November 14

I Can’t Do This


Since I am on this journey to just write, and to share my life with you in a more deep and honest way, I’ve been going back to those 10 unpublished posts I mentioned—the posts I have been afraid to post. I published one of them last week, and all I have to say is WOW.

The response to it has been incredibly humbling and enabling at the same time. Thank you for your gracious words and encouragement. It does a weary momma’s heart good.

This one has been sitting in my draft box for seven months, yet the reality of the struggle is near.


Its been a hard day.

I find myself bawling on the way home from the Doctor’s office. There is something about that place that brings out the worst in my kids. I knew I shouldn’t have gone with all three—it is a recipe for disaster.

And a disaster it was.

Spent, tears well up as soon as I leave the building. Frustration. Anger. Embarrassment. Shame.

I’m not ashamed of my kids, but of me; of how I feel about my kids at that moment, and how I just want out. Out of this motherhood thing.

I can’t do this.

This is the only thought I can manage.  I can’t do this. I CAN’T do this. I CAN’T DO THIS.

This being a momma; it is too hard. The screaming. The whining. The fighting. The dishes. The laundry. The interruptions.

Its all too hard.

As much as I want to run home, put Max and Ruby on for the kids, and collapse into my bed, I can’t. Antihistamines and antibiotics have to be dolled out, and there’s a line. I pull the car into a dusty, empty lot, and cry.

Kenneth asks why I am crying. I squeak out some words through my sobbing, “I can’t do this. I can’t be a good mommy…I am trying so hard, but I just can’t do it. We need to pray for mommy…I can’t be a good mommy with out God.”

He says he can’t be good either; he needs God, too.

We get through the car line at CVS and head home. I can’t help it, I am still crying. Overwhelmed. Exhausted. Defeated.

Kenneth says “Mommy, will you pull over? I want to do something.” Bewildered, I pull over. This five-year-old gets out of his buckles, steps over the molding sippy-cups. and ground-in Cheez-its, down the aisle of my blue mini-van and hugs me. With all his little might he hugs me.

I sob. I can’t stop. I am a complete mess.

I am not even sure where to go from here. I know what is true. I know I’ll get through this. I know I need Jesus.

But in these overwhelming moments, which come all too often, it is incredibly hard to preach the truth. My mind will listen, but my soul ignores.

Answer me quickly, O LORD!
My spirit fails!
Hide not your face from me,
lest I be like those who go down to the pit.
Let me hear in the morning of your steadfast love,
for in you I trust.
Make me know the way I should go,
for to you I lift up my soul.
(Psalm 143:7-8 ESV)


Every Monday in November we are sharing our hearts. Letting go of what hinders us in our writing, and linking our words with others. No criticism, no grammar-police, just encouragement. All we ask is that you do some blog-hopping and at least comment on the post before you. (And, it’s always nice to see the Write It, Girl button!)



depression, Family, Following Jesus, parenting, Sojourning, write it girl

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  1. Oh Katie. I am sitting here, tears burning in my eyes… I have BEEN THERE. Too mnay times, I have been where you were that day an dI have struggled and hated myself for the thoughts I have had- all of it. And you are right, we can not do it without God. I love the heart your little guy showed you that day, to comfort you, to recognize his own little weakness without God.. thank you for sharing this. I know it took courage. These moments of our journey feel so dark to us, so shameful, but this is a beautiful testimony of how awesome God is, and how he will bless you continually, as you seek him in your mothering, in your daily living… love you, mama. This was just…so real.

    1. Thank you, Kris. What a gift from the Lord, my son and his compassion for me.

      While I certainly hope I don’t scar my kids by them seeing me cry like that (thankfully, I am no longer in a place where I am crying all the time…but I am sure there will be another time,) I am thankful for the opportunity for them to see the grace of God in my life. I want them to know that Jesus is enough, even when I don’t FEEL it. He alone is the solution, rescue and force for change.

  2. Oh, wow. I’m always amazed when my kids read right through the yucky stuff I sometimes spill out and love me in such honest ways. The hug?…oh my goodness. It reminded me of my kids. When I’ve had ‘enough’ sometimes, they can do something that just opens my heart. Thanks for sharing and for being honest!

  3. Oh, how I have been in this very spot- the tears, the grace from Jesus AND my kids, the ugliness welling up inside me. You are NOT alone and never will be. {{hugs}}

  4. You are right. We can’t do this…without God. We can’t do this fully without God. Only with God.

    And you must be doing something right for your son to be so sensitive 🙂

    1. Thank you, Melinda.

      It is by God’s grace alone that He is that way! (But I’ll take the encouragement, anyway!)

