Vulnerability in Motherhood 

I was sitting on the toilet trying to poop the other day and my baby aka 2 yr old was puny and clingy with a weird virus. She stood there crying at my feet because at any instant I began to lower her to the ground she would start crying.  Inevitably I picked her up and sat her on my lap to poop with me. In this moment my brain began to reel with how raw motherhood truly is. How many times do I get to change clothes, potty, and shower alone? It’s quite impossible I must say in a house with 4 girls ages 7 and under. If it’s not the kids it’s the dog or the husband. Someone is always watching! I recently started an estrogen patch and my kids see that every time I use the bathroom bringing on a whole host of conversations about aging, my bones, and my “boo boo” as my two year old calls it.

A recent triggering moment of vulnerability in motherhood came about from a new friend at church about to have a baby. She has a 2 year old running around and we had had a series of broken conversations as mothers do. One Sunday after service we were in the play yard continuing conversation about where are you from, what do you do, how old are you, etc, etc. Come to find out, she was 38! For some reason, if you are pregnant with a small child running around I put you in a box that you are a teeny bopper just popping out babies, ha! When I found out she was my age, I instantly felt a deep empathy for her because I could see the weariness in her soul of being in the throes of toddler hood along with being very pregnant. The struggles of a “geriatric” pregnancy are real and we discussed some of the issues that go along with aging and pregnancy. Sometimes vulnerability can bring on giggles after the fact. This very pregnant mother was chasing her 2 year old in the parking lot trying to strap her down in the car seat. The next thing I know, the child escaped her car seat and was in the front seat with the mother climbing in the car to grab the child and strap her down. Haven’t we all been there? Uber pregnant, climbing in a car to strap down a houdini like toddler? Truly doing all the things we are not supposed to do pregnant. I was walking up behind her and just giggled and said I was only laughing because I have been there and done that too many times. 

Another recent moment of raw motherhood that stirred empathy in my soul was that of a mother and her biting son. This little 2.5 year old was on a streak one day at church and bit 3 kids for what looked like no apparent reason. My daughter was one of the victims. Thankfully there was no broken skin and she recovered quickly. I can’t speak to this situation because thankfully we have never had a biting child. But can I tell you that my heart goes out to that mama, because there she stands, 3 stair step kids, very pregnant, and having to stand there and watch her child bite children on the playground regardless of reprimands. I know she left mortified that day and probably broke down in the car. Yes, it is frustrating to be on the bitten end of the deal, but no one was mad or angry at this mother or child. Biting is a phase, but in the moment can sure feel like suffocating sand. 

I remember the tiny baby years of nursing and having my older daughters stand and watch each new baby eat. They were so curious, which is sweet and truly completely normal to them. But to us as mother’s, we can feel uncomfortable even in the presence of our own kids. Talk about uncomfortable, no matter what people say, nursing in public was so hard for me. The covers were a nightmare and distracting. I could feel my face get hot when trying to get my baby to latch. The other issue was the leaking of the other boob along with never knowing if my baby would actually drink or be distracted. Needless to say, the anxiety I had from nursing in public was not good, so I would avoid it at all costs. My spot was the car and sitting cattywampus in the front seat. I fully respect nursing in public and think mamas who can are rock stars. Me being vulnerable is saying that it was hard for me. 

I’ve had a friend’s daughter pee in my house. Another new friend came for the first time and as soon as her family walked into the house her daughter threw up all over my floor. My kids have shown their true colors in the grocery store (who hasn’t) as well as with family. My second daughter lost her mind over a piece of cake for my mom’s birthday that resulted in a 20 plus minute meltdown of screams and me just sitting in her room till she could think again to have a discussion. I remember I was so mad in the moment because the whole situation was ridiculous to lose her mind over a piece of cake. As she screamed I sat in her floor taking deep breaths myself and praying for guidance. I talked to her sternly and tried to open her eyes to how to handle the situation more appropriately. At the end of what I thought was a good stern conversation I suddenly was annoyed at myself because of my inner anger. I ended up hugging her and had silent tears thinking about how vulnerable she was in that moment and how much our Savior loves us even through the hard and silly outbursts over a piece of cake. 

Vulnerability is raw and can be embarrassing, but being vulnerable in motherhood is truly real life. We bond over our vulnerability with other mothers. We share our deep pains and small victories. We live in messy cluttered houses with hand me down clothes and worn out shoes. Our hair is oily and hasn’t been washed in days. We are scavenging the food off our children’s plates and fall asleep listening to our new reader read because of exhaustion at day’s end. During pregnancies our bodies stretch, morph, and disfigure. Postpartum we attempt to reshape but the saggy skin, stretch marks, and scars inside and out can leave us forever frustrated. Then our boobs do likewise after nursing. Once the pregnancy phase is over we might have a few sweet years before stepping into an aging body in which we start to fall apart and feel crazy in the midst of children getting older and their bodies changing as well. I can tell you I am praying now for our teen years with 4 girls 🙂 It’s going to be a true gem. Our children see us in the rawest moments of frustration in which we yell and scream. Vulnerability hurts because I have to ask my children for forgiveness 100 times over. I know as a mother I want to be strong for my girls but as the Lord says, in our weakness we are made stronger. Eating humble pie daily has never been sweeter. To all the mama’s out there reading this; it is OK to not be OK. The more vulnerable you can be with yourself and with each other, the more we can do life in a real way. 



Adulting, Raising chicks




Vulnerability in Motherhood 

  1. Matt Feno says:

    Love it ❤️ Love you 😘

  2. Susan truesdale says:

    As an older mom I get everything you mentioned. Especially being a geriatric mom!!!!Girlfriend your insight is paramount.

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