the hormones, tiredness, kids, etc. and I didn’t do the wine on the back porch time and neither did he, for too long a time, I guess.
    We moved to a completely different state across the country from where all my friends and family are, and I’ve only made a few friends, and they aren’t able to help much though they do lend a good ear. I am hoping to find a babysitter at least.
    So, this article is a bit bittersweet, and I am trying to find the good times in all of this. Sweet smiles and laughs from little ones definitely keep me from getting too down!

  148. Heather April 21, 2016 at 9:08 pm #

    I absolutely love this…I am bookmarking it, so I can read it when I need a lift and a confirmation that I’m not the only one that struggles. I am a stay at home mom, with 3 kids. 7, 3, and 7 months. Everyone tells me how lucky I am, which I will never disagree with, that I get to stay home with them. I try so hard every day, but still feel like I’m not doing it right. This reminds me that no one is perfect, I have 3 kids and it is okay if my house isn’t spic and span all the time. My story can go on and on, but the point is, THANK YOU.

  149. Sabrina April 21, 2016 at 9:19 pm #

    I have never felt like anyone ever understood what it was like to be in this “stage”. From the bottom of my heart, thank you for letting me know I’m not alone.

  150. Alison April 21, 2016 at 9:22 pm #

    You know what’s “hard?” Being the one who CANT have kids. Maybe you should rethink how hard your life is and reflect with some gratitude. Do you know what some people would give for ONE day of motherhood?!?!?!

    • Not the girl next door April 21, 2016 at 9:54 pm #

      Having dealt with infertility AND loss, that’s not fair to throw at her Alison.
      She wrote it for moms who can relate. Not to insult or hurt the feelings of those who cannot.
      I’m terribly sorry that the pain you have experienced is reflecting through comments like that because I read what you wrote, but all I saw was someone who has suffered through something nobody should ever have to. Good luck on your journey.

    • Not the girl next door April 21, 2016 at 10:03 pm #

      Alison, Having dealt with infertility issues AND loss myself, that is not fair to throw at her.

      She wrote this article for people who can relate, not to hurt the feelings or insult those who cannot.

      I’m sorry you are in so much pain.

  151. OptiMOM Coaching April 21, 2016 at 9:26 pm #

    Bravo! Valuable and important share!!

  152. Alaina April 21, 2016 at 9:27 pm #

    I was good..(not crying, just amen-ing) till the last paragraph. It’s the stage where your kids love you more than they are EVER going to love you again, for the whole rest of your life. It’s the stage where they can fit their entire selves into your lap to snuggle…and they want to. It’s the stage where their biggest problems ARE ear infections and teething and stomach viruses, and you’re not having to deal yet with things like broken hearts or addiction or bullying.
    GIANT tears came. It’s so true. I need to remember that everyday!! My four are, 7, 5, 3, 2. This stage is hard but, man they will never love me so much! Thank you! Your words are a gift.

  153. Jane April 21, 2016 at 9:32 pm #

    Now add you have 3 girls, 4 to 1 years. The mother is present 10% of the time and can not be relied on so the 45 plus grandmother is taking care of them and her husband is dying and dealing with the unstable mother and no fathers are really present…

  154. Shannon W April 21, 2016 at 9:56 pm #

    This was perfect tonight. I definitely had one of those days where I could barely take care of my kids much less me. Pjs all day except the shirt the 8 month old spit up on. He was sobbing and grouchy most of the day cutting teeth, my 3 year old cried and whined that he wanted/”needed” every thing and refused to listen all day. No one napped and hubby got home at 7pm after a 15 hour day and was little help.

    By bedtime all I wanted to do was scream at someone and I’m wondering where “I” went. I used to be so always happy and go with the flow. And now I’m short tempered and irritable some days. I love my boys but I miss ME.

    The little I accomplished is barely noticeable because no I have bins of newborn stuff to go to my pregnant friends sitting in the hall. Ugh. Not every day is a struggle. Most go pretty good. But days like today just suck.

    Thanks for reminding me that I’m not alone and that it doesn’t last forever.

  155. michael April 21, 2016 at 10:18 pm #

    as a man that came upon this moms article that was shared to me by a woman, i cant help but tell you that this piece, especially the last piece, applies to men as much as it does to women. do not forget the love that lies inside the fathers of this world. many of us have so much love inside us too.

  156. klepp0906 April 21, 2016 at 10:32 pm #

    Very touching. Just had first. Wife demanding second and we aren’t getting any younger. I struggle with giving up my freedoms more than she does. She kept her career and I’m now on daddy duty and I have a profound and newfound respect for stay at home mothers.

    Can’t describe how much I love my freya and it’s still growing but man… I’m burnt out, stretched thin, and constantly wondering if it will all be worth it in the end.

    My wife linked me this as I’m always stressing how important it is we put our marraige first. Kids cause a very large chunk of the divorces in the USA due to American parenting style. I refuse to let us be part of that statistic.

    Anyways, again – amazing amazing writing. Applicable on both sides of the fence. 3? 4? Ha! Two at once is making me shake in my boots! You ladies are an altogether different breed!

  157. Becky April 21, 2016 at 10:39 pm #

    Hayley and JPsarianos you both share great perspectives on parenting and our roles as parents. I am a 55yr. old mother of two lovely daughters 31 and 27 (after loosing two pregnancies). I married the love of my life, who I have known since first grade, and have been married to for 33 very happy years.

    Life has not always been easy and I chose to give up my career path to stay home and care for our girls in order to help my husband further his carrier without the stress and regret of neither of us being home with them. Every day he would come home and praise and thank me for being willing to play this role in our family’s life knowing how stressful it is running a household. He never neglected our girls no matter what high power role he played in him job. He would show up on the ball field or basketball court to coach even if it meant he did not have time to shed the suit and tie to get there!

    We knew the TIME we spend with our daughters was more important than any THINGS we could buy them. My husband chose to show our girls what a loving and supportive husband / father should be like. Our girls have chosen two great husbands with the same wonderful qualities as their dad.

    After staying home for 23 yrs. to run our household I was offered a job position I felt I could not pass up at George Mark Children’s House, http://www.georgemark.org, a nonprofit facility that cares for children such as JPsarianos mentioned in her post. I learned first hand how parents of very special needs children cope with life. I have a deep admiration for them and feel very privileged to work with these parents and their children.

    I was unsure how to juggle taking care of our household and hold down a very demanding job. This is when my husband chimed in and said it was about time I put myself first and do what makes me most happy which was working with these families and children. How many high power executive husbands would come home and clean toilets to allow his wife time to follow her dreams? Mine does!!!

    I guess what I am trying to say is life is not always meant to be easy. Anything worth having is worth working and/or sacrificing for. This can be a good family life, marriage or happy well rounded kids who have not been over indulged or spoiled. When you get to my stage in life and see the fruits of your labor you will see how sweet it can be!

    I am now called “Grandma”!

  158. Lee V April 21, 2016 at 10:41 pm #

    First off…I’ll just warn that my comment will be lengthy because I have read this article several times, as well as every comment, and it has really struck a nerve. I have never replied before, but guess I’ll do it big on the first go.

    This post definitely hits home for ME and majority of women(and some men) in the United States given TODAY’s society–at least on some days of my life. For those of you bashing this woman’s blog for various reasons…if you don’t relate, then move on. Why bring more negativity to people who obviously have some bad days? Haven’t you had those, too? I didn’t see her ask for a pity party, but instead try to uplift those who are down on themselves. Many won’t agree with my post either, but that’s ok…it’s AN OPINION. MOVE ON.

    I just wanted to point out, everyone has STRUGGLES. Just because one’s struggle is keeping food on the table by working 2 jobs and not seeing/spending time with their kids…or deciding which is the right school, etc—–while the other’s is not being able to have children due to infertility…that doesn’t make one person’s struggle “TRIVIAL,” which many of you are appallingly and insensitively implying. No one is taking for granted they have children just because they have struggles as a parent, just as you have struggles becoming a parent. Making someone feel guilty for being a parent and telling someone they shouldn’t talk about parenting struggles/being exhausted from it, is like someone saying you can’t express your desire to become a parent/overcome the battle of infertility and miscarriages, and make you feel guilty for not being able to be parents. Doesn’t feel good does it? So stop.

    I ascertained this article was directed towards a certain group of people (ok, men should have been included, also), not to the mothers of starving children in Ethiopia…not to the mom/dad from the 1950s that may have penny pinched, but who was also able to have more help from family members who didn’t work, lived off the land and didn’t have to pay astronomical amounts for basic necessities such as food, shelter, clothing, insurance, transportation as is now. Was daycare for a single child while you worked in 1950 $750? Your total monthly household bills probably weren’t that…again, I’m assuming here. I couldn’t imagine the average household income was enough to pay that for one child, but did it stop y’all from having kids? The implication seems to me some of you think this woman is “spoiled” and doesn’t even realize it, huh? Well, I have news for you…MANY families long ago had nannies living in the household. MANY households had, and still have, housekeepers. High societal groups existed. I didn’t see where she stated she had ANY of this, but you all agree she is, indeed, RICH because she has a husband, 3 healthy children, food, clothing, shelter, and other basic necessities of life, I’m sure friends, a cell phone and many other luxuries. All of which, make her battles “first world problems.”

    Did this person ever say she regretted having children??? NO. I believe she likely understood very well what she was getting into, as we all have. Y’all assumed she just thought this was going to be rainbows and butterflies? I’m sure she knew not. We aren’t stupid…as some of you have implied. Gluttons for punishment I will wonder sometimes, but not stupid. Someone having a hard time with THEIR CHOSEN LIFE AND CHOICES doesn’t necessarily make them stupid, spoiled, a bad parent, or person. Many of us WANT children and we FULLY UNDERSTAND “it won’t be easy.” I knew from day one…this entire ordeal is no surprise here. When you CHOSE your career and have a bad day at work at your CHOSEN JOB, you may hear, “I had a bad day….Thankfully I get a break it’s Friday….I need a vacation…..I need a drink….” And everyone can relate, support, understand, empathize, appreciate encourage the individual. But choose to have a child to love and raise and have a bad a day and talk about it with others and right now people are saying, “you chose to be a parent, suck it up, you don’t need a break.”

    Again, I believe most of you are missing the big picture here. All are struggles. People are fabulous at putting on a facade to others in public trying to hide their struggles. We like to make it seem like we have it all together, and things look so dang easy, and we are just perfectly happy all the time sailing through life. Meanwhile, inside things are sometimes chaotic and not at all going as we would like. When the “chaotic you” sees the “normal mom” you begin to feel alone and flawed. The entire point of this article is to let mothers, and generally speaking anyone with struggles, know other people share your struggles…you aren’t alone and it will get better. That goes for you to the single, nonparent strugglers.

    I don’t think this mom made motherhood and life seem HORRIBLE like some of you say. It is just sometimes stressful all at once it seems. People aren’t crying because they are depressed about their life and struggles and how bad they have it…they are crying because they finally are rejoicing in realizing they aren’t crazy and they aren’t alone in what they have been feeling…and never once spoke up about it for fear of being inadequate and judged like you people have done. Others cried maybe because they have realized their babies won’t be babies anymore they will be able to protect and hold forever…and it’s flying by so fast while focusing on the wrong things to stress over, and not realizing it.

    Everyone has different goals and things that are important to them…maybe you should all learn to respect that a little more and stop criticizing someone’s life that isn’t you’re own if you don’t like it. The entire point is stop feeling guilty about your inadequacies YOU have set the bar for. We often set it too high for ourselves to impress only ourselves to let down only ourselves in the end…and these blog readers and commenters here are good at helping people along in recognizing we all have flaws.

    Ok…rant over. Just.Be.Considerate

    • Lg April 25, 2016 at 1:30 pm #

      Yes. You get it. 😉

  159. MZ April 21, 2016 at 11:02 pm #

    As someone who has tried to have a baby through 4 miscarriages and 3 surgeries; that is hard. This is not to take anything away from all you moms and your daily struggle, but think about what your life would be like if you couldn’t have those rambunctious faces looking up at you. I am happy for all of you for the blessings you have, just remember some of us are not the lucky.

  160. Jo April 21, 2016 at 11:15 pm #

    This is truly refreshing, I’m 36 a mom of 3, 5 year old boy, 3 year old boy and 1 year old girl. I’m a business owner so I work from home, I have my kids in a learning center and hubby is usually really busy. We have a good home, and a great marriage but it’s very hard. I have been feeling guilty because I am about to stop breastfeeding. I’ve been pregnant or breastfeeding for the last 6 years of my life, and the guilt of wanting something for me and not my kids 100% percent of the time is making me doubt myself as a good mom. I know it gets easier, and I enjoy mykids, it’s a struggle specially when everyone is crying over something. But at the end of the day my kids are my life, but I sometimes do wish I had 3% of just me back to remember who I am. That there is more to me, not just mommy!

  161. erin April 21, 2016 at 11:22 pm #

    so very well and honestly stated. my friends and i have been talking about this post all day and the chord it struck. can’t wait to read more of your posts and share this one on my blog.

  162. Jess April 21, 2016 at 11:32 pm #

    When I read things like this it makes me not want children. I’m at the stage before this stage I guess you could say. I have a lot of friends and co workers who have kids. Most of the time they just talk about how tired/frustrated/overwhelmed they are. I’m glad people are honest but it’s definitely makes me hesitant to have a family. I appreciate the fulfillment aspect and know the love/joy is what makes it worth it, but that’s hard to comprehend if you’ve never experienced it.

  163. anonymous April 21, 2016 at 11:33 pm #

    I am in a stage of life where most of my friends and family have one, two or three children already. I hope and pray I get to be a mom someday. My husband and I have been struggling with infertility for years. Articles like this make me wonder if we’ll have a different perspective someday if we are given the gift of being parents, whether that ends up being through adoption or biologically.

