You want Honest? I’ll give you honest.

Sometimes I feel like I’m drowning.

Sometimes I stare at my computer for a full hour, unable to compose even one stupid, worthwhile sentence.

Sometimes I am so overwhelmed by everything I have to do that my only option is immobility.

And then I get really pissed off about it and I make a to-do list that includes everything I need to do.

And everything I’ve already done.  Just so I can cross SOMETHING off the list.

That is called pretending you are productive, my friends, PRETENDING.  With a big, fat “P”.

Sometimes I wake up so ready for the day, positive I will tackle 27 tasks.

And go to bed that night having accomplished two.

Wondering how I managed to fail so miserably.

At life.

Sometimes, I love my kids so much, it actually hurts.  They are edible.  I want to curl up next to them, burrow into their little necks and be surrounded by everything that is perfect and good.

And sometimes I’m so frustrated with them, it ALSO hurts.

I blame myself for their flaws, but do not take nearly enough credit for all that is good and fabulous and joyful about them.

I have trouble saying ‘no’ and the words, ‘I’m sorry’ have become a ridiculous crutch punctuating my speech.

And I can’t figure out how everyone else seems to have it all together.

And by everyone, I mean you.

Yes, YOU.

The kids.  The work.  The family.  And you have a life.  You read?  You watch TV?  You have hobbies?

Yes……  I know.  You really don’t feel like you have it together either.  But it looks like you do.  And when I get sucked into Facebook in my darkest hour….  it reads like you do.

This is how last week went for me:

Monday?  Terrible.  Barely managed to knock anything off my list.

Tuesday? Brilliant.  On top of my game.  Nailed a speech and MY BOOK ARRIVED.  Banner day.

Wednesday?  So-so.  Stressed.  Morning = ok. But in the afternoon, I was simply so exhausted, I took a nap.

Thursday and Friday included tears of some kind, but blah, blah, blah…..

A NAP?  How absurdly lazy of me. Tears?  PULL.IT.TOGETHER.WOULD.YOU.ALREADY?

But a friend said something to me tonight that helped me to understand where I have been…..  I’m physically and emotionally bankrupt.

And it is ok.

These next few sentences are as honest as the first.

I have been trying to write this post for a long time.  I know it doesn’t look like much, but I typically do my best to be a glass-is-half-full-tell-me-your-good-news kind of girl.  So, the fact that I’m sharing this bankruptcy with you makes me want to hyperventilate a lot a little. But there really is no sugarcoating the fact that sometimes, a good cry and a nap are just what you need.  Sometimes you just need to be honest with yourself.

Because it is extremely lonely when you feel as though you missed the meeting where they passed out the keys to life balance.

The good news is…..  I didn’t miss the meeting.

Because they didn’t have one.

Starting a business, running a business and raising a family take a lot of work.  You don’t need me to tell you that.

I took a small step forward tonight.

I wrote a post.











  • Autumn

    Wow. It is so refreshing to see someone be so transparent and honest about life. Yes, it is so amazing to have lovely children, a fun hobby, and all of our needs met. But it is also very exhausting to try and juggle everything. As lovely as children can be, they can also be naughty, clingy, emotional, and yes, annoying. As a mom, I’m constantly asking myself – Where does fulfillment come in? Hang in there. I hear it gets better… eventually :)

  • Anonymous

    Good work! One foot in front of the other!

  • Dr. Jeannette Kennedy

    This is exactly what I needed to hear.  I read your posts, as well as other mommy bloggers, and I often think, “how do they do so much?” and I feel like a failure.  I haven’t yet launched my blog.  I still help my husband quite a bit with our business locally.  But that is all the time I have.  And I have good days and I have bad days.  Not that I want you to have bad ones, but there is something amazing and healing about knowing you are not alone.  This post said to moms everywhere, “you are not alone.”  Thank you.

  • LisaCrazyAdventuresinParenting

    This is so my life, seriously. I think this post is wonderful, and we all need to remind ourselves that we are NOT superwomen, nor do we play one on the internet. We’re just women, moms, wives, friends, sisters… and HUMANS. With flaws, and lots of love and things to offer, but we have emotions and we can’t do it all. Kudos to you, sweetheart. Love and many hugs.

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  • Maureen @ Wisconsin Mommy

    Love. This.  Thanks for being honest – it really does help to hear that we are all going through the same thing.

  • Anonymous

    Oh yes, Danielle. While I will say that I work hard to keep things at a pace that doesn’t leave me drained like that…there are absolutely those times. And then a good cry and a nap are what’s necessary to be productive again. I appreciate this so much. No one ever really knows the sacrifices we make in life because the vast majority of them are unseen. Love you girl! 

  • subabaloo

    I often see my friends’ FB posts and think the same exact thing. Thanks for putting that feeling into words!

  • The Stiletto Mom

    And here I thought you were the most put together Mom I’d ever met.   (I still do…)   The good news is, not many people recognize the stuff you can’t get done because you (and all moms) shine at the things we do manage to accomplish, at least in the little people’s eyes. 

