To the Mom in Survival Mode: You’re Stronger Than You Think

stress management for moms

Dear mom in survival mode,

I know you. Some days you like to wear sunglasses so no one can see those red, puffy eyes.

Maybe you were crying on the way to your kid’s soccer game because you just couldn’t take it that morning. You slept in, the kids fought, you were running late. At least in the car you could turn up the music, take a few deep breaths, release those tears so that you could pull yourself together.

Mom survival is just a part of the job, but you've got this, my friend! This article will encourage you right where you're at.

Maybe you got so little sleep last night that you’re not even sure whether it’s safe for you to drive. You were up all night with the baby. Or with the sick kid. Or with your worries.

Maybe you’ve got the kid with all of the “issues.” Health issues. Behavior issues. Issues that no one seems to understand. Your family can’t do normal things because your child simply can’t handle it. You’re exhausted from the appointments with the specialists. You wonder about who’s passing judgment.

Keep surviving, Mom.

Maybe you’re the one with all of the “issues.” Physical issues. Mental health issues. You know you need to take care of yourself but there are so many needs that come before your own. You can’t get rest when there are mouths that need sandwiches and scraped knees that need bandaging.

Maybe you’re wondering about your marriage. How you got to be just roommates, or why you keep having the same fight over and over and over.

Maybe you’re worried about your best friend, or your sister. She texts you late at night about the years-long fight she’s having with her husband. Is she crazy? She asks you. She’s scared. Should she leave him? You’re at a loss for helpful advice.

Maybe you’re the one in a years-long fight. With your husband, your mother, your sibling.

Overwhelmed Mom Needing Rest

Maybe you’re looking around your house, wondering when it’s ever going to be clean, or when that remodel is ever going to be done, or when you’ll finally be unpacked from the move that was many months ago. You don’t have the time or energy to work on it, and yet you push. Push. Push yourself.

Hang in there, Mama. Keep surviving.

Maybe your child is going through a tough phase. They’re making shocking decisions. They know better than that. But they’re becoming their own people, and you have to let them fall. It’s terrifying.

Maybe you’re grieving. You’re numb one minute, sobbing the next. Everyone wants to help and is worried about you, but there’s nothing they can do to return what was lost. You are finding healing, but there are moments when the wound is just raw all over again.

Maybe your workload is suffocating you, whether it’s your job, your side projects, or facilitating your kids’ education and activities. Some days you look at your schedule and you feel like you can conquer the world. Other days, you just want to toss your planner across the room. (Or maybe you can’t even find it or haven’t used it in weeks. Or ever.)

Related: 12 Signs of Mom Burnout, and What You Can Actually Do About It

Maybe someone you care about deeply is hurting. That friend who can’t get pregnant, the one who lost a child, the one who’s stumbling through a divorce, the one who is battling cancer. You desperately want to be there for them but you’re not even sure how to begin to help.

Maybe you’re stressed about your cash flow. There are days when you wonder when you’ll ever feel like you have enough. Enough to pay the bills, enough to tuck into savings, enough to throw a good birthday party, enough for that surprise expense you know you should have planned for better.

Keep surviving, mama.

You relish in those moments when you can just get away. To go out with your girlfriends, your husband, or just be by yourself. You feel guilty about wanting to escape your kids so badly, yet at the same time you know it’s exactly what you need.

Mom Survival self-care

Your life isn’t so bad, you remind yourself. There are many others who are suffering so much more than you. You grasp for joy and gratitude, you pray, you lean into your faith. You do everything right. And yet you have a lot of days when you need to hide those puffy eyes behind your sunglasses.

You’re tired. Really tired.

Let me tell you something, sister.

You are a phenomenal person. Yes, you.

You work so hard. And no one really understands all the crazy little details that go into a single day in your unique situation, and probably never will. Even when you’re relaxing, your mind is always churning, worrying, planning.

And do you know why?

Because you love these people. You adore your kids and your spouse, even when they make you absolutely bonkers. You’re crazy about your friends, your parents, your siblings. You’d go to the moon and back for them, even if you’re infuriated with them.

You do holy work. All. The. Time.

Of course you’re exhausted. Because even though everyone tells you that you need a break, this job of loving never stops.

Yes you need to take care of yourself, so go do that. Go get that manicure, splurge on the latte, bring home that bottle of wine for Tuesday night. But you know as well as I do that you’re going to go right back to it all: pouring yourself out for everyone, day and night, until you literally have nothing left to give.

