What to Do On the Hard Days of Mothering

There are days we drag through this thing called motherhood. Our hearts are heavy, our bodies weak. Our heads hurt from juggling schedules, to do lists, and the shouting—oh, the exuberant sounds of childhood! There are days, if we’re honest with ourselves, we just don’t feel like mothering. We need a personal vacation. Or maybe just time to breathe without being a constant necessity.

There are days we look at the mom calmly pushing her grocery cart through the store with quiet, obedient children. They joke and laugh. The older children help with the shopping list, while the littlest giggles in the cart. And you look along in quiet disbelief and wonder, What possible secret does she carry? But you can’t stay there too long, since your own little ones are dragging their feet and lamenting about how they just have to have the Fruit Loops.

There are days when we find ourselves in the midst of mothering and we think, I’m failing. Surely someone else could be a better mom.

No, friend, there’s not a better mom out there.

You’re it. You’re enough.

I know it’s hard to believe on the days you feel like you’re failing, you’ve lost your temper, still haven’t started the laundry, and have no idea what’s for dinner. But you are the mom God meant for your children, whether there’s one or eight. You’re it.

What do you do when you feel you just can’t make it through one more day?

Breathe. Literally stop what you’re doing and breathe. Close your eyes, count to 10, and take deep breaths in through your nose and out your mouth. If you need to step away from your children for a moment, then do so.

Pray. The best prayer for a mother to prayer is Jesus, help me. I can’t do this on my own. Short and to the point. It’s so easy to forget we’re dependent creatures. Just cry to Him. Lean into His strength and release your weakness.

Perspective. Think on what’s true. Are you really failing as a mom? No. Is today hard? Yes. Do you need a break? Probably. God has chosen you to raise these children. He thinks you’re enough and He will equip you.

Identify. In this crazy moment, what is your children’s most urgent need? Maybe it’s a hug, a diaper change, lunch, or for you to play with them. This is not the time to think about the dance recital in two weeks or how you’re not saving for their college education or whether you should be cooking their meals from scratch. Do what is necessary and needed, leave the rest for another time.

Change the scene. Sometimes you just need a change of scenery. Take the kids out to the park. Sometimes wide, open spaces gives us the room we need to breathe and feel refreshed. Meet up with a friend and let the kids play together. They’ll entertain each other and you’ll get some needed adult interaction.

Sometimes motherhood comes in broad, planning strokes and then there are days where mothering is the dot, dot, dot of a paintbrush. Small, deliberate strokes. On the hard days, take it moment by moment.

Breathe in grace and remember you’re enough.

This post was featured at: Modest Monday Link-Up, Welcome Home Link-Up, Soli Deo Gloria, Titus 2sdays, Domestically Divine, Gratituesdays, On Your Heart TuesdaysLiving Well Wednesdays, Welcome Wednesdays, Works for Me Wednesdays


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  1. says

    I think the cling-to is when you wrote–
    “God has chosen you to raise these children…and He will equip you.”

    Because sometimes I do actually fail and what I’d like to chalk up as my personality, is actually me allowing sin to reign…
    But–the HUGE hope is that His grace can cover my messes and He can still reach our kiddos’ hearts.
    I love knowing that He will equip me and give me the strength I need, if only I will come to Him and ask.

    Thank you for sharing these practical ideas for regrouping and taking a moment to breath Him in deeply. I’m sure this will resonate with a lot of mamas out there.

  2. says

    Great suggestions! These are some of the same exact things I do. I think a change in routine and scenery can be HUGE when it comes to turning a day around. Along with just reevaluating your own expectations. I also always try to remind myself that these are the days I’m going to miss, and I don’t want to look back thinking that I resented them or was burdened by them. Sometimes, we just need to put away the to-do list and just be in the moment. That helps a lot to change my own focus and attitude. Blessings to you!

  3. says

    This is really beautiful. I have many days like this. I believe sometimes the enemy attacks us with lies like, “You aren’t good enough”, “You’re a bad Mom”, etc. We need to recognize these lies and dismiss them right away. We aren’t perfect, but neither are our kids or our husband or anyone else on this planet. Our children were gifted to us for a reason… it is our job to strive to better ourselves in Him daily, but there will ALWAYS be a need for MUCH grace! Amen. Thanks for this, Jessica.

  4. Kristin Knott says

    I LOVED reading this! What a blessing it was to me tonight. Thank you for your words and the reminder that my heavenly Father loves me, equips me and will never leave me-especially on those hard days.

  5. Debra Kapellakis says

    As a good fellow Christian says to me, “Pray about it!”. God Bless you for the lovely message.

  6. says

    Even as an empty-nester, there are days when it can be tough to be a mom. When I see my grown children struggling with their personal journey through life, I develop feelings of helplessness and inadequacy. It’s then, I realize that God blessed me with four beautiful children and in turn, blessed them with a really terrific mom. I know that I can be for them what they need me to be simply by loving them completely, without judgment or criticism. Thank you for a wonderful article.

  7. Gloria Folaranmi says

    I am going through a phase of an empty nest and just wondering what was this all about and feeling what about me ? Where did all the years go and someone give me a break !! Motherhood can be rewarding but it’s sheer hard work and we definitely need God’s grace.


  1. [...] What to do on the hard days of mothering by the Better Mom  This was a wonderful article to read whether you are a mother or are hoping to be one someday.  Even being a mother has “those days” and she offers great insight and advice about how to counter them.  [...]

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