The One Where I Get Personal

Last week I had a teary breakdown. Maybe it was the fact that “someone” hadn’t been taking daytime naps, had a huge diaper rash all week and was consistently whining. Being the new Mummy I am I never thought to look in his mouth til a few days in I spotted the culprit; a small white dot in the back – AKA the molars. 2 of them at the same time. Poor guy… but ahem, back to me!

Hubby came home and I was crying. I moaned, “Nobody pays me to change diapers! I want a paycheck!”

Now my Hubby is worth his wait in gold (hence I’ve kept him around for nearly 10 years) and no word of a lie says, “Would you like some money babe?” Now…..I’m having a crisis but my eyes light up with Old Navy signs as I mumble past the tears, “Yes please” It was pitiful.
It’s funny isn’t it what defines us? That somehow going to work and bringing home a check makes us feel worthwhile. I never had jobs that I would call careers and yet just the thought of someone saying, “Great job, Clair, here’s your check” is appealing. Somehow the adorable Mother’s Day card that Tim had held Isaac’s hand to write while a true delight didn’t make up for it in the middle of my blubbering. I know, I know, what a horrible Mum I am!!!

The hard thing for me is that when I started this journey I think I thought it would be easy. I mean, I’m a little older than most Mums at 30 and had been in Thailand for 3 years. I mean, how hard could this be? All day long I would play with my baby, plan meals, do the laundry, cook, clean, bargain shop and take some time in the afternoon to watch my fave show. Lemme tell you, 3 years in Thailand, culture shock, language learning has nothing on Isaac! Although he is more worth it, he’s also a little trickier to understand as he didn’t come with any labels. No warning tag around his neck that said, “Watch out for the molars at 14 months!” One day What to Epect needs to create a series just for your little one. In fact I may market it to them, “Coming soon: What to Expect the Isaac Years 1-18”!! Before heading to thailand we bought the book: Culture Shock: Thailand. No such book available for our little man!!

So… back to SuperMum because isn’t that what we’re all supposed to be? I honestly thought it would be that way and had set myself up for a giant fall.

One thing I’ve learnt on the Mummy journey from the Veteran Mums (AKA the ones with more than 1) is that it’s ok to say, “This is hard” In fact once I ask around as to who finds this easy, I find that is rare. This is not about whether you work or don’t but simply to take it from me that it’s ok to say “this is hard.” I want you to know that when you think you’re supposed to be SuperMum, your kids already think you are. If you’re struggling today as a Mummy, I want you to know I’m praying for you. You really are a SuperMum! You’re the right size, the right package for your kids and nobody could do a better job!


  1. Eighty MPH Mom says:

    It is absolutely okay to say “This is hard”….it is very hard. It is easy to feel that nobody notices the “job” you are doing, and it can be mundane at times, but it will all get better!

    You certainly are not alone!

  2. Thank you for this post! I was a HR Manager for a missions agency in a former life but gave it all up when we moved to the USA. I thought it would be easy, but this is by far the hardest and worst paid job I have EVER done. I recently said on facebook….I want to go back to work where people did what I told them 🙂
    All that to say – You are not alone 🙂

  3. Thanks for the encouraging words Clair! BTW…you ARE an amazing Godly mom!!!!!!

  4. Kristi_runwatch says:

    Thanks for getting personal, Clair! Motherhood is a tremedously difficult job – I love this quote from G.K. Chesterton:

    “How can it be a large career to tell other people’s children about the rule of three, and a small career to tell one’s own children about the universe? How can it be broad to be the same thing to everyone, and narrow to be everything to someone? No. A woman’s function is laborious, but because it is gigantic, not because it is minute. I will pity Mrs. Jones for the hugeness of her task; I will never pity her for its smallness.”

    I wrote a post a while back about full time mommyhood:

  5. Amen Clair! It is hard and I think its very important as mom’s that we share our hard times instead of faking it till we make it, we need to know that we aren’t the only ones having those blue days. That is why I started my business, I don’t get an applause when I clean the toliet, but I get one from this group of women just for doing my job, we all need an applause and we have to know where to go to find it.

  6. Clair,
    (This is the first time I’ve commented here). I find what I miss most about having a job outside the home is the sense of accomplishment and the appreciation for a job well done – in tangibles. I think that both of these happen at home through my kids and husband, but not like when I was working and my boss told me I was doing a good job or I saw a bonus in my paycheck. I miss showing up at work, dressed to work, and going home at the end of the day after putting in my hard work. At home, I know I’m on the clock 24-7 and I do it in my pajamas most days! BUT, I know the contributions I’m making to this world through this job FAR outweigh what I did before children. And I know that God is teaching me SO much more through this TOUGH job than he was before. Never before have I been so challenged to love and serve others and put them before myself. It is an awesome job and I wouldn’t trade it for the world.

