When you feel like quitting motherhood


When you feel like quitting motherhood

“There are days when I feel like God made a really big mistake in making me a mom,” I type. “I feel like I’m in a job I want to quit but can’t. Which is absolutely horrible. But that is how I feel.”

I look at the text message and press send. My eyes sting with tears as I reread the words I confided in my friend.

How could I say such a horrible thing?

A couple of years ago, I met a mom at the playground. She had just gotten off work and we chit chatted for a few minutes about our kids, her job as a full-time nurse, and then she asked me what I did for a living. I pointed to my kids and said, “this.”

She said very genuinely, “I tried staying home and I just couldn’t do it. My kids completely exhausted me, so I went back to work. I commend you for doing what you do all day.”

I smiled. For years, friends had asked me, “when are you going to work?” and I never knew what to say back because motherhood was by far the hardest job I’d ever had. Hearing this encouragement from a fellow mom who was making her way through motherhood alongside me, made me take pride in knowing, I do this all day every day.

But as time wore on, that moment faded. And so did my passion for being a mom.

After years of sleepless nights, dirty laundry, and piles of dishes in the sink.

After years of meltdowns and therapies and autism.

After years of moving, financial strains, and health problems.

I waved the white flag and said, “I quit.”

I had reached the end of my rope, and I could not see any other way out than to run from motherhood.

My husband lovingly told me how much he appreciates me, how much our children love me, how much he wishes he could change the struggles we have faced, but I couldn’t hear him. I was too upset. So, we called our family counselor who made a Saturday visit to our home. I cried through our entire visit. I felt angry and ashamed. I wanted my situation to change, to feel like I was working toward something greater than what I felt my life had become, but I just didn’t know how. And, at the same time, felt such guilt and shame for wanting to quit my family and the life God had given me.

For two hours, my husband and counselor listened as my inner turmoil bubbled to the surface. All my fears, doubts, and anxieties came rushing out until, finally, I felt relieved.

And I didn’t want to run. I wanted to stay.

I wanted to work through the struggles I was facing. I wanted to surrender my doubts and my fears to God. I wanted to find joy in motherhood again.

And day by day, one step at a time, I am finding joy. Finding rejuvenation. Finding solace in God the Father who loves me through my doubt and my fear.

A Love Note to the Mom Who Feels Like Quitting

To the mom who feels like quitting, I know it feels like the weight of the world rests on your shoulders and you don’t know how much farther you can go. I know you are exhausted, frustrated, and struggling with fear and doubt. I have been there, sister, and I am praying for you today. Praying that the Lord would bless you with the rest and peace you need. That He would fill your heart with joy and empower you to see that your job as a mom bears great meaning. That He will carry you through the dark times when you want to quit. And that on the days when you want to wave the white flag, you will wave it high and surrender it all to Him.

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Katie, I am proud of you for sharing this personal testimony of how a mom can love so much but feel so backed into the corner. The only one that can heal those wounds is Jesus. Well Done, Sister!

    Katie Emanuel {Wonderfully Made}

    Angela, thank you so much for your words of encouragement. This was a difficult post to write, and I appreciate you understanding. Motherhood is not for the faint of heart, is it? It takes friendship and a loving God to make our way through!


      Thank you so much for this message. I was feeling like a failure as a mother tonight and I was reaching for something to make me feel better and found your blog on Pinterest. I don’t ever write or comment on things like this, but it resonated so much with me I had to say thank you! I began crying as I read your message because you put all the feelings I had into words and I felt so relieved that someone else felt the same way I did. Thank you for putting things into perspective for me! Your blog saved me tonight from a lot of agony I was feeling. And I am ever so grateful!


        Lauren, thank you so much for your beautiful message. We are on this motherhood journey, together!


What an amazing family you have, Love! God bless your husband for sitting with you that Saturday and walking through the briars with the counselor. I’ve been there many, many times.

Just do the next thing. Whatever that is, just do that next thing.

The next time you need a time-out, go out on your front porch and look West- I’m waving at you from Michigan! And I’m walking with you every step of the way.

    Katie Emanuel {Wonderfully Made}

    Oh Katie, thank you! What a precious note, full of kindness – just like you!


