A Lesson Learned: Winter Blues

Since Christmas I have just felt yucky. Not sick (though I have had the stomach flu twice), just really down, irritable and extremely exhausted. So much so that I just had blood work done to see if I was anemic or something. As my mom predicted, I am just fine…I am just the tired mother of two very.active.boys.

Even deeper than my exhaustion, I have felt like my role as a stay-at-home mother hasn’t made a difference. I don’t feel like I’m really doing anyone any good because I’ve been so cranky. I told Prince Charming last week, I’m just ready to go back to work…the boys would be better off with someone else right now. I have very little confidence in myself in any of my roles (wife, mother, friend, etc).

I felt like we made some major strides with Big Brother’s behavior before Christmas…and now it has all come unraveled again. I fight the same battles day after day after day with what feels like no progress whatsoever.

And the snow hasn’t helped. We’re stuck inside for hours and days on end. The boys can’t go outside and run off their energy. Instead they run their push toys and cars into the walls and furniture over and over again.

I’m sure many of you relate…and some of you may not. The winter is especially hard on mothers with rambunctious children!

I don’t want to sound whiney because things in life are really, really good. We are so blessed. I have absolutely nothing to complain about!  And yet I do complain…

But I read something in my Beth Moore Esther study yesterday that has stuck with me. “We are wise to force ourselves to keep differentiating between simple inconveniences and authentic tribulations. The more detached and self-absorbed we become, the more we mistake annoyances for agonies.”

Ouch. Not being able to get out of the house is a minor inconvenience. Getting tired of battling with Big Brother over the same things is annoying. But they are just that…minor! Even though I am feeling down and tired (and shamefully a bit self-absorbed), that doesn’t give me a right to throw a major tantrum/pity party.

I had a really bad day last Friday. I screamed at Big Brother for using the toilet brush and smearing poopy water all over the bathroom. After that, I felt so bad about it, I cried to God as I prayed for both forgiveness and help (and apologized to my son after his nap).

I can’t do it on my own. I’m tired, I’m weak, and I’m human. I need God’s help to (1) help me see how trivial these “trials” are in the grand scheme of things and (2) help to overcome them with a positive, loving attitude.

After all, with God all things are possible!


  1. I feel for you! I am a stay at home mom also who is definitely ready for Spring. I love your blog and we have done several of your activities.

  2. I know how you feel. I have 2 boys also. However, I am surprised to hear this is how you have been feeling. We don't know each other, but I read your blog everyday! I love all your ideas and am always inspired to be more like you!! You create such amazing crafts and learning experiences for your boys. When you feel like you aren't doing enough, remember there are those of us out here that wish we could be even half as creative as you are! Thanks for your great ideas, your boys are soo lucky you are their mom! Katie : )

  3. I agree w/you in every point you made!! I to feel like I'm sometimes just ready to go back to work (my kids are 2 and 11 months – – – 16 months apart!) and then I have to sit back and ask God to help me when the little things seem SO big!!! Spring will be here before we know it and the kids will be able to play outside again! :o)

  4. Oh, sweet lady… there are so many of us in that same exact boat! Everything you said is how I am feeling myself! I have two boys myself, we have one car (which my husband takes to work, and he just picked up a second job so he will be gone ALL DAY EVERY DAY), so we are stuck at home almost all the time – I feel like we just go around in circles with discipline issues, and I have VERY little patience within me for my poor children. But, we have our good days too. And you have THIS going for you, you have no idea how often your sweet blogs and brilliant ideas have saved MY day, have given me inspiration to do something that ends up being the highlight of our homeschool time. I thank you for posting this blog and putting it out there, because there are many of us who look at blogs like yours and thing, geez, I wish I was super woman like SHE is! You are an inspiration, but you are human too, and that's nice to see… because we're all in this together! God will provide us the peace, the patience and the opportunities to feel like we're really making a difference! Bless you!

  5. Oh gosh, I have no words of wisdom, except to say that I was in that place last winter (I'm in Oz)what a difference some sunshine makes on one's perspective on life. I spent many a time like you crying out in the winter…I seriously felt I couldn't do it at the time I had an 18mth, 8 and 5 year old and was getting very little sleep.

    I'm not looking forward to this winter at all (it will be here before I know it) and do plan on working hard to ensure that I don't have a repeat of last year…..a freezer full of cooked healthy food, more exercise, being kinder to myself. If you have any other ideas to share I'm all ears, once you are back on top of things that is.

  6. I love your "A Lesson Learned" posts….it makes your blog so real! I have a 3 year old and an almost 1 year old and have been feeling all the same things you described (including wondering if there's something medically wrong because I'm so tired all the time). It's so good to hear that other people feel this way and to read all the positive words of encouragement in the comments above. Thanks so much for all that you do!! We have done so many of your fun activities and they have helped entertain us during Kailyn's morning naps and made the days go by faster!

  7. Jenae, I feel your pain girlfriend. Thanks for the christian thoughts. Have a better week:) And remember this, when you are cleaning up mysterious poop messes, someone in Edmond, OK is probably doing the very same thing.

