12 Moments When Motherhood Is Simply Overwhelming (And Why It's OK)

Ad failed to load

There is no question that motherhood can be the most rewarding part of your life. The love you experience; the joy you can't help but appreciate; the incredible things you learn about yourself, your partner, and what it means to raise a tiny human; I mean, it's a beautiful, wonderful and fulfilling thing. However, there's no denying that there are moments when motherhood is simply overwhelming. While it's worth taking the time to appreciate and celebrate all the good motherhood brings, it's not all rainbows and daisies and it's probably best for your sanity if you don't let anyone tell you otherwise.

There’s a quote out there that goes something like, “The days are long, but the years are short,” and I try to remind myself of said quote when things get rough and I become overwhelmed. In my experience, the parents that aren't quick to admit that motherhood (and parenthood in general) is overwhelming, are the parents with older children who are out of the house and successfully on their own. Time manages to smudge the sharp angles of early motherhood, which is often filled with those overwhelming moments, making it feel like, hey, it wasn’t so bad. That’s actually a really good thing, but it doesn’t make those of us going through it right now feel any better.

I think what makes some of those moments so overwhelming, is the undeniable fact that you're balancing multiples lives (or aspects of certain lives) all at once. Stressed at work? You’ve got it covered. Feeling pressured during an exam at school? You can deal. But when you’re trying to keep a tiny human alive (and you're desperately attempting to avoid ruining them, hurting them or scarring them for life) all the while balancing your needs and wants, it can be too much. Hey, that’s OK. Sometimes, it’s about putting one foot in front of the other, getting from one moment to the next, making it through each day in one piece (and with your kids in one piece, too) and waiting for the other times when motherhood is rewarding and fulfilling and joyful. In ten years, or even five, the overwhelming edges will have softened and you’ll remember them a little less vividly than the happy ones.

Ad failed to load

The First Week Of Being A Mom


Unless you’ve got one of those babies that sleep all the time and never cry and are complete freaks of nature (that's wonderful and completely amazing, don’t get me wrong, but I’m clearly super jealous), the first week of being a mom is insane. Everyone talks about how, as mothers, we can distinguish between all the different types of cries that our baby has, but during my first week, I couldn’t distinguish between my own cries and the baby’s.

When You're Changing The Baby And You Realize You're Completely Out Of Wipes


Hopefully, this doesn’t happen at home (meaning, hopefully your partner hasn't left you high and dry without diapers and wipes before going to work) although if you’re cloth diapering, I could totally see that kind of disaster going down. It has 100 percent happened to me in the past month, though.

Naturally, it was a massive poop I had to clean up, with zero wipes in my diaper bag (I had put them into a backpack for another trip). I figured it out, but not before I took a moment to sigh dramatically and question whether I would ever be a good enough mother to leave the house prepared.

When You're Learning To Breastfeed And Your Baby Won't Latch


I know not everyone wants to breastfeed, and of course you do what feels right, but for the new moms who have their hearts set on breastfeeding, the failure they may end up feeling can be more than they can handle. It’s OK to feel overwhelmed, though. A lactation consultant can help guide you through the process, and remind you that you’re not alone.

Ad failed to load

When The Baby Has A Blowout On Your Shopping Trip And You Didn't Bring Extra Clothes


Do you leave the baby in disgusting, poop-stained clothes, and put them in the car seat as is, or do you strip them down and take them home in just a diaper? Well, they stay warmer in the clothes, but then you have a poop-stained carseat as well. This happened to me when my son was about four weeks old. Only we were up at the family cottage, and I was at a grocery store an hour away from our place when it happened. The best is that I started changing him when I thought he was done, and then I went through another two diapers cleaning up the gargantuan mess he continued to make as I was attempting to clean him up.

When You Have To Decide Whether You Need To Supplement With Formula


My daughter came very close to “failure to thrive” at around 12 weeks old. She just wasn’t gaining weight at the rate they wanted her to, and she was dropping off her growth curve quickly. I had committed to breastfeeding and, thankfully, no one made more than a passing suggestion to add in formula, but I know so many women who were absolutely gutted when the pediatrician told them to start supplementing. It can be an awful moment that is scarring for some moms, so it’s OK to allow yourself to grieve.

Every Single Sleep Regression Ever


Any time you think you’ve gotten into a routine with your baby, another damn sleep regression hits (or they start cutting another tooth). You probably got a night or two, or possibly even an entire week of decent sleep (and by decent, I mean more than five hours and not necessarily in a row). Then the sleep regression hits and it becomes literally impossible to function. Don’t let the parents bragging about their baby sleeping through the night at eight weeks fool you; chances are, they’re in for their own dose of hell at around 12-16 weeks, themselves.