  5. Even WITH God, sometimes I cry out, “I can’t do this, Father!” Oh, how we need him, all the time. I want to please him with my dependence, but also with my confidence in HIM.

    This is good, Katie. Writing from your heart touches mine.

  6. You took us there with you. You wrote words that ring true in my mom heart, too. I love that you hit publish. I needed to read it today especially.

    He will do great things through this. I just know it!

    love you girl.

  7. THANK YOU! I need that TODAY! I am so THERE RIGHT NOW…trying to find the car keys to go anywhere but here….thank you sister for sharing your heart! I’m really not crazy LOL! I’m really not the worst mom in the whole wide world. I needed your honesty today. THANK YOU! GOD BLESS YOU!!!!

    1. Thank you for your sweet comment, Tempie.

      Isn’t it so freeing to know you are not alone?! Thanks for reading, and sharing your heart with me.

  8. oh can I identify with this post…the “why did I bring all 3” has been my cry many times, particularly at the doctors office. I echo u in saying it is these moments that increases our reliance on our Father. Thank u for ur honesty and vulnerability sister friend!

  9. Oh Katie, I’ve been there too … in fact, for a bit, I dwelt there. Scared, overwhelmed, frustrated, failing. So thankful for a God who SEES us and HEARS us and DRAWS us near. And for the sweet grace of children who love fully, wholly, even holy.

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  11. Katie…thank you. Sometimes I look at the crazy, full, busy, lives of other mamas and feel like I have no ground to stand on…no right to have a “bad day” or let others know that I’m hurting. My self-talk looks like this…

    She has three boys and I’ve only got one little guy who isn’t even 9 months yet.

    She homeschools day in and day out and I sometimes can’t even find the time to read a stupid board book to him.

    She makes her own bread and I’m pretty sure she grows her own wheat…I made Kraft Mac ‘n Cheese (again) and forgot to pack his lunch.

    She is serving at the church every time those doors are open…I missed worship practice again because I’m so tired.

    She did…I didn’t.

    She is…I am not.

    I have GOT to get my heart and head out of this pit. I know they are lies, but they are easy to fall into and your post today reminded me that God gives us all a different measure each day. Different tasks, different little people in our lives…but the SAME MEASURE OF GRACE.

    Thank you for permission to not be okay and not compare.


    She makes everything by hand and

  12. Oh I have been here as well. This post made me cry (in the good way, hehe). Thank you so much for your honesty, and encouragement.

  13. This brought tears. If you are a Mom, I would venture to guess that we have ALL been there at one time or another. Especially after a doctor’s office visit!!

    Please know you are not alone, and are extremely brave for posting this and sharing. That is how we can all learn from each other and be better Moms. By sharing that nothing in our life is perfect. Especially without God.

    Thank you for your honest and raw post.

  14. Oh, I’ve been there, friend. Thanks for being honest here. It’s always so encouraging to know that we’re not alone. Isn’t it great when we post the things we’re ashamed of and find out they have been used by God to encourage others? Foolish and weak shaming the wise and strong, and all that jazz. Good stuff.

  15. Tears in my eyes…
    I have been there. Will probably be there tonight since my children prevented sleep from happening…

    My oldest, who is 5, sounds just like your son.
    He has a tender heart and just seems to know when Mommy’s heart is breaking, and he comes and hugs with all his might . . . and is so wonderful at giving me grace when I don’t answer or respond the way my heart wants to.

    This feeling . . . “I can’t do this”…. it is just exactly how I feel . . . more times than I want to admit.
    And I wonder whats wrong with me.
    I wonder if I am alone in feeling this way…

    So again…
    Thank you.
    Thank you for being brave, and hitting publish.
    Because the more masks (my own included) that can be destroyed, the more real and authentic we can be come, and the more hearts are going to be turned to the HEALER.

    Amen, and amen.

  16. Katie, this really touched me this morning. Thank you so much for sharing these tough moments with us. And as a mom who is feeling defeated right at this moment, thank you for the reminder that “I can do all things through Christ who gives me strength,” but without Him, I just CAN’T do it. Thank you from the bottom of my heart.

  17. There really is something about the doctor’s office that brings out the worst in our children, isn’t there?

    We’ve all been right there with you. Thanks for sharing your heart with us!

  18. Oh, so true! Without Christ, I really am defeated but with Him, I have strength. Thanks for this reminder.

  19. This touched my heart….so very much.
    I am so thankful for your honesty. I wish we would’ve had more time to chat at Relevant…but just know you are such a gift to me!!!