    This comment isn’t meant as a criticism to the author or any of the moms who have commented. I wish you all the best and I think it’s great that you can encourage each other in your journeys. I have no doubt that motherhood is challenging. I just think perspective is important. Being a mom is a GIFT.

  164. Emile April 21, 2016 at 11:40 pm #

    I am in my early 30’s and can’t relate to this at all because my husband of 7 years and I have been struggling with infertility. You’re life may be hard. You may be exhausted. Pulled in a million directions. All of that. But, you have you life and your future and you will be able to watch your children grow and revel in the joy they bring. I can’t. Lots of couples can’t. So, that, not THIS is hard.

  165. Briar April 21, 2016 at 11:48 pm #

    As someone who is skittish about this (late 30s so it’s “soon or never”) this article didn’t ease my mind! Not sure trading up my peaceful, free lifestyle is worth it…

  166. Mo April 21, 2016 at 11:50 pm #

    Yes yes and yes. This is my life right now. And I really like the reminder to sit back and try to just enjoy my kids loving me SO much and worry less about the little thing. thank you 🙂

  167. Diana April 22, 2016 at 12:51 am #

    Fantastic writing! I was a little misty-eyed reading some of this. It’s all so true, My older sister tells me, “you only get them like this one time. Enjoy it!”

  168. Gina April 22, 2016 at 1:14 am #

    Tears. Just all of the tears…

  169. rachel April 22, 2016 at 1:31 am #

    I’m 34 and have 6 kids. This is so beautifully written and true. This is a really, really hard stage but at the same time so priceless and beautiful that I would never just want to skip through it. I’m enjoying every first tooth and step. As someone who struggled through infertility for several years, has endured several miscarriages, and an international adoption of a child with many extra needs I know so very well how immeasurable this gift of this time is for me with all of my children. My adopted son could have been sitting in his mental institution banging his head against the wall over and over but instead I get to read him stories, take pictures of his beautiful smile, teach him his colors, assure him when he is scared, and that is an amazing privilege. Its is not easy at all what-so-ev-er, but it is worth it, so worth it. My toddlers constantly squealing over something or tired and in need of a nap or an escort to go potty, the baby wanting to nurse… sometimes it is super-duper hard and I think I’m going to lose my mind certain days but I wouldn’t trade it all for anything. I wouldn’t trade those smiles, cuddles, tears, messy, songs, laughs, for the whole wide world. This was a great encouragement and I think more moms need to hear it so I will share. I’d also agree with the comment to have grace for the mom with a kid on a device. I have a child with extreme anxiety (not of my own doing) and sometimes it’s all I can do to get through an outing for a moment. Other times I can stroll through and work with him on calming techniques but other times he has some appointment or place we need to be or I’m just plain old exhausted so yes, please, have grace for those mamas because you don’t know their story or their child’s or how their day has gone. I actually hardly ever rely on such things but you all know there have been “those” days. God Bless.

  170. HUSBAND April 22, 2016 at 3:23 am #

    Women, show this to your MAN

  171. Amber April 22, 2016 at 4:30 am #

    First off….Wow. Took the words straight out of my mouth. Makes me realize that even through this “hard life”, I need to enjoy more. Time is flying by. I blink and my children are 6,9,and 15. I DO need to stop stressing and have more fun with my kids and clean a little less. Thank you for making us women really stop and think about life. Thank you for taking time out of YOUR life to inspire women. It seriously is a blessing that you’re here. I want you to know that.

    Secondly, I would like to add she isn’t saying that the “taking care of an older parent” isn’t hard. This is HER blog and the stage of life SHE is in isn’t YOUR stage of life. It’s why everyone can’t relate. It’s this thing called life. You don’t assume she doesn’t know common sense—>every stage IS hard. Is it her stage that she’s in? NO. She’s in the stage she blogged about people. Stop being so negative and thank the woman for taking the time to inspire, to build hope, taking the time out of her marriage. She could have wrote this at 3AM for all we know because it’s the only time she had in her busy life. What happened to just thanking a person for their kind words. Rant. Over.

    Thank you again for your blog. God bless you and your family. I’m a reader for as long as you write!

  172. Lizzy April 22, 2016 at 4:34 am #

    Things I never see: Dads posting articles about how stressed and frazzled they are, how they are freaking out about cosleeping vs not, how to manage work and life balance….why? As a working mom, I relate to some of this but people in the comments boxes who admit to crying as they read this —- I don’t know what to say. Is your spouse crying, too? If not, maybe your problem is that you have not equally distributed the responsibility/stress in the household.

  173. Anonymous April 22, 2016 at 6:34 am #

    Great article but it’s the stage of motherhood no matter the age are amount of children. I’m 48 with a 4 year old and feel exactly as the article says. I know 20 year old moms who feel this way. Not just 30.

  174. Cassie April 22, 2016 at 7:01 am #

    Oh my gosh! Beautiful post!

  175. Sarina April 22, 2016 at 7:43 am #

    So very true. I have a 7 year old and a 15 month old and work shift work and I’m going to be 38 soon. The other day I was saying to a co worker how exhausted I felt and she reminded me of the things you talked about in your post. Thank you for making me feel better about my decisions.

  176. Dayna April 22, 2016 at 7:55 am #

    I so understand where you are coming from!! I have a 14, 11, and 7 year old. My 14 yr old son suffers a case of severe autism and is non verbal not potty trained basically still like a one year old in a lot of ways. At times I feel like my 11 year old daughter and 7 year old son get pushed to the side and left out on being able to do things they want to go and do because I am unable to take my oldest anywhere he has a bad habit of running off and if it’s a place that’s full of noice and people he has meltdowns and is beating himself up. I do a lot of praying daily even just for the strength to get through the day. And when I want to take my other 2 to do something (even school activities) my husband all of sudden has something he needs to do and can’t keep my oldest! And did I say my oldest is my step son my husbands from a previous marriage? So where’s my husbands ex? Off doing her own thing without a care in the world for her son. So here I am taking care of them all basically by myself and sometimes I just wonder what it would be like if it was just me and my 2 by ourselves would we be happier? Be able to do the things we can’t do now? Probably but is it fair for me to just leave? I have been raising him for the past 9 years I am all he knows. So for now I just been staying strong and ready this post has me looking at this differently maybe I should demand my husband here watch him while I spend time with the other 2! Would it work or blow up in my face? Guess there’s only one way to find out. I don’t know, anyway here I am at 42 and I don’t have a clue what lies ahead for me and my family but with God on my side it will all be for the best! God Bless all of you moms, step moms, moms to be and the grandmothers out there!!

  177. Elisha April 22, 2016 at 7:57 am #

    Yes, it is tough, but also a blessing if you do have your own children or marriage. It’s much more painful, and requires much greater faith if you are in this time of your life and not struggling with these things because they have not come into your life yet (or may never).

    • P. G. April 22, 2016 at 10:20 am #

      Elisha, why is it more painful? Because you feel empty? I agree, not having a partner, and/or not having children can be lonely and sad, especially when all you see around you are seemingly happy families. But women should not let their lives be defined by being married, having kids . . . Marriage and children are a blessing. But so is making it on your own, however lonesome that may feel. Your life is a blessing. Your friends are a blessing. You are a blessing to your friends, and to your family, and all the people that love you.

  178. Liz April 22, 2016 at 8:21 am #

    Great post! I am so happy you included the line about praying. Praying for your kids and your marriage is so important. And drawing on God for strength and wisdom throughout the day is what gets me through.

  179. Seanna April 22, 2016 at 8:49 am #

    I’ve read this multiple times in two days because I’ve had a particularly hard week. I tend to pass by many mom blogs, no offense!, but this absolutely left me blubbering in the bathroom (you know, the place where you just *may* get to silently read a blog for 30 sec).

    I have a 5yo, 3yo, and baby. My friend sent me this and she (and you) pretty much changed the course of my week. I’m ready to do this again. Thanks.

  180. Sophia April 22, 2016 at 8:59 am #

    Beautiful but I’m 32 with 5 boys my oldest is 15 and youngest is 4 years old, yes it’s very hard especially when losing your mom at age 6 lost my dad 2 years ago I recently lost my husband of 15 years in January lost my brother and month after my husband passed, so it’s more difficult when you stand alone with no support.

  181. Wendi April 22, 2016 at 9:07 am #

    I wish you didn’t start off with an age limit. I had my first at 47, 2nd at 48 and am pregnant with our 3rd. I feel most everything you describe except add in the lack of family support since our parents are elderly. We have few friends to commiserate with as most a years beyond the stage were at. Wouldn’t trade it for the world but….I would have appreciated you including all ages of moms.

  182. Ashley April 22, 2016 at 9:11 am #

    Isn’t every stage of life hard? Isn’t being single and alone hard? Isn’t working long hours into the night at your job hard? Isn’t getting older and trying to find your purpose in life post babies hard? How blessed you are to have these “problems.”

  183. Sue April 22, 2016 at 9:25 am #

    I’m in my 40s, have 2 kids under 7 and parents with major health issues and my husband checked out, so I am a single mom. And my life is wonderful.

  184. QueenofSwords April 22, 2016 at 9:55 am #

    I was a single mom before working full time. I had a job where my boss was trying to sleep with me and got fired once I wouldn’t. To keep a roof over our head and food in her mouth I did what I had to. I danced for a year and a half. My mother lived in a different state, my father had a son of his own so he couldn’t help me either.I was going through a custody battle against a abusive man who had a bad drug habit. I won. I met my now husband on vacation.I moved out of state away from the abusive ex. I quit dancing. I started my own company. I got married. I had another baby. honestly feel like I have a break now! I have HELP! Thank goodness for husbands.I had no idea how much another parent could help. Seriously and truly. With two children my husband away at work 60 hours a week.. and I run my own business… I still feel like I have a break! No its not easy with a 5 year old and a 9 month old but guess what?! My life is easier than ever before. I am so grateful for my past experience and for my husband. Now I can truly appreciate him and all he does.

  185. Margaret April 22, 2016 at 10:21 am #

    You are always young enough to have fun. I am 65 and never had kids because I discovered this thing called birth control and recognizing that I didn’t want to bring kids into the world unless I could support them emotionally, physically and spiritually. I also knew that there are so many kids in the world that need homes and that, if I had been able, for the above reasons, I would have adopted because it is not about the physical act of having a child that is the most important thing. I truly value all my relationships that I have with my “kid” friends, some of whom are now in their 40’s and some of whom are under 6. As a non-parent I made sure that I volunteered a lot so that I could help create a world for the next generations that they would want to be a part of and because I knew that the Moms of the world also had their hands full doing exactly the same thing. I wanted to make my contribution. I hope I did.

  186. Andrea F. April 22, 2016 at 10:45 am #

    This is so true, I could never put into words exactly what I feel…this is it! So many struggles and triumphs at the same time it’s just difficult to manage a path through them! Thank you for the insight and the words to help me navigate what I am feeling and I know my friends are feeling.

  187. Kim April 22, 2016 at 10:50 am #

    Not trying to be rude…but I think you will get my point- this is all true BTW: My only daughter is going to her senior prom tonight- I hope she feels beautiful all dressed up! I hope O-shows up on time to do her hair and makeup. I hope no one tries to “hate on her” I hope we get that perfect picture- I want to make sure that F- and R- know what a mistake they made and what aholes they are-. I hope she has a good time- She does not have a prom date. I hope that does not make her feel she is ugly (she is beautiful), or not worthy, that there is something wrong with her. How many will be there without one? Small school -Should I worry or will her small group of friends be enough? Will she/they dance or will she grow bored and be disappointed. Will someone special ask her to dance and be the one to steal her heart? Will she have her first kiss? or Will she come home and cry because no one even asked her to dance. The are having a masquerade theme-kinda dangerous-not recommended in the past- should I ask to make sure they have adequate security for that area?or Will Mrs. – be there as a chaperone-she always has something sarcastic to say to her?Will she come home early and feel as though she wasted my money? She’s that kinda kid..or ride around feeling lonely and be upset, just to waste time ,stay out later, or be alone at a lonely time- will I have to be up until 2am to talk her through the night, reassure her she is perfect, that she is special, important and God has something special planned for her, wipe her tears or will she shut me out and not tell me how things went until the afternoon and sleep until 3 and wonder if this can be the thing that could throw her over the edge……….I think you GET IT – !!!

  188. frogmama April 22, 2016 at 10:58 am #

    What a wonderful post. It really is the hardest, most wonderful time. Sigh.

  189. Melissa April 22, 2016 at 11:02 am #

    Thank you for writing this.

  190. Franklin April 22, 2016 at 11:28 am #

    If moms have found THE man, like in “A Good Man is Hard to Find” who is willing to knock himself out for-according to him-the “sweetest, most-loving and caring woman I’ve ever met,and who I’ll love ’til I die,” well life will be a little less stressful, N’est pas?

  191. tutu April 22, 2016 at 11:48 am #

    lovely note, well written and I certainly empathize with you and all you mothers of young ones. I am a grandmother now but even back when I had three littles under foot I never regretted any of it. I had one special needs child as well. No one needs that stress but life was still beautiful. I had no husband for the first three years and that was hard but I worked it out and never had to make my kids go hungry or not clothed properly.
    The thing you must remember is to cherish each moment, good and bad, and it sounds as if you do. Yes, it’s stressful but who said it was going to be easy? I don’t think anyone.
    I would give anything to be able to relive those first twelve years of my children’s lives even though I fell into bed exhausted and often had very little sleep anyway. We had very few non necessities, never ate out ( too expensive when home cooking is and was so much cheaper) and vacations meant a trip to the beach once in a while. Organic food was what we raised ourselves or bartered with neighbors and friends. Having very little money teaches you that you really don’t need much. Of course you can’t buy designer clothes,shoes or bags or redecorate your home with the flavor of the season when you have no extra money but that does not matter ,nor will it ever.
    I never pressured my husband to fork over money for non necessities and if I wanted something, like a slip cover for the sofa, I either made it or saved up $ from small jobs I would take, like baby sitting or crafts. He once offered to buy me a diamond for our anniversary but I said we could use a new washer and dryer more. He knew I was right.
    So what I am getting at is that THINGS mean nothing, a happy home, clean enough to be healthy and dirty enough to be happy (not my quote) are what counts. And yes, get those immunizations. I watched my babies in misery from chicken pox, it’s not worth it. sign me, an old grandma in her seventies.

