Motherhood,  Mothering Through Fatigue

when you’re “tired of being a good mother” and “weary in well-doing”

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Dear one who is “tired of being a good mother”:

As I finally sit down to write this letter to you, I am frustrated. Really frustrated. While, yes, I did get to sleep in this morning, the rest of the day I have felt tension rising within me. These little battles between me and this tiny soul entrusted to my care wear me down day-in and day-out.

Playdate plan A didn’t go well. Two little boys did more fighting and crying than playing. So we loaded them into the car and drove the few miles to Chick Fil A to see if a different setting would help the situation. My child wouldn’t sit down and eat. I threatened that we would leave, and he called my bluff. I followed through and we left mid-lunch without ever stepping foot in the play place.

We came home and attempted to finish lunch (we failed), spent too long on a fine-motor skills activity that had me losing patience more than I would like to admit. And finally, he’s down for a nap.

I’ve seen this search term or variations come up from time to time, more frequently of late. I think this illness and weather probably has a lot to do with it.

im tired of being a good mother

Today, you are that mom…a mom who has “grown weary in well-doing.” And I am that mom too.

when you're tired of being a good mother | Dear mom who has grown "weary in well-doing"
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I sense the desperation, the desperation that comes out in finger tips brave enough to type the words that you would probably never utter to another human being:

tired of motherhood

i’m tired of being a parent

too tired to be a mom

im tired of being a mom

i’m tired of my baby

Last week, three or four days in a row, my son woke up an hour earlier than normal. And in those moments when I was jarred awake and knew I had to face a day which I felt I wasn’t ready or capable of facing, my thoughts mirrored yours.

God, not now. Not today. Why God? I can’t do this today. I just can’t. 

But I swung my legs over the bed and brewed the coffee and changed the pull-ups and and poured the Kix and read the books and cuddled and did all of the things that good moms do: somehow making it through another bone-tired, weary day of mothering with the supernatural strength that comes only from the God who made moms to endure even when they feel that they can’t possibly face another day of…this.

when you're "tired of being a good mother"

And I bet that you did too. 

I wish I could stop writing posts like this. Because I feel like I just keep saying the same things. But you keep typing your brave, desperate calls for help into a Google search bar; and you keep coming here, to me. So I can’t stay silent.

Dear weary one who is too tired to keep doing this mothering thing:

You are a good mom. Because if you weren’t, you wouldn’t be asking for help. 

Because if you didn’t truly care about your children, you wouldn’t even bother with it all.

Your children are a treasure, even when they exhaust you. And you, tired one, are the best mother they could ever ask for – yes, even on the bad days. Even on the desperate days. 

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when you're "tired of being a good mother"

I know that you’re tired.

Tired of giving that baby that so-called “liquid gold” that comes from your body that you just wish could be yours for an hour, a day.

Tired of choosing to read books instead of turning on Nick Jr or Netflix.

Tired of taking that child to therapy for the fourth time this week.

Tired of disciplining for the same infractions over and over and over and over.

Tired of saying no and don’t touch and hands are not for hitting and sit down and eat and we don’t talk to Mommy that way.

Tired of rocking him to sleep because it’s the only thing that works.

Tired of cooking healthy meals.

Tired of washing laundry and diapers.

Tired of making all of the million little “good choices” that you feel you should make to make you a “good mom.”

And you want to give up. You want to jump in the car and drive to the nearest hotel, alone, and come back when you feel like a shred of sanity has returned. You want to hand them over to someone else and say, “Here, take them, I can’t do this anymore!”

But such luxuries don’t come. So you push through. You hang onto the moments that remind you why it’s all worth it: the hugs, the snuggles, the sticky hands cupping your face, the I love you Mommys, and the hundred times a week that somehow that child still manages to make you laugh.

when you're "tired of being a good mother"

Because you know that that’s what hope looks like.

Dear tired mother:

Be not weary in well doing. This matters. You matter. These weary days full of the million things a day you do to be a “good mother” – they matter. The choice to be a good mother, to care, to push through, to do this job that is harder than any other – it matters.

“And let us not be weary in well doing: for in due season we shall reap, if we faint not.” Galatians 6:9

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Dear Heavenly Father, the One who made this mother and her beautiful children:

I pray for this tired mom whose desperate search has led her here. I pray that she would tangibly feel Your presence right now, if only through my words. Give her hope today. Show her how much her life and “good mothering” matters. Renew love within her for the child or children she so desperately wants a break from. Grant her rest and peace, even if they only come through stolen moments behind a locked bathroom door. Multiply and use those moments to fill up her depleted tanks to go out and mother for one more tired moment, hour, or day. Let her know that she is not alone in her feelings, and that You understand them, but that You are waiting to meet her there in her desperation and give her the strength she needs to face her struggles. God, could You love on Her today? 

(And while You’re at it, could You do all of that for me too? Because You sure know I need it too.)


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  • beckydaye

    My “life verse” is 1 Corinthians 15:58- “Therefore, my beloved, be steadfast, unmovable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, because you know that your labor in the Lord is not in vain.” On the weary mama days, I find myself repeating this verse, because being a mom is the labor that He has called me to. And it is not in vain. Even when the day or the week ends and I feel like I have failed. It is not in vain. Oh I love the grace that God bestows on us.
    Thank you for your faithfulness in writing your heart Aprille! Your labor in the Lord is not in vain!!!

