Parenting Through the Hard Days

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As a new mom of three, Sarah Cottrell knows that some days are just harder than others. But instead of pretending that each moment is perfect, Sarah captured the other side of motherhood that many mamas can relate to.

“This is me. Right now. Trying not to pull my hair out,” she wrote on Facebook. “I have been trying to finish the laundry I started yesterday and do the dishes (we don’t have a dishwasher because I AM THE DISHWASHER.) My oldest son is bouncing off the walls (literally, there is a frigging dent in the wall), my middle wild child just bonked his head while spelunking in the linen closet and now has an ice pack on his developing egg, and the baby — pictured here — is either starting to teeth or is testing out the theory that if she screams loud enough and for long enough that I will actually cry. CRY.”

She explained that trying to get anything done at home with the kids running around can feel dizzying. In this moment, she hasn’t showered, eaten, or even had the chance to get dressed. “And you know what? I don’t feel #blessed in this moment,” she wrote. “I feel frustrated and tired.”

However, Sarah understands that the emotions she captured in this one raw snapshot are exactly what parenting is. “It’s this crazy journey that is mostly rewarding but pockmarked by sh*tty days like this one,” she wrote. “Like every other mom, I am trying my best to do this right. And I totally screw it up at least a dozen times a day.”

During moments like this, Sarah refuses to pretend that they didn’t happen or try to erase them from her memory as soon as possible. “These are the if-it-doesn’t-kill-you kind of days,” she wrote. “I file these moments away in my heart for when I need to remind myself that I am only one person.”

For Sarah, her journey as a working mom is perfectly imperfect, and there’s nothing wrong with that. “I won’t ever color neatly inside the lines of motherhood, but I love my kids with all my heart,” she wrote. “And right now while the sink is full of dirty dishes, at least one kid is whining, and I smell faintly of pee and spit up (don’t ask) that big feeling of love is all I got. And I call that a win.”