The Truth About Throw in the Towel Parenting Days

You’ve had those days.

I know it. I’ve had them. They’re the days when the clock has barely hit 8:10am and you’re already feeling like you’d love to throw in the hypothetical towel of parenting. You know that towel? The towel that has already dealt with kids that don’t want to get up, kids that don’t like their breakfast, lost homework, crying toddlers, babies that refuse to be anywhere but your left hip, burnt toast, alarms missed, and spilled milk.

You’d throw in the towel, but it’s in the laundry. And, if your home is anything like mine at times, it’s probably in the washing machine in the load that you forgot to switch the night before.

Those throw in the towel days of motherhood. Of parenthood, really.

They are inevitable.

Let me write that for you again.

They are inevitable.

Oh my goodness there are beautiful days tucked in our days as parents. They are the days that we dream about – days where the kids go to bed without fuss, where the living room looks perfect with the throw pillows tucked just right, where there are finger paint projects on the fridge, and we’re simply content. Thank goodness for those days, right? They are beautiful. And as I tell my readers, and my friends, and you, write those days down on your calendar. Circle it and write the words – today was a great day – down.

You know why?

Because there is a really great chance that the very next day will make you wonder what on earth you are doing as a mother. That will be the day when you can’t even get out of bed without there being an immediate crisis. That will be the day when the bowl with cereal with milk gets splattered all over because the kids were fighting over who got to see the back of the cereal box and onto the pile of papers left on the table.

Yesterday it wouldn’t have bothered you, and yet today, today it wants to make you find that well stained parenting towel and to throw it in and to maybe whisper or yell or say, “I quit.”

Having a throw in the towel day doesn’t make you a bad parent just like having the idyllic day doesn’t make you a perfect parent. They’re just days in a collection of days that gather together to form a life and a parenthood journey. We all have those collections, those patterns that are woven together. We may all be parents, all mothers, all have similar or different stories, and yet each of ours is beautifully unique and independently our own. And friends, we all, have those throw in the towel days of motherhood.

So you have that throw in the towel day. Or morning. Or week. You know what you can do? You can learn from it. You can learn from it and grow. And you can be real about it – those days simply are part of a normal, real, motherhood journey. They’re the days that really make us stronger. They unearth the brave part of us, the superhero tucked within, and they can make us want to scream and run around the block yelling I am mom hear me roar. Or maybe that’s just me.

We can learn. We can grow. We can thrive.

Now, pick up that motherhood towel, and wipe the counters. You are a brave mother, a strong mother, a fighter, a perfect tucker into bed at night, and lover of your children.

The days all matter. The awesome. The good. The throw in the towel feeling days.

It’s all part of this amazing, exhausting, rewarding, and totally awesome journey called motherhood.

What is your strategy for dealing with throw in the towel days? Mine? I love to read a book with them, watch a movie, or sometimes load them in the car and drive to Starbucks. How about you?

Published on: October 08, 2013
About the Author
Photo of Rachel Martin

Rachel Martin is the writer behind the website She is the author behind the successful “Dear Mom Letters” Ebook. Besides writing and speaking, you can find at her at home teaching her seven kids, drinking coffee, and learning to appreciate the little things in life that truly matter.

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