Ad failed to load

When You Discover Your Child Has A Life-Threatening Allergy


I can’t begin to imagine the terror involved in this scenario, but I’ve seen it firsthand. The unintentional exposure that’s out of your control, and then the realization that something is very much not right with your child, and then the mad dash to the hospital. Then, well, life suddenly changes forever. Everything is a potential threat to your child’s life. Every ignorant person who could unknowingly expose your child to something could kill them. It’s OK to feel overwhelmed if this happens. Support from friends and family is so important to help you through.

When The Baby Won't Fall Asleep Because The Preschooler Is Running Around Like A Terror


Having two kids is way more than twice the work. Trust me. I’m not sure why my daughter thinks that the best time to ask for snacks, a new TV show, a craft to make, or any other number of things, is when I’m putting my son down for a nap, but that is inevitably when it happens.

She can be perfectly self-contained for hours and when I’m available, but if I disappear, she needs something. I've also learned that, apparently, nap time is the ideal time to learn how to jump rope indoors or sing songs at the top of your lungs or do something else completely loud and obnoxious. If you find yourself yelling at your preschooler in one of these moments, take a breath and forgive yourself. After all, you're only human.

When Your Toddler Decides Their Spaghetti Looks Better On The Floor


Or your coffee. Or rice, that’s even better. Whatever it is that’s hardest to clean up, that’s what your kid is going to decide belongs on the floor. Perhaps this isn’t such a big deal for you, but as far as I’m concerned I’m already a terrible housekeeper, so the idea of having to pick up tiny bits of food that aren’t dry enough for the vacuum makes me want to cry.

Ad failed to load

Potty Training


I really don’t think much more needs to be said. Unless your child is like mine, and takes closer to a year to potty train, rather than just a few weeks or months. Potty training sucks, for pretty much everyone. I haven’t yet had to clean poop that’s been smeared onto the walls, but I still have one left to potty train and I wouldn’t put it past him.

The number of times I’ve had to sit down and give myself a time-out after my daughter has had an accident, is pretty high. It can be overwhelming to have to harness your reactions in a way that won’t end with you berating your child for something they don’t yet have control over.

Being Stuck In The Car On The Freeway With Your Kid Screaming For No Apparent Reason


I have anxiety attacks before traveling long distances in the car with my kids. Did I mention that we drive up to our family cottage (which is more than two hours away) at least six times every summer? And we go camping? Ugh.

Being glued to your seat when your child is crying inconsolably is probably the worst thing in the world for me, and I have literally sobbed my way through entire drives because I was unable to stop and help my baby. If this is you as well, the only words I can offer is that basically every parent I know goes through this at some point, so you aren’t alone.

Tantrums. In Public. When All You Want Is To Buy Throw Pillows At Target.


You know those insane meltdowns that your toddler usually saves for the comfort of your own home? When they happen at a store or in a public place it can be terrible, as you can't help but feel like your hands are figuratively tied in the reaction department.

In fact, it seems like there’s nothing you can do that’s effective, aside from hoisting them over your shoulder and walking out the door. It’s the worst, and while you may be feeling embarrassed and judged by the people around you, I guarantee you there’s another mom there who is sending loving and supportive vibes your way, because she’s been there, too.

Ad failed to load
Must Reads

6 Early Signs You're Going To Have A Short Labor, According To Experts

As far as I'm concerned, a short labor is right up there with winning the lottery in terms of lucky life events. (And when I was actually in labor, I would absolutely have traded a bucketful of lottery winnings for a speedier birth.) While some women…
By Kelly Mullen-McWilliams

Kids Will Love These TV Shows & Movies Coming To Netflix In March

You can always count on Netflix to keep it fresh: though there are already so many movies and shows to choose from, every month there's an influx of new content to keep your entire family entertained. As February enters its final weeks, it's time to …
By Megan Walsh

Here Are 10 Ways To Boost Your Baby's Immunity To The Flu

As I'm sure you've read in the thousands upon thousands of articles written about it this winter, the flu is spreading like wildfire and it's bad. Really bad. This strand of flu is the worst we've had in a very long time and it's the most widespread,…
By Abi Berwager Schreier

Khloé Kardashian Asked Twitter About Her Bump, & Moms Totally Delivered

Like her younger sister Kylie Jenner, Khloé Kardashian managed to keep most of her pregnancy a sort-of secret. But unlike Jenner, Kardashian chose to publicly announce her pregnancy several months before the baby's due date. While there's no wrong wa…
By Sophie Hirsh

21 Moms Share The Most Surprising Part About Having A C-Section

Honestly, I don't think we, as a culture, talk about C-sections nearly enough, especially considering so many mothers experience them. And because of a number of factors, the little we do talk about it always seems to be a familiar narrative: "It's n…
By Jamie Kenney

