Why Mommy Meltdowns are OK Sometimes

By Polly Conner

A few weeks ago I was having a hard day.

Minor things had been chipping away at me all day long and my resistance was low. When my infant refused to go down for an afternoon nap I hit my tipping point and began to crumble. A mommy meltdown was in full swing.

We’ve all been there, right?

When we just can’t take any more and start to fall apart at the seams. (Really hoping you are nodding along in agreement).

I used to feel guilty about feeling this way. My internal dialogue would tell me that if I loved my kids more, these wouldn’t happen. If I loved God more and would just be more like Jesus, I wouldn’t hit the end of my rope so quickly. I’d think about my friends and how they probably never have this struggle. So not only would I be a mess because I was running on empty but then I would feel guilty for the fact that I had the meltdown in the first place.

As a result, I would scold myself, strap up my boots, and tell myself that I would do better next time. I would try to find some type of strategy that would keep me from hitting that low point again. Only to find myself back in the same spot sometime down the road.

In short, I thought mommy meltdowns were the sign of failure.

However, my assumptions about my limitedness as a mother are beginning to shift.

After reading a few great books like Humble Roots and None Like Him and having a few conversations with a wise women, my perception and understanding of myself is beginning to shift.

What if it’s OK to be at the end of our strength with nothing left to give? What if it’s OK to be limited?

What makes this OK? Simply put: we aren’t God.

Jen Wilken in None Like Him put it so well when she says,

“we must recover the truth that was obscured by the serpent: rather than being like God in His unlimited Divinity, we are to be like God in our limited humanity… We are limited by design, in order that our limits might point us to worship our limitless God… When I reach the limit of my strength, I worship the One whose strength never flags….”

Saying that we aren’t God seems almost overly simplistic but the truth is, we are human. We are in bodies that wear down, minds that cannot understand everything, and experience emotions that are fickle. We are limited in every way.

What if it were OK to be worn out, fed up, and emptied out in every way? What would it be like to be freed up to be imperfect and let that point us to the one who is not?

What I’m finding is that by embracing my limits and humanity, I’m experiencing more peace and rest. This mama simply cannot do it all and rather than feeling guilty about that, I am thankful that I live in the kingdom of the One who can.

Cause the needs of these little people are endless and I am not. I’m getting to a point where I am OK with that.


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9 replies
  1. Kelie says:

    Thank you for articulating this!! I’ve been running on fumes and the guilt on top of that has been too much. Thank you for the reminder!!

  2. Laura Smith says:

    I LOVE THIS!!! As a mom of 11, I feel overwhelmed MOST of the time. I have learned in recent years that I CANNOT do it all, I am just NOT very good at being okay with it. The days that I give myself a break and rely on Him more, things go better. Thank you for the reminder!!

  3. Shawna B says:

    I feel this way all the time and for years, I have five children 17, 15, 12, 9 and 8 and I used to tell myself it will get easier when they got older. This is not what happens, the struggles change but are always there. I love my kids so much and always want to be the best mother, it doesn’t happen everyday but I wake up praying that I will do it right today.

    • Polly says:

      Yikes- I was hoping that these subside a bit as kids get older. I like how you put it though, “the struggles change but are always there.” We will never be perfect because we weren’t meant to be!

  4. Happy Home Fairy says:

    I love everything about this!!! “This mama simply cannot do it all and rather than feeling guilty about that, I am thankful that I live in the kingdom of the One who can.” YES YES AND YES! Thank you, Jesus! Thank you for this post!