I am there now. That place in motherhood that lies somewhere between that happy routine and clinical depression. That place where nothing is really wrong, nothing is really out of place but the ability to just be content is fleeting. It has been this way for a few weeks now. I thought it was because I was just tired due to the swirling infections of strep and ear with the kids in the house. But now I think it is something else. Something aggravated by the lack of sleep and the constant need to take care of all things life for three children. I think it is from the overwhelming pressure to be the best mom all the time no matter what with no reprieve.

Living in the Slump of Motherhood

I think it would be hard to find a mom out there that does not hit the slump every once in a while. Even the happily married, my husband helps more than most, we have few concerns in our lives moms. I think every mom buckles under the intense pressure of getting it all done. None of us want to half-ass our way through our child’s lives. None of us want to live in a cluttery mess that we refuse to show the public. I’m pretty sure that all of us want happy, well rounded kids that are kind to others.

But the ongoing, day to day pressure to be everything to everybody wears a person down. So the slump seems inevitable. The question is, how do we survive the slump and live in it without allowing it to turn into something more? Living in the slump of motherhood can be so hard.

My slump was not kicked off by anything in particular. My life is really very good. I do what I love, have the children I adore with me and have kicked all of the negative out of my life with a resounding boot! I am overjoyed to get up every day and live this life. I do wonder sometimes if being a single mother hampers my success in my business but it never hampers my happiness in being in that position. I am well aware of how blessed I am in my life and try to remind myself of that every day!

But the slump comes anyway. That melancholy feeling that I can not shake and can not explain moves in with dark clouds that make it hard to see the light. It is not clinical depression, I am well aware of those signs and watch for it since my birth mother had a history, but more of a gloom that just hangs around for a while. Unshakeable, unexplainable, unrelenting. It can lead to tears or just the lack of desire to do what needs to be done.

I truly think it comes when that feeling of unappreciation barges in. When no one has taken the time to make mom feel like what she does matter. When the yoga pants are the daily uniform and there is no reason to fix your hair. When no one notices if you put on make up or not. When there is nothing exciting to look forward to that does not come with the work of being a mother. When day after day passes with the requirement of ‘have to do’s’ and no ‘thank you for doing the basics’ follow them. I think single moms, especially, have a hard time avoiding it. Day after day of taking care of kids and work and home without taking care of me can really take a toll. Even mother’s day for the single mom is just another day.

I used to berate myself further for entering the slump. Used to count my blessings and tell myself that there is no room for the blues. But now I accept it as part of motherhood. A necessary part. Because if we were happy and cheerful and up all the time we may not appreciate how important that time is in this experience. Without the slump we might not make the necessary changes to avoid it the next time. Like getting some sleep, exercise or that new top that we have been eyeing but struggling to spend the money on. The kids need another pair of shoes, after all.

The slump of motherhood is nothing to be ashamed of. It is the same as the slump of the worker who does the same thing every single day with no real appreciation. Motherhood is a job and a challenging one at that.

So I own it, I admit it and I relish the day when I can kick it to the curb and make the happy times last longer by making changes to hold it off a little longer. That is all I can really do until it replaced with the proud happiness I so deserve.

Have you fallen into the slump of motherhood? How do you deal with it?