Today, Mommy is Sad

Written by Mary Katherine 

I know you are confused right now because Mommy has a wet face. You keep saying “boo boo” and kissing my knee, and I just sit here in the rocking chair cradling my stomach.

Thank you for that little car, kiddo. It really does make my heart smile. It’s just that right now the smiles aren’t breaking through. And yes, I will take that blanket. Blankets really do make a difference, don’t they?

Please don’t worry. Mommy isn’t hurt. Nothing is your fault and there is nothing wrong with me. It’s just sometimes, for reasons she can’t explain, Mommy gets sad.

You know how every morning we walk out on to the front porch and talk about the weather? You point at the sun and smile. And we talk about things. Things like…

Today is sunny. Today is warm. Today is windy. Today is rainy.

You understand, don’t you?

Well, today is dark, baby.

I can’t hide my feelings from you, but I also feel guilt over your concern. I can see that you are confused and it makes my heart hurt even more. But what can I do? Where can I go? Please just play with your toys and let me cry.

But you want to be held. And you need a snack. And your diaper is wet. And Mickey Mouse is a terrible babysitter.

I don’t resent you having these needs. I feel so blessed that you are here in my life. On the contrary, I resent myself for struggling with such basic motherhood.


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I’m tired, but Mommy doesn’t need a nap. My heart hurts, but Mommy doesn’t need a bandaid. My tummy feels hollow, but Mommy doesn’t need a snack.

You see, Mommy has everything she could want and possibly need. I have you, the center of my heart, the reason my smile will break through, eventually.

But today I feel like a failure and I just can’t do it.

I’m here, and I love you. I’m sorry. I really, really love you.

But today, Mommy is sad.

About The Author


Mary Katherine is a southerner, born and raised. Growing up in Alabama, she developed an affinity for lightning bugs, sweet tea, playing guitar, and having strong opinions. She's happily married with a son (Nugget) and two fur babies. Fun facts: MK is a living kidney donor, speaks a little Thai, and has written two novels.


  1. With my kids grown, I’ve forgotten how emotional having little ones can be.

    Your beautiful story took me back there, and now, I can’t stop crying.

    so thank you for that.

    1. I hope it was a good cry. I know I’ve had a few this month. Most of the time my heart is content and my day is full of smiles, but man…some days are just dark. Thank you for commenting. It’s good for mamas to be honest with each other. It makes us all feel less crazy and alone. -MK

  2. I so relate to you. I have dark days too, and it’s hard to explain to our little ones why we’re sad. I do think it’s important to show them a range of feelings, and to normalize the feeling that tend to scare us; sad, angry or upset. To show them that you can have the feelings and still show up, still be ok…

    Thank you for your vulnerability – it is beautiful.

    1. I agree, 100%. I talked to my son about sadness, and it’s an emotion he recognizes now. I hope that he learns that feelings are okay, and that it’s important to respect the feelings of others. It’s embarrassing sometimes to admit that we aren’t happy 24 hours a day, but I’m not sure why. It’s normal to have ups and downs, and moms especially need to feel secure in that. Thanks for your comment, Jill! -MK

  3. Thank you so much for writing this post. I ended up on it somehow and it was very comforting to read. I’ve been in a dark period for the last couple weeks and I can see the confusion with my kids (especially when I react much bigger than I need to when they do something that frustrates me). It’s so hard to not feel like the only mother that’s failing like this. From outside appearances it always seems as though everyone else has it so together. I love my children more than anything but when I’m so tired and I’ve been with them non-stop for SO long, it can feel impossible to fulfil one more need or clean up one more unnecessary mess. I know the darkness will pass as it always does and the quiet snuggles before bed usually help me to end the day in a good place but being able to read a post like this when I’m feeling low is a great reminder that it’s all pretty normal.

  4. I’m glad for your description, “Today is dark”. I so relate to this. I have an amazing life…incredible, really. The dark days bring alot of guilt because I want to be joyful and grateful in response to all I have. My kids (7 & 9) also sense when I am having one of those days, and I know they feel concern. As they grow, and as I grow, I’ve learned to explain to them more of who I am. I have also begun to see the same melancholy in one of them at times. I find myself telling that child that it is ok to have dark days, to not be afraid of being sad sometimes and to understand that there might not always be a reason…and that’s ok, too. As I comfort that child, it has started to help me find comfort, also. I’m so grateful that you shared this post. I’m glad that you were vulnerable and honest. I imagine there are many more women out there who feel these things but don’t know how to talk about them. Thank you for starting the conversation. (I also have loved so many of your other posts… You def have a gift for writing!)

    1. First of all, thank you for taking the time to write that thoughtful comment. I hate that you have had similar struggles, but I do think it’s important that we keep an open dialogue on mental health in parents. Our struggle is so much more common than many realize. Talking about it truly helps. Also, thank you SO much for reading, commenting, and being such an encouragement. Your words keep me writing!

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