  20. Oh! Tears burning in my eyes. Wow, I was right there with you in your van feeling it. I have felt those same things. Honestly, felt them today. Bad day here on the home front. Anyways, I really appreciate your honesty and authenticity because as moms we all know those feelings. It doesn’t make us any less of a mom. The response from your little guy speaks volumes of the kind of mom you are. Thanks Katie!

  21. I totally relate to this post. My sons are grown now, but I remember those moments feeling the same shame.

    I just wrote about being overwhelmed on our blog today. I’m so glad you wrote on it too. Your words helped me to refocus.

    Sometimes, we just need a hug.

  22. I happened to run up on this! How beautiful! Been there, done that! Reminds me of the story in (Gen. 18) The story of Hagar & her personal experience with God. How in verse 13 she calls Him “El Roi” the God who sees. Looking so forward to this blog.

  23. Hi Katie!

    Thank you for sharing your struggle with us! It is so encouraging to me when I see so many other women who lay it all out there. This is something that I struggle with alot, and why I challenged myself to do this post(even though it’s a week late…and I can’t figure out how to link it up haha)

    I am not a mom, nowhere near it, so I won’t even attempt to say that I understand the pressure. But I can relate to an extent with the experience I do have, being a student…never feeling like my best is enough and always thinking I should be doing better. Being a student leader with our group on campus, feeling like I should know all the answers because I’ve grown up in the church and been here in a mentorship for a year…but I don’t.

    I am enjoying finding other people who love writing as much as I do, and are as expressive and open as I wish to be. It is very encouraging. Thank you!


  24. Tears….I am here, in this place of “I can’t do this”. I fell so unworthy to bring up these beautiful creatures. Thank you for sharing so openly here. You are not alone, truly. God is with you. And what a precious and tenderhearted little one you have there. There is just something about a boy! So tender to the heart of their mamma!

  25. I think most moms would readily stand in agreement with you. We have those days, or months, or – dare I say? – years, when it’s all just too overwhelming. You’re not alone. Thank you for your courage in sharing from a vulnerable place. Us moms need to know we’re not alone too.

  26. Tears here as I read it too…haven’t we all been there? Maybe not a doctor’s office or a car line, but somewhere? And when one person is brave enough to be honest the rest of us can breathe a sigh of relief. And for you children to see you, in a weak moment, crying out to God…you’re making Him real to them too. Bless you.

  27. Touching and honest and real. I’ve been there too many times myself…and your words took me right back. Thank you for sharing, for your vulnerability and for your expression of faith. You’re certainly not alone. Many blessings!

  28. I agree, and just wanted to chime in with my “I’ve been there!” too. Your honesty shows humility and a need for Jesus. We all need Him, and there is no shame in that.

    So many of us (as seen from these comments!) are there, have been there, and totally understand. Grace to you, Katie!

  29. Katie, I am just getting caught up today visiting blogs and I have to admonish you for being so brave and sharing honestly. My kids are older now but I remember those days like it was yesterday. Can I just encourage you that it does get easier and it is okay to have those feelings. And what a gift your little man is to you. They always assure us when we feel like dirt and can’t go on. Thanks for visiting my blog and leaving a comment. Know it takes a lot of time with little ones. Blessings!

  30. Katie, thank you for sharing this. I have one daughter and have had days like that when I felt I can’t do this. My daughter is a little older now, and like with your son, I’ve seen God work through her in amazing ways.

    In Christ,

  31. Katie, I feel for you. I can’t tell you how many times I felt like that when the kids were little. I homeschooled four kids and the noise, mess, work, and commotion often got to me. Add to that the fact that you’re making this sacrifice for your kids and most of the world thinks you’re crazy for doing it, and it’s easy to get discouraged.

    My kids are 15 to 24 now and life is easy. I loved the teenage years. I even loved homeschooling the teenaged years. Life gets easier! Hang in there. You are doing a wonderful ministry and service to your family.

  32. I can’t tell you how much I appreciate the fact that you wrote this and were brave enough to post it. These are the feelings & thoughts I have struggled with so very much as of late…and I too have felt like a horrible mom to the point of even voicing that to my kids. I have felt like running away from it all despite the fact that I love my boys with all my heart. This mothering gig is no joke. Thank you for showing me I’m not alone in this journey…that even good women have seasons of mothering that bring them to their knees. I guess it’s all grace, but it can really hurt too. Anyway…thank you.

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