  192. Lynn April 22, 2016 at 12:45 pm #

    I remember the craziness of those years and spending some days feeling like the future was a million diapers away…but trust me, it’s not. We assumed the care of our granddaughter when she was born ( an unexpected blessing) and have been parents to her since her birth and adopted her as a toddler. She is now 10 and the joy of our life. So I spent my 50’s back in the mommy business. My mother has dementia and lives with us, so the diapers are back! I am a 62 year old Mom, Wife to an extraordinary man, Grandma to two tiny boys (a toddler and an infant) – and, as her daughter, full time caregiver for my mother. And most important, still a partner with my wonderful husband.
    Life throws you curve balls, and this time of your life is your training for what will come. Enjoy this time – use it well and learn to forgive yourself for not being perfect. Go for the joy, anywhere you can find it!

  193. Jenn April 22, 2016 at 1:22 pm #

    It’s so true when people say you will miss this stage when it’s gone. I wish so bad I could go back to the days when my kids were little, when I knew how to help them and love them. Now they’re teens and finding their own way. It’s hard to let them go.

  194. Jessica April 22, 2016 at 1:55 pm #

    Amazing words, thank you.

  195. Simone M. April 22, 2016 at 2:24 pm #

    You described me perfectly! Wonderful writing!

  196. Magnolia April 22, 2016 at 2:47 pm #

    A bit dramatic IMO.

  197. Sally April 22, 2016 at 3:13 pm #

    Beautiful article. Please remember some of us are in our 30 s and cannot even have kids. Not to belittle or take away from your stress, but please, in those moments when you feel like screaming or running away, think about the miracles you have in your care. it is unfortunate that I came across this article that friends posted on fb just days after an emotionally and physically excruciating failed ivf attempt after spending thousands of dollars and taking shots daily and now sitting here with gigantic sore ovaries and not even a chance at a baby to show for it. Just an empty bedroom with no little one to love. I am not bitter about your article I think it’s wonderful. I only say this as an encouragement and reminder to those stressed out moms to find moments just to reflect on the fact that you have babies. Again beautiful article.

    • Andrea April 23, 2016 at 11:05 am #

      Sally, I too battled infertility for years. It is a hard road to walk which a walked with a close friend. 7 years later we are both mothers. One of us had children biologically and the other adopted 3. We are both enjoying motherhood now and with each child’s birthday the pain of failed infertility treatments, healthcare loans, negative pregnancy tests and miscarriages becomes more attenuated. May you find peace even in your difficult season and a path to motherhood that is everything you imagined. Much love to you!!

      • Sally May 6, 2016 at 9:07 am #

        Thanks Andrea. It is so nice to hear some encouraging words! It’s so hard to read an article like this when you want children so badly!

  198. Rachel April 22, 2016 at 3:24 pm #

    I needed this today! Thank you so much for sharing these words!

  199. Tamieka April 22, 2016 at 5:33 pm #

    I am in my early 40s and this is so true even in your 40s… Well written!

  200. Janelle April 22, 2016 at 6:18 pm #

    Stop having kids if you’re so stressed. And you obviously have time to write this so it can’t be that bad.

  201. Kathy April 22, 2016 at 7:05 pm #

    This was my life 20-33 years ago with 5 little ones. Now I’m a 50 something binge watching Netflix lamenting where the time went. Enjoy the time..Embrace it…It will soon be a vague memory.

  202. Shyla April 22, 2016 at 7:27 pm #

    Wow. Thank you for putting to words the feelings of so many of us! Im crying at the truth in this. Thank you.

  203. NA April 22, 2016 at 7:55 pm #

    You know your doing something right when you have touched a husband trying to understand what his wife is going through…

    bravo. and thank you.

  204. Julie April 22, 2016 at 8:25 pm #

    Great writing! Thank you!

  205. Courtney April 22, 2016 at 9:33 pm #

    Talk about hitting home! I currently have a 3 y.o., 2 y.o. and 7 month old. You couldn’t have said it better and I needed to hear it tonight. This stage is so wonderful but so hard! Thank you for writing this, I’m crying but it’s so nice knowing so many others are feeling exactly the same way (especially about our identity,)

  206. Mary Jennings April 22, 2016 at 10:28 pm #

    This was a great read, but honestly as an older mom at the get go, I had a hard time relating to some of your difficulty. I am a nearly 50 year old working, married mom with an 11 year old. My difficulty seems harder, though this is not a competition.
    I am at the age where my parents are older. My father died recently. I am now the sandwich child taking care of my mom and my young son at the same time. Peers and coworkers are dying, people are getting sick, and well,it is difficult.
    Though the media or whatever may make us think that marriage, kids, etc is all flowery and wonderful and the end all be all, it is HARD no matter how old you are.
    🙂

  207. I’m a mom of five boys, ages 10-22. I was so blessed by your thoughts and so confused by some of the comments. yiur advice is timeless, regardless of the ages of our children or the one staring back at us in the mirror.

    Life can be hard at any stage.
    But we all need help. That’s ok.
    Sometimes, help is there, sometimes it’s not.
    Breathe.

    Know that moms have walked the path you are on and survived.

    Look for moms and role models. Observe others who raise kids you admire. You know, the ones who stick out like a sore thumb because they are kind and considerate, helpful and eager. Those are the moms to ask advice from…

    Thank you for the precious thoughts. They blessed me:).

  208. Evie April 22, 2016 at 11:33 pm #

    This was awesome THANK YOU! Im a young mom and struggle with chronic pain every day and so I am always battling myself with extreme guilt ..this was a wonderful and relieving read.

  209. Sandy April 22, 2016 at 11:41 pm #

    So I have 5 children. First 4 were all born within 5 years. I was exhausted. I had no time for myself. I had 3 in diapers at once. There were mamy nights we would have 4 soccer games, we ate dinner in the car, and had to stay up late doing homework. My house was full of neighborhood kids. What I would give to go back. Now my kids are grown. Gosh that happened quickly. No one told me that it is still exhausting to be a parent even with adult children! But it is. You worry over them, their decisions, life choices, their financial independence, their problems, their ability to act responsibly (and hope you taught them well!) Sometimes we go a few days without talking to each other, sometimes my married kids aren’t here for holidays- they are with the in laws. I am telling you that I’d go back to my 30’s and their childhood in a minute! It was so much easier for me- exhaustion and all!

  210. Jacqueline April 22, 2016 at 11:55 pm #

    I cried all the way to the end. Thank you for your raw and honest post. After I wiped my tears I said to myself, “it’s nice to know that I am not alone.” I’ve since shared this with others, including my husband, and feel it’s brought more truth and understanding of what it’s like to be a mother today. The struggle is real. My daughters are 1 and 4 years old and loved so much.

  211. Lolly Jane April 22, 2016 at 11:55 pm #

    If moms could read one parent article in their whole motherhood, this is the one.

    Beautifully written. Thanks for the good cry.

  212. Lisa April 23, 2016 at 12:43 am #

    Lordy ladies, be supportive of each other. We all have our own battles. 50 year old with grown kids at home, 22 and 24. You will miss these days. You do need to let it go. And yet, you do NOT need to be their friends please. They will have plenty of friends. They want structure. PLEASE JUST DONT GIVE UP AND LET THEM DO WHAT THEY WANT BECAUSE ITS TOO HARD. THEY NEED YOU TO BE THEIR GUIDE. Advice from my mom, God rest her soul at 62, “your job is to make amazing young adults, focus on your marriage because it will be what is left after the kids leave”. Bless all of you who work so hard. YOUR CHILDREN DIDN’T COME WITH MANUALS. IT’s ok 😉 BREATHE! xo Big Bear HUGS!

  213. Leah April 23, 2016 at 1:17 am #

    I cried too. So beautiful. In my early 30s and haven’t found a partner yet. Still trying to do that and experience the miraculousness of being a mom. So hard wanting it so much and struggling so much to get there. But when I do, I imagine it will still be difficult, albeit beautiful.

  214. Jennifer April 23, 2016 at 8:41 am #

    This is so true. I’ve thought of this and talk to people with adult children and they all say enjoy this stage because kids grow so fast. That helps me have perspective.

  215. Place Under The Pine April 23, 2016 at 10:31 am #

    My wife shared this with me – you are bang on! Busy and tired are the key words eh?
    Love that you remind us to enjoy the moment, which is so important, yet so easy to forget.

  216. Sarah April 23, 2016 at 10:45 am #

    Early to mid 30’s with 2 or 3 kids about 7 or 8 years old?! How about mid 30’s w/one 2 year old?

  217. Andrea April 23, 2016 at 10:57 am #

    Thank you for this!! It is hard to feel like you are always failing at something. I appreciate the time you took just to say to other moms things we don’t hear often enough. God bless you!!

  218. Wendy April 23, 2016 at 11:19 am #

    I’m not in my early to mid 30’s as you started off saying, early 40’s actually, and in the same situation in life. I completely relate. This is an awesome read. It’s tiring and hard but we love every minute of it.

  219. Kerry B. April 23, 2016 at 1:03 pm #

    Yes, it is hard. Being a mom can be very difficult. Then again, being infertile, not being able to have a child or losing a child and not getting to experience all of these things, that is harder.

    Moms, just remember: for every hardship and difficulty that you experience having children there are millions of women out there that would literally die to be in your shoes. Cherish your children, hardships and happiness. Not being able to have that, when you desperately want it, is way harder!

  220. Natalia Cristurean April 23, 2016 at 2:18 pm #

    Thank you so much for sharing this! Loved it! <3

  221. sarah lee April 23, 2016 at 3:16 pm #

    I found this post quite annoying, true though some of it is. Yes being a parent is hard, life is hard and an awful lot harder for millions of people all over the world who aren’t buying and selling houses and going to parties and soccer club, but are wondering if they’re safe or what they’re going to eat. I think focusing on all the ‘decisions’ that need to be made and how difficult it is somewhat plays into the kind of cult of parenting dialogue. The question ‘do I vaccinate’ is a case in point. If you lived in a part of the world where vaccinations weren’t available and your child might quite routinely die of all manner of entirely preventable diseases, you’d give your right arm for the opportunity to immunize them against anything at all.
    Without meaning to criticize the author- she sounds like a wonderful Mum and a lovely person- and all the others leaving comments here as well, but sometimes a little perspective is good. Don’t be so hard on yourselves and be grateful for the wonderous joy of having a house to clean if you wish to and the amazing freedom to choose not to.

  222. caroline April 23, 2016 at 4:39 pm #

    Thank you very much for so eloquently expressing the chaos that is my current stage of life. It is hard. This brought tears to my eyes. It is so good to know i am not alone in my uncertainties.

  223. Jess April 23, 2016 at 9:24 pm #

    …. and then your beautiful, caring, strong, gentle and kind husband of 18 years is killed, leaving you with a 2 month old and a 1 year old…. and it all becomes a great deal more difficult than you could ever imagine.

  224. Khushi April 23, 2016 at 9:40 pm #

    What a beautiful article. Believe me you wrote word by word what my heart says to myself every now and then. Thank you Hayley!! You are the best!!

    Khushi

  225. Ellen April 24, 2016 at 3:19 am #

    Honey, I have news for you; it is hard, but, it gets harder.

  226. Melanie April 24, 2016 at 11:37 pm #

    Every stage in my children’s life has been a joyful, terrible, blessed, frightening, happy, shocked rollercoaster ride!! They are now 15 and 17. I am not quite done yet…but the “detachment” process has begun, and it makes me proud to see my two grow into young adults that care, know what it means to give love, receive love, know limits, respect others and other than that, know how to just BE. I wouldn’t want to change a single experience with them. It’s all mine for eternity to remember. Kids are a gift from God…if you realize that, you are automatically a “good” parent, no matter what life puts on your path.

  227. Eiglys April 25, 2016 at 12:36 am #

    Thank you so very much! I really needed to read this today as I´m struggling with finding balance in my life as a mom, wife and professional. Thank you, you have no idea how your words have touched my heart.

  228. Kate April 25, 2016 at 3:04 am #

    I’m sure from what I see with my friends, that all of this is spot on!
    However, when times are tough, spare a thought for those who will never have those challenges because of infertility or just not having found the right person to start a family with.
    It won;t always be easy when there’s mess everywhere, you’ve had 2 hours sleep the whole week and everything’s going tits up, but try to remember that you’re lucky to have those challenges too!

  229. AmandaH April 25, 2016 at 7:44 am #

    Honestly, the comments are refreshing to know I’m a mom in my late thirties with a 13 month old, and just turned 2 year old, that we adopted at birth (I’m that friend that struggled with fertility, and then lost a son after he was born), to know I’m not alone in being a mom a little later down the road. But, the article was spot on for me too!!

  230. Em April 25, 2016 at 8:37 am #

    it’s a great article regardless of your age. some are blessed and ready to have kids in their early twenties, others in their forties, and others in between.
    when I first saw this article, I didn’t read it because of the age bracket the author refers to. I thought it doesn’t apply to me ( early 40s). But this morning, I saw an excerpt somewhere else and I saw it was the same. So I kept reading…
    Age doesn’t matter, but it is the stage life in which we are with our families. i’m glad to see that the younger mom’s are tired and find it hard too. I thought it was age that made me feel tired! ;0) I thought I was being wimpy.
    We need friends regardless of age that are in different stages of life with their families. I have friends 10 years younger and 10 years older and around my age who have kids older than mine from whom I get wisdom and encouragent.
    God bless each of you, moms, and may He continue to fill us with His graces.

