Even the Happiest Moms Cry Sometimes

I’ve been reading Meagan Francis’ new book, The Happiest Mom (look for a review & giveaway on Tuesday), and feeling pretty confident that although my life is (crazy) busy, I am, in fact, a happy mom. Some days I need to dig deep to find that contentment, but it’s there.

I’m struck at the most random moments with gratitude for healthy, thriving children, a husband with a secure job, and a variety of choices on how to spend my time.

summer thunderstorm by davedehetre

{photo credit: David DeHetre}

But sometimes I also become overwhelmed at the daily frustrations of maneuvering five people through a 24-hour period. As good as my children are, as capable as they can be, as few “real” challenges as we have in the overall scheme of things, it’s a rare day when I don’t have to persuade, bribe, threaten, coerce, nag, or even beg any one of them to do what needs to be done.

Homework, showers, chores, turning off the tv, computer, DS, whatever – it’s hardly ever a do-it-and-done process.

It’s enough to make a happy mom cry.

What are those tears all about? Well, for me, it’s about the fear that I’m not commanding enough respect from my kids, the worry that they’ll never be sufficient enough to take care of themselves, and just the sheer frustration that this mothering thing has to be so dang hard.

Please, tell me I’m not the only one who occasionally feels this way? Or at least be kind and lie to me.

I’m a happy mom, but the same way thunderstorms can blow through a bright summer sky, I absolutely have my moments.


  • Jen Lane

    Um, I only have ONE child who is THREE and I feel like this A LOT! (See? It even makes me write in all caps!) Lately, the weirdest things seem to cause epic battles–come inside to eat, go up and get ready for a bath, drink your milk, don’t throw play-doh at me…you know how it is with preschoolers. I worry all the time that I”m not doing a good enough job, that he’s not thriving like he should be or even that I’m smothering him with too much attention. This mom gig IS hard. I think we all have to take it day by day, pray really hard and allow ourselves room to breathe.

  • Mir

    I’m always working on being a happier mom—I think I tend towards the half-empty glass much more than I wish I did—but even when things are relatively good, there’s always something that can bring me to tears. I love being a mom more than anything. But anyone who tells you even the easiest of kids aren’t hard is crazy. 😉

  • Brittany

    There are definitely times where I find myself in tears. Usually it’s for things that seem to happen over an over no matter what I do (pulling poo from diaper, touching things I’ve said no to over and over). But I think overall I consider myself a happy mom.

  • Nope, you are not the only one! There have been many days I have been in tears. I don’t always let mey kids see, but somedays I do! Let me assure you, being a little further down the road, that the days do get better. The struggles are still there, and there tends to be less of the minor ones and the random major ones (like my 18 year old who has decided she is moving 3 hours away). In the scheme of things, most of those things that bring us to tears, don’t even matter in the long run.
    Just hold tight, breathe, and cry when you need to!
    Is it time to sharpen your saw?

  • Jenlynnthomas

    I hope you know you aren’t alone in feeling this way. I love my family of boys and think I’m a pretty happy mom, but I also complain a lot and get so tired of everything too. This minute might be bad, but remember the last minute that was good and the next minute that will be good too! Love ya!

  • Jessica Barrus Morgan

    I love the Happiest Mom – except for those days where I feel like it’s a lie and I’ll never be happy again, but I may have a flair for the dramatic (is that where James gets it?) 🙂
    You are such a good mom, and one of the women I compare myself too (and hope I can emulate as my kids get older). Struggles with our littles always seem the hardest, don’t they?

  • Can I weigh in here and say that, even as the quote-Happiest Mom-unquote myself, I have plenty of these moments? (You know what’s funny? I totally meant for that title to be a bit tongue-in-cheek, like a riff on the Happiest Baby on the Block, when I started the blog–but it’s stuck, and now I think people really think I consider myself the happiest mom on Earth…ummm, not sure about that one!)

    I have my moments of despair, frustration, or anger just like anyone else. But I don’t feel like those moments define me as an unhappy person or unhappy mom. To me happiness isn’t about how we feel from moment to moment necessarily, but that we have the tools and fortitude and content to look at the whole picture of our lives and say “This is good.”

    And Stacey, I hear you on your particular triggers. Feeling like my kids don’t respect me and/or don’t have the tools or desire to be self-sufficient, responsible people is a huge worry of mine, too. I try to soothe myself by remembering what a lazy, scattered so-and-so I was as a kid, and hey, I think I turned out all right (though it took a lot of bumps along the way!)