    • Aprille

      That is a great verse. I was so frustrated today because, once again in childcare today, he was hitting and spitting – and then ran out into the parking lot for the 15th millionth time. And discipline just seems to fall on completely deaf ears and I wonder why I try. So thank you. I needed to hear this!

  • Susannah Faulk

    Aprille, this is great and I needed it today! My unborn child is the one giving me the hardest time. I thought I’d be feeling better by now, but at 15 weeks, i’m still throwing up several times a day and have no energy to play with my toddler. Thank you for writing what so many moms need to hear!

    • Aprille

      Oh wow that does sound tough. Ezra exhausts me so much, I honestly have had moments where I’ve breathed prayers of thanks that I have not conceived because I don’t know how I would manage him while dealing with pregnancy! (Although I think this boy desperately needs a sibling!)

      Praying right now for some supernatural strength for you and for the morning sickness to abate!

  • Meredith Bernard

    Really needed to hear another mother struggling the same way as I do…daily. Thank you for your encouraging words, Aprille and for the sweet prayer. God knows our hearts and our struggles and He loves to hear us ask for help. Even more, He loves to give it. Thank God He loves to give it! xoxo

  • Susan

    Wow.I just happened upon your blogs and I’m in tears because someone understands how I feel. Thank you and don’t stop writing. You are helping people. And, thank you, God, for helping me find this today.

    • Anonymous

      I agree, thank you, my 3 are 9 & 8 yo twins & the 1st time I’ve felt like this. I’ve got through the baby & toddler years but now I’m tired and feel I can’t do it anymore, I just want to cry & hide somewhere – but I can’t as I always have to be somewhere or doing something for someone else. Is this selfish? Probably but with work, kids & a husband I’m tired of trying to be perfect, especially when it is not working because my children are rude and don’t care when I’ve tried so hard to do everything right. Some slight peace knowing it’s not just me. Just needed to get it out I think without people being judgemental that I’m not coping.

  • Maya D.

    I just wanted to say THANK YOU for you timely blog post, and that wonderful prayer at the end. It’s just what I needed to read. I stumbled upon your blog out of my own desperate search after a ‘bad mommy’ day raising a toddler and baby. Thank you again. It’s good to be reminded that we aren’t alone in this. Blessings to you!

  • sierravbrock

    I happened across your blog because you came across mine 🙂 Anyway, THANK YOU for posting such real thoughts on motherhood & writing to everyone as though you live just a few houses down.

    • Aprille

      Aw you are welcome Sierra. Motherhood is no walk in the park (at least it hasn’t been for me)., so I try to share a very realistic picture to my readers, in hopes of making people feel less alone.

  • Swandra Spencer

    thank you for your kind words I am losing it I have a soon to be 4year old n her world im her best friend and she loves me in my world im needing a life intervention called “break” when im sleeping I hear mommy im hungry, mommy im thirsty, mommy I want to go outside and the list goes on and on and on. I AM TIRED!!!!! im battling health condition that makes me fatigue and depress a lot and its hard. Her father work nights and sleep thru the day and when he do get up he watch movies and play games yet I run around like a chicken with its head cut off! literally. Im fighting motherhood, this disease, plus im a online student, plus im a child of god, somedays I wake up wishing it was night time and wish I stayed asleep its rough its hard its rough its hard. Yet I feel guilt because my daughter did not ask to be here and you want your child to be happy and have the best but how do you give that when you don’t feel that?

    • Aprille

      One day at a time. Give what you can, how you can, when you can – and let go of the rest. Perhaps some marriage counseling so that your husband can get more involved in you and your daughter’s care.

  • Anonymous

    I agree, thank you, my 3 are 9 & 8 yo twins & the 1st time I’ve felt like this. I’ve got through the baby & toddler years but now I’m tired and feel I can’t do it anymore, I just want to cry & hide somewhere – but I can’t as I always have to be somewhere or doing something for someone else. Is this selfish? Probably but with work, kids & a husband I’m tired of trying to be perfect, especially when it is not working because my children are rude and don’t care when I’ve tried so hard to do everything right. Some slight peace knowing it’s not just me. Just needed to get it out I think without people being judgemental that I’m not coping.

    • Aprille

      It sounds like you have your hands very full right now – and you are probably still recovering from the baby and toddler years a bit. My child isn’t that age yet, so I can’t speak to your challenges, but I’m sure you are not alone. Try to take some time for yourself if you can.

