Sometimes being a parent is the most wonderful, rewarding job in the world. You look into the eyes of your sweet loving children and can’t imagine a life without them.
But then there are the other times. When the baby won’t stop crying, you’re knee deep in diapers and spit up, the toddler won’t stop tantruming, the tween won’t stop questioning every single thing, and the teen won’t stop brooding.
And sometimes, when it all just gets to be too much, and you fear the day will never end, in the darkest, most secret part of you, you wish you could get in the car and drive away. Forever.
In a Facebook post that has quickly gone viral, one mom blogger, Whitney Ballard, behind the popular blog “Trains and Tantrums by Whitney Ballard,” shares this raw parenting truth.
And with over 11,000 shares to date, it has obviously struck a chord.
She begins her post by saying:
I got in my car and drove away from my family.
I didn’t know where I was going.
I just walked past the TV playing Mickey Mouse, and the mess on the floor, and my husband sitting silently on the couch. I was frustrated with my kids and mad at my husband.
I just walked out the door and left.
I started driving and I wasn’t sure where.
For a split second, I thought what it would be like to just drive away, like far away, for good.
It sounded like a good idea for a moment.
While she didn’t drive far far away, she did drive to Sonic for a Cherry Vanilla Coke with Lime and some much needed time to reflect.
And it makes me sad to think that all the things that bring me the most heartache in my life are all the things I always wanted,
and that makes me feel guilty.
I feel like because I have a husband and healthy kids, I should be a wealth of gratitude all the time.
Whitney continues her post by saying:
I’m not sick. I’m not undergoing trauma. I’m not physically hurting,
and so I suck it up because there are real people going through real things and I’m not supposed to be sad. I’m supposed to be okay.
But sometimes? We are NOT okay, even if the world thinks we should be.
There are times when life is difficult, even if we have so much to be grateful for. Sometimes it’s okay to NOT seize the moment. To NOT love every second of parenting. To NOT be in a constant state of gratitude.
Because sometimes? Parenting is hard. Really really hard. Sometimes being a wife, a mother, an adult are HARD. Period.
Whitney tells Filter Free Parents the story behind the story.
I was sitting at Sonic feeling guilty for being on the verge of a breakdown when I literally had everything I’ve ever hoped for at home. Then, it hit me. Just because we’re overwhelmed doesn’t mean we’re not thankful, and just because we’re struggling doesn’t mean we’re not doing great things with what we’ve been given. On any given day, I can be the girl who has it (somewhat) together or I can be the girl sitting at Sonic, crying and drinking a Cherry Coke. Nobody has a good day every day!
Whitney almost didn’t hit “post”, fearing that she would appear ungrateful, but ultimately, she chose to share her story to show what real life looks like behind the scenes.
In doing so, she hopes to encourage other moms who have felt the same way. The response has been mostly positive, with “women sharing their own stories of having to leave their family or needing a break” and others being prompted to take some much needed time away.
After having the chance to take a few deep breaths and a few sips of Coke, and no longer fantasizing about riding off into the sunset, Whitney ends her post with these encouraging words:
It’s okay to want things and simultaneously be frustrated by them.
It’s okay to get what you want and be totally blindsided by parts of it.
You are not a machine. You’re not a fortune teller. You’re not God. You’re only human.
Before you put your big girl panties back on, take some time. Take a drive. Pray. Cry. Order a large Cherry Vanilla Coke with Lime.
All good things are hard sometimes.
And maybe, just maybe, the reason it’s hard is because we’re doing it RIGHT.