What 2020 Taught Me about Hard Seasons in Motherhood


Can you believe we have made through the final month of what most of us would call the craziest, most unpredictable year of our lives? We can all check off “lived through a worldwide pandemic” on our life bucket list now, ha!

I think most of us would say this past year has been hard, or at least contained hard moments. Each of our versions of hard may be unique, but life sure threw a lot at us in 2020.

Mamas, we made it! (I’m envisioning Elle Woods from Legally Blonde cheering “we did it!” to all of us.)

In my final post of this year, I wanted to reflect on what 2020 taught me about hard seasons of motherhood. Because while we may not regularly face a worldwide pandemic and all the crazy that comes with it, we are almost guaranteed to face hard seasons in motherhood.

So if you are in the thick of a hard season right now, this post is for you.

To the mama whose newborn baby will never stop crying, I see you.

To the working mama trying to juggle her job and meeting her children’s needs, I see you.

To the stay at home mama trying not to lose her patience with her emotional toddler, I see you.

To the mama adjusting to life with a new addition to her family, I see you.

To the mama dealing with anxiety or depression, I see you.

To the mama in the thick of teenage years and pushing boundaries, I see you.

To the mama who just feels so darn exhausted in every sense of the word, I see you.

To the mama who is both growing a human and trying to take care of little humans, I see you.

To the mama waiting and wishing for a positive pregnancy test, I see you.

Each of our hard seasons in motherhood may look unique, but we all can support and encourage one another because we all face them. Motherhood is beautiful, wonderful, and hard. Here is what 2020 taught me about the hard parts:

Hard seasons do not last forever.
I feel deeply (if you’re familiar with the enneagram, I think there’s a good chance I’m an enneagram type 4 #allthefeels). When things are good, it’s like my heart could actually burst from joy and gratitude. And when things are hard, it’s easy to wonder if the heaviness will ever go away.

2020 taught me to not fear the less than pleasant emotions and times, because they do pass. Even if circumstances do not change, I can. I can grow and adapt and suddenly, something that once felt incredibly hard might not anymore.

Comparison truly is the thief of joy.
Mamas, let’s be real, when things are hard it is so easy to look at others and envy what they have. For us, that looked like comparing our situation to friends who lived near their family and could spend time with grandma, grandpa, aunts, uncles and cousins while we were unable to visit ours due to COVID. In March/April when things really locked down, we hardly had play dates just out of the uncertainty of how to best handle this foreign, pandemic situation. It was extremely isolating, and it was so easy to envy friends who had help when I felt without any.

In that time, I had to tangibly stop comparing my life to other people’s lives. When I felt my brain wander to that place of comparison, feeling sorry for myself, I made a conscious decision to instead focus on what was right in front of me. My happy, healthy daughter. My loving husband. A roof over our heads. Food on our table. I would list out anything and everything I felt grateful for, and it really helped me combat feelings of envy.

To the mama in the thick of it, please know the grass is not greener in your friend’s backyard. Water your lawn, and stop to smell the flowers right where you are.

Sometimes our brains make things harder than they need to be.
2020 taught me how to really, truly live in the present. Back in March, as the world as we knew it started falling apart, our world was rocked in a whole different way. We faced some health uncertainties with our daughter. As any parent knows, no matter how much a doctor can reassure you “this is nothing”, it is SO easy to go to an anxious place of worst-case scenarios.

I learned during those weeks of taking our daughter to various tests that I HAD to live in the present. Letting my brain craft up some possible picture of what the future would look like really was not helpful, I just had to put one foot in front of the other and keep walking.

I am so unbelievably grateful that all of the test results came back normal, and I’m also grateful for how I learned to stay present and not let my brain make things harder than they need to be. That was a practical lesson that I applied many, many times throughout the remainder of 2020.

Good and hard can co-exist.
This is a lesson that I continually learn in motherhood. I learned it in the tougher moments of postpartum recovery. I learned it when I transitioned back to work and life just felt really, really overwhelming & hard. And I learned it again in 2020.

Even in the hardest seasons of motherhood, there is still so much good. A smile on our child’s face can brighten our entire day. The sound of their laughter is contagious. The joy they experience from simple things like bubbles, a new toy, or playing in water is just beautiful. Never let the hard overshadow the good.

Mama, I don’t know what your past year looked like, but I bet there were some challenging moments. And if you still find yourself in the thick of it, I hope these lessons encourage you. We all need these reminders when we’re in a hard place!

What did 2020 teach you?


  1. Great prose from a talented writer… “ the grass is not greener in your friend’s backyard. Water your lawn, and stop to smell the flowers right where you are.”


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