Dear Mother Who is Further Along (As seen on Scary Mommy)

Dear Momma who is further down the parenting path….

I’d like to think I’ve gotten pretty good at laughing off most of the parenting chaos. I can chuckle when the baby empties the dog water dish onto the floor for the second time. Or when the four year old knocks on my bedroom door after being put to bed. Again. Or when the second grader decides he does indeed want me to make his lunch. Five minutes before the bus arrives.

But the are times the laughter won’t come.

There is the third time the dog dish is overturned and I want to send it sailing across the room and watch it explode into a million tiny pieces against the wall. There is the unrelenting arguing from a child who I know, I know, has been blessed with a God-given talent for litigation. There are the eye rolls and sassy remarks and sibling rivalry and mess and bickering and chaos and LOUD EVERYTHING.

There are stupid arguments over nonsense that lead two grown adults who love each other to want to put a pillow firmly over the other’s face.

And hold it there perhaps a second too long.

There are long stretches of tedium…monotony…boredom that lead to discontentment and irritation. February in Indiana, for example.

Dear mother of older kids, please tell me this is normal. Please tell me you’ve been there. Or rather here. Please let me know it gets easier or comes with softer edges. Reassure me that I’m not the only mom feeling these feelings.

There are hours and days and weeks where I’m confident every woman/wife/mother is doing it better. Easier. Smarter. They have kids that listen and obey. They don’t argue over trivial things with their spouse. They don’t freak out and slam doors when they’re just SO DONE with all of the noise. They don’t fret over the budget.

There are times I feel so wholly and completely inadequate. Fed up and frustrated. Dear mom down the line, please remind me that your own kids didn’t listen all the time. That they didn’t obey. Tell me you’ve argued and bickered and wanted to run for an island.


Tell me it gets better. Or easier. Actually, please tell me both. Encourage me. Or humor me, if necessary.

Tell me your kids’ mug shots did not end up on the post office wall and they’ve become productive members of society. Or that lessons learned in the chaos led you to strengthened family and marriage.

Again, both.

Because there are these other women. These other wives. These other mothers.

Social media tells me their houses are clean. Their laundry is done. Their fridge is stocked. Meals are prepped and they’ve laid out a week’s worth of Pinterest worthy outfits to wear for work or play. In these moments of depleted confidence, I envy these women. I dare say I dislike these women.

Because I want to be these women.

Dear wise mother further along, please remind me these women don’t exist. They are unicorns. Beautiful in theory and so real in our imagination that we might often think we’ve actually spotted one. Remind me they are not real. Reassure me that I, like all women, possess some of the characteristics I so admire in these women. Encourage me to work on the traits I wish to possess. Remind me I am fearfully and wonderfully made.

For the mothers who are even newer to this mothering life than I am, please let me encourage you. If you are loving your babies and feeding them regularly and sending them to school and keeping them safe and tucking them in and guiding them emotionally and spiritually and helping with homework and kissing boo-boos and loving your spouse and doing your best, you are going to make it.

At least to the point where your oldest child is 8 years old.

Beyond that, I’m still waiting on confirmation from the other mothers further along.




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14 thoughts on “Dear Mother Who is Further Along (As seen on Scary Mommy)

  1. Hahaha…I had to call another mom today to make sure I didn’t permanently scar Chloe after she threw a royal fit over taking her Tamiflu this morning…at $7000 a dose…that stuff is going in your mouth!!! (And yes I was mean, went cray cray, and she ended up on floor from fighting me so bad. I felt terrible!!!
    On a side note…yes bickering over senseless stuff like “who keeps taking my iPhone charger” (with a lot of endless blaming) ended up in a knock down drag out the other day…oops…

  2. OhhEmmGeee you are sooo normal, ur kids are normal, ur life is normal and all of the struggles u are facing are normal! “THOSE OTHER WOMEN” are indeed unicorns and if for some reason there are a few that really do manage to exist, well they are eithe God’s daughter in the flesh or so highly medicated i dont know how they function to be so d*amn perfect! Lol
    My son is 15 and let me tell u, i cannot and i REPEAT, cannot, count the number of knock down drag outs, beyond stupid arguments, door/wall pumching or slamming, phone shattering (ok this only happened twice cause phs are stupid expensive to replace), toy breaking, eye rolling, attitude throwing, life lesson, get out of my face now moments we have had over the years! Our “really” started around age 4 or 5. I can for a fact tell u that these “struggles” tend to be phases just like ones ur babies and toddlers go thru, sometimes they last like what seems like F.O.R.E.V.E.R. and sometimes they last days….sometimes u want to strangle them, ur spouse, urself and more often than not run for the hills of some dream land far FAR away, all by urself!!!! I will NOT tell u what ppl have told me (its even in my top 3 pet peeves actually)….”it only gets worse”, “just wait”, “it doesnt get any better the older they get”…*all being said in my whiny annoying, i hate u voice!* ACTUALLY they do get better, some better than others, u and ur children (and i like to believe, even ur spouse) will learn life lessons from each and every one of these struggles, arguments and hair-pulling moments! My son has always been a great student (All A-B’s until high school and well that has been our recent struggle), good athlete, he’s a great person/gentlemen and has a heart of gold and willing to hely “anyone else” out at any time and dear old mom sometimes or when i “lose my shit” after asking nicely the 5th time! Lol Your a great mother and person and ur kids and ur family are going to be fine….10yrs down the road you are gonna look back, shake ur head, maybe laugh a cpl times and say “Lord am i gald those struggles are behind us” and in the next breath say “i would give anything to have those years and (some) of those struggles back” b/c u will miss the baby and younger years! Just make the best of every moment that you can, take a deep breath before u shatter something into a million pieces (b/c u will be the one cleaning it up, remember!?), before u yell something u may regret and just take a sec to rethink it and say is this gonna bite me in my @$$, teach my child a lesson or cause more harm than good, then go from there!
    I am bound and determind not to go thru at least 1/2 of the struggles w/my twins as i have had (and lets be honest, will have in the not so far away future) w/my singleton!!!! However i will say i have grown and learned a a lot over the years, not only about myself but about my son, my husb, my son’s father (which is not nor was not ever my husb) and how to handle/not to handle situations. I am not always right but even if its a partial win, i will take it! Lol I have also learned to rely on the support of my husb and friends during these crazy times b/c i CANNOT do it myself no matter how much i tell myself i can fix it all by myself!!!

