Feel Like Giving Up?

Feel like giving up as a mum?It’s Friday afternoon. My kids are getting to each other and making me crazy. Maybe it’s because it’s the end of the week, maybe it’s the wind? (Teachers all say windy days make crazy kids!) I’m tired and trying to get dinner ready. And the words ‘I just want to give up’ just flashed through my mind.

Phew. It’s not the first time I’ve felt like this, and it won’t be the last. Even when it’s not a season of any particular struggle, there are always moments where it becomes ‘too much’, and we feel we don’t have the inner resources to keep going. What do you do when you can’t actually quit your job?

There are a few things which help me hang in there. Small, baby steps to just get through and not run to my bedroom in tears (that’s what happens when I totally lose it and need to give myself a time-out!).

  1. Create some distance: when it’s the kids driving me crazy, sometimes I send them to their beds for quiet reading; sometimes I set up a ‘zone’ where they need to play with a particular game or toy; sometimes it’s letting them have technology so that I can regain calm.
  2. Breathe: I’m amazed the difference it makes to breathe consciously and deeply. It provides a focal point and releases stress. Relax your shoulders, sit comfortably or lie down, and breathe for a few minutes.
  3. Take a step: sometimes, we can’t give up, but we can take a tiny step to keep going. This afternoon when I thought ‘I want to give up’, I actually did the dishes… that will help me later this evening when I clean up after dinner, because half of the work has already been done! Taking a tiny step will hopefully help you with some momentum to take another step and another, until you have gotten through the day.
  4. Tell someone: whether it’s in the moment, or sometime later, it’s good to tell someone who loves you. Sharing your feelings helps you with perspective and also helps the other person to understand a bit more about how you’re really going.
  5. Be gentle with yourself: Perhaps this is where we should have started, but I think it’s an ongoing journey to learn how to be gentle and kind to ourselves. Slowing down is not failure; not-getting-everything-done is not failure. Did you make some mistakes today? It’s okay, if you need to apologise, do that, and reconnect with the person you hurt. But you are not a failure. Lift up your head, take courage and keep going.

Sometimes the most important job in the world is also the hardest.

You are amazing.


About The Author


Tanya lives in Canberra with her husband and two sons. She is passionate about helping women to live fulfilled, purposeful lives. She enjoys reading, cooking, craft and creating memorable moments for her family.

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