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When We Feel Empty As Moms

May 19, 2016

It happens to all of us as moms at one point or another. We have moments, days, weeks, months, and some of us even years where we feel empty as moms. We stop feeling like our old selves. It can cause us to feel lonely, stressed, frazzled or even depressed.

But we don’t talk about it much do we? We kind of just keep moving along and doing the next thing. And there’s nothing wrong with doing the next thing. Things need to get done, absolutely. But what about if we want more? What if we want to stop feeling empty and start feeling full? Overflowing even?

Once a week my sweet husband watches the kids for me until mid afternoon so I can get a break from “being mom”. Not that I don’t LOVE being mom, but I am other things too. I’m a child of God, a friend, just a human being. I have likes outside of motherhood and things I enjoy doing. The problem is, on these days where I get time off, I find myself not wanting to go. I feel bad for leaving for alone time and often I will say, “I’ll stay here and be with you guys”. After all, when my husband is around, I feel so much less stress with holding it all together and I usually just want to be with him and the boys.

So what happens is, I’ll turn down my free time for more family time. What seems to be the less selfish choice in the moment. The day goes great and I am happy I chose family time. But in a couple days, something happens. I turn into MONSTER MOMMY. The dinosaur lady that has no kind words for anyone, is stressed out of her mind, and “just needs a break!” All because of my “no, I don’t need alone time ever” mentality.

A couple weeks ago, it was time for me to go enjoy some time off and there I was, saying the same old thing. “I think I’ll just stay here Babe, I’d rather be with you guys anyway.” And that’s when my husband said something that has stuck with me. He said, “You are constantly pouring out babe. Even when you don’t realize it, you are giving and serving the kids. They are draining you and you need to be poured back into. You NEED this time.”

This has really opened my eyes. I never really thought of it like that. I mean, sure I know being a mom of littles is a lot of work but I didn’t really think about it the way he explained it. As moms, we are a glass that’s constantly pouring out. If we don’t fill that glass back up, we go empty. And there is NOTHING good left to give.

So, how do we fill up? After all, we can’t just stop our responsibilities. These little people have needs and they aren’t going to just magically go away. Well as I have thought about it, I’ve landed on a couple things, essential things, that fill us up as moms. Things that are pretty much non-negotiables if we want to be not only “not empty” but full-to-the-brim moms.

 1. Jesus

We need Jesus. We NEED Him. When I’m extra cranky and find myself striving and anxious and frustrated and all the yucky things, it’s usually because I haven’t spent time with Jesus. Do you need to wake up at 5am every day and spend 2 hours in the word with a perfectly styled latte and cute pajamas on like all the instagram photos you see? I don’t think so. I think your time with Jesus needs to look like your time with Jesus. Maybe it does include a pretty latte, cute pajamas and waking up at 5am. Maybe one of those. Maybe none. But I know that you do need to spend time with Him. Jesus HIMSELF got alone and made time to spend in prayer. How much more do we need to be setting time aside to seek Him in our days? I know for me, my time with Jesus has looked very differently depending on my season. He doesn’t care how we come to Him, He just cares that we come to Him.

“Then Jesus said, “Come to me, all of you who are weary and carry heavy burdens, and I will give you rest.” Matthew 11:28 (NLT)

2. Self-Care

Has showering become optional? (LOL!) It may be time for a self-care checkup. This isn’t a plea for more vanity. This isn’t me saying you’re not a “full-to-the-brim mom” if you’re not perfectly dressed and put together.

What I am saying is, just like your littles need to be taken care of, so do you. And last time I checked since becoming an adult, no one’s checking up on me to see how well I’m taking care of myself. It’s our job to make sure we are getting proper nutrition, rest and basic hygiene. Be your own mom sometimes. Do you need a nap? A haircut? Clothes that fit? Maybe you’re not the same size you were pre-kids and so you are holding off on a new pair of jeans until you “lose the baby weight”. Let it go mama. Let it go. Don’t punish yourself by wearing clothes that don’t fit or make you feel bad about yourself because you haven’t reached your goals. Get yourself something that fits you in this very moment, in the beautiful baby-bearing body you have right now.

Just like properly fitting clothes, sometimes a shower can brighten our mood in a way we wouldn’t expect. Sometimes a haircut can cut off that dull feeling we are carrying and lift our spirits. They are little things with a big impact and oh so worth it! When we feel like we are putting our best foot forward, it shows! I know I enjoy my day much more when I get ready and put something on that is clean and is not pajamas. I was laughing with a friend the other day that pre-kids my goal was to “look good”, now it’s more that I just want to look clean, lol! How things change. I think a somewhere between good and clean is a great place to land. No one is expecting you to look like a model while you do mommyhood but I think it says something when we take the time to show how seriously we take our calling as moms. That we show it’s a privilege and a joy outwardly and not just inwardly.

3. Alone time

I know what you’re thinking. “What is alone time? I haven’t had alone time in years!” I totally get it. But sometimes I wonder if we don’t have it because it’s truly not an option or if we don’t have it because we don’t ask for it.