I have been a mother for 27 years and know that you are only as happy as your saddest child. That financial stress and depression can end marriages. That no matter how much you try to help a wayward child, if they don’t want to help themselves you have to watch them fail–over and over again–and die a little each time. But I also know that God has a plan for me and I have learned to trust His plan more than mine.
Stay strong, sweet girl! You are doing a magnificent job!

    Katie Emanuel {Wonderfully Made}

    I’m so sorry for all you are going through. You’re so right, though. God DOES have a plan!

Jenn Soehnlin

You are not alone. Been there, done that. Thank you for being vulnerable enough to let your husband, God, and us into the depths of your heart. Yes, let’s keep surrendering that white flag to our Father God and know that He is making us so much stronger through this process. :)

    Katie Emanuel {Wonderfully Made}

    Jenn, it is always such a joy to meet a kindred spirit. Thank you for being open about this struggle and for your encouragement!

Erica - Let Why Lead

I’ve been meaning to say how beautiful this is. So proud of you for sharing these raw moments. I know the feeling – at least to a degree. When the bitterness kind of just bubbles so much that you can’t repress it any more. But my does it help just to get it out. To express it. To make yourself put words to it. And then to try to let go. (For a while. :)

I pinned to a group board I participate in. Hope you and the fam enjoy your weekend!

    Katie Emanuel {Wonderfully Made}

    Thank you, sweet friend. I just love the way you described bitterness and the need to express it through the written word in order to release it. Beautifully put! And thank you so much for sharing. I hope it will bring encouragement to others who have been/are facing the same struggle!


I found this site because I googled “I want to quit being a mom!” Its good to read hope in between the lines of someone who has felt the same way. Today, so far, has been a rough day. Needed a little hope. I was honestly hoping that there was a guiltless way out explained in detail at the end of the article though! lol.


    Jacklyn, you are definitely not alone! I’m so glad you found the post and that it brought you some encouragement.


    What happens when you run ‘telnet [setverhosrname] 22′? This is a simple to check to see if you do or do not have access.If you don’t, you either need to setup the AWS firewall OR you may also be blocked by your corporate (or home) firewall as you leave your network. It is common for outbound traffic to be blocked on port 22, esp. in corporate environments. In this case you’d have to raise a business case with your network admin to get this opened up. I would certainly not advise you to try and tunnel out.


I love you for writing this… to know we all have tough times and that others can relate makes things seem manageable when they don’t always feel that way.


    Tabbi, I so appreciate your kind words and knowing that I am not alone!


Thank you for writting this, its nice to know Im not alone. I feel like i just go through the same motions every day and im starting to feel numb inside. I miss feeling happy.


    Shelle, you are definitely not alone! Hang in there, mama. The rote parts of motherhood can be the most difficult, but your work matters! Your happiness does, too. Praying for you today!


Your words brought me to tears. I’m so glad to know that I’m not alone. Thanks for sharing this and releasing some of the stigma and shame of feeling like this. Motherhood is hard and rewarding and messy and beautiful. I feel blessed to have been chosen for such an amazing job. But sometimes I need a vacation. Thanks for bringing it back to God.


    Oh Heather, you put that so beautifully. Blessed by your kind words. And YES moms need vacations, too!


Thank you for posting this! My husband had been working out of state for a few months now and being a mother to my two boys (who are my entire life) has seemed overwhelming and at times too much to handle, esp while working full time. Everyone has different struggles but I’m so glad to know I’m not alone!


    Oh Steph, my husband worked out of state for several months before we moved up north and it was HARD. I can’t imagine what it would have been like juggling both my kids and work while he was away – you’re amazing. Hang in there, mama! You are not alone!


Sitting here in a house so messy, I’m having anxiety about my husband coming home and how I’m going to explain that I just couldn’t pull myself together again today. I googled “moms that feel like quitting”, I think in search for community in my feelings and a sense that I wasn’t alone. And I found this post, and it completely broke me down, crying in my kitchen. I’m thankful I’m not alone in my feelings but this is a hard hard season of life. Thank you for opening up with this encouraging story. It’s given me hope. Hope that maybe down the road, my story can look similar to yours. But for now, any prayers would be appreciated.