13 Yummy Instant Pot Recipes To Make Under 30 Minutes

An Instant Pot seems to be the must-have appliance in every kitchen these days. If you are anything like me and never knew the beauty of a Instant Pot, you are about to have your life changed. Basically, you put some ingredients into a pot, set the t…
By Kristin Manna

9 Things The First Six Months Of Motherhood Will Teach You About Your Baby

Personally, the first six months of motherhood was a mixed bag. I learned some harsh lessons about myself that made taking care of my baby seem overwhelming. For example, I was clueless, and no amount of research could help me feel like anything but …
By Steph Montgomery

11 Photos You *Must* Take During The Last Days Of Your Pregnancy

During my first pregnancy, I took a photo each week to document my growing belly. I stopped around 36 weeks, though. I hated how I looked in those pictures, and didn't think I'd want to relive those moments. I was wrong. My second pregnancy was a dum…
By Steph Montgomery

6 Red Flags To Definitely Look Out For After Your Baby Falls

The first time my infant son tried to take a few steps, he tumbled and bumped his head on the coffee table. My blood turned to ice in my veins and I froze. There truly isn't anything quite like the feeling a parent gets when their little one gets hur…
By Sarah Bunton

These 9 Instant Pot Recipes Will Make Even The Pickiest Eater Happy At The Table

Like any parent, I've had my share of parenting hits and misses, but one of my favorite "wins" is my daughter's diverse palate. I don't even know if I can take credit for it, but I would like to think I had something to do with her love for lentils, …
By Caroline Shannon-Karasik

Turns Out, Kim Kardashian's Favorite Mom Products Look A Lot Like Your Own Faves

Being a mom is really hard work, especially for the first few months, and Kim Kardashian West is no different in that regard. Now the mother of three, Kardashian says that there are a few products she just can't live without when it comes to raising …
By Abi Berwager Schreier

10 Things No One Tells You About Having A Baby In Your 30s

If you're like me, you evaluate the pros and cons of any major life decision. When my husband and I were considering starting a family, I thought about my career, education, and financial stability. I wanted to know how a pregnancy and childbirth wou…
By Steph Montgomery

Soda Might Hurt Your Fertility, Study Says, & Here's What You Can Do

Who doesn't love sugary drinks? I stopped drinking soda years ago, but I still love gulping down those fancy Starbucks coffee beverages. I don't have a big sweet tooth, but I am a sucker for sugar-sweetened beverages every now-and-then. Turns out, th…
By Annamarya Scaccia

5 Red Flags Your Toddler Isn't Eating Enough

Toddlers are notoriously picky eaters, at least in my experience. You offer mashed potatoes, they want french fries. You give them crackers, they scream for chips. It's frustrating, to be sure, but it's usually their way of vying for independence. It…
By Candace Ganger

35 Moms Share The Most Disgusting Things Their Husbands Do

I'm a human being who revels in challenges. I like when people present me with one, especially if they don't think I can meet or succeed it, and I like taking a challenge on, especially if it's unexpected. So when I aimed to uncover the most disgusti…
By Jamie Kenney

How Having Kids In Your 20s Affects You Later In Life

For parents, like myself, who had kids in their 20s, there are a number of questions that come to mind. When you're deciding what your future will look like, you'll likely consider what this means for your health, career, and more down the line. Thin…
By Tessa Shull

Study: Drinking Two Glasses Of Wine A Day Is Good For Your Mind — Here's Why

There’s more scientific proof that a daily drink or two isn't necessarily a bad thing and could have a place in an overall healthy lifestyle. A new study out of the University of Rochester Medical Center (URMC) in New York found that — in mice, at le…
By Tiffany Thomas

Research Says Eating Carbs Can Lead To A Healthy Pregnancy, So Bring On The Pasta

In the world of me, no food is better than bread. I know it's supposed to be pretty terrible for you, high in calories, low in protein, and full of that modern-day demon, gluten... but guys, it's really yummy. Especially warm out of the oven, when th…
By Jen McGuire

These Photos Of Prince George Then & Now Will Give You Serious Baby Fever

The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge are expecting their third child in Spring 2018. With all of the excitement surrounding the new baby, it's easy to forget all of the good times that have already passed. The couple's eldest is already well into the sc…
By Azure Hall

This Is, Hands Down, The *Grossest* Thing Babies Do Inside The Womb

Your baby's life in the womb may be safe and warm, but it's also kind of grody. Seriously, the whole process of growing into a human being includes more than a few icky moments along the way. But this is the grossest thing babies do inside the womb b…
By Lindsay E. Mack