For When The Mother In You Is Desperate

UPDATE: Comment numbers 67, 492, 461, 151, and 264 are the randomly selected winners of this giveaway.

“I’ve had enough. I’ve had just about ENOUGH of the arguing and fighting!” I yelled.

My kids stopped the squabbling mid-argument. I took a deep breath. Finally.

And then my daughter whispered one word under her breath, an insult directed at her brother.

A dam broke. I said things I shouldn’t have. I was angry. I left my children standing in the kitchen.

And I closed my bedroom door.

I headed straight for the bathroom and locked it.

That’s when I felt it, desperation clawing it’s way into my heart. I couldn’t breathe.

I’ve been here before. Last week and the one before.


I feel inept as a mother a lot of the time. I try. I try really hard and I connect with my kids, we laugh and talk and I get it right some days. But it’s the days in-between, I wonder if I’m undoing the good I’ve done.

Motherhood turns you inside out. Sometimes you feel overwhelmed by how tired you feel; the days go on and on, and you want to be a “good” mom, but you feel like a failure so much of the time. -Desperate

We don’t have a manual or how-to instructions that come with our children. It’s trial and error. It’s good and bad. It’s hard and easy. It’s heartbreaking and breathtaking.

I take a deep breath and lay my anger, failure and desperation at His feet. In that dark bathroom, I receive grace. Grace to breathe, to mother when I don’t know how.

Sarah Mae and Sally Clarkson’s book is like oxygen to a mother’s body. It’s simple, yet often-forgotton permission to accept grace in motherhood. They challenge mommas to lean on God and others who are further down the road during the joyful and challenging days of raising little humans.

If you’ve ever felt desperate as a mom, this book is for you.

Today, I’m giving away FIVE copies of Desperate: Hope for the Mom Who Needs to Breathe.

We often don’t talk about the desperate moments because we’re ashamed. There is power in sharing them–it frees us and offers encouragement to others.

Please leave a comment if you’ve ever been a desperate momma (as your entry).


  1. 302

    Andrea says

    It’s a daily struggle. This is twice this book has come across my path today, maybe the Lord is trying to tell me something!

  2. 303

    Donna H. says

    Desperate is a good word to describe motherhood. Although every stage has it’s difficulties, I miss being able to fix most things with a kiss. It is such an honor to accompany my teens on their journey to adulthood but some days are so hard.

  3. 304

    liz g says

    I read through over 100 posts and realized that I am probably not the only one who have jumped up and down, having a tantrum of my own out of frustration. And having my 4 year old tell me today that I’m not his best mommy and he isn’t going to play with me or give me hugs and kisses. There is comfort in numbers!

  4. 306

    Melissa says

    More than I care to admit, I have desperate moments. Parenthood is so much harder than I expected, but on a good day, much more rewarding too.

  5. 307


    I could just insert my name into this post… that’s how much it’s like me. Thank you for your encouragement of grace for our most desperate times.

  6. 309

    Jenny says

    Me? A desperate mama? Four babies 5 mos to 6 years and an active duty husband who’s away quite a bit right now. Umm…yes…about once an hour.

  7. 311

    Brandi says

    There are desperate moments around here with 5 little loves, 8 and under. I love them much and try my best for them. I would love to read this book. Thanks for the chance.