  231. Therese Cross April 25, 2016 at 9:23 am #

    Good article and fun read. I’m 63 and had my last of 5 at 45. Life is good, true, beautiful, and full of growth. Looking back at being a young mom and now being an old mom, I identified with lots of what was written. My husband and I now take great delight in our children who are “here-there-and-everywhere.” Being Mom is a great gift. And living that Trinitarian Union with husband and making family is awesome. God bless all you young and old moms. Keep striving to give all to God and love him more each day. Sacrificing all the bumps along the way and rejoicing in all gifts received, tiny tinny and massively huge :o)

    And, one more thing; when all seems chaotic, sit down in a chair close to where the children are. Tell Mother Mary you need to take a breather. Ask her to watch over the kids. Do this at least once a day. She is there with you, and she will work with you and them.

  232. Greg April 25, 2016 at 11:00 am #

    I’m a 49-year-old male with a 4-month-old daughter (as well as 9 other kids). Not offended. Love the post!

  233. Lg April 25, 2016 at 1:43 pm #

    The best comments on here are the grandmas just lifting up and encouraging the younger generation, both moms and not-moms….rich or poor…single or married. We learn from each other.

    Women, be good to each other. No one is having a contest to see who has a harder life, certainly not the blogger.

    Just be good to each other. Life is challenging no matter what…the human condition. Life is also short.

  234. Maggie April 26, 2016 at 7:18 am #

    Hard is seeing every women you know get to have a child while your womb remains empty…that’s the definition of hard.

  235. Jenny Albertson April 26, 2016 at 2:49 pm #

    I was having a guilty day…week. I felt guilty about everything lately. Today I felt guilty that I didn’t go with my daughter to her preschool field trip that she wanted me to go on. Found this at a really good time for me. Thanks for your words. It helps to know that all moms feel guilty for silly or random things. Just normal things even. I see a lot of friends who I think are doing everything right and I feel like I do almost everything wrong somedays. But that’s something that we all have to work on.

    • Bob B April 30, 2016 at 6:21 am #

      I know! It’s that fear of missing out that plagues all of us parents. “They’ll never have another first field trip again!” “I’ll always regret not going to this soccer practice!” You want to be there for every moment but it’s just not possible (or healthy to try). And the worst part of it is how it’s so easy to say that, but so hard to really believe!

  236. Dana April 26, 2016 at 11:21 pm #

    Spot on. A friend and I have been having a similar conversation multiple times lately, and then she sent me your blog. You have put my thoughts so eloquently into words.

  237. Jonesie April 27, 2016 at 8:24 am #

    WOW! She SO gets me! This is my current stage and the guilt is real! Brought me to tears reading this!

  238. Kate April 27, 2016 at 12:44 pm #

    Re: the article –I never heard any of this from my mum who bought up 3 kids starting with me I982 … We’ve gone mad trying to think we have it do it all and be it all. It’s really sad

  239. Mike Markovski April 27, 2016 at 2:20 pm #

    What a beautifully written piece on the joys and struggles of mothethood. Hayley you did an amazing job of revealing the struggles,joys, and all emotions in between of being a mother.

    As a writer myself very impressed with how you captured the mom’s experience for the reader to understand this amazing time period.

    My wife is my HERO!

    Bravo!!

    Mike Markovski [Happily married 27 years and three grown sons]

    Author of The Peace Perspective
    thepeaceperspective.com

  240. Alison April 28, 2016 at 6:06 am #

    Excellent!!! You are so very right. All your suggestions are spot on.

    I am a mom to 9 in my early 40’s. I really, really like 40. There are new challenges, and some of the same (hint: you will always need date nights), and there may still be babies.

    The best part of 40 is you have grown into your own skin & your family life. If you had those little people in your 30’s they are older now and can pour their own milk, dress themselves, & get a shower without your help!

    Please enjoy your 30’s they are wonderful. If you are drowning, please know- it definitely gets different, lol!

  241. Suzanne April 28, 2016 at 1:12 pm #

    I’ll be forty later this year, but I thought this was great. Sniffle sniffle.

  242. Hanna April 28, 2016 at 10:57 pm #

    #firstworldproblems

  243. Erica April 30, 2016 at 1:36 am #

    Relevant to any mother of any age. Life with kids is hard but beautiful. That’s the point.

  244. Kayla Floyd April 30, 2016 at 2:39 am #

    Hayley! I read your post when a friend shared it on Facebook, and it touched me so deeply that I responded in an article that was picked up by elephant journal! 🙂 Check it out!! I linked you. 🙂 Thanks for your beautiful, eloquent, inspiring words. http://www.elephantjournal.com/2016/04/how-a-mystical-momma-manages-real-life-parenting/

  245. Susan April 30, 2016 at 2:49 am #

    For me, the most offensive line is where you sink to including “knowing” someone whose lost a child to your endless list of moans and niggles about being a mother. I have lost a child to sepsis. In the morning she was healthy and virbant and growing up. By bedtime she was dead.

    Being a mother to healthy, happy children is not hard. It should be a pleasure. I’m sorry you (and other commentators) find it so hard to enjoy your own chidren, and I’m puzzled that you find comfort and solace in elevating everyday ups and downs to some heroic feat. However, next time you write, perhaps be mindful that there are mothers out there whose big problem isn’t a messy room or a bad night.

  246. Bob B April 30, 2016 at 6:16 am #

    Great article. My wife loves it too. Applies to dads as well (well most of it!). We’re going through a lot of this same stuff. My wife and I both work and we share the guilt and experiences you’re describing. It’s amazing but it’s true that it’s so easy to lose your true self in the personal of “mom” or “dad”. I hope everyone reading this has a support network like you describe as well; we’re not so fortunate as our families live 10+ hrs or more away and werecently moved to a location not so close to our good friends (though we’re thinking of rectifying that. Yay moving! Again!) We’re each other’s support network!

  247. Lisa April 30, 2016 at 4:23 pm #

    Vaccines do have a clear answer, thankfully! When every single health organization in the world agrees, arriving at a different conclusion based on “internet articles” is not an option worth considering 🙂

  248. Jocelyn May 3, 2016 at 2:03 pm #

    My friend just sent me the link to this. So what I needed to read today! Everyone, should have to read this… husbands, friends that are not yet at this stage, parents who have forgotten what it was like at this stage, etc. Sometimes I just need to ignore the phone ringing without having to have an elaborate excuse as to why I did when I call back, if I’m able to call back. Sometimes I need to be able to say no to something without having to have a huge life changing excuse as to why I can’t. Thank you for helping me and others to see that this is a real life struggle and while it is a blessing to be a mom it is still hard to juggle the other roles you play in life.

  249. Bill May 4, 2016 at 7:54 am #

    I’m a dad. Thanks for disenfranchising me at the get go.

  250. Audrey May 4, 2016 at 8:32 am #

    HI! I need to thank you for your words. I shared this in my page and more than 2000 moms did feel identified with your words! Thanks for sharig it!

    Audrey from Playa del Carmen México

  251. Aby May 4, 2016 at 12:18 pm #

    I lo ved this!!
    I like you write some like this but in case of be The father…. It would be interesting too.

  252. Glenn May 4, 2016 at 5:28 pm #

    You lost me at mom. This is sexist because I am a dad.

  253. Mom of teenagers May 6, 2016 at 8:24 am #

    I thought overall this was very true. I am 34 with 3 teenagers, one graduating in 3 weeks! My hormones are all over the place due to surgical menopause. My children always have something for me to do, and I run around like a crazy person. It does not get any easier, but man I wouldn’t trade a single moment for anything!! Your children are only children one time, then they move on, you don’t get redos! The point of this was cherish every moment, understand you will have struggles, take some time for yourself and spouse, and don’t think you are alone….everyone feels this way! It doesn’t matter how old you are, if your the mom or the dad, if your single or married….. Know that life is not perfect, but you will get through this, and you will miss it!!! Trust me….like I said my oldest child is graduating, she can’t get read of me lately lol ( just to put this out there….my husband and I go to everything out children do, 3 football games a week, volleyball, track,golf,baseball,theatre,boy scouts,cheer, pageants) yes it’s a struggle, but worth it all!

  254. Nicole May 9, 2016 at 1:04 am #

    It’s even harder when you don’t drink coffee or wine! lol! Seriously, though…. I absolutely LOVE this post. Thank you so much for this!!! It’s exactly what I needed today.

  255. Carina May 9, 2016 at 11:16 pm #

    I wish I was dealing with 3 kids ranging in age from 2 to 8, but I’m not, because me eldest son died when he was 4. He should be 8.

    I guess if he didn’t die, I would also today be blabbing on about the crap you seem to worry about.

    Good Luck, and please take a moment to enjoy your perfect, hard life.

  256. Emma Shilton May 12, 2016 at 3:07 am #

    Pretty much agreed with the whole of this post! Life is hard and it really is the best time of our lives, we just need to remember that amongst the toddler tantrums, crumbs on the floor and snot covered clothes..x

  257. lorri May 12, 2016 at 6:30 am #

    I was just thinking yesterday I’m glad I made it through those years and didn’t give up; there were times that hated for him to kiss or touch me. Now almost 22 laters, two kids and two very demanding jobs later, we are so close and have one child who graduated and another entering high school. Stay strong, it gets better…and worse and better and worse and BETTER!

  258. Mary May 14, 2016 at 10:10 am #

    Let me offer a few thoughts.

    This piece offers some wonderful validation to moms who are struggling with the challenges of parenting young, energetic children. (Those in the trenches may really need daily doses of validation and support. Yes, parenting small kids can be really tough on some or most days.)

    Here are some other perspectives that came to mind.

    The age reference may be tied to the author’s residency in Texas, where younger parenting is the norm, unlike some other sections of the United States. The age reference stood out to some of us older moms of young children; at the same time, most of us do recognize we are above the median age of most first-time moms. For a wider audience, the age reference was off-putting and somewhat unnecesarry. For a mom relating to and reaching out to her youthful, suburban Texas peers, it probably seemed appropriate.

    At the same time, the age reference and some of the other material suggested the author has limited points of comparison. (Her circle may be largely made up of suburban moms with healthy small children, promising husbands, most of whom in their early 30s. That may be the normal of her world and even in a good chunk of the country.)

    The piece could be rounded out with a few additional perspective of gratitude. In many ways, the author has “good problems” to possess.

    As many posters point out, they are dealing with singleness, the desire to be married and ticking clocks, infertility, miscarriages, loss of a child, loss of a spouse to death or divorce, single parenting with its goods and bads, personal and family illnesses, parenting of disabled children, aging parents, the conditions of second- and third-world countries, etc.

    So, yes, the piece offers such much-needed validation for weary moms. It’s just that the piece needs to take a bigger life view and bigger world view. Hey, some of that comes with time and perspective.

    Having note the above, the blogger started a dialogue to a much-bigger conversation.

    Let’s try to all support each other, regardless of age and life circumstances. Let’s also try to remember to find additional perspective through moments of intentional gratitude. Let’s look for ways to valid each other in all of the various challenges.

  259. Linda May 15, 2016 at 9:40 am #

    It is hard! And you will be exactly who you are meant to be on the other side as you continue on your journey.
    I am simply throwing in all of my love, encouragement and experience in telling all of you, as a person on the other side of my journey…..
    Soak this time in, you don’t get a do over.
    Pay attention because your decisions do not show their outcomes for years and by then your influence has already happened.
    Allow yourself and your children to try things and make mistakes, experiences are invaluable, learn from them.
    Love yourself. Your kids will know and who they become is based on the love that was around them as they grew
    I remember all of the guilty feelings that Hayley mentions. Oh the guilt!
    The best I can say is to harness that as energy. Energy to push through, to make careful choices, to be more reflective and to learn how to turn guilt into self confidence. When I felt guilty, I had to learn how to say no to that feeling and tell myself I was doing the right things. I really think I grew from the guilt.
    At 51, though this article was not really about age, I am in a new stage of life. Embrace your stage and circumstances.
    It’s so hard and so worth it!

  260. jbd May 15, 2016 at 3:01 pm #

    I do not think it is tough….it is what i signed up for. I made the choice to get married and have kids…

    Even better is that I am dad…who works full time and raises his two kids full time…while working out 6 days a week, doing the laundry, dishes, cooking, cleaning, taking my kids to practices, etc..etc…all so my wife can go to school full-time and do rotations and become a doctor. All this while I went back to school myself and finished my administration degree and educational specialist…

    I have never questioned my identity, or the choices I make…because I do everything in the best interest of my family…

    So I do not need to any of the above…i just need to keep on livin and enjoy what I have…because it may not always be this way…

    If having kids and raising them is really that tough…maybe people should do something different, because if you need all that to be a successful parent…then maybe your not suited to be one…

  261. Jullian May 16, 2016 at 1:43 am #

    ***REGARDING AGE***

    Many of you missed that she wrote, “(Give or take a few, on all of the above mentioned stats).”

    This means a span of a “few” years from mid-thirties in either direction from 20’s to 40’s.

    A woman is always so concerned about age! I’m 50-year-old a dad of five and my wife is 38. We are OK with age…because we are not old.

    People spend their whole lives thinking they are old. What a waste of confidence.

    Relax!

  262. KJ May 16, 2016 at 3:38 am #

    Great Blog! I think all mothers no matter what age can relate to. We are all juggling/multitasking whatever you want to call it as mothers, its good to know we are not alone in this journey!

