‘It appears I have everything under control and life is a breeze. That ‘breeze’ is actually 80 mph hurricane winds, and I’m hanging on for dear life.’

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“Is it anyone else, or am I the only one drowning in motherhood?

Let me start by saying I feel insurmountably blessed by being a mom. I love my children more than life itself and I am so lucky to be their mother. I am very well acquainted with the struggle to even have a family and I am forever grateful that I do. I count my blessings every single day, and then some.

But, if I am being real for a second, parenthood is hard. I mean, really, really tough.

The laundry is literally overflowing. My living room constantly looks like a tornado ripped through, and I can’t remember the last time I actually enjoyed a FRESH, hot cup of coffee. (Pro tip: just make it iced and save yourself a world of hurt.)

Laundry room with clothes all over
Courtesy of Crystal Noll

Being a stay at home parent can be really isolating. Some weeks, I haven’t left the house for days and my only adult interaction is through social media where I put on a persona of picture-perfect photos and posts. It appears I have everything under control and life in this moment is a breeze.

That ‘breeze’ is actually 80 mph hurricane winds, and I’m hanging on for dear life.

I guess it’s easier to share the good rather than the ugly.

But if I’m being honest… some days I cry. I WEEP into my cold coffee. The mom guilt consumes me and I feel like I’m failing my kids. Wondering if each decision I’m making will screw them up for life. I worry… a lot. On days where my 3-year-old refuses to eat NOTHING but chicken nuggets, I worry that he’s getting enough nutrients. I worry that my 8-month-old is a little behind on milestones and what that means for her future. I compare myself to other moms and their kids. (Is it even possible to be under pre-pregnancy weight in 2 days, you amazing superhuman, you!?) I also wonder if anyone else is struggling as much. Some days I feel at my wits’ end and I just need a break, and later on I beat myself up for feeling that way. It’s exhausting.

Baby lays on stomach on floor of home in room that is covered in toys
Courtesy of Crystal Noll

No one can prepare you for the sleep deprivation. Not even the countless all nighters you pulled in college from procrastinating… or… was that just me?

No one can prepare you for feeling as though you’ve lost yourself and your identity as anything but ‘mom.’ Or that your priorities completely shift leaving friendships to fall by the wayside. Thanks to the few that hung in there. I too miss the fun-loving girl I used to be.

I was unprepared for how much my body has changed and the insecurities that followed. I was also unaware that hemorrhoids can last for months at a time. I’m scared. My husband probably is too.

And no one can fully prepare you for how much parenting tension can affect your marriage. The struggle is real.

But on those same days where I feel like I can’t come up for air, there’s an ‘I love you mommy,’ a sweet snuggle session on the couch, or endless giggles that are the most precious sound in the world. It’s in that moment I take a deep breath and know I must be doing something right.

Little boy lays in bed asleep with baby sister
Courtesy of Crystal Noll

Right now, this season in life is about doing your best, loving your kids fiercely, and surviving. However that is for YOU and your family.

For me, it’s copious amounts of caffeine, dry shampoo, and looking in to my beautiful children’s eyes and knowing that somehow, everything is going to be alright.”

Mother who has stickers on her face smiles in selfie with son who also has stickers on his face
Courtesy of Crystal Noll

This story was submitted to Love What Matters by Crystal Noll of Fleetwood, Pennsylvania. Submit your story here, and subscribe to our best stories in our free newsletter here.

Read about Crystal’s struggle to become a parent here:

‘We ended up getting pregnant after knowing each other for only a month. A few weeks later, that dream dissolved before our eyes.’

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