    Don’t beat yourself up too much my beautiful friend, you do the most important thing….being an amazing Mom…really well.  And that is the only job that matters in the long run.  xoxoxoxoxo

  • Shannon Henrici

    Thank you for this post!  I know we all feel the same way at times (except maybe yoga masters, I guess).  Balance, what the heck is that?  I needed to hear what you wrote and it is actually inspirational and motivational!  I think we all need to have this type of honest communication with our support networks and let them help us rejuvenate!  Nothing is more rejuvenating than talking to someone who is honest and admits they have CRAPPY days too!  Hugs! 

  • Kalliope Bell

    Thank you for reminding me I’m not the only one struggling with balancing the variety of roles I play in this life. I feel so guilty when I take a few minutes to myself! Why do we do that to ourselves? Intellectually, we have to know when we take care of our own needs, we have more to give to our children and our work. *sighs* Maybe someday we’ll learn. :-)

    Bright Blessings!

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  • Sarah Burns

    I’m late to this Danielle and with over 100 responses, I’m not sure you’ll see this but I NEED to respond and say thank you! You have no idea how much this post means to me, because it’s from YOU (the seemingly do-it-all-and -rocks-it mom). I have been feeling this way for so very long and I actually did cut things out to take back control, however that only left me feeling like a failure. But I’m not. I’m succeeding, one day at time. I’m not trying to do it all but instead I’m trying to enjoy all that I am doing. So thank you thank you thank you. xoxoxoxox

  • Danielle Smith

    Sarah – you are heavenly – thank you for that…. truly.  I don’t see you enough.  (and one of the permissions I gave myself?  was taking my time responding to everyone’s amazing comments – I was great at first, but then got behind….so, now I’m starting from the end and working back! :) 

  • Ally Stewart

    D –

    I have three words for you –


    That is all I feel I need to write to you.  You know how much I love you, respect you and look up to you.

    Ok – Fine. 

    I have five more words for you –


    Love you!



  • Ally Stewart

    D –

    I have three words for you –


    That is all I feel I need to write to you.  You know how much I love you, respect you and look up to you.

    Ok – Fine. 

    I have five more words for you –


    Love you!



  • Christie O.

    holy shit, seriously. you know what you just did? you wrote a post for me too. THIS POST. I started my business a few weeks ago and i’m drowning (which is a good thing I suppose, right?) But I  literally left my house 10  minutes ago to find a starbucks to sit at to try and start knocking things off my list. the list that i can’t even THINK of everything in order to write it down on the list so even the list is incomplete and a #fail. before I left, I was in a fit of frustration that the past few days have been a fail and the more faily I feel the more I want to curl up in a ball and die. I honestly cannnot believe you nailed every single emotion i felt walking out the door today to try and get something done in this post! walking out the door to try and write one but hopefully write 15 posts so I can get it out of my mind already. Thanks for writing it. I wanted to but you beat me to it.

  • Christie O.

    ps. sorry for cursing. it just came out.

  • Aggie

    I can relate to this in more ways I can tell you…I’ve been exclaiming where’s the manual? many times over the last couple of weeks. I have no balance what’s so ever and feel like I’m drowning most days. Then somedays I wake up feeling like I’m going to kick butt.

    The days that are hardest for me are the ones where I’m unproductive and didn’t spend enough quality time with the kids because of it. Those days get me down.

    Great post, thank you for your heartfelt honesty, found you on FB from Dine & Dish, so glad she shared.

  • Wenderly

    I felt like I was actually reading you, writing what actually goes on inside of *my* head. You’re not alone. And so, so, true. Every single word.

  • Barbara | Creative Culinary

    You don’t have to be a ‘mommy’ to embody these words. I’ve been that. All by myself for 25 years cause the Mr. found his ‘soulmate’ and couldn’t be bothered with stuff like homework or games or birthday parties or even baths those every other weekends. I thought when they got older it would be easier and maybe it would have been but then both girls had emotional issues from abandonment that made those high school years more stressful than the younger years.

    Finally, the end was in site to mommying and less than two months after my youngest moved out on her own; I broke my left leg. Freak accident but bad nonetheless.

    So I have to laugh at the whiners who haven’t had a vacation in 6 months. Make it 9 years for me. I run a full time web business, a part time blog, take care of a house, a dog and a yard and yes…I am not getting it all done. It has been a lesson for sure…previously used to the perfect house; I have learned to live with less than. My office is now my kitchen table and my beautiful and perfect garden is well, not.

    I’m hoping somewhere in here I will learn whatever it is I am supposed to learn but I do know this…you do what you can. I mean, really, that is all we can do!

  • guest

    Thank you, thank you, thank you for writing this. Very well put. I spent the better part of Sunday night saying all these things to a friend who while well-meaning, is childless and couldn’t relate. It’s nice to see that someone else is feeling the way I am. I’m hoping I remember this post the next time I feel like I’m messing up everything all the time.

