Have you ever gotten tired of the rocking and the soothing and the pacing and hissed, “will you please just shut up and go to sleep?” in your wailing baby’s ear?
Have you ever said, in a most exasperated tone, “what is WRONG with you today?” to your whiny, needy toddler?
Have you ever glared at your still-soundly sleeping husband after you’ve gotten up with the baby for the third time that night and felt a little flicker of rage?
Have you ever let your child watch way too much TV while you stare aimlessly at your phone screen because it’s only 4 p.m., but you are D-O-N-E for the day and can’t muster the energy for one more bloody round of UNO?
Have you ever told your husband you needed to escape, driven your car to the closest park, then sat and cried … and cried … and cried?
Have you ever had to put your baby in her crib, still wailing, and walk away because you felt your control slipping and you needed to regroup?
Have you ever daydreamed what it would be like if you’d never had kids? Then immediately banished the thought, because you longed for, ached for, prayed for these children.
That’s all I have to offer – just two words to remind you that you’re not alone in feeling like this. I don’t know if it’s okay to feel this way or if it’s a sign of being a terrible mother. Maybe you and I are the only two people who’ve ever felt it.
But I do know that when these feelings come, I feel horribly guilty and defeated, as though I’ve lost the mothering battle that day. I question my ability to complete this impossible lifelong task – raising children – that God saw fit to bless me with, twice. I feel undeserving of my children and their still-unconditional love for me.
And, if you’re anything like me, the next thought is always, “Am I the only one who feels this way?”
You aren’t. Because, sometimes, I feel it, too.