Menu

Some days are hard.

They're hard like—cry yourself to sleep, not knowing if you're doing anything right hard. They're get in your car and take a long drive to clear your head hard. They're remind yourself to turn the news off and take deep breaths hard.

Some years are hard—and not just because they involve seasons of hectic schedules that come with having little kids. They're hard because the news is sad. They're hard because the world can be unjust. They're hard because there's a lot of ugliness in the world.

This year was hard for a lot of people. There's been fighting, tension and hatred.

And I'm tired.

As Huffington Post Women so perfectly said, “All the women in me are tired."


The mother. The wife. The daughter. The sister. The friend. The feminist. The house manager. The driver. The planner. The errand runner. The writer. The school volunteer. The memory maker. The worrier.

Every one of the hats I wear are worn out.

The mom in me needs a break. She's touched out. She stays up too late. She hears too much noise. She's always needed. Always doing. She's worried she can't handle every day like this. She wonders if she's doing enough.

The wife in me needs connection. She wants time alone with her husband. She wants to have a conversation with him without being interrupted. She wants a date night. She wants to put on a beautiful dress and feel good about her body.

The house manager in me needs help. She's always picking up. Putting away. Cleaning up. Making dinners. Washing. Folding. Finding. Making lists. Attempting to balance.

I took a long drive tonight with music blasting. This is my zen. This is my place.

When I'm driving by myself, with the loud notes of my favorite musicians, I feel like I can drive forever. So tonight, as I was cruising around, I wondered what it would be like—to just keep driving. To drive away from all the hard.

And then I made myself cry.

I cried because I felt guilty about even thinking about driving away from my family, my life, my hardships.

I cried because if I drove off I wouldn't feel the biggest hug from my husband when I got home. The sound of his voice asking if I felt calmer, better now—after my drive. The sweet kiss on my head after he told me he loved me.

I cried because if I drove off I wouldn't have come home to my babies. I wouldn't hear my oldest daughter sneak out of her bedroom to say, "See ya later, alligator!" Or my middle daughter cry for a hug from mama. Or my newborn's tiny coos and little snores.

I cried because if I drove off, I'd miss the magic that is having these children in my life. Their big hearts, their smiles that light up the room, their wild imaginations, their chubby little toddler fingers, their dance party requests, their ability to make me feel like I'm actually doing three things very very right—raising three beautiful daughters.

I cried because if I drove away from the hard in life, if I pretended it wasn't happening around me—I would feel like a coward. A coward unable to stand up for what's right. A coward unable to fight against the unjust. A coward unable to speak up for those who can't.

I cried because I am privileged to live this life—of a mother. A wife. A friend. A daughter. A sister. A friend. A feminist. A house manager. A driver. A planner. An errand runner. A writer. A school volunteer. A memory maker.

I cried because I'd never drive off. I would never even want to do that.

I cried because, well, life is complicated. Motherhood is complicated. The world is complicated.

But mostly I cried because no matter how much I love my family and my life—the good days and the bad—I sometimes let the bad overshadow the good that's around me. And I can't.

I can't take this beautiful life for granted.

So, I will keep on keepin' on.

This is our year, mamas. It's full of promise and hope.

I'm going to continue to love on my babies. Attempt to tame their tantrums, attempt to teach them compassion and kindness, attempt to get them to their activities on time and help them make new friends.

I'm going to continue to ask for help and for grace from those in my life.

I'm going to continue fighting the good fight—speaking up, speaking out, speaking my truth.

Because we only get one chance at this, mamas. And we have to be brave.


You might also like:

Motherhood is a practice in learning, growing and loving more than you ever thought possible. Even as a "veteran" mama of four young sons and one newly adopted teenager, Jalyssa Richardson enthusiastically adapts to whatever any given day has in store—a skill she says she's refined through the years.

Here's what just one day in her life looks like:


Jalyssa says she learned to embrace agility throughout her motherhood journey. Here's more from this incredible mama of five boys.

What is the most challenging part of your day as a mom of five?

Time management! I want to meet each of the boys' individual needs—plus show up for myself—but I often feel like someone gets overlooked.

What's the best part of being a mom of five?

The little moments of love. The hugs, the kisses, the cuddles, the smiles... they all serve as little reminders that I am blessed and I'm doing okay.

Are there misconceptions about raising boys?

There are so many misconceptions about raising boys. I think the biggest one is that boys don't have many emotions and they're just so active all the time. My boys display many emotions and they also love to be sweet and cuddly a lot of the time.

What do you think would surprise people the most about being a mom of five?

How much I enjoy it. I never knew I wanted to be a mom until I was pregnant with my first. My desire only grew and the numbers did! I am surprised with every single baby as my capacity to love and nurture grows. It's incredible.

How do you create balance and make time for yourself?

Balance for me looks like intentional planning and scheduling because I never want my boys to feel like they aren't my first priority, but it is extremely difficult. What I try to do is not fit it all into one day. I have work days because motherhood is my first priority. I fit in segments of self-care after the kids' bedtime so I don't grow weary.

What's the biggest lesson you have learned from motherhood?

I have learned that sacrifice is actually beautiful. I was terrified of the selflessness motherhood would require, but I've grown so much through the sacrifice. There is nothing better than living for something bigger than myself.

When did you first feel like a mom? How has your motherhood evolved?

I first felt like a mom when I was pregnant with my first son and I intentionally chose to change my eating habits so my body could be strong and healthy for him. I didn't have to think twice—I just did what I thought would be best for him. That decision being so effortless made me realize I was made for motherhood.

My perspective has changed with each baby as I've realized motherhood doesn't have to be one-size-fits-all. With my first son, I was a by-the-book mama and it was so stressful. With each baby, I have felt more freedom and it has made motherhood so much more beautiful. I have evolved into the mother that they need, I am perfect for these boys.

This article was sponsored by Dr. Brown's. Thank you for supporting the brands that support Motherly and mamas.


Our Partners