Ezra,  Motherhood,  Mothering Through Fatigue

When you are finished with being a mom {on calling it quits}

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Being a mom is hard – anyone who says differently is selling something.

There are hard days, rough days, tired days – and I’ve had my share of those.

But then there are days where your mom spirit sinks so low that you throw in the towel and call it quits. Like, for real.

Yesterday was that day for me. I was done. I had had it. I had spiraled out of control, and I just gave up.

When you are finished with being a mom {on hiding under the covers and calling it quits}

Ezra is going through another difficult phase. I don’t know why these happen – I just chalk it up to some inexplicable struggle he has with growing up. During these phases, he doesn’t sleep well, he fights us constantly, he pushes every button I have (non-stop), and if you can think of a negative behavior to be acted out by a child – well, he’s done it.

I’ve tried everything. Harsh discipline, gentle discipline, keeping him in his room all day, sending him to daycare (and having to pick him up after two hours because even they couldn’t handle him), giving him extra love and attention, rocking him every night, begging, yelling, crying, whispering, discussing, bargaining, time-outs, losing privileges, bribing, rewards, behavior charts, making deals, asking friends for advice, trying things off of the internet that never work. I’ve become desperate and then some.

He’s simply non-compliant.

And with each passing day of this (it’s been a little over a week now), my tolerance level has fallen and the anger within me has risen to off-the-chart levels.

I became a mother that I barely recognize, who is definitely not the mom I want to be.

Yesterday, I crawled under the covers of my bed. After 15 minutes of quiet and napping, there he was again – asking for me or food or I-can’t-remember-what.

And I cried and begged him to go away and let me sleep. Just go away!

That’s a new low…for sure.

But when I came out of bed, I found him here on the living room couch, reading a Bible story book, eating a snack, being quiet and sweet.

When you are finished with being a mom {on hiding under the covers and calling it quits}

I wanted to just keep that moment and make it last forever. But, of course, it didn’t.

All day long my thoughts looped…

I can’t do this. I give up. I quit.

I just can’t mom today.

The only problem is that motherhood is never finished. It’s not a job you can simply walk away from.

So somehow I miserably fumbled through yet another day of horror, and he actually fell asleep shortly after I put him to bed. When it was finally over, my head was pounding, and I realized I’d been clenching my teeth all day.

This morning started roughly again. Yet another insanely early morning where he refused to stay in his room even with two alarm clocks and a chart that he has memorized telling exactly when he’s allowed to come out. Somehow, we fought through the ten minutes until the clocks changed.

I gave him apples and bananas – and he cried for cheerios. I ignored him and gave him his breakfast with a semblance of a smile. I turned on Praise Baby – and he cried for Mighty Machines. I told him, “after Praise Baby” and walked upstairs without another word.

I told my husband that I can’t keep doing this. Screw consistency. It’s not worth it to fight him every single morning to get him to stay in his room ten more minutes when it makes our days start off awfully.

I can’t have a repeat of yesterday. I just can’t.

I can’t change him. I can’t make him listen or obey or submit or respect.

But I can change me. I can choose to ignore behaviors because ignoring is better than yelling. I can choose to not react.

So when he asked to go outside in his pajamas, I said yes.

I let him jump on his bed butt-naked for 10 minutes.

I’ve said yes to three bowls of cheerios.

And I’ve tried my darndest to be a pleasant, kind, non-reactive, and soft-spoken mom.

He doesn’t know that I feel like I’ve been beat up. He doesn’t know that I’m exhausted and drained and have struggled to love him this week.

I wish that I could tie up this post and wrap it with a nice pretty bow of all of the great spiritual truths I have learned or how I’m determined to be a better mother or something like that. Something to encourage YOU. But, just being honest, I can’t do that. I can’t encourage you when I quit motherhood yesterday.

So maybe, just maybe, you could encourage me today? Or at least lift up a prayer?



Linking up today with Lisa Jo Baker for Five Minute Friday. Bloggers are given a writing prompt (topic) and told to write for five minutes. “No editing, no over thinking, no backtracking.” Today’s topic is “Finish. {Didn’t set the timer on this one today…}


  • Maria

    Oh dear, I am reading this and I feel your frustration. I am your neighbor at Lisa-Jo’s and it is interesting because just as you are going through this, I am preparing to embark in a motherhood journey that I never wanted to be honest but that I am so thrilled to be a part of. I wish I had some words on encouragement other than I will be praying for a little bit pf peace and quiet my friend. Hang in there.

  • Meg Melnik

    Oh Aprille, May God bless you as you struggle to love Ezra. It sounds like you are doing beautifully, just by the fact that he doesn’t know how frustrating it seems. This week, I had a day where I locked my bathroom door, laid a towel down and prayed. I was also blessed to have brought a new book into the bathroom with me. Let me highly reccomend, “I need some help here! Hope for When Your Kids Don’t Go according to plan” by Kathi Lipp. Through laughter and tears, she was able to point me back to God, when I all I wanted was to run away. I hope it provides you with some Hope too. Prayers for one Mom to another. :)) P.S. He looks so sweet on the couch, dare I say angelic. Love and Grace, Meg

  • MommaWarrior

    Wow, this is our exact story at least 3-4 days a week lately with my almost 3 yr old boy (and we are still working on change, in Jesus name!). I can’t begin to tell you how much this sounds like what I have been dealing with; as well as my son having extra difficulties with speech (apraxia) and extra swallowing/eating needs. Please, just know YOU ARE NOT ALONE! Mothers (maybe not the one’s with nanny’s every day, but a lot of us) everywhere are with you in this sacrifice and struggle and GOD IS WITH YOU -BOTH OF YOU. I try to do the same thing -ignoring certain behaviors. I want to encourage you that three bowls of cereal is great because your child has food to eat and is healthy enough to have an appetite! I also want to encourage you that **choosing your battles IS WISE**. There is not one mother who wins every single battle, so I choose to spend my energy-to-win on the ones that truly matter.

