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Confessions of a Tired Mama Who’s Trying to Be a Good Mom

This mama is tired. This work of to-dos is endless.

I’ve been at it for years. Often mundane and senseless.

Especially when my kids argue. And sometimes I am so uninspired.

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In the beginning, I was a real fire cracker. Determined to be a mother and love like no other.

Fight fierce, teach well. I strived to be exceptional. Determined to do it well with all my might.

Well, I am worn out. Exasperated sometimes, quite frankly, because that desire for perfection has worn me down.

I became irritable and increasingly anxious. Disappointed and discouraged.

I became unfun, still running on the hamster wheel trying to make a difference.

I wanted to be a “good” mom like nothing else.

Even still, I run around, with many days having nothing to show for my efforts or breaths. I repeat myself endlessly.

I am trying to raise a decent flock. I am striving to live and love with intention.

And some days I feel like I am failing. Some days I am exasperated.

My kids fight. Sometimes they are so contentious.

I am trying so hard to teach them right. And despite all my efforts, they are their own persons.

They are imperfect just like me.

While some days are so discouraging and frustrating, other days glimmer and shimmer with joy and hope.

I live for the moments when we can laugh together.

I cried hard in my closet the other night. Have you ever seen the movie War Room?

Yeah, that was me in my closet praying and crying.

I cried for them and I cried for me. I cried for the world.

I cried because I am tired. I cried and I prayed and I gave it all to God.

And then I emerged and I kissed them goodnight.

One asked, “Mom, why are your eyes red? Are you okay?”

Yes, I reassured her. Mom was okay.

Mom just needed a moment.

A moment to herself to pause and to pray.

A moment to admit she doesn’t have it together. A moment to confess her failures.

A moment to grieve her hurts, fears, and disappointments.

A moment to exhale her heart. A moment to sit still, escape, and breathe.

A moment to find peace and regroup.

Because this family, these kids, are her heart. They are my heart.

And sometimes, it’s just too much. I feel like I am not enough and doing it wrong despite all of my efforts.

While I may not be all and everything, I am not supposed to be.

That is okay, because I don’t need to be.

Though it often feels like what I do is never enough, I am enough.

I am enough of a mom to my kids.

Where I fall short is where faith, family, friends, and fellowship within the community supplement and enrich beyond my limits.

And this is relieving, to take some of the pressure off. I am just called to do my best.

I was never called to be all and everything to my children.

I am so thankful because on this particular day that I cried,

Even though it wasn’t the “perfect mom” moment I had envisioned,

I had all of my kids under one roof and we were learning to mesh again.

We may not always come together perfectly as we are not perfect people.

We establish our own learning curve. They are imperfect just like me.

And that is okay. So is everyone else in the world.

I am tired. I am a tired mom.

I am anxious and sometimes discouraged, but I am not alone.

And I am not done.

As I tell them often, “I will love you more.”

I will keep striving to do better, even when I am tired.

All because, as I tell my children, “You are so worth it.”

Now I need to say this to myself.

I trust that we, parents, will thrive and experience the joy from our exhaustive efforts of love along this journey together.

We are sowing seeds. These times together are not forever.

So, for now, even on days that I am so tired,

I choose you, my children. I choose us, my family.

This mama may be tired, but I am so thankful for these days together.

Now good night.

I need to go rest so that I can be at the top of my game again tomorrow.

I need to take care of me.

Even in my weariness, a line from Anne of Green Gables resonates in my heart: “Tomorrow is a new day with no mistakes in it yet.”

Yes, it is. Game on.

Jessica Campbell is a mother to four great kids, a wife, and a pediatric nurse. Becoming a parent was a dream come true for her. Though parenting has many joyful moments, it is not always an easy blissful ride. She wants to encourage other parents along this journey so that we can spur one another on to the finish line.

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