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To the failing mom...I know how it feels.


No matter how many loads of laundry you do, you’re never caught up.

No matter how fast you wash the pile of dishes, there’s sure to be more awaiting your attention when you’re “done.”

No matter how many parenting books and articles you read, you will still question whether you’re making the right decision in all areas of your children’s lives.

No matter how early you wake to get things organized and started for the day, sure enough, one of the children’s inner alarm goes off as soon as Mommy’s feet hit the floor.

No matter how late you stay up to accomplish the rest of the day’s duties when the rest of the house is already sound asleep, there aren’t enough hours in the day to ever be fully “caught up.”

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No matter how much you preach to your children to not compare themselves to others, you find yourself sizing your parenting skills up against other “great” parents.

No matter how many times you pick up and organize the toys and clutter, it soon finds it way back out to the farthest place in which in belongs.

No matter how hard you try to please everyone in the family, it’s safe to say not everyone will be happy or content with you at the same time.

Motherhood, you could say, can be a losing battle.

It’s messy. It’s exhausting. And it’s probably one of the most humbling jobs a person can experience.

We work tirelessly, we put ourselves last, we make it our priority to make our family our “first and foremost” around every decision of every day.

Yet sometimes why do we feel like we are failing? That we are coming up short? That no matter what we do and how hard we try, it very well may not be good enough?

Here’s the great thing—this job we have, the hundreds of hats we wear as a mother, each time we are called up to the plate, we get up...we show up...and we do the best we can with what we have.

Today I spent hours in the sun with my four children. We ran throughout our backyard in bare feet and if you saw any single one of us, one may think we haven’t been bathed in days...a true sign of a great day, no?

I rested on our sidewalk and my little girl came to curl up in my lap, I had to smile.

I looked down at our grass covered feet. I stared at the sweet toe nails that she, herself, painted despite the fact that I told her to wait for me.

I couldn’t help but feel that my lap was probably the most comfortable, safest spot for her in this entire world...and that any one of my children know that that is their spot, whenever they need it.

She looked up at me, smiled, and softly whispered, “You’re my best friend in the whole wide world!”

In that single moment, I thought, “I’ve got this.” Maybe it took these grass-covered feet to remind me, but I do.

The times I feel like I’m failing, I’m somehow reminded that sure enough, I must be doing something right. ?


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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.


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