Mourning When You’re a Mother: Life Must Go On


momsBad things don’t stop happening when we become moms. There are sicknesses, deaths in the family, accidents, and national tragedies. These things will always happen, and we will always find ways to deal. You don’t get to take a break to mourn when you’re a mother. Life must go on.

Recently, I found out that my grandma had a massive stroke and would be moved from her home, where she lived independently, to hospice. While processing this personal news, the aftermath of a tragic school shooting was constantly in my news feed. My husband was out of town for work during this time, and there was nowhere for me to hide. I was sad and anxious, but my kids did not understand why I was crying, nor did I want to tell them the details. So, I cried in the shower and behind the bathroom door.

In times of mourning, there are still diapers to change, dinners to make, and laundry to fold. There are kids who talk back, toddlers who throw tantrums, and babies who wake up in the middle of the night. As much as I wanted to curl up in my bed and watch mindless TV or take a nap, my kids needed me to pack their lunches, give them baths, and go outside and play with them.

This is what we do as moms. When we are sad, drained, or scared, we keep mothering. My recent experience is just that – mine – and it’s not lost on me that there are moms all over the world receiving far worse news. Yet they still roll themselves out of bed in the morning and get moving for the sake of their kids.

I hope those moms give themselves grace, just as I am learning to do. If I am less patient with my kids, I can ask them to forgive me. If I am feeling overwhelmed, I can take longer showers and go for walks. I can stand outside in the sunshine and make sure that I fuel myself with good food. And I’m not opposed to going to therapy or asking for outside help. I might not be able to take a break from the chaos of my home during difficult times, but I can focus on the things that I can control.

Moms before us have continued to power forward when life gets hard, and we will do the same. Life must go on.