  263. Kate May 16, 2016 at 9:05 am #

    Although i have not as yet become a parent ( i want to) I can see the pain from those who may not be able to conceive, on the point i made earlier, i was not so blunt. But i feel i may be now.
    Parenting is a wonderful gift and i just wonder why these days there are so many people complaining about how hard it is. Bringing up children has been a part of life for centuries, i don’t understand why people feel like they need a ‘medal’ or these days or why they feel they need to be so perfect?!
    Maybe i will if i become a Mum but i think we need to just to our best and not put so must pressure on ourselves. There is no perfect parent, only a parent who follows their instincts and accepts that they won’t always be right and may not get things right all the time. That is ok. Enjoy it, i know i would say that to myself every day if i was lucky enough to become a Mum

  264. Anonymous May 16, 2016 at 9:38 pm #

    I am a mother of 5 a 16 year old,15 ,12, 6, and the last one is turning 3 . I am the age of 36 and I loved this article . In life people worry about all kinds ,now who are we to judge and call people weird .there is no book out there to tell us how to be a perfect parent ,and that’s OK because nothing in life is perfect . A humain is very intelligent but it’s how you present it and absorb it .Yes it’s hard everyday with 5 kids homeschooled but nothing in life is easy, make the best of it each day with lot’s of laughter, smiles and PATIENCE;) and like the article says “it’s our best years of our lives .” Now whether you are in your early 30 ,40, 50 …. Any age It does not matter ,what matters is that you are in the same boat like every other mom . As for the worries that goes through our heads for everything ,it’s normal it’s because we love our children ,if we had none that does not make us a mom:) so enjoy the crazy time that we are in!

  265. Mark May 17, 2016 at 9:08 am #

    Because only mom’s experience this stuff. Not dad’s.

  266. Carrissa May 17, 2016 at 12:11 pm #

    Such a great read! There couldn’t be truer words!

  267. Karla May 17, 2016 at 3:12 pm #

    I don’t really ever get to finish reading blogs. But I saw this piece in my Facebook feed and I couldn’t stop reading.
    So refreshing and right onthe money. It made me feel emotional as I read every word. Truth is powerful. Thank you for your honesty and your words. It’s nice to not feel alone on the roller coaster of parenting.

  268. Charity May 17, 2016 at 10:30 pm #

    I’m going to be 40 in a few months. My daughter is two. I live where most women my age have preteens, teens, and a few of my contemporaries are grandmother’s. So what? So certain age was alluded to. So what? So I’m freaking tired all the time? So I’m not young enough to always keep up with my daughter. So what? Am I offended? Did I feel I couldn’t relate? No and no. Being almost 40 is hard. Having a toddler at this age us no picnic. Would I change anything? No. Life is what it is, and I choose to find the beauty and enjoy it!

  269. Bella May 17, 2016 at 11:05 pm #

    try having all that 100 fold with autism and intellectual disorder as well mixed in for good measure…then you know your alive!!

  270. Elena May 17, 2016 at 11:12 pm #

    Lol awwww look at all the old cry baby moms crying about being offended by the ages mentioned. If you’re an old mom, you’re an old mom get over it. There’s pros and con’s to both young and old so who cares we’re all moms stop being offended about everything.

  271. Michaela May 18, 2016 at 8:24 am #

    This is so perfect!! I’m mid thirties, pregnant with baby number three and my five year old has an ear infection and just got over the stomach virus, lol. I feel like this came into my life at the exact right time. Thank you for this lovely article and thank you for reminding me that I need to slow down, let the house stay a mess and just hold my growing babies a little longer…and sit on the porch in silence after they fall asleep. Thank you!

  272. Joy May 18, 2016 at 12:59 pm #

    Elena, must you be so rude and offensive?

  273. Kate May 18, 2016 at 2:45 pm #

    Spare a thought for those who are struggling with childlessness or miscarriage and not lucky enough to have a child and then be bombarded by this kind of rubbish shared on social media on a daily basis.
    Yes I’m sure you have tough days being a mom. Trust me it’s tougher wishing to be a mom when you have that choice taken away. Have some gratitude and stop complaining.

  274. Mercy May 18, 2016 at 4:20 pm #

    I never even comment on blogs. But I just had to tell you that this is an AMAZING post. It validates every single thing I feel e every day as a mom of two. I kept nodding my head like YES, YES, YES after every sentence. And at the end I cried. It’s like you got in my head and expressed every one of my feelings and thoughts.

  275. Michelle May 18, 2016 at 9:26 pm #

    Try feeling all of these things at 45, instead of 35… Because you’ve been trying to have children for over a decade. That is my world.

  276. J May 18, 2016 at 11:28 pm #

    I’m a single male parent in my 30’s living the life of raising 3 kids ages 4, 5, and 9. I know I haven’t shared the same experiences as a mother would, but I’m still absolutely enamored with my children and work everyday to be here with them. With that said, I found this article to be spot on! Whatever happens in my life tomorrow, I know that these moments are what I will miss the most. Thanks for sharing. Beautifully written and obviously from the heart!

  277. Hayley May 19, 2016 at 1:07 am #

    I cried.

    I am laying on the couch with my youngest of four asleep in my arms. Holding him a little closer because of your words.

    I have struggled these last six months with insecurities, identity issues and sadness. Not sure if I’m coping or doing the right things. Guilt consumes me daily.

    My marriage is falling apart and I don’t want it to. I want to do more for myself but can’t find the time. I want more for my kids but how? I needed to read this, thank you.

  278. Angie May 19, 2016 at 5:01 am #

    I took what I related to in this, felt saddened by what I couldn’t relate to (on a personal level not to do with the post) and joyous in what resonated. A wonderful post. To the huge scroll down of playground bickering take what you need from what you read and see the good, CHOOSE to discard what doesn’t serve you and if you are really feeling bitter about someone’s own personal account of womanhood then I suggest to really reflect on that and work on it as it could be an issue within yourself) thankyou for a truly authentic insight into being a mum

  279. Elaine May 19, 2016 at 6:00 am #

    What’s with the emphasis on guilt? Are mothers supposed to feel guilt regardless of whether they’ve chosen to work or stay at home? or had the option of choice?

  280. Stephanie May 19, 2016 at 1:38 pm #

    Thanks for this. Just…..thanks 🙂

  281. Lindsay May 19, 2016 at 7:51 pm #

    I feel like you took these words right out of my head.. I so can relate to every sentence you wrote! I am thankful to know that ITS NOT JUST ME! I feel relieved to know that there is another Mom out there going through the exact same feelings, experiences, thoughts and emotions.. such a great read! I am so glad you shared! We Moms have so much to balance, I am amazed you were able to capture so much of what we do in one article!

  282. Yakyak24 May 19, 2016 at 10:20 pm #

    Austin Mom.. I enjoyed your blog.. Yes, it is hard ! very hard. and agree with all your mentioned about the struggle of raising children and never having time for yourself.. I do that prayers is a must it somehow helped me when I grew up in a family of 9 siblings ! yes I said 9 siblings.. I often wondered after having my own two children how my mother she manage it. She also cared for almost all of her 23 grandchildren too ! At at age 83 yrs. she is still active and has a strong connection with her children and grandchildren and even her great-grand children. I believe with all my heart is is her prayers and love. That helped her through diffictult times.
    So to all your moms & dads, believe in yourself, trust in God and even though it is hard always Yes, ask for help; take time out for each other. The kids will be fine for a Night or two.

    Congratulations all you wonderful Moms of today ! Love, Love, Love

  283. Joanie May 20, 2016 at 6:55 am #

    People are judging the article too closely. She expressed that she knows the stage of life is hard and encourages you to try your best and not judge yourself too hard. My husband and I have now raised 7, the youngest graduating high school in two weeks, the oldest is 32. What I will say looking back is that all those crazy, difficult days and weeks and months and years blur into joy looking at my kids. I miss those moments greatly. Just pause and be with them when you can. They will not judge how “not perfect” you were, but they will remember that you really really valued them. Incidentally, my dad died when I was 7, and the greatest thing I recall about him is that he really liked being with us: watching cartoons, buying tomatoes off the vegetable truck in the summer, pulling us on a sled in the snow.

  284. emi May 20, 2016 at 8:04 am #

    I read this on my hour bus ride back home. Like so many, I am juggling all my balls in the air in that I am a working step-mother. Some of comments have brought a smile whilst others have raised an eyebrow.
    Biologically my daughters aren’t mine, but I found so many life echos in this article, its spot on! Regardless of your age and your circumstances I think being a mum is both the hardest and most profoundly incredible experience that any woman can live. I have days where I colapse with under all the stress… (that I put on my shoulders). Always striving to be a better mum. …the type of mum I want to be….the type of mum that I feel they deserve. Of course I am starting to understand that perfection is impossible goal. Its taken me nearlly four years of step-motherhood to get to that thought. Should we focuss on alination…lol how rediculous!! We should aplaude her honesty!!
    A truely beautifull article. Thank you.

  285. Jon May 20, 2016 at 1:34 pm #

    Dang. This deserves some kind of metal or award, or something. My wife just sent me this post while I was working in my office at home. I read it, and immediately went downstairs to hug her and thank her for all she does for us. When I got there she was in tears – this whole thing resonated so deeply in her. Thank you for writing this. Gave me a little window into what I already know, but sometimes move to quickly past – MY WIFE WORKS HARD.

  286. Rendi May 21, 2016 at 2:57 pm #

    Wow, what an amazing read! And with tears streaming down my face I went on to read the comments and was even more saddened by what I read. Why do we as women feel the need to bash, accuse, dishearten, one another. This is just a blog post and is this mother’s perspective. I am a 29 year and working mother to two boys ages 3 and 9. My husband and I have been a couple for 13 wonderful yet trying years. No one lives in a perfect world, we all have our struggles. I had the pleasure of being a stay at home mom with my first and went back to work when my second was 8 months old. I have been on both spectrums and neither is easy. My husband works 12 shifts at night 60-80 hours a week an yes sometimes I feel like a single mom when we are only able to by pass each other going to and from work. What I am trying to say is that what someone might think is a perfect life for some may not be so perfect. We are all mother’s and that is something to celebrate not scold one another based on their own personal beliefs. We all know the struggles as mother’s. Something that gets me is seeing us not getting along and lifting each other up. Why do we create all this hate? Why do we belittle other moms because of the way they handle things differently than we do? There needs to be major changes in this world or we will make this world we have come crashing down. I purpose a movement that we all as mother’s lift each other up, listen when someone is crying for help, and encourage each other to be best mother’s we can be. ?❤

  287. lyn May 22, 2016 at 8:55 pm #

    I did not have energy or emotional strength to read all the response, but please appreciate that you were so lucky to have a husband, a couple of kids and your family is healthy and happy and you got just what you dreamed of. If you thought it would be perfect, you were living in a dream bubble.

    There are many many many many of us who never found the man, had the children, bought the house, remodelled the house, sold the house, bickered with a spouse, had a power struggle with a stubborn child….

    We thought we did everything we could to do that, and now we are 41 and alone.

    You are being extremely insensitive in your post.

    Good luck super mommy.

  288. Vanessa May 25, 2016 at 10:42 am #

    Why does everyone want a medal these days for doing what parents have been doing since the beginning of time? I am about the author’s age, mother of 2 and this article made me sigh, not cry. I know I am very lucky to have a husband who does a lot for us. My mother raised 4 kids and was the primary breadwinner and caretaker (once she was home from work) for most of it. I know she would find this piece overdramatic, as it screams “entitlement generation”. How about we give parents a medal when the kids have become caring and responsible teenagers/adults?

    • S August 13, 2016 at 4:22 pm #

      Or how about we do give each other medals because parenting IS HARD and sometimes we just need to cheer each other on?!

  289. alice williamson May 25, 2016 at 11:47 am #

    I so agree with so much of what Austin mom had to say. I have not sat and read all of the comments that everyone else has posted but there is one thing that I believe you have left out. I am a 64 1/2 year old grandma, who has three children. I know all about frustration and its many forms. The one thing you left out is you have to have strength and faith in God as tje center of everything you do to keep it all together.

  290. Life May 25, 2016 at 6:36 pm #

    Whatever

  291. Rachel May 26, 2016 at 11:32 pm #

    This stage of life I’m 47 with a five-year old. I worked 40 hours, came home, grabbed her from hubby, took her to Girl Scouts, brought her home, bathed her, and begged her to go to sleep. I’m too tired to attach the writer of this article, perhaps she too is simply exhausted raising her family to think about how stereotyping “mom” age might get lots of you in a tizzy. Read the rest of it, and simply relate to the commonalities.

  292. MARYLOU June 1, 2016 at 12:29 pm #

    I am 57 and a grandma.. Relax .. Your doing a fine job.. Just smile ,hug ’em all the time.. smile .love with open arms.. smile .. You have this whipped .. smile 🙂

  293. Kiki June 3, 2016 at 12:58 pm #

    I think I get Purple’s point about feeling like an outsider. It may not have been the intent of the author to exclude any mother (and yes, Austin’s mom did add a disclaimer at the end of the second paragraph, but by leading with the definining statement, “I’m talking right now to you moms who are in your early to mid 30’s,” it makes it seem as if age is a relevant, no, critical detail to the argument that will follow. It’s kind of set up as the thesis statement. Being in your 30s is hard. Which really isn’t the thesis at all.

    So, to my mind, it reads like this: This stage of life is hard? What stage of life? Being in your mid 30s is hard. What about being in your mid 30s… having kids in your 30s is hard.

    If she’d started off instead with, “I’m talking right now to you moms of young children, newborns to 7 or 8 year olds, one or many…” then the common bond is motherhood, not the age group. Raising young children is a hard stage of life.

    See what I mean? It’s just the syntax is backwards. So if you’re not in your early to mid 30s, you might keep reading, but with a mental filter on to see what’s different about your experience to what’s described, as someone out of the focus demographic, in either direction, or to see if any of what’s said relates to mothers who aren’t that age. So it becomes a hunt for inclusion, not an automatic hey yeah, this is gonna be about me!