    “Fight the good fight of the faith. Take hold of the eternal life to which you were called when you made your good confession in the presence of many witnesses. In the sight of God, who gives life to everything, and of Christ Jesus, who while testifying before Pontius Pilate made the good confession, I charge you to keep this command without spot or blame until the appearing of our Lord Jesus Christ, which God will bring about in his own time…” ~ 1 Timothy 6:12-15

    • Aprille

      Thank you so much Jacalyn. Thank you for the assurance that I’m not alone. I can’t imagine having apraxia and feeding issues on top of that, so I know you have your hands full as well! Blessings. And thanks for commenting.

  • Mommy Lives Clean

    Hi Aprille! Your honesty is a thing of beauty. I think all mothers have been there a time or two. We can lift each other up though – it really does take a village to raise a child. 🙂 Have you ever had Ezra tested for food allergies? My son is 6.5 now and we have been through a lot with behavior issues and not listening at ALL. It is exhausting. I recently found he is allergic to nuts, soy and wheat and has an intolerance to dairy. Making changes in his diet has completely changed his behavior, wheat being the biggie. It’s amazing.
    I also was thinking about this post I wrote and a thing we do called “Yes Time.” When you let Ezra do what he wanted, did he behave better? I started doing that for an hour a day, letting my son “pick” what he wants to do, within reason. Kids want to feel like they have some control in their lives, so it worked out well. Check it out if you are interested, I hope it helps! http://mommylivesclean.com/2014/05/22/yes-time-and-the-great-behavior-adjustment/

    • Aprille

      Thanks for your comment – yes we have had him tested for food allergies (twice). He is allergic to eggs and peanuts which he does not eat, but nothing else. We eat reduced gluten and grains (I have a wheat allergy so many of the products I give him are gluten-free, but not exclusively). We also avoid high fructose corn syrup, nitrates, and MSG (not perfectly, but for the most part). So – diet simply isn’t a factor in this case.

  • Anon

    I don’t have a good keyboard here, so bear with me… Yes, it’s hard. Some kids are harder than others. Some kids are WAY harder than others, and it doesn’t have anything to do with the way you nursed or where he slept or what books you did or didn’t read or how hard those first few years were… They are just born that way. Not your fault, nothing you can do to change it.

    If you are exhausting yourself to this point and the daycare can’t handle him at times, maybe it’s time to get an evaluation from the school district or a specialist? Many times we break ourselves following common mommy sense and all the books written for the kids in the middle of all the bell curves, and those methods don’t work when our kids are scampering about on the ends. You really sound like you are going above and beyond in the motherhood department, and it’s okay to seek whatever help you need.

    Ezra sounds similar to one of my kids (actually not even as challenging, lol, but I’m sure there’s more than can fit in a blog). If so, the good news from the other side of motherhood is, he will grow up and be okay. Really. Trust me on this. He will never conform to your dream of who he would be (none of them do!) but he will grow up fine, and even if he hits bumps in the road, he will progress, he will learn, have friends, play games, get a job, get married, have a family.

    Hang in there. Find help. You will be okay!

    • Aprille

      Thank you for your encouragement. We had him evaluated through the school district as well as several specialists and they all say that, while he is proving to be a “difficult child” he is well within the typical range of development. We have been on this road of seeking help and answers since January but have come up empty. All that’s left to do is just pray for grace I think!

    • Aprille

      Thank you so much for your encouragement! I keep telling myself it’s just a phase!

      We have had him evaluated by his doctor, the school district, a specialist, and an occupational therapist and they all say that, while he is proving to be a “difficult child” – he is still well within the typical range of development and doesn’t need any extra care or services. We’ve been pursuing this extra help and seeking answers since January and come up empty. I guess that’s when we just have to pray for grace!

  • Tanya

    I am not a mother but I am sure it’s OK to cut off all the strings attached when something’s been bothering you. You need to take breaks. I read that you sent your kid off to day-care and he was sent back in 2 hours… I think you should do that more often. Send him to day care even if that means only 2 hours. 2 out of 24 would be a good time for you to relax. You need sometime for yourself.. make it out girl.. I am sure you’ll feel better and happier. 🙂


    • Anon

      Yes, very much like mine, he never qualified either, although looking back we wonder now if all our hard work with him was almost a handicap, kept him right on the bubble. By the time he received a mild diagnosis, there weren’t really any services available anymore. Also his development was asynchronous, so he was above average or gifted in many areas and below average in others, especially social, maturity, self-help, etc. which kind of skewed the screenings at times.

      I really just feel you’re right on target with all this. Taking care of yourself and your marriage, so you’ll have energy for your very high needs child who will never bore you. Letting go of comparisons and expectations and trusting God to lead you through the most important stuff. Continuing to search for what works for your child. Getting help and a break when you need it.

      Some days (weeks, months) are just HARD raising kids. Others will be easier. We all have days where we’re just spent and aren’t the Perfect Mommy model. It’s okay and normal and necessary. And it will get better. You’re doing a great job!

  • eastwestchic

    As I read your post, I totally relate to your frustration. I love your honesty and the reminder that as moms we control your response, even if we can’t control our child’s behaviors. Thank you for sharing!

  • BriAnna

    As a mom, we all have these rough days, weeks, and sometimes months! Thank you for being honest about your experience! I’m glad to know I’m not the only one who gets frustrated and exhausted with “Momming”

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