If your problem is that it’s truly not an option for you, I would suggest getting creative. Can you put on a 20 minute show for the kids while you go in your room and have a cup of coffee by yourself? Can you put the kids to bed earlier and get some alone time in that way? Alone time is essential for us but also important for our kids! It’s good for them to have some alone time too (not talking about a newborn here or those with special exceptions). Give them a book or a toy and a quiet spot and train them to spend at least a little time alone and learning to entertain themselves. You don’t have to be the entertainment 24/7, believe me, they will be just fine!

If your hurdle is that you don’t ask for it, ask for it! Ask your husband, a friend, a grandma, hire a sitter. Whatever it takes. The investment may seem like it won’t be worth it but trust me, it keeps Monster Mommy at bay ;)

So those are my suggestions if you find yourself empty today. I pray they encourage you! If you are feeling depressed or just need encouragement, please reach out to a friend or send me an email through the contact page, I would love to encourage you mama. We are in this together!

Here’s to being full-to-the-brim mamas!


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  • Reply Juli Williams May 19, 2016 at 7:39 am

    “I’ll turn down my free time for more family time. What seems to be the less selfish choice in the moment.” I can so relate to this. I am so guilty of doing this a lot… and then yes, it happens monster mommy comes out. I can’t tell you how refreshing it is reading this. It’s so true we have to refill ourselves. Sometimes I don’t even notice I do, but I so do. Just thank you, I needed the reminder.

    • Reply Chrissy Meyst May 19, 2016 at 8:52 pm

      Thanks Juli! Yes, we definitely can’t pour out without filling up first!

  • Reply Tasha Medellin May 19, 2016 at 8:01 am

    Great reminders, Chrissy! I know I need those things (especially alone time), and I know I shouldn’t feel guilty about it, but sometimes I do find myself feeling guilty when I’m questioned about why I can’t play Barbies or make those friendship bracelets right now. “Girls, this is Mommy’s alone time. Mommy needs this time so she can do some things. It’s important for Mommy to have a little time alone to take care of herself…” I like myself and my kids a lot more when I take the time to invest in myself and my passions. I want to be Happy Mommy, not Exhausted Mommy or Monster Mommy. :) Blessings!!

    • Reply Chrissy Meyst May 19, 2016 at 8:51 pm

      Thanks Tasha! It’s so hard sometimes but definitely helps when we are full so we can give even more!

  • Reply Alina Garcia May 19, 2016 at 8:33 am

    So good and so timely! Thank you for sharing your heart! Love you!

    • Reply Chrissy Meyst May 19, 2016 at 8:51 pm

      Thanks Alina!!

  • Reply Laura May 19, 2016 at 9:01 am

    So good Chrissy! Loved it!

    • Reply Chrissy Meyst May 19, 2016 at 8:51 pm

      Thanks so much laura!!

  • Reply Lori Meyst May 19, 2016 at 1:21 pm

    This is so good!!! Such great encouragement!!! Thank you for sharing your heart!!! Love this!!! And love you!!!

    • Reply Chrissy Meyst May 19, 2016 at 8:50 pm

      Thank you! Love you!

  • Reply My Graceful Life | Are You Taking Time for YOU Lately?? ‘Cause You’re Pretty Awesome ;) May 19, 2016 at 5:28 pm

    […] morning, I read an encouraging post by Chrissy Meyst of Littles and Laundry entitled “When We Feel Empty As Moms.”  It was a great reminder that in order to give our best to our families, we must take the […]

  • Reply Jennie May 26, 2016 at 8:23 am

    Thank you so much for this reminder! It’s so refreshing to know that we aren’t alone with these kinds of feelings.. And that it’s ok to feel this way. I do feel guilty when I’m having that frazzled moment where I want everyone to just nap so I can sit in a quiet room with a book … Or to sleep , even. Thank you for always keeping things real and bringing encouragement into our lives.

    • Reply Chrissy Meyst May 29, 2016 at 9:40 am

      Thank you, Jennie! It’s definitely not easy but so worth it in the end to get breaks every now and then. You’re an awesome mama!

  • Reply Dominique Torick May 28, 2016 at 4:52 pm

    This post is so true and rings a lot of truth in my life. I appreciate you sharing Chrissy. I loved that you ended with “We are in this together.” That is so true. On our hardest days the enemy lies to us, trying to fool us that we are all alone and any other life would be easier but it’s a foolish lie. Mommy hood is the best place to be. Our kids bring us closer to Jesus more than we ever thought would be possible. They bring out our gifts and challenge us to spend more time and lean on Jesus. Your blog is a blessing to me. Love you!

    • Reply Chrissy Meyst May 29, 2016 at 9:42 am

      Thank you Dominique!! That’s so true, motherhood can be so isolating and being aware of the enemies tactics is so wise so we can stay strong as moms. You are a great mom! Thanks for writing, it encourages me!! Love you <3

  • Reply Ashley June 4, 2016 at 9:09 am

    Love this!! I was feeling guilty this morning that I had a haircut scheduled today- now I’m not :)

    • Reply Chrissy Meyst June 4, 2016 at 5:27 pm

      Thanks Ashley! Haha, yes you need your haircut! Glad you’re feeling better about it :)

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