  • Leslie

    AMEN AMEN AMEN! I think we all pretty much feel like this. And then there are people who pretent that their life is perfect, nut it is just a lie. I often look at other people and think, “wow, they have it all together, they never seemed stressed and they seem to get it all done”. And then there is me, I try, I really do. I try to get all the laundry done, I try to have a spotless house, I try to cook dinner everynight. But you know what?..I do that for everyone else. What do I do for myself???? NOTHING. I think as women and Moms we put everyone else first and ourselves on the back burner, we loose our identity. I often think..”Do I need an anti-depressant?” Cause it sure feels like it. I must have missed that “never happened” meeting too!

  • Stephanie Holmes

    Oh crap this is the truth! Great post.  I too am not enough, the good news no one is.  You are right there is no meeting.  Love the raw honesty of this post! Thank you for sharing :)

  • Nancy Moïse Haws

    Here here!  I am a wife, mother, entrepreneur, volunteer, catalyst, imaginary femme fatale and feel as though in my drive to do everything 100%, I do little as well as I need to be.  Thanks for taking the time to post.  You are not alone.

    Also, even though I too write in my blog for all the world to see, and post status messages, due to my legal profession and in-laws who read my updates in their newsfeed, I am so filtered that the online me is to me, what American beer is to a German. What does get posted is truth, just the sunnier side of it much of the time. When there is the harried moments, those times when I feel I have nothing more to give, save my stump for someone in my life demanding a seat, I too try to remember that I’m not okay all the time, and that’s okay.

  • Kimzell

    I’ve never been to this site before.  This is the first thing you’ve written that I ever read. I “Stumbled onto” this post 30 minutes ago and have read it over a dozen times.  Your post spoke to me deeply.

    I have no small business but I do have a job and a family.  I work a crap job nights so I can be home with my kids during the day and I try my hardest at life and being everything for everyone always and I beat myself up at night for not crossing things off my list too.  And I lose sleep beating myself up for all the things I’m not doing good enough. And though I “knew” it, for the first time I feel like I can SEE that we all do this and that it’s okay. 

    Thank you for writing this.  I have printed it and placed it in the middle of the “to do” pile of paperwork that always sit on my desk so that I can re-discover it and smile and know that I’m not alone all over again.

    You are very honest and very brave.  Thank you.


  • Danielle Smith

    Wow….  (Kimzell)  Thank you for that.  A million times over.  Writing this was so cathartic for me.  Well, I take that back.  Writing it was releasing… but the RESPONSES, like yours?  That is the cathartic part.  Like you, I KNEW – somewhere deep – that I really wasn’t the only one going through this, but  DAMN if it doesn’t feel like it sometimes.  But hearing all of the ‘me too’s’ and the different ways women experienced some level of relief knowing we aren’t doing it alone, and acknowleding that sometimes it is all just PLAIN HARD…well, that is the amazing part. I’m grateful.  

  • Susan (5 Minutes For Mom)

    I’m really late reading this because… well… like you I have way too much to do and running a business and raising a family are both enormous tasks and I’ve had to sacrifice too much of my favorite thing… reading blogs like yours!

    And if you’re making a list of other blogging moms who DON”T have their sh** together… please add Janice and my names… because we’re beyond overwhelmed and cry and nap regularly.

  • Sarah Mae

     “I can’t figure out how everyone else seems to have it all together.”
    You cannot do all things well my beautiful friend. Something always gives. You have to decide what will give…what matters…what is eternal.

    Love to you! You are not alone!

  • ChaptersOfMyLife

    so much honesty and purity in this….

  • Marlene

    I just found your post via StumbleUpon.  I thought for a moment that it was something I had written but forgotten somehow.  Well, except for a few details: Husband has been laid off since October, it’s December 16th and I have not purchased a single gift for any of my 3 children.  The bad news is, I won’t be buying anything for anyone this year.  I’ve begun having panic attacks, my face is aging by the moment from all the worry and, the worst of it, we are filing for bankruptcy…..literally.  I keep thinking a Secret Santa will show up and make things all better, this is how far into delusion I have sunk.  I would even consider going to one of those charities that helps needy families, but still feel we aren’t needy enough to justify taking something away from someone else who even has less.  We are the former middle class who still looks like we have it all simply because we have not yet gone into foreclosure.  It has started me asking, what determines need?  We are trying to be as responsible as possible with the little money we still have so we are doing away with, well, Christmas.  It isn’t considered a “need”.  We are too broke to buy gifts and based on appearances, we still have enough not to ask for charity.   I sometimes wish I could disappear.  So, by comparison, your life looks a whole lot better from where I’m sitting…. agree?   

  • Danielle Smith

    Marlene….  Thank you so much for your honesty…. will you please email me at danielle (at) extraordinarymommy (dot) com.  (as soon as you can)  

  • Tresea Myers

    Wow, I was hoping for something to lift my spirits today. Thanks :)

  • Danielle Smith

    Thank you so much for this, Tresa – I so appreciate it. Grateful. xoxo

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