On Motherhood: “The Days Are Long But The Years Are Short”

I’m writing this on a Thursday night, and I swear it feels like Friday. Or maybe I just wish it was.

My body aches, and my brain has turned to mush. This week actually kicked off this weekend, when I had to rush my daughter to the ER on Saturday for an asthma attack that wouldn’t respond to her inhaler or nebulizer. Spent the rest of the holiday weekend nursing her back to health and getting her lungs to act right.

Then I had class and all that entails. Which apparently makes me so scatterbrained that I locked my keys in the car. At 9 p.m. So I had to call my husband (who was at home and had just put the kids to bed – oops!) and ask him to bring my spare keys.

Then my daughter had a follow-up doctor’s appointment. I had to bring her brother along and trying to wrangle a boisterous three-year-old (who didn’t get a nap) while setting up an action plan for my daughter’s asthma, just wasn’t my idea of a good time.

After weeks like this, all I can do is pray for Saturday morning which I can usually wring an additional 30 minutes in bed. And maybe Sunday morning too if I’m lucky.

I love my kids with all my heart but some weeks, the constant race of motherhood weighs me down and gets me feeling like I will permanently tired. Like, forever.

In my Parent-Child Relationships class last semester, my professor had two little ones of her own and she tried telling the class (mostly single and childless) how demanding it was.

But then she said, “That’s the thing about motherhood, though: the days are long but the years are short.”

And that pretty much sums it up. The days will wear you down. Cleaning up the messes, making the meals, bathing the kids, breaking up fights, washing clothes, sorting clothes, putting clothes away, sweeping crumbs off the table, paying bills, scheduling doctor’s appointments—it’s an exhausting dance.

But then your kid’s birthday rolls around and you’re like, “How the heck are you (insert age here) already?” My daughter will be 5 in two months and my son just turned 3. I no longer have babies in the house.

Soon I will no longer have a toddler in the house. Or an elementary school student. They just keep growing. That’s what kids do.

I already have serious regret about not embracing my pregnancy. I don’t want to regret not embracing this messy, exhausting, trying period of motherhood, either.






  1. Chelsea Kyle says:

    This is so true, Tara. You think you’ll never get through the day, and then when you wake up the next morning, you have fond memories of that same heinous day. It’s the same instinct that allows us to clean up our own child’s bodily fluids without being grossed out!

    Tip for never worrying about locking your keys in the car again: get one of the magnetic key holders that you can stick under your car (in a hidden spot) so you’ll always have a spare. :)

  2. I feel your growing pains of motherhood, although I only have a 3 year old daughter I am also a doctoral student, working full-time and a part-time adjunct instructor. But I look at it on the brighter side; I feel its better being a young mommy who can handle school, work, and raising a family. You definitely will have a lot to look forward to once the kids do grow up and become more independent, plus you won’t have to be in a nursing home to enjoy it! Keep up the hard work and it will truly pay off not just for you but in the future of our children. Some parents don’t care about raising their kids or their well-being not to mention making the sacrifices that we do, our children are blessed

  3. all very true. i swear my son looks more and more like a little man everyday. i know what you mean about feeling permanently tired! I am always in the mood for a nap! Then when you really think about it – you don’t get much time. They are only our babies, our kids for so long. We have to enjoy the ride!

  4. Tara this is a great post! I’m not a mom yet but even watching my little cousin grow is crazy! When we babysit, he’s a handful, but in November he’ll be 3 and I remember when he was born! Cherish the days :)

  5. Dannielle Jackson says:

    Great Post!!! Thank you – just the words I needed today!

  6. Can I just hug you… virtually? I so get it.

  7. Oh my goodness, it must have been in the air…I just posted a blog about the longest week ever, and I was seriously wondering if I could do this for 18+ more years…(my youngest just turned 1. and then I read this. and I’m secretly glad I’m not the only one! So true…love this.