‘You spent 30 years chasing something, only to get ahold of it and realize your dream is completely, utterly exhausting.’: Mom says family life isn’t for the ‘faint of heart,’ but tender moments make it all worth it

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“Sometimes I get to the end of my day, and my brain is fried, and my energy is zapped. I feel fat, and tired, and pretty much over everything.

I want to freaking quit.

C’mon, mamas. Admit it. At some point every single one of us has gotten to the end of an exhausting, rough day and asked ourselves this question:


(Confession: That’s me right now.)

I want my kids to be asleep. I want dessert. I want alone time. I want zero responsibilities. I want a hotel room where I can sleep in peace for like, three days at least, uninterrupted.

Isn’t it weird how all of these things you dream of—a partner, a family, a home, a career—can feel like the very things that wear you down to the core?

Like somehow you spent 30 years chasing something, only to get ahold of it and realize your dream is, how do I say this,


I’m making this all sound kinda bad, aren’t I?


I promise it’s not.

But family life isn’t for the faint of heart. It will nickel and dime you. It’ll squeeze you like a piece of fruit, till you think you’ve got nothing left.

Then it’ll squeeze you even harder.

And right when you think you are completely tapped out and you don’t have what it takes…

You walk in on a moment like this.

This just happened in my home. After a week of moving, and starting new schools, and temper tantrums, and spaghetti stained furniture…

After I broke a dish in the sink and the cat got out and I forgot tomorrow was garbage day, and it just started pouring down rain…

I walked into the den, feeling completely defeated… and this is what I saw:

A small, quiet snapshot of the life my family works so hard to make happen.

You know these little moments?

The ones you see, and just like *that* you feel everything fall into place?

Your heart sighs. Your eyes burn with tears.

And, yep.

That’s when you remember the answer to that little question:

Why are we doing this?

It sure as heck isn’t for glory. Or money. Or credit.

It’s for moments like this.

This right here. A seemingly nothing moment.

But man, is it everything.

And my prayer for you tonight, parents, is that you have one of these. Just a tiny little reminder of why you are doing this job.

Because man, it’s hard, exhausting, all-encompassing work.

But isn’t it beautiful?”

Courtesy Mary Katherine Backstrom

This story was submitted to Love What Matters by Mary Katherine Backstrom. The article originally appeared here. Follow Mary on Instagram here.  Submit your story here, and be sure to subscribe to our best love stories here.

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