    In truth, the age of the mother matters not. So it’s really not a relevant detail, and probably would have worked just as well, or resonated with even more readers, if age had been left out of the discussion altogether. Or at least brought up later in the post. Because the basic tasks of raising little kids is pretty much challenge for everyone.

  294. Maria June 4, 2016 at 4:15 pm #

    Hey I admit only skimming your article, but I’d like to tell you this: YOURE DOING A GREAT JOB!!! Enjoy those kiddies and the messes. Embrace it all. You and everybody who commented both pro and con: stop worrying about what everbody thinks. This stage will pass soon enough believe it or not. The grow up, they move out ( or not) and then u miss it all and wish they were little again. So I repeat: YOU ARE DOING A GREAT JOB because you love them.

  295. SingleRev June 6, 2016 at 2:02 pm #

    I hope you all realized how blessed you are just to have kids…whatever age.

  296. Melanie June 8, 2016 at 9:44 pm #

    I have read, re-read, and read again something that feels like it’s been pulled from my own brain! Thank you. What I’ve come to appreciate is the power of such blogs (those that weren’t there for my own mom or hers) to bring out into the open… such raw truth so that I can sit back a minute and say, “it’s ok. You are obviously one of many, not a lone wolf in such a situation” What a privilege I have to be rearing children in this day and time regardless of the other negative forces that this day in time presents. Thanks again for the well written, personal, REAL, perspective!

  297. Pam June 10, 2016 at 8:31 am #

    I enjoy these blogs that have become so popular. They remind me of a different phase of mothering. I have 5 children ages 32-13. Every phase is hard, for different reasons. I didn’t have a blog to read (that could possibly let me know how I wasn’t alone,) on those nights when I was doubting every decision on child rearing I ever made. How wonderful mothers have this now.
    What I don’t understand is the bitterness of some of these women who reply.
    If you don’t have children, why are you reading this blog and lashing out at the author? If she didn’t include your age, so what? The article is trying to give comfort to women who need a lift. A pat on the back. Motherhood is universal and ageless. This really isn’t a place to inflict the pain you are obviously feeling.
    Keep up your blog honey…just wait until you catch your first kid sneaking out one night!

  298. Christy June 14, 2016 at 6:41 pm #

    Sweet but kinda made me laugh out loud a little because this life stage you’re talking about being “hard” is absolutely nothing compared to raising teenagers. Brace yourself because it gets so very infinitely more difficult.

  299. Meghan June 15, 2016 at 11:07 pm #

    Wow – i think you’ve been reading my mind! So true for where I’m at in life right now with an 18 month old, 6 year old and 8 year old and three angels in heaven. *sniff*

  300. Evangeline June 17, 2016 at 12:09 am #

    Beautiful article. I remember in the mid 20s when I’d envy my friends who were getting married and a decade later, some are divorced and going through a rough time…

    It’s not easy to spend quality time with the husband when there’re kids around the house fighting for attention. Your point is spot on, to be okay leaving the kids behind once in a while and have some couple time:)

  301. Gayatri Ganatra June 20, 2016 at 11:17 pm #

    There are times when u can’t express how you are feeling..reading your article makes me feel that you have wonderfully described each and everything that one feels at this stage..each and every line made me feel yes that how I am feeling right now..that’s how things are in my life now..you have a gift for writing..very well written

  302. Road2Baby June 23, 2016 at 8:31 am #

    Imagine being this stage in your life and NOT able to have kids at all? THAT’S hard. I would gladly take ALL of these things that you say are hard, just to have a baby in my arms. I would gladly lose sleep, spend all of my money, take up all of my spare time with children. Those are blessings. Be thankful for what you have, because there are so many that are deserving of it that can’t have it.

  303. Nosfera2 June 23, 2016 at 6:58 pm #

    I guess. I get the the author is tired and overwhelmed; I get it. However, her problems are definitely “first world”:
    “In this stage of life, you are bombarded daily with a whole host of decisions. Some of them life-changing, some of them not. None of them with clear cut answers. Do I vaccinate my kids? Do I not? Do I send them to public school? Homeschool? Charter school? Do I continue to breastfeed? Do I blow the budget so that I can buy all organic? Do I force my child to apologize, even though the apology will be insincere?”

    Seriously? “Do I vaccinate?” Boo hoo, what school do I send them to? Do I buy organic? THESE are your “problems”? This is life, lady, stop complaining and be grateful for your luxurious choices. I look at my parents’ and grandparents’ generation who grew up in the Depression, and this lady is complaining over having a job and choosing whether or not to buy organic or make her children apologize? When did we turn into such self-indulgent “I need a bubblebath” whiners? I imagine the backlash is coming.

  304. Stacy June 26, 2016 at 4:00 pm #

    This article is a millennial pity party. Grow up and quit looking for validation everywhere. Life is “hard” always. It will never be easy so deal with it. No one ever knows the right decision until you make it and experience the consequences, good or bad. Look at all of your participation trophies, drink a glass of whine and remember that families brought up in the depression era had it hard and there was no whining.

  305. Chris June 26, 2016 at 8:34 pm #

    I completely agree with this article. I am a stay at home mother to 5 kiddos ages 1.5yr to 10yr old. I would totally embrace this if it were not for my in laws who think I need to have a house that is 1950s clean all the time, ie in showable condition like your selling it. And if it is not they threaten to call child services for endangering my kids……….. Luckily for me there won’t be many more years with them around to run my life as they are older (mid 80s). I have 4 of my 5 kiddos who have special medical needs that require frequent visits and follow ups to our regular dr and specialists at the children’s hospital over 2hr away. He just doesn’t understand and has many times that I have made up my kids medical diagnoses.

  306. Laureen Rowson July 3, 2016 at 2:45 pm #

    I cried when I read this article. It is very true and more.. I had twin boys at 26 and that meant raising them in my thirties. I pray for all you wonderful moms who stay at home or chose to work. Remember you are special and are doing the best you can. Happy bubbles.

  307. A. B. July 6, 2016 at 4:47 pm #

    I am one of those “every single older person you ever meet” who will tell you you’re going to miss this stage. This was beautifully written and very true. The good news is…..the next stage is just as good, but in different ways. You still won’t have all the answers, but you’ll have enough, and there will be new things to cherish about the next stage of life you enter. And the one after that and the one after that….. I still miss babies, toddlers, pre-schoolers, and school-aged kids. But I love the relationships I get to have with my 28, 26, 18, and 16 year olds. Every stage of life is hard in its own way, and every stage is beautiful in its own way. The trick is to enjoy each one to the fullest while you’re in it. Don’t wish for what you once had or what you’ll have later. Enjoy where you are now.

  308. Kathleen Glischinski July 6, 2016 at 10:58 pm #

    My babies are 31,30& 27. Yes it’s true some times have been easier than others, but the reality is “it has all been worth it every step of the way”! No matter where you are in life or how old your children are you will always find hard times. We love our children with every breath, childless people can never comprehend this type of love. The older they get, the more we worry. The more life they’re exposed to the more we worry. As we let them go, little by little, the harder it gets. I could go on, but I hope you can see that our children grow, different worries about them occupy our minds and it is all quite hard – they are still our babies. I want everyone who reads this to know that no matter how hard it may seem at the time, and every hard time passes, it is worth it every step of the way. Knowing what I know now….I’d do it again in a heartbeat <3!

  309. Cassie July 7, 2016 at 12:50 pm #

    And they need the Thrive Experience!!!! I have never believed in something to help with ALL of the above more!!!!! Take care of yourself nutritionally!!!!
    It’s been a true godsend!!

  310. Gina July 7, 2016 at 8:23 pm #

    Yes these are hard times but let’s call it challenging but when you are older and your children leave to start their own families you will look back and realize those days were the best times of your life! Savor ever laughter every tear every struggle and new experience for you to will realize someday that your memories of these times are what you will always cherish!

  311. Naqs July 9, 2016 at 3:17 am #

    Phenomenal. You took everything I feel and know in my heart and perfectly articulated it in words. Made me smile and cry. Very talented!

  312. Carrie July 11, 2016 at 4:41 am #

    Love it! But not all of us are lucky enough to have all you mentioned. Sometimes that comes later. I’m 38 with a 5 year old. The age range she mentioned is SPOT ON. I wasn’t offended when she mentioned having a third, fourth kiddo. I won’t lie, having a child at 33 was easy & uneventful pregnancy, but christ im exhausted with one now! At 38, I feel too old to have another (thankfully we’re happy with one) I don’t think it would be easy, id be exhausted. We’re ment to have babies younger, if I could have, I would have in my late 20’s, but I didn’t meet my spouse until I was 29 & he is a little younger than me. I feel this is right for me, having a child going into school in 7 weeks! GASP!!! Where did my baby go?? Time goes by too fast, don’t fret over age. In contrast, my mom was 21 when she had me & im very glad to have a ‘young’ mom who will be married 40 years next month! 🙂

  313. Angela July 12, 2016 at 1:58 pm #

    OH my! Thank you. You put it into words. This is so beautiful and raw and accurate.

  314. Mohamed August 5, 2016 at 2:33 am #

    Can dads comment too? ..:)

    This was a God sent read for me and my wife…no wonder paradise are at the footsteps of mothers.

    God bless you all hardworking, selfless, and totally burnt out moms.

  315. Rachael August 11, 2016 at 11:17 am #

    I am 43 and childless. My husband and I both decided we didn’t want children. We are more than happy being an Aunt and Uncle. I have so much respect for moms it is unbelievable and I truly don’t get how they do it at this stage. I think it would be overwhelming for a lot of people including myself. I get comments and questions from people all the time about why I don’t want children. This article sums up perfectly why we don’t want children. Our marriage is solid, we are very happy in love and we are financially set. I hope that doesn’t offend anyone. That being said I have so much respect for moms especially at this stage because I’ve seen how difficult it can be by watching my sisters raise their kids. But I can’t help but wonder how much children affect women’s marriages.

  316. Mark August 11, 2016 at 11:42 am #

    What I gathered from this article is that kids are a good way to destroy your marriage, mental health, and finances all at once. lol.

  317. N. August 12, 2016 at 1:25 am #

    wow. gulp. reading some of the responses above…is depressing and discouraging. I read the article and was impressed by what you said. After reading the responses, I was left asking “did we read the same article?”

    But, what I wanted to say, as a Mom who has raised my children, is that you’re right. Those years are tough. But, hang on! It is so worth it. One thing that I learned to pay attention to, that helped me a lot, was to examine my own expectations and pressures that I was putting on myself, and consider whether they were realistic or artificial things that came from what someone else had said I should do/know/think etc. For instance, I was nursing my baby and as soon as he was 6 months old there were some folks who began subtly pressuring me to wean him. I mean….constant barbs and comments…to the point that I began doubting myself. When he was 18months old, there was pressure from some to potty train. I had to re-think a lot of things. I had to sort out which things were right/reasonable for us and which things were someone else’s ideal. Some people seem to think they have a right and responsibility to critique your every decision. For single Moms this is even harder!

    Y’all are doing great! Keep hanging on–ignore pressure from folks who often have ulterior motives. Learn to say “no” to the people who think you should be their personal built-in babysitter/errand runner because you are a stay-at-home Mom. Learn to tune out the ones who criticize–face some people should learn that if they have nothing nice to say–they should say nothing. Cut yourself some slack when you need to.

  318. Gina August 13, 2016 at 4:01 am #

    This stage doesnt ever end, it called being a mom. Next is preteens, then teenagers, then adult children, then grandchildren. It doesnt get any easier. Don’t give false hope that it gets better because to be very honest, the old saying holds true. ..little kids, little problems. Big kids, big problems. Enjoy them while they are little!

  319. Char August 15, 2016 at 8:29 am #

    Choose your battles ladies. She meant no offense. I am at the end of my 50’s. I remember the days of guilt very well. I worked 2 jobs, but I did my best. My daughter is a stay at home mom and she struggles too. The point is, it’s never easy, at any age, at any time. And before you know it, your kids are grown and gone. And you will wish you had one last chance to hold on to their childhood. Enjoy life no matter what stage you are at.

  320. Home daddy August 17, 2016 at 4:48 pm #

    It’s s great read. I’m a stay at home dad with two boys 7 & 9. My husband works full time. The thoughts go through all the parents minds. Thank You.

  321. Emily Johnson August 17, 2016 at 7:25 pm #

    Haley thank you for sharing!! You inspired me to write this post on my blog

    http://beautifulboldandjuicy.com/2016/08/17/looking-may-change-life/

    Sending you a virtual hug 🙂 From 1 mom blogger to another 🙂

  322. Janet August 22, 2016 at 10:48 am #

    I’ve been there, I just thought it was difficult. I can tell you…it doesn’t get any easier than right now. There will come a day, when the toys disappear, the house is unually clean…and quiet. You won’t realize when it’s the last time they ask for a bedtime story, to be picked up, or need help with math…actually I don’t miss that one. They grow so fast. Can you tell I’m an empty-nester?

  323. Leah August 26, 2016 at 8:13 am #

    THANK YOU! Thank you so much for this. You couldn’t have hit the nail on the head any better! You are right! Every thing I just read I can relate to! I have 2 boys. They are 3 and 7 and a husband and then a house to look after. Knowing I am not alone helps and sipping my coffee while reading blogs like this while the boys watch cartoons makes my day!

  324. mo August 26, 2016 at 10:51 am #

    i respect your place in life, but wish to point out that most of the mothers i know with young kids (adopted or biological) are in their 40s. not to mention the 20s and 50s out there! it’s important for parents to be inclusive of each other. we need to stick together!

  325. Stopher August 27, 2016 at 9:34 am #

    lots of truths but I disagree with LOWERING YOUR EXPECTATIONS….keep them high…continue to reach and move forward. If your not growing, your dying.

