Mothering Is Just Hard

Before you read any further, know this: I love my people.  Desperately.  And I know they love me.

But this business of family, it’s tough. Placing others ahead of myself doesn’t come naturally and I battle against it every step of the way.  Yesterday, I said the words that will require turning in my Pinterest-perfect mom card, “How much longer until school starts?”  Because, really, y’all, I’m tired of the non-routine of summer.

mothering is just hard ||

I want to give my girl the freedom to sleep late on the days she doesn’t have to be at cheerleading practice at 7 am. {7. a. m. For real.  If you can be perky at 7 am, you need to be a cheerleader, right?}  I want her to enjoy lazy afternoons and lots of time with her friends.  I love playing Phase 10 and watching chick flicks and doing nails.

But I’m ready for a schedule.  {Feel free to remind of this post in April when I’m complaining how ready I am for summer break.  Because really, I can’t be pleased.}

And yes, I know many families successfully manage to keep some semblance of routine and schedule during the summer months.  We are not one of them.  We’ve tried.  I’ve desperately tried.  It just doesn’t work here. And that’s okay.

Mothering is just hard. Like waaaay harder than I ever anticipated.  Every time I think I have something figured out, a plan in place, an issue resolved, something new pops up.  The days rush by with cooking and cleaning, reminding and redoing, laughing and loving, correcting and coaching.   I start each Monday thinking this is the week I’ll get it right.  No more yelling, criticizing, nagging, complaining.

And by lunchtime, I’ve succumbed to my flesh, given in to the easier emotions of frustration and impatience.  Why?  Why don’t grace and kindness flow more gently from my tongue?

I like to blame my girl.  I’d prefer it be about her teenage attitude and the never-ending eye rolls. {I have no clue where she learned to do that.  Really. #sarcasm} I excuse my own rudeness because of her sassy words. But the truth is, I set the tone.

I wrote a book about parenting from the overflow of God in my own life. I’ve prayed for my eyes to be fixed on Christ and for everything I do to be an outpouring of Him at work in me.  And I do really well with it.

Until the people wake up. Or speak.

You know who I’m talking about, right?  The people who live your house.  They’re the ones who inhabit the bodies of your family and act all crazy and demanding and expect you to, I don’t know, do laundry or fix meals or actually listen to what they are saying.

I’m hot and tired and crazy cranky. It’s hard and most days I just feel like a big fat dud.

My sweet friend and fellow Allume blog contributor Kristin wrote earlier this week, “Just because being a mom is hard, doesn’t mean you’re doing it wrong.”  Freedom, there, my friends!  Rich, beautiful freedom.  It is hard.  But hard doesn’t mean wrong.  These long days of summer sassing and complaining are rich with opportunities for the Lord to work in me and for me to sow the seeds of gentleness and contentment in my home.   And we need that.  I need that.

What lessons are you learning this summer?


Read the Psalms this summer with Scripture Dig!


  1. I could have written this. Summer is kicking my butt. I am bone tired and weary. I’m counting down to school.

    Thank you for some grace and freedom. Hard doesn’t mean wrong…

    Thank you friend!!!

  2. Love it! Summer is hard. The things that make is great are the things that make it hard. James has 3 more days of preschool and then we’re out for a month again. I try to keep him busy, but David just wants to stay home all day. Most days we meet somewhere in the middle. 🙂

  3. This is great! This is exactly how I have been feeling lately. I’ve loved this summer. It’s been low-key with just the right amount of activity. But my kids–God bless ’em–they are talkers. All three of them. All the time. It makes our quiet days at home not so quiet. 😉

    I loved what you said here: “I’ve prayed for my eyes to be fixed on Christ and for everything I do to be an outpouring of Him at work in me. And I do really well with it.

    Until the people wake up. Or speak.”

    Haha! Yes! I get that. Thanks for sharing this. It’s always refreshing to be reminded that I’m not alone in some of these mama struggles.

  4. Hey, Teri! I read this yesterday but have been thinking more about it this morning. I think this is so normal and it’s what breaks are supposed to do for us – get us motivated to start fresh with work, structure, etc. Even though it feels kind of “blah” when we get to that point, I think its the point that we are supposed to get to. Kind of like at the end of a great vacation when you start to feel ready to go home. (The home you couldn’t wait to leave to get to the beach or wherever). The break is needed, but if we don’t get to the place where we long for the routine again, it hasn’t served its purpose. (Or maybe we need more rest!)

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