When it all goes to… you-know-where | Mamas in the trenches

sad sick face baby

that’s a very sad sick face… 

My husband and I have been sleeping in different beds.

Not by choice, but by necessity.

Last night (and the night before, and before) he had Levi with him in the guest bedroom and I had Judah with me in our room.

Both kids sick. Both of us exhausted.

All of us needing each other in different ways for comfort and care and reassurance.

And this comes after eight days of being on my own with the kids. (With Judah being up all night, every night. Not exaggerating.)

Which comes after seven days of camping during which both Ryan and I were working (teaching) full time. (And babies not sleeping – see a theme here?)

Which comes after working overtime solving crises at work, and… you get the idea.

You know all too well what I’m talking about… you’ve been there too.


We all have.

Life sometimes deals us circumstances beyond our personal control, and for us that means we’ve not had a day “off” in a month and our bodies are bearing the brunt of our labor.

Being a parent isn’t easy in times like these…

When the littles are sick. When the bigs are sick.

When life won’t slow down enough for everyone to get caught up.

mountains of cloth diaper laundry

getting buried under mountains of laundry. (instagram name: adrielbooker)

I remember as a young 20-something talking about “catching up on my sleep” on the weekends when I’d sleep until 11am.

It doesn’t exactly work that way any more. And that’s okay. Hard, yes, but okay.

And despite my (at times) fierce independence, it’s times like these that I’ve learned to let people know I need help.

Because I. need. help. desperately.

And friends have pulled through.

They are praying. They are encouraging me and telling me things like “you’ve got this, Adriel”. They are whisking away laundry baskets full of dirt and bringing them back clean. They are even bringing dinners (twice this week!).

They are amazing.

They obviously have been there, in some form or another.

And I know there’s nothing “special” about this place I’m temporarily in.

Every mama that has ever been knows the struggle and the heartache of seeing their little ones unwell. (Some know the pain of it far, far, far more than I do.)

And every mama that has ever been also knows there comes a time when the I-can-do-it-because-they-need-me adrenaline begins to wane and the proverbial wall suddenly looms dark and heavy.

Perhaps that’s why these mama-friends have been so quick to intervene and help lighten my load.

And perhaps my frantic prayers and tears and cursing under my breath in moments where I was stretched beyond capacity really was heard by God and he sent his angels to lift my own tattered wings a little.

In the face of my back aching and my eyes burning and my belly rumbling from my own neglected hunger cues, my heart is lifting knowing that…

I. am. not. alone.

There are other mamas right there in the trenches with me.

They’re wearing the same uniform as me.

They’ve got my back and they’re holding my hand.

And they’re loving my little family better than I can love them on my own.

It takes a village, friends. It really does.

Dear friends, when’s the last time you were acutely aware of your need for a village?

P.S. I wrote this post last week in a desperate 15 minute attempt at writing. Of course I didn’t have time to actually edit and post it until now… but rest assured, we are all better now. No longer drowning. Just treading water… and hoping to swim again soon. Oh, and we are all sleeping in our own beds again. Mostly. 🙂



About Author

Adriel Booker is an author, speaker, and advocate based in Sydney, Australia who believes storytelling, beauty, and the grace of God will change the world. Adriel has become a trusted voice in areas of motherhood and parenting, Christian spirituality, and global women's issues. She's also known for her work with the Love A Mama Collective—serving under-resourced women in developing nations through safe birth initiatives—as well as her years spent as a Bible teacher and leadership coach. Her latest book is Grace Like Scarlett: Grieving with Hope after Miscarriage and Loss and she's made the companion grief journal available for free. Find Adriel across all social media platforms at @adrielbooker or sign up for LoveNotes, Adriel's 'secret posts' that aren't published anywhere else online. ✌️


  • Jessica
    29 March 2012 at 3:53 am

    Oh, Judah. His sad, little, cute face made me frown. 🙁

    I’m glad to hear that you and your family are doing better.

    I agree with you. Raising children, being a parent, is humbling in that way. I, too, am fiercely independent, and, a bit stubborn. I’ve learned (and am learning) that in order to survive parenthood, however, I must admit to myself that I need help. I must ask for help when I need because, unfortunately, others can not read my mind. *sigh.
    Jessica recently posted..ThriftingMy Profile

  • Tory
    29 March 2012 at 5:18 am

    Oh Adriele,

    Your words are amazing. You always have a way of being positive, even if you are drained. Thank you for your inspiration! Sometimes as bloggers we like to sugar coat things. However, YOUR blog is full of truth-as you know I”m expecting another little girl in July and am anticipating on how I’m going to get through having two kids under the age of two with me staying home. I love reading your blog to have an idea of what we are getting into. Full of life, tiredness, and LOVE!

    Take Care,
    Tory recently posted..24 Weeks!My Profile

    • Adriel @ The Mommyhood Memos
      29 March 2012 at 4:04 pm

      oh, i’m so glad that’s what you think when you read my blog! because yes, it’s amazing and hard and easy! just depends on the day! 😉 i want this to be a place where i can be authentic and share the full spectrum, but i also am always aware that “the next girl” could have it so much worse. it helps me to keep things in perspective a little. but i tell you, sometimes i really do just want to wallow in my own self-pity. *sigh* i’m still learning and growing! but i know gratitude is a key to survival….. and not just survival, but living life well.

      you’ll do great!! 🙂
      Adriel @ The Mommyhood Memos recently posted..watching brothers become mates | nurturing your children’s relationshipsMy Profile

  • Micheline
    29 March 2012 at 5:53 am

    So glad to hear that you’ve gotten through the worst of it. And you’re so right– it certainly takes a village! You’re lucky to have such amazing friends nearby, especially when you don’t have family in the vicinity. We’re really blessed to have T’s family only a couple of miles away. They have been such a huge help, but I still have to fight myself to ask for help much of the time. But I know it’s completely worth it in the end.

  • Nina
    29 March 2012 at 10:39 am

    oh the trenches…I loved reading this.So so true.
    Nina recently posted..Charlotte you do not hold him back!My Profile

  • Stephanie
    29 March 2012 at 9:47 pm

    Oh it so does take a village. A village I do not have 🙁 There are so many days when nothing gets done except making sure they are fed! I am so glad you are all feeling a bit better. And you are so blessed to have that village!
    Stephanie recently posted..Lemon Chicken and a BirthdayMy Profile

  • Jennifer Hoffman
    29 March 2012 at 9:51 pm

    Oh the truth in your words! In the first week of my daughter’s life, I realized – “I’m gonna have to let people help. I just can’t do this alone!” But it took me a while to not feel incompetent about my inability to do it all alone. I still struggle with that sometimes, so I’ll think I’ll bookmark this post and refer to it when my self talk tells me there’s something wrong with accepting help! Thank you!

    • Adriel @ The Memos
      30 March 2012 at 10:23 pm

      Mmmm… why are we so hard on ourselves? I’ve learned so much more about asking for help since becoming a mom, but I still have a superhero mom complex at times too. “I can do it all!” I fool myself into thinking… but come on, of course I can’t. *sigh* We learn! And yeah, feel free to bookmark or pin this post. I didn’t add a “pin it” button to this one because I didn’t think it was a typically “pinnable” post, if you know what I mean. 🙂
      Adriel @ The Memos recently posted..i was totally “that mom”My Profile


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