  7. Julie Sitter says:

    Clair, thanks so much for you post…needed that after vacuuming the last room at 11:30 p.m. (that’s right PM) on Saturday night…why o why did it take all day and actually two days (if truly honest) to finish cleaning the house! Even though I know it’s ok to say it is hard and I’m tired I still feel some times I’m not allowed too. Thanks for letting me know it’s ok!

    – Julie

  8. I’d rather stay home and make $0. I became a mom at 37 and it is harder than all the other for pay jobs I’ve had. DD is sick and grouchy and screaming no no no because she doesnt feel good, all week asking for specific foods, I make it, and she eats one bite. Poor kid is making me crazy this week too, so I hear ya! Being a mom is the hardest, but most rewarding job. A lady in my MOPs group who has 7 or 9 kids (I forgot) said something amazing a couple weeks ago. She said that staying at home with the kids is the one job that is closest to doing what God does for us: constant nurturing, teaching, etc. Thanks for your post and for your encouragement and honesty.

  9. I totally agree with Lia. Stop faking it. Nobody is perfect. Nobody’s kids are perfect!!We all struggle. We need to lean on each other and be real with each other. Motherhood isn’t for wimps. It’s the hardest job ever!!

    Clair, Isaac is the happiest little guy I know- so I think you are doing great!!

  10. Anonymous says:

    Clair-I am not a mom yet but this was very encouraging! I feel that working full-time and being a wife is still a real challenge! Thanks for your kind/helpful words/prayers. The key is continuing to lean on the Lord!
    -Lauren N

  11. CJ, Lori, and Princess Triniti says:

    Well said Clair! We all have our days…none of us are above meltdowns and overwhelming times. We are so blessed to not only have GOD on our sides, but wonderful, supportive husbands. 🙂 Take heart…this too shall pass. It could always be better, but it could also always be worse.

  12. mistisdesk says:

    so did you take the money?? lol!

  13. Clair,
    As a mom of 2, I kow how hard it is. REALLY! My first, which I think back and how unprepared I was to have a baby…never even babysat or changed a diaper ( and I was 27!)My first rejected the bottle at 5 months old and (I swear) screamed from 4 months to 9 months without stopping!! We all have bad days where we feel unapreciated. Even now, with the boys 5 & 7, some days I swear a tornado went through the house when I wasn't looking and I feel like crying. But, you are a super mom. It is the most worthwhile job in the world. You get paid in kisses & I love you's.
    PS. Thanks for all that you do!

  14. I feel the same way sometimes. Even though I work part time and do bring home a paycheck, I feel like I am falling short since I don’t watch my son 24/7. I don’t feel quite so guilty since my mom watches him, but I feel guilty none the less. And my son is 11 months and is getting molars. So when I am home, he crawls after me the whole time and cries. To my disappointment, my mother as well as my husband both told me that he doesn’t do that for them. SO lately the only QT that I have is with him being crabby.
    I will be praying for you too. ANd it is the hardest thing to do. You are not alone.
    Hang tight,
    Mary Petrichek

  15. jwieland says:

    Clair and everyone I have enjoyed reading what you have written. This is my first post here but I do like to stop by and read. This is a subject near and dear to my heart…lol. I have 6 children. DS 16, DS 12, DS 11, DS 5, DS 2 & DD 4mos. I had my first three at a young age and was not married. My oldest lives with me and DSs 12& 11 live with dad so only visit. I did the single parent thing for years so I had to work when the older ones were little. Now I am married and DH and I agreed that I should be a SAHM. My DS 16 has sex on the brain and nothing else. Teen way worse and in need of supervision than the little ones. My 5 yr old is autistic so still not potty trained and can be extremely violent on his bad days which leaves us cooped up in the house. This also means I have three sets of dirty diapers to deal with each day. Let me tell you I know it's ok to say this is hard and I also know it's ok to need to just cry about this job called Mom. I also know that kisses, I love you's and the wonderful little moments can take one terribly rough day and make it sunshine and roses!

  16. Bridget says:

    I just awarded you a blog award..congratulations! you can check out the award here!

    You have a great blog and it shows you put a lot of hard work into it. Thank you for being such a positive influence on others.

  17. Esther Hawkins says:

    very encouraging Clair – thanks. I was having a Mummy meltdown kind of day today but your post has inspired me.

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