    Sure it’s hard, but ‘settling’ with what is ‘expected’/ or the ‘norm’ is not in your (or your childs) best interest. Those who push the boundaries, exceed their own expectations, push all of us to improve and be better parents.

  326. Marlena August 29, 2016 at 9:52 pm #

    I came across your blog on facebook. I can’t even tell you how right on you are. Thank you for allowing us moms to connect to you and to know that we are not alone in this struggle. I am often torn with guilt. Guilt of working-guilt of playing around and not working-guilt, guilt, guilt.

    I am consumed with overthinking.every.single.thing. in life. The most important thing I can take away from your post is to pray. I pray everyday. But you see, I don’t take time to pray for me. I need to pray for myself and not feel guilty about it. Pray that I have the strength, the courage, the energy to be the mom and wife my family deserves. But also to be the best version of me that I can be for myself.

    In this very busy life, I am thankful that I took the time to read your post. <3

  327. Anonymous September 1, 2016 at 9:14 am #

    i like this article. it screams everything that has been my life for the last eight years. what i need MOST right now in this moment is A HOUSE and a job i can do that doesnt make me or ANYONE ELSE CRAZY! i had it all together before i got pregnant with my first and oldest child. i had a good job working in an office. we lived in a shitty apartment with bugs. not that we were dirty mind you – the entire complex was infested infact had a reputation for it BEFORE we moved in. but it was the cheapest place in town. WHEN THE RECESSION HIT IN 2007 i was pregnant with my oldest and gods help me i WASNT GOING TO RAISE A CHILD WITH BUGS. so i quit my job becuase i wasnt happy and moved on to a corporation that i thought was going to be better than the last. my mother offered us her place since she moved in with her then boyfriend now husband – i HATE that man. anyway. we moved in and being pregnant i didnt have the energy to keep it up and work. my husband was no help. IN FRUSTRATION I QUIT and found myself assed out of the job market there. so i tried going back to one of my old jobs. they would only hire me for a seasonal position since i was pregnant. so i took it begrudgingly and worked my ass off HOPING they would keep me. in the end they let me go at the end of the holiday season as promised I WAS LIVID. i really needed the job. for a while i did random jobs – delivering newspapers which made me MORE tired than i ever was. so the housework still didnt get done. my son was born on march 16 2008. we wound up homeless shortly there after and a large fight with my parents over my living situation led to estrangement. i havent talked to my mother or my father for about 8 years now and they ARE NOT ALLOWED TO SEE MY KIDS. there divorce was very nasty you see and all they do is fight with each other. anyway i digress. we wound up staying with a friend and i got a job at a restaurant. eventually i became lead hostess training for a server position but it still wasnt enough to pay rent only put food on the table BARELY. i applied for government assistance and was denied. i tried going back to a very old hat and attempting to join the armed services but that didnt work either – they wont take you if your a female with kids ( for the record my husband and i arent officially married, we had a ceremony yes ( could hardly qualify as a ceremony as i did everything and just BARELY it got off the ground)- but in the end the paperwork was too expensive for our budget.) anyway this friend she offered us a place and with a baby we took it, but it didnt last very long. nothing ever did nor does it, it seems. after that we bounced over to his grandmothers house after she offered and i started working for a staffing agency but again this was a night job, exhausted every single day i did what i could to make it and not be a burden on others. fights erupted constantly and we got the boot. we ended up moving from california to texas where things got a little easier but only JUST. we stayed with a friend for about 3 months before the apartment complex started asking questions. after that we found ourselves on government assistance and living in an extended stay HOTEL. while i love the HOTEL and what they have done for us as a corporation. ( they gave my husband a job ) i am currently 33 years old and i havent held a steady job in about 8 years. im begining to feel like the world has forsaken me. i try what i can but with some health problems i sometimes dont have alot of energy not like i used to. i do surveys but lately i havent qualified for very many so i barely make anything in comparison to what i used to. this is probably alot more than anyone wanted to know about me. and im sorry. im just feeling like the world is being more cruel than it has to be. these KIDS NEED A YARD AND A PLACE TO PLAY to be NORMAL KIDS! I NEED MORE SPACE to be a better me – the rooms are studio apartments. sometimes i think it will NEVER HAPPEN.

  328. Mary Ellen September 15, 2016 at 10:20 am #

    I am a 60-something and a couple of “stages” away from raising my two daughters. The link was shared on Facebook and since I’m intrigued by commentaries on parenting these days, I took the time to read the article. But what compelled me to respond was the criticism. I too disagree with some of the sentiments, but this was one woman’s story. All parents have stories and though there are similarities, they’re all different.

    In fact, no two stories are alike. For instance, maybe your children had to grow up with an alcoholic father. Maybe you had to watch your children struggle with the death of their father and feel helpless that you couldn’t cushion their despair. Or maybe your child has a serious illness and you wish you could juggle soccer and ballet instead of hospital visits. Or maybe you’re just a single parent and living with your mother. The list goes on.

    As I mentioned I do disagree with a few points. I don’t believe children love you more than they ever will. I think they need you more than they ever will. Love…purposeful, conscience, generous love comes later and in ways you can’t imagine. Or not. There are no guarantees.

    And why do young mothers today struggle so much with their identity and guilt? I wonder about the impact of the ever-present social media. The constant debate over every decision. Make whatever choice is best for you and your family and be steadfast in that decision. You can talk to your kids about peer pressure when they are in high school and truly struggling with their identity. And guilt? It’s a useless emotion. We all just do the best we can. We all fall short sometimes. We’re human.

    Here’s a warning: Every stage of life has its suffering and joy. You’re retired and have all the free time you dreamed of, but struggle with regrets or meaningful golden years. You nurture and develop wonderful friendships but watch some of them cope with serious, sometimes terminal illness. Your children are grown and you’re overjoyed by their accomplishments, yet watch with helplessness when they battle life’s occasional hurdle. You lose your parents. No one goes unscathed.

    Life is full of ups and downs, good and evil, rights and wrongs, beauty and ugliness, purpose and chance, good luck and bad, happiness and sadness, love and hate…and everything in between. That’s life. But it’s you’re life so live it your way. The only thing that is certain is change. So embrace the joy and even the pain, learn from both and move on. And for heaven’s sake ladies, apply those principles of love and acceptance that you teach your children to the women that you are so blessed to have in your life.

  329. Nicole September 23, 2016 at 12:00 pm #

    I am 34 and we have one child. I am incredibly sad that we most likely won’t have any more kids. I am infertile, with one tube that is mostly blocked. So I loved this article, most of it. But the part that got me was assuming you have to have more than one child. I’m already sad and part of me feels like a failure and not a real mom that we cannot give him a brother or sister. It is not my fault. I know that. But I am sad. He is an amazing 4 year old little by who we love with all our hearts. He is a true blessing since he was 10 weeks early and I literally almost died of my health issues. So we take what we can get after trying for 1.5 years to even get pregnant with him.

    • Nicx January 6, 2017 at 8:29 am #

      I’m not a parent – but I am an only child (now aged 42). Just teach your son how to defend himself, because that’s one thing I didn’t have the advantage of, no rough and tumble with a sibling or two before getting out in that cruel world, and I had no idea how to defend myself when it came to secondary school. Other than that, I’m fine and is hasn’t affected me being an only child. So what I’m saying is, don’t worry. 🙂

  330. Leah September 23, 2016 at 11:25 pm #

    While I found this article very realistic and well written from a mother’s perspective to a certain degree, I was also pretty taken aback at this paragraph, “This stage of life is less and less about watching your friends get married and have babies, and more and more about standing by and witnessing your friends struggle in their marriage, and even get divorced. It’s a stage where you’ve got to put in the time and the effort and the work and the energy to make sure your OWN marriage stays healthy. And that’s good, but it’s hard, too. At this point, you or someone you know has experienced infertility. Miscarriages. Loss of a child.” What point exactly is being made here? People who cannot have children experience unhealthy marriages or divorce more? Be more thankful that you have children because someone else doesn’t? This article lost me after this paragraph………I have been trying to get pregnant for 4 years………Thank you Mary Ellen for your eloquent words of wisdom. You made me feel better after reading this and wondering where exactly it is, that I fit in.

  331. Jen September 28, 2016 at 8:44 am #

    I’m 30 with a 5-year-old son and divorced. I’m working on advancing in my nursing career but otherwise I’d say my life is pretty simple. I’ve learned a long time ago to make my own decisions for me and my own and screw anyone else’s opinions. I vaccinate, put my son in public school, co-parent, work, etc. and I don’t feel guilty for a single bit of it. 🙂

  332. Nana October 3, 2016 at 1:29 pm #

    The article brought tears to my eyes. My kids are 24-33 and I have two grandkids. Those years are the hardest, most satisfying time. Everyone will have different opinions and experiences. Such is life. No need for anger. Believe me…life is short. And fast. And, there’s a new hurdle around every corner. Age isn’t important. Experience is. And, how you choose to experience it is up to you. Life is sweet…and a privilege.

  333. Susan Sanderson October 4, 2016 at 1:14 am #

    I really enjoyed this article! And bought tears to my eyes. Nice one 🙂

  334. Anonymous October 4, 2016 at 6:46 pm #

    some of these comments are so nasty..young moms, old moms–just be thankful you can have children! there are some of us out there who struggle with fertility problems and would love the chance to be called “mom” regardless of being 20, 30 or 40! being a parent is one of the most honorable, humbling experiences I’ve been told..so just be thankful that you can squeeze and love on that baby at whatever age you are.

    • Mandy October 19, 2016 at 12:29 pm #

      So true. And well said!

  335. Anonymous October 7, 2016 at 8:17 pm #

    , do your very best and do what you think is right take time for yourself and your marriage have a date night put the kids to bed have self time all these things will keep your marriage together and your family together you are strong and you can do this! My prayers go out for you every day and also my love for you and your children and your husband please know that you can pick up the phone and call anytime and if I can help I will UC great grandmas have had lots of experience and we love to give out information but please sincerely just do what you think is right and what your heart tells you and you’ll be ok you’re strong you can do this I love you very much

  336. Anna October 18, 2016 at 9:17 am #

    It was a great article and remember, it was from the author’s own experiences and her own opinion about the ups and downs of child-rearing days. It does not matter if you are 20 or 50, the problems of raising a family, going to school, working and being married are very similar for every mother and father. Some handle things differently and have different experiences. It does not make anyone totally right or totally wrong. The main thing to think about is that when one is living in this period of their lifetime, we really think this is going to be forever. At least, I think I did. I never thought about them growing into teens and heaven forbid, not into adulthood. They are so precious as small children and a parent can control their activities and surroundings easily. When they entered their teens, and they began to drive and move about on their own was harder for me. I was never ready for that age of independence and I had three spread over a ten year period, the first two being two years apart and the third seven years later. Then, when you think you have it all in check, they go off to college to live in some dorm room, sorority house, or apartment and you suddenly realize you do not have a clue what they are doing in their spare time. Luckily, all of mine survived college and so did I !! They have all grown into productive adults much too soon, with children of their own, however, to a mother, they are still and will always be your babies. Each stage is just different and each has its own set of ups and downs. Now, I look back over their lives and yearn for those days when they were small, all curled up in my lap, so innocent and still so much to learn and still a long way to go before growing up. I often say, “I would love to do it all over again”. I would worry less, play more, and make every day last as long as possible! And, you will, too!

    • Tina October 23, 2016 at 2:30 pm #

      Well said Anne.

  337. Mandy October 19, 2016 at 12:27 pm #

    Your article was beautiful. Thank you. I needed this today.
    Sometimes it’s very easy to feel alone. But we are all going through something in our days.
    All the best 🙂

  338. Meagan October 21, 2016 at 9:29 am #

    This morning has been a nightmare. I have asked God for patience and help all morning. I finally got my son off to school and the baby asleep and managed to make a descent breakfast for myself. I open facebook and this is the first thing that pops up. My prayers have been answered and I’m sitting here in tears knowing now that my frustrations are normal and there are some changes I can make to make it better.

  339. candy October 21, 2016 at 11:34 am #

    its also a choice….not everyone chooses this. for me..its hard cuz im selling my house (that i owned since about 24) & moving to another province (canada) into a new house. im also getting an operation after xmas….a hysterectomy simply cuz i want one. i choose not to have kids at age 5 & now im nearly 40. in canada if you’re 18 or older all you have to do is write a legal letter saying you know its a permanent sterilization procedure….& thats it. you can get it for free.

    oh yeah…im doing all this while my family’s spread out. some on vancouver island some in alberta….my partner right in between on the border of b.c. & alberta….plus my mother’s not herself anymore.

    so yeah its hard….but thats cuz of our choices.

  340. Cf October 22, 2016 at 1:59 am #

    I thought this was a brilliant article, total applicable to me as a 30 year old mum of 2, soon to be 3.
    I think my biggest thing at this stage is loneliness! I think it gets more lonely the more kids you have! Socialising with kids seems impossible as they constantly interrupt and vie for you attention. So add your mate with their own three kids into the mix is complete madness. Also, it’s been 5 years since I had my first and I feel done with mums and tots groups and soft play areas. It’s all about school runs, and homework. It’s a solitary life now. I am thankful for my husband. I don’t know how single parents do it.
    Thank you for the words. They were comforting.

  341. Halsey October 22, 2016 at 5:02 pm #

    I’m in the trenches of sleep training my (very stubborn) 6.5 month old daughter. I’m getting a little more than 30 minutes of sleep a night, and I can’t handle it any more.

    I also have a 2.5 year old. I stay at home, but am a photographer. The girls don’t go to day care at all, so I’m stuck juggling chores, being Mom, and editing for clients as well as running my business in general. It’s hard. as. hell, but I know one day I’ll miss it. Some days (like today) I just want to sit in a corner with a glass of wine and cry, today is one of those.