That’s just the way it is.

Be proud of yourself, friend. You are a warrior, a woman of strength; you are going to get wounded. But you’re going to be okay.

If you have faith, continue to cling to it. And someday, when those babies have babies who have babies, you’ll get to look back and know that it all mattered. Every tear, every sleepless night.

You got this.

:::

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How are you feeling today, mama? If you’re in survival mode, what’s one thing you could do to be kind to yourself?

Hey, I'm Gina!

I’m a wife and mom of five, with kids ages toddler to teenager. I’m created in the image of God, made whole in Jesus. In this online space, I help others overcome the overwhelm all of us face when navigating this messy, beautiful journey we call life. Want to join us?

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18 Comments

  1. sunSPARKLEshine

    Such great encouragement here, Gina! I needed to hear this. All moms need to hear this!

    Reply
    • Gina Poirier

      I need to hear it! It’s one of those posts I wrote to myself and thought would be good to share

      Reply
      • Laurie

        If only we can all learn to encourage ourselves like this then pass on that encouragement to others. Thank you for sharing

        Reply
        • Gina Poirier

          Thank you! I always appreciate the comments

          Reply
  2. Christina

    Raw post on the reality of motherhood. I look back on some earlier years and if it wasn’t for God’s help, I wouldn’t have made it.

    Reply
    • Gina Poirier

      Definitely wouldn’t be making it!

      Reply
  3. bekalynn02

    Oh wow Gina! This was so good. I definitely related to many of the scenarios you wrote about. It can be overwhelming being a mother and on top of it worrying about your family’s and friends difficult situations. I am thankful I was able to go to our church service last night and pour out those tears and burdens to God. It is hard work, but it’s worth it and I am so thankful to have my family to love and worry about;) Thank you for this encouragement!

    Reply
    • Gina Poirier

      I’ve spilled a few tears myself over the last few days! God is good.

      Reply
  4. Alexandra Harrel

    This article made me cry…I am this mom on so many levels at this time in my life. Finally, someone understands instead of passing judgement or telling me what I’m doing wrong/need to do! Thank you, I really needed this!

    Reply
    • Gina Poirier

      I feel like I wrote this for myself, but I’ve been told many times that moms just relate to this. We already judge ourselves so hard, so the last thing we need is more “shoulds.” Thanks for your comment ?

      Reply
  5. Tonya

    I stumbled onto your website tonight when I was searching for some encouraging verses for Mom’s. This post caught my eye as well and I had to read it. I can relate to this on so many levels. I have two wonderful children and a husband who loves me more than anything, but there are times (like now) when I feel completely burned out. Then, I feel guilty when I have to have a “good cry”. because there is that little voice saying, “What are you crying about? You have a great life and so much to be thankful for….so why cry??” This post made me feel so much better, though. It’s good to know you’re not alone…..so I’ll be saving it to reference during the times I need a reminder that everything WILL be okay. Thank you!! 🙂

    Reply
    • Gina Poirier

      You are not alone, Tonya! I come back to this post every now and then too. I think we have too many “shoulds” that we hear…sometimes we just need to know that we’re doing just fine.

      Reply
  6. Amanda

    I really needed to read this today, Gina. Thank you for your sweet reminder that it is all going to be ok. In the middle of a battle (with kids or my husband), it feels like I must be doing something wrong or have missed something important… but it’s just part of loving them- I get to help them work through life & show them what love & grace look like. And the fatigue that goes with that (because my job never ends) is something I can just release to my Father & trust that He’s got this. 🙂

    Reply
  7. Molly

    Wow! Just what I needed to hear! And from someone I don’t even know. Thank you so much for your words. You had me in tears and I know I can do it, I just need some words sometimes. Today is not one of my perfect days, but I know I can do better and make the rest of my day better. Thank you again so much.

    Reply
    • Gina Poirier

      I know the feeling and I’m glad we can relate! We’re all in survival mode sometimes and the tears are just a part of it.

      Reply
  8. Trina

    Thank you for this. I am in the middle of a divorce now that I didn’t want. I tried so hard to save it the whole past year. And on top of that I am in school myself and the kids are of course home since the world crisis and I am in therapy. I could not had made it this past year without the Lord and my church circle. I have been feeling really down lately so thank you for this post.

    Reply
    • Gina Poirier

      So sorry to hear that Trina. I’m glad this is an encouragement to you.

      Reply

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