  • Deborah Smith

    Today no this whole 6 months has been tiring on me see 6 months ago is when my 3rd child was born 2 weeks before that my son turned 1 so I have my hands full and even though I love these kids more then any words I could ever describes.Im tired!Tired of crying babies all day tired of getting one to sleep and other one is now crying and right when I get that one settled the other one wakes up I live for the naps to be able to clean my dad consist of feeding kids cleaning more cleaning naps back to cleaning lunch more clean naps homework dinner bed the same process every day and the goal is the same how can I get my baby to stop crying every single time I put him down.Im tired of my husband downplaying everything I do he works I’m a sahm and getting told I don’t do anything all day I’m just plain out tired..This is my first time searching I’m tired of being a mom .Yours was the first one on the page so I clicked on it..I’m a Christian and thank you for writing that prayer in that moment I just felt God saying it’s okay it’s all going to be okay .Thank you for writing this post and making me feel that I’m not alone

  • nao

    Just wanted to say thank you such sweet and encouraging words. Have been struggling with being a good mom and having rough days with my kids. The more I try, the more things seem difficult. Just want to be a good mom and show my kids how much they mean to me and how much I appreciate to be their mom. But it has been quite hard for me to show them these feelings these days. I have feeling I am a bad mom. Just knowing there are some mothers also feel like me sometimes but keep trying surely gives me strength. The parts you mentioned in your letter, “You are a good mom. Because if you weren’t, you wouldn’t be asking for help. 
    Because if you didn’t truly care about your children, you wouldn’t even bother with it all.” I could’ve help crying!!!!
    I am so ready to wake up and give all my kids a big hug and kiss!!! Just wanna say thank you! So glad I read your letter to Moms. Thank you!

  • Me

    As a single mother of a now soon to be 20 year old, I am so tired! I am drained beyond measure. I’ve had barely no assistance in raising her and all the drama, stress, growing pains including a manipulative emotionally abusive ex-husband who made matters worse with his attempts to mentally sabotage the child; left me with an even greater challenge as my child questioned and challenged every good thing I expected of and for her. I feel trapped and have been for years. My insides scream for a break. Plenty of times I’ve felt like running away from home and then common sense kicks in and I realize that this child is the product of both my poor decisions in choosing an incompetent and abusive man to be her father, subjected to a terrible divorce, and having to live with a single parent who didn’t always have the patience, calm response, and or fully attentive nature because she was spent, exhausted, and in need of someone to help take care of her too. I would never ever in this life raise a child on my own ever again. Single parenting is the most strenuous, energy draining, and unrewarding job in the whole world. I love my daughter, which is why I am still here supporting her through college although I know many parents who would have said, “I did my part, you are now 18 hit the road and let me regain some sense of peace and balance before I die.” But I didn’t do that. I feel both guilt and resentment at times, but I trust in GOD and know that my time will soon come. I don’t know how encouraging my comment has been, but I just wanted some of you to know that before you become a parent thing long, hard, and really investigate that potential father because it could determine a life of hell or heaven with your child. Much love to all of you.
    Exhausted & Drained Mom

  • Erin Key

    Your blogpost was just what I needed today. It inspired me to write the following poem:

    To tired Mommas everywhere,
    You are not alone.
    Washing dirty underwear,
    Brushing tangles out of hair,
    Driving kids from here to there,
    You are not alone.

    Dealing with life’s daily demands,
    You are not alone.
    Fussing babies, grasping hands
    Piles of dishes, tracked in sand,
    Trying to make time for your Man,
    You are not alone.

    Needing new strength from Divine Joy,
    You are not alone.
    Amid the chaos and the noise,
    So many “Whys?” asked by young boy,
    Teaching kids to pick up their toys,
    You are not alone.

    In your dark moments of despair,
    You are not alone.
    When pressures seem too much to bear,
    When you are desperate for some air,
    When you feel broken, past repair,
    You are not alone.

    Sometimes you feel invisible,
    You are not alone.
    Sometimes your eyes with tears do fill,
    Some Mornings seem impossible,
    Some wounds take a long time to heal,

    You are not alone.
    You are not alone!
    You are dearly loved!
    You are not alone!
    You are worth SO much.

    Copyright June 3, 2016 Erin Key

  • Anonymous

    Yayy ! I finally found someone who felt like how I’m feeling now !! I thought I wasn’t normal !!! Lol !!! Today ! I am at my breaking point !! I’m a single mom to a beautiful little boy who will be 4 this year !! And I LOVE MY BABY TOOOO PIECES !!! But this momma is TIRED !!! I’m a single mom… I’ve been a single since day one !! I live with my family because I honestly can’t afford to live on my own even though I have a decent job !! My son’s dad hasn’t been apart of his life since he was 5 months !! …. long story !!… but I’m tired of being a single , broke and depressed mother !!! I am really thinking about sending my son to live with his dad !!! I don’t think it’s fair that I’m the only being a parent … I’m constantly broke… paying $600+ a month in childcare… paying for birthdays and Christmas stuff… and the list goes on !!!
    I tired of being a mom and broke … his doesn’t want to pay one red cent towards anything !! I can’t afford to buy myself nothing because I’m paying bills and paying my son stuff… I’ve been working non stop all year around without any vacation !! I need a VACATION !! I love my son but I want to go way to a place where no one knows and i don’t hear mommy 24/7 !!!

  • Deneice

    Thank you! I’m sitting here here right as we speak crying, because I feel like I’ve come to the end of myself! I didn’t think I would EVER say these words, but I am tired of being a mom! ! I so needed to hear that prayer, and for that thank you and may God bless you as well!

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