    • Love it, Alice. Love the perspective from someone further along. Love that you get to do this all over again with two little sweeties. What a blessing. Thanks for your words and encouragement. ??. Would love to get my hands on those babies!!!

  3. My sweet first,( I like to call you the ‘experimental’ child’), What has happened to your memory? I was where you are…about a million times. Do you not remember the Sunday morning that war erupted and your poor dad took the three of you to church while I went to a nearby park and walked….and walked..and walked. I don’t think I took wine with me, but my memory is fuzzy. Do you remember the time our sweet neighbor was approaching our front door, heard the two of us ‘discussing’ something rather LOUDLY and threw open the door? She separated us, sat us on the couch and proceeded to mediate a cease fire. Do you want me to go on? Would you like for me to recall similar episodes that involved you sister and brother? You will not only survive…your family will thrive….if you continue to focus on what is truly important.
    And, I think you are doing just that.

  4. I cannot put into words how much I need and admire your honesty. I am for the most part, minus 6-12 hours a week, a stay-at-home mom. With that said, I am far from the Suzie homemaker. I don’t enjoy cleaning and I do not have a detailed itinerary for my 4 year old daily. My house is a mess even after hours of cleaning and often my child is still in her pajamas when we go to pick up her sister from school. I often feel like a failure and believe every other stay-at-home or even full-time working outside of the home mom puts me to shame! I have the last few months due to many circumstances, worked on deciding I’m good enough. I make mistakes. My 14 year old, who is a wonderful teenager, is still a teenagrr and we argue often. I’d like to say it gets easier, but puberty sucks! She still loves me and calls me her best friend and we are close, but her inner need to be independent and right make her into an emotional screaming crazy person that I have to convince myself on a daily basis that she is still the child I love dearly and that this stage will pass. My 4 year old, is well a 4 year old. She is wonderfully curious and full of energy that I love and admire and at the same time, these characteristics drive me to the wine bottle sometimes by 5pm. I guess what I’m saying is, I don’t think it ever gets easier because every stage has its own challenges and if you are a woman, like yourself, that is trying your best, it can often feel overwhelming. The important thing, I think, is to accept and embrace the crazy, not so proud moments as well as the easy ones. We are not perfect and that’s ok and that is what each one of us as women and mothers needs to remind each other of regularly. We are all in this together!

    • It has been such a blessing for me to hear from others that they are dealing with the same. I think we all desire a sense of normalcy, right?! I love your age gap. My sis and I are 8 years apart and couldn’t be better friend. I hope the same for your girls. Thanks for your sweet words?

  5. 1. You are not alone. 2. You are as normal as anyone wants a real human being to be. Too “normal” is boring. 3. Fantasy Facebook Supermom is just that: a fantasy. She does not exist. Or if she does, she is boring. (See #1). 4. I know you are not really looking for this much “feedback,” but here are a couple lists I’ve made on the subject you’ve addressed above. Because when you get to be the mom of older kids, it is fabulous. SO much to look forward to. I promise. 😉

  6. Emily
    I have been thinking of how I want to respond to you for a couple of days. First I want to give you a good shake. Give yourself a break!
    Do you want your kids to grow up thinking they have to be perfectly calm and reasonable at all times. Do you want them to think that they can never get crabby or tired or can never yell?
    Do you want them to think that the most important thing is a spotlessly clean house, obeying instantly without question or being smarter than someone else?
    I always wished I had been less grumpy or more organized or whatever else. My kids don’t remember the grumpy times (or, at least, most of them).
    They remember knowing with absolute certainty that they were loved and that their welfare was the most important thing to me. Apparently not all of their friends, some of whom had the most perfect looking parents, did not share this blessing.
    You know that your kids know for certain that they are loved and cherished. You know that they have no doubt that taking care of them is the most important thing in your life. They know that even when there are times you want to kill them. That is the most important thing and maybe the only important thing you can give them.
    You do not want to be those women. You want to be exactly the mother you are.

    • Oh, Mary, if shaking did any good my mother would’ve been way more effective ?. Thank you for your wise words. You are right in so many ways. God somehow thought I was just the right person to patent these four. They DO know they are loved. For certain!
      Sure wish you and Dave still lived down the street.

  7. Incredible Women( please note I did not say mom). My 3rd and baby is now a spoiled Fiji at IU. I relish the quiet now that all 3 are “gone”. Others cry that their children have flown the nest- no , not me, I did my super mom time. They are strong , intelligent, stubborn and righteous bc they had a crazy wonderful full family life, mom working, they depended on each other, covered for Dad bc he was , well, Dad . Now, I cry bc they come home for summer jobs-now 21 and can do what they legally wish to do…and Bc I love them to do death and get sucked up into babying them all over like when they were toddlers… It never goes away?

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