It had been raining for a really long time. Not literally, but figuratively. Every day felt longer than the last. I was new to motherhood and didn’t know how to do anything. I felt like a failure in so many ways. The days were running together and I couldn’t tell you if it was Monday or Saturday. I was so overwhelmed, so tired, so frustrated, so scared and so alone.
Motherhood was brand new. It was my first time and I was doing it completely alone. I was trying to embrace single motherhood with a positive attitude but it was so hard. It felt like my world had been shattered and all that was left was a grey cloud that seemed to rain down on me. Whenever I felt a small success, a little voice would remind me of what a failure I was. How I let my daughter down and could not give her what I wanted her to have: a family with a mom and a dad. I knew I loved her enough for ten people, but it still didn’t change the fact that I wanted things differently. I wanted my happy ending, my rainbow. A promise that everything would be okay.
Time crawled by. The months went quickly but the days were slow. My daughter didn’t sleep well and she cried a lot. And sometimes when she cried I cried with her. I’m not entirely sure why. Maybe it was because I was lost. Maybe I felt a little broken.
Maybe my tears were the only way I stayed sane in those early months.
I had never felt like this before. I didn’t feel like me. I felt like this version of myself that was incredibly lost. Everything was new. It was harder than starting a new job. It was harder than completing my degree. It felt so foreign. I felt like someone had thrown me into the middle of a strange place and I didn’t speak the language or understand the culture. How was I going to survive it? Could I do it? Would it ever stop raining?
As time wore on I started to feel a bit better. We were establishing a routine and while the sleep was still not as great as I wanted it to be, I was adjusting. I didn’t feel like a put-together mom who had it all figured out, but I was getting there. I was improving. The clouds were moving out. The skies were still overcast and dreary, but they were no longer grey. I could see slivers of lights.
One day when my daughter was around seven weeks old, I sat her down on the couch and sat in front of her. I made funny faces at her and talked in silly voices. And something wonderful happened. She smiled and then giggled. I quickly grabbed my camera and managed to catch that beautiful moment. That one little moment changed everything. It erased seven weeks of doubting myself, feeling inadequate and feeling like a failure. I made my baby smile. I created happiness in her life. I did it all on my own.
And just like that, the rain moved out. It was like sunshine and rainbows had entered my life. All it took was one little sign from my daughter that I was doing okay. That I was getting something right. That I was a good mom.
Time keeps passing and now my baby isn’t a baby anymore. She’s an eighteen month old toddler who is full of energy, happiness, and love. We still have really hard days, and sometimes it truly does rain – both literally and figuratively. But when this happens, I remind myself that rain is temporary. That without rain, things can’t grow. Things can’t improve and things can’t change. Sometimes we need rain. We need it so that we can appreciate the good days. The sunny days. The days that are full of joy and happiness. We can’t experience rainbows without a little rain.
And the rainy days, they won’t last forever. They’ll be gone in the blink of an eye, just like a rainbow. So remember to breathe, chin up and hang in there. You got this, mama.
Katie lives on the east coast of Canada and is a single mother to a beautiful little girl named Charlotte. When she’s not busy raising her daughter, working full time, writing, or taking pictures, she spends what little “free time” she has trying to figure out how to make a living off of eating chocolate and drinking wine. Her work has been featured on Scary Mommy, Mamalode, Good Mother Project, Single Parent Network and Parent Life Network. She can be found on Twitter and Facebook and you can check out her blog at She Didn’t Come with Instructions.
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