    Thank you for this article. Thank you for showing me that I’m not alone.

  342. Non-Mom October 28, 2016 at 1:11 pm #

    You could just choose not to have kids…or second or third kids…As a non-mother I get so tired of reading how hard parenting is because people elect to be parents. You don’t have to be parents. We certainly don’t need any more people on this earth. I’m not a parent, and my life rocks. I’m grateful everyday not to be a parent.

    • Nicx January 6, 2017 at 8:20 am #

      Hear hear!!!! Well said.

  343. Jennifer C October 30, 2016 at 5:13 pm #

    I have to add this…. coming from a single parent of a now 22 & 16 yr old….. if I could go back to the teething, ear aches, sleepless nights, helping with classroom parties, cleaning house until 2 am bc that’s the only time left in the day, going through the grocery store with a crying baby and independent child who wants everything, doing it all with a migraine from hell…. if I could go back to ALL of that… I would in a heartbeat!!!! It is sooooo much easier than the worry and stress of teenagers dealing with peer acceptance, soon-to-be college kid stressed about ACT scores, 18 year old with a newfound independence, 16 year old learning to drive and then driving alone– that was one of the most stressful! The sleepless nights due to illness or a teething baby are so much easier to cope with than the sleepless nights of praying your college kid is making the right choices and that he is home safe… or the nights of crying because you can’t fix or take away their stress, anxiety, or worry of grades, fitting in, making the high school teams, or balancing college and work… I PROMISE… raising a child from the infant to adolescent age is a BREEZE compared to raising a teen to an adult… There’s so much cruelty in this world… so much that you worry about them out in the real world without you there to defend, protect, and guide them… until you are mentally, physically and emotionally sick… letting go so they can learn to make it on their own is the HARDEST part of being a parent. If only I could have them both safe and sound at home every night so I can check in on them, listen to their breathing while they sleep, kiss them goodnight every night… if only…

  344. Stephanie October 30, 2016 at 9:35 pm #

    I needed this!!! I mean I really needed this! Thank you for every single word in this article. I became a mom January of this year and it was hard. I was laid off from my job and dealing with career and financial issues while dealing with hormones wa so stressful. I gave birth 5 weeks early bc my blood pressure spiked. Then I decided I would take my time to figure out my next step and I would focus on my baby. We had a lot of fun but I missed having a schedule and a routine. Not just for me but also for my baby. So I found a job took the offer thinking it would help me get things in order like fitness and nutrition but I jumped into a position too fast it’s not exactly what I wanted. I just wanted to be able to help with bills and care for my child. Luckily I have a great
    Support system but sometimes it’s so hard to ask for help that I didn’t. I internalized everything and it just builds up.

    This article breathed life into me. I’m in a constant battle every day about whether or not I should go to work and leave my baby…… thank you

  345. Esther November 3, 2016 at 9:11 am #

    I wish being an exhausted mother was my challenge. What a luxury you have. Some of us aren’t afforded that role in life and the loneliness is all consuming. I have to stand by while all my friends have children and marriage and poopy diapers. I would give everything to have that.

  346. Endure November 4, 2016 at 12:42 am #

    Well…I really don’t know what it’s like having kids as I don’t have children of my own. But a lot of Moms these days are missing that very big picture! Well no…I’ll include the Dads as well as they are part of this too.

    God is the center of our daily lives! And most have seem to completely forget about God’s way of life! He is the true center of a married couple, MAN AND WIFE.

    I love life how it is, I’m 38, and I just love it! One day I will get married and have a family, and I will always, my number #1 priority ALWAYS put God in the center of our marriage and daily lives.Life will never be hard when you include God! But if you choose to go your own way, then of course it will be hard because you have forgotten Him!

    I’ve learned all this, and experienced the hard way, even now I still go through tests and trials but I know how to pull through it! It’s all about perseverance! If you know how to endure that, then your test and trials will be lifted, just as long as you put God FIRST above all else! But from time to time, God will test you again to see if your love is TRULY for Him or your other master – Satan!

  347. Stephanie November 4, 2016 at 2:05 pm #

    I’m 21, and have a two-year-old and two-month old. This rang so true for me! ❤️

  348. olivia November 6, 2016 at 7:39 pm #

    YOU’LL GET THRU IT…….i did , your parents did and you will someday discover how they were some of the best years. I miss them now. I miss the innocence, i miss the boys around all time. it’s just part of life, but enjoy and be grateful for life can be short and these are the days we hold on to… and blessing on your journeys. you’ll get thru it.

  349. Anonymous November 21, 2016 at 2:33 am #

    I’m in my 30s and have been trying unsuccessfully for a baby for nearly three years. Believe me, THAT’S hard.

  350. Celia November 21, 2016 at 6:15 am #

    This article spoke to me as I lay awake at 4am on a Monday with my little person taking up most of the bed next to me. I will be printing it off to read in some of those “I can’t go on” moments. Well written x

  351. Sharon Bush November 21, 2016 at 11:12 am #

    You think that stage is hard? Have a child and raise him for 6 years …6 wonderful years …and then he is murdered. You will not face any of the above …Yes it is hard. My two sons were those ages once …and every day I would say, ” I can hardly wait until you can walk, I can hardly wait until you go to school, I can hardly wait for whatever” Now they are grown and I wish I could go through that one more time. My Grandson, my son’s child, was murdered at the age of 6 years, by his Mother. My son, I am sure, wishes he could go through all of that 🙂 …Just another perspective.

  352. Meghana December 17, 2016 at 10:09 am #

    Every word is so true and kept crying out while reading it. Thankyou for writing this

  353. Peggy Partak December 23, 2016 at 8:37 pm #

    I loved this article. Now can you find someone to creatively put together how “hard” it is to be over 60. Even when you are in good health and active there are so many obstacles to over-come and fears. AND your kids are so busy in their “HARD” years raising their families that they don’t have time for their aging parents. Especially when their children live miles away. I would give anything to go back to those days because I realize now they were NOT “hard” days.

  354. Donna Taylor December 23, 2016 at 10:26 pm #

    Just a note from a mom in her sixties…..I had a lot of fun sharing information on fertility awareness with my friends when we were in our twenties, thirties and forties……nfpandmore….we discovered ecobreastfeeding and now realize that if we breastfeed enough, day and night and often, our bodies naturally go into a state of lactational ammenorrhea (no menstrual periods for a long while during breastfeeding). This is a great way to live (not the usual ups and downs that most women associate with being a woman).

    It is up to us women to share things right now because too many medical doctors don’t even know about this effect…..and its benefits not only for the woman but for the baby too, and the man.

  355. Chrissie December 29, 2016 at 11:32 am #

    Wait until you have 4 teenagers- that earlier stage will seem like a breeze! Hang in there:)

  356. Jan S December 29, 2016 at 3:22 pm #

    Raising children is the hardest thing in the world. It is a non-stop, 24 hour a day job. It usually falls on the mother to do the majority of the child rearing and tending, no matter how progressive the husband is. So many demands on mothers today, least of all, performing their paid jobs and progressing in their careers. It really does not matter what age that you have your children; it is really hard work! The thing that propels a mother forward every day, through the diapers, the night feedings, the play dates, the reluctant homework and chores, the surly teen years, is the passionate commitment and love to their children! It is a universal motivation! Foolish, but a built in motivation for mothers.

  357. Deborah January 2, 2017 at 7:59 pm #

    Loved the article though what stuck out with me was the fact that each stage of life with kiddos is hard…I’m nearly 50 and the article applies directly to where I was in my 30’s, but now I have a 12 year old and a 16 year old, and all of the references : It’s a stage where you are struggling with identity…. I LOOK like a mom now, don’t I….a stage where you are on a constant quest for balance, and can never find it……It’s a stage of life where you are overloaded. Constantly….You are overloaded with to-do’s. There is so much to do. It never ends. You are overloaded with worry. You are overloaded with THINGS. Your kids have way too many toys. You are overloaded with activities. You are overloaded with THOUGHTS (thoughts about how to not be so overloaded, perhaps?).” It all applies, at every stage!

  358. Mal January 4, 2017 at 11:07 am #

    Totally crying. Every word rang true with beautiful writing. Well done.

  359. carrie January 9, 2017 at 7:11 pm #

    thank you so much for writing this. this has helped me so much. you are literally speaking my life on paper. just thank you. i appreciate it.

  360. Diane M. January 10, 2017 at 10:20 pm #

    What a great article! Moms need to read this so they know that there are others out there going through the same things they are. I’m the mother of one of those overworked moms, and this article is dead on what she is living right now. Thank you for writing this, and I’m sorry there are negative comments. This needed to be said.

  361. Carla January 12, 2017 at 8:08 am #

    This is so true…every.single.word! And so reassuring that I’m not the only one that feels this way, that most of us struggle at this stage in life! Thank you to this from the bottom of my heart.

  362. Meredith Perfect Baby Massage January 12, 2017 at 6:18 pm #

    This nails it. I’ve been there and done that, with 3 children, now adults in their 40’s. I was widowed suddenly with 3 who had just turned 16, 19 & 21. Terrible age to lose a dad.
    It would have been so nice to have support like this back in the 70’s, 80’s & early 90’s.
    We didn’t have a place to expound and share and learn. We DEALT with it and did our best.
    I’m really happy that todays parents are so aware of so much …. ‘tho sometimes I feel it has undermined their sense of security in their child-rearing abilities. Mom’s still have it a little harder than dad’s, from what I observe. (no hate mail please)
    I love that Dad’s are expected to be more hands-on and involved than the father’s in the 70’s and 80’s. For many, it’s uncharted territory and I love that they are embracing it. How exciting.
    The main part of child-raising for parents today, as I have gleaned, is for the parents to be a united team, on the same page about the kid-thaing, and respectful of each other. Communicate with each other and don’t be reluctant to share that one needs rest, or needs a positive response from the other. Admire each other and each one’s efforts. When the kids realize this is the team they’re a part of, they will fall into line and really enjoy being a part of THEIR TEAM!

  363. Kevin G February 10, 2017 at 12:09 pm #

    As a dad, of children ages, 4 and 2, who takes equal responsibility for the kids and chores as my wife, this article is SPOT ON.

    You get home, make dinner, plead with the kids to eat it. Keep them from wearing it, throwing it or feeding it all to the dogs. Then while you’re working hard to clean the kitchen they just trashed the livingroom. You almost pray no neighbors or friends stop by unannounced because it will be so embarrassing. Doing one thing right always takes away from another.

    2 aspects the article didn’t touch no though. I noticed the people who’s kids are grown who say “You’ll miss this” don’t exactly know what they are talking about. They’ve totally forgotten this stage already. You bring your toddler over and he’s running around and getting into literally everything. You’re chasing him because the house isn’t kid proofed and those same people look at you like you’re crazy. They think once you stop little boy from getting into one thing that it’s over. It’s never over. Then when you want to pack up and leave the party first because it’s completely un-enjoyable, they look at you like “Why are you leaving???”. I woke up two hours earlier than you, I packed for an hour just to make it here so I can not even engage in one whole conversation, your house isn’t kid proofed and I’m tired. It’s a really frustrating experience

    Second: Dealing with the DINKS(dual income no kids) is really frustrating too. You know, those people you’ve been friends with since your 20’s that decided they’re never having kids? Now that doesn’t make them bad people, and you do get along with them really well, but you have nothing in common anymore. They don’t understand why when they text you at 6:30 on Friday night to go out for drinks that it is already completely out of the question. Or they don’t understand why you don’t want to go to that awesome concert. Because you know you used the baby sitter last Saturday for a wedding(you didn’t even want to be at) and you’ll be lucky to get her again for next weekend to have dinner for your anniversary, so going to the big awesome concert just isn’t worth the risk. Or when they can’t believe you don’t want to stay out later, “We’ve only been to one bar???”. Yeah that’s because my Saturday AND Sunday start just as early as any other day of the week. You know, 6 or 7 something. There are no days off, EVER. In fact, work days are slightly easier. And of course they can’t understand amongst it all, that you love your kids and wouldn’t trade your life for anything.

  364. Angela March 10, 2017 at 10:48 am #

    great site

  365. Katrina March 15, 2017 at 7:21 am #

    Thank you for writing this.
    I really needed it.

  366. JW March 16, 2017 at 10:08 am #

    You kind of lost me by specifying an age that women have children, and that you have multiple kids if you are a mom, and then not experiencing bullying with small children. I had one only (I spent years experiencing miscarriages and have had to deal with judgement over that), some of the friends we had who became moms ended up becoming real horrible b—s who were judgmental horrible people that I had to stop seeing, and my son was bullied from the first day he went to school. Dealing with the school system has not been all sunshine and roses, I had to pull my son out of a class when I discovered his teacher was screaming at him in his face in front of the entire class in the hallway of the school, he was around FIVE. Similarly, dealing with parents of kids at the schools, parents who exclude your kid from friendships and activities, parents who let their kids steal your kids things. Guess our experiences were very different. Here it’s very common for moms to be late 30’s into late 40’s, but in more rural areas, moms do tend to be younger (20s). Maybe moms are more intense and competitive here. I find there is a lot of “who is the better mom?” happening here, competition to get your kids into the right camps, do the right activities, buy organic etc. I am not in the US.

  367. Vanessa March 23, 2017 at 11:27 pm #

    Loved this article <3

  368. Gem April 1, 2017 at 10:19 pm #

    I don’t agree with all the “You need to’s” but it was a great and very relatable post anyway.

  369. Linda Houseal April 2, 2017 at 11:03 am #

    And yes, a quiet moment of solitude would be wonderful but someday soon they will leave for they’re own life which seems so right but the joy of who they are each day will be viewed in snippets of cherished moments that are never enough. Love the dirt.and blustering turmoil for oh so soon it will be done. I only remember the laughter.

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