Imagine yourself in a game of tug of war. It’s you pitted against a team of four. Every pull in your direction is met with a stronger, more fervent pull in the other. No matter how hard you put your foot down — no matter how far you dig your heels into the ground — the sheer will of your opposing team will always try to overpower you.
This pretty much sums up parenting. On a good day.
Now imagine the other side adding some players to their team; piles of unwashed dishes, dirty laundry, and some disgusting seasonal germs. You quickly begin to lose control of your side of the rope. The weight of the opposition finds you sliding into the mud and falling to defeat.
That was the kind of day blogger Regan Long was having when she took to her Facebook page, The Real Deal of Parenting, and wrote a candid post to her followers about wanting to “tap out” of motherhood.
“I’m ashamed to admit [it] out loud as it sounds pretty terrible, but I’ll be honest, it’s the truth. Today I felt like, ‘I don’t have this anymore. I’m not built for this. I can’t do this … I’m DONE,'” she wrote, in the February 17 post.
There isn’t a parent out there who can’t relate to that feeling — all too well.
The toys that you just picked up to place in color-coordinated baskets and bins are, once again, spilling out everywhere. And — ouch! — did you just step on ANOTHER LEGO?
The clothes you neatly tucked away in drawers hours before are now lining the bedroom floors. Except for the clothes you find soaking in the bathroom sink. Those were the victims to yet another nasty “virus” making its rounds through the house.
But these days, you’re running the washing machine so much that you’ve finally embraced the fact that there will always be a constant swishing noise in the background, like a new soundtrack to your life.
And, the dishes … Please, don’t get us started about the dishes.
Long gets it all — and then some.
“I’m done with talking until I’m blue in the face, and no one listening,” the mother of four laments.
Of all the day-to-day chores that parenting entails, this is the most exhausting. Not feeling heard. Having to repeat yourself over and over (and over) again. Having your words fall on seemingly deaf ears. It’s draining. That is, until we find our second wind, and start yelling.
“Today I yelled when I found the strength to,” Long confesses. “Today I lost my patience and probably could have won the worst mother of the year award. Today I let negativity and exhaustion and sickness win.”
Of course, it happens. We break down, and give in to the stress of parenting. We shake our heads wondering what we could have possibly been thinking when we signed up for this gig, and then we mentally escape to our “happy place” to get through to bedtime. (Which may or may not involve laying poolside, while enjoying a strong cocktail without a kid in sight.)
But then something brings us back, and we realize just how awesome (albeit tiring) our kids truly are. For Long, this moment came when her 2-year-old daughter rubbed her mother’s cheek and exclaimed, “I make you happy, Mama.”
“It’s incredible how those 5 tiny words reminded me that maybe I can hang tough after all … When we think we’re done and there’s nothing left, something or someone refuels us…”
Long’s post immediately struck a chord with Facebook users everywhere, as one mother shared:
“Sometimes it’s reassuring to read things like this, to feel that you’re not the only mama bear who’s had a ‘done day’ but brought right back to a loving reality by your babies.”
Ain’t that the truth.
Parenting, like tug of war, is a true test of not only strength, but perseverance. So the next time we feel like we are at the end of our ropes, let’s cut ourselves some slack. While the forces that be can feel overwhelming at times, everything before us is worth standing up for and pulling ourselves across the finish line.
The post Mom Gets Real About the Moments That Nearly Break Us: “Today I Wanted to ‘Tap Out'” appeared first on Babble.