  8. It's not just you with winter blues! I've been irritable and waaaaaay more tired than I think I should be…just this weekend I said to Nathan that maybe I should go to the dr and get my thyroid checked or something. :) I have also had to apologize to my 3 year old for losing my cool. Here's to a better week!

  9. We have definately had the cranky mommy syndrome around here too. I think for me it is a case of restlessness – after such a busy go go go of Christmas turned into exploring the new gifts the quiet time of this month just makes things seem slow which we as moms don't understand. It's a fight for our bodies to slow slow slow when our brains just go go go. Anyways enough rambling – you are definately not alone and I relish hearing I am not alone – although I really really wish you the best in dealing with this and wouldn't want anyone else to go through it!

  10. I just found your blog, and I have enjoyed it so much. I love that Beth Moore quote. Its so easy to lose perspective. Authentic tribulations always put mundane annoyances in perspective. Praise the Lord you (and me) don't have any of those! I've been feeling similar to you lately and it helps to hear truth and to know our "annoyances" are common to moms!

  11. As I read your post I almost started laughing because I had nearly the exact conversation with my hubby this weekend…word for word! I want to go back to work. However, with the nice weather today, I know it was just my crazy winter blues talking. Hang in there and thanks for sharing so the rest of us know that we aren't the only ones out there struggling!

  12. Thank you for your honesty. This past week was really, really hard for me too. What you are doing and how you are raising your boys has eternal significance and it is important (I have to remind myself of this too). You are a beautiful person and I pray you find encouragement this week in your role as a wife and mommy.

  13. Good for you for being so honest! It is a tough job and I have cried thinking my baby would be better off if I was just working too. Try to do something nice for yourself, maybe having a girl's night out (if you can manage it). I love my weekly playgroup too. We have been meeting for two years now and its just as much for us moms as it is for the kids. I feel refreshed after seeing my mom friends and finding out that at least I'm not alone in my moments of crazy! Take care!!!

  14. Thanks so much for sharing this, Jenae. Being a mom is annoying sometimes, and many people don't understand. Thanks for the encouragement.

  15. Trust me, being home with the boys makes a difference! You do so much with them and we appreciate you sharing with our family. Being a mom isn't easy, but someday the boys (and their future wives) will thank you!

  16. Bring the boys by my house anytime and just go get yourself a Dr. Pepper in peace and quite. This Friday is good for me! Also look into My Gym. It has been my winter savior for my very active child!

  17. Feeling the same here in South Carolina! But, praising Him that I still have my children to love on, even in the hard times, as we have been praying for a sweet missionary couple who just lost their daughter to cancer. We are so blessed to be driven crazy by our healthy kids!

  18. I totally understand what you are saying and feeling. I've had those times as well where I just don't feel like I'm making a difference and someone else could do it better. That truth is that NO ONE will do it better than us! Our children need US on our good days and even on our bad days. What I've noticed is that these feelings come in waves. Thankfully my next wave will be feeling like I'm rockin' this mom thing and that I'm doing pretty good in other areas too. KNOWING that this will pass gets me through my rough times. I would like to recommend a book called Am I Messing up My Kids, by Lysa Terkeurst. She is a Godly woman who helps remind us of God's truths so we can hind them in our hearts when times are tough AND she is hilarious. I think you said it perfectly – we can NOT do this on own and thankfully God is on our side helping us each day!

  19. Wow. Totally in the same spot with you right now (also being a stay-at-home-mom to 2 very active boys).
    If it helps with perspective, here's a friend's great blog post to check out:
    (just replace her *warm weather* blues with our *cold weather* ones as she wrote this in a very sticky summer in CA… :-)
    It helped me to pray more effectively for how to view each day. Blessings!!

  20. I am not sure if your doctor checked your Vit. D levels, but nearly 50% of the country is currently Vit. D deficient and don't even know it. More and more doctors have started testing it routinely during your annual lab work up, but be warned that your insurance may not cover it. Mine didn't because they don't feel it's "medically necessary."

    I have started taking a multi-vitamin with higher levels of Vit. D to make sure it's never going to be an issue because as a mother of four young children, I need all the energy I can get.

    Last weekend I was also introduced to a wonderful little product called Oasis (https://www.advocare.com/100810124/Store/ItemDetail.aspx?itemCode=W2705&id=D), a blend of adaptogens designed to help us cope with stress. On the rough days, it really does just help me cope better because I cannot always change my circumstances, just my attitude!

  21. Ashley,

    I had the whole workup…CBC, Vitamin D, Thyroid. Medically, I'm just fine.

    I have to say, though, that being outside today in the 60 degree weather for an hour and half did a WORLD of good! Bring on spring!!!!

  22. Thank you for your honesty with how you've been struggling. It is really easy for me to create the appearance that everything is fine, especially when I'm around other people. Yet my husband and children see the real me. I am a stay at home mom with two young girls (2 1/2 years old and 8 months old) and have been struggling with tiredness/exhaustion/crankiness for the past few months. I've also been to the doctor and am medically fine. Your post reminded me that 1) I'm not alone and other moms struggle with similar feelings and 2) that I need to be crying out to God more and stop attempting to do everything on my own. Thank you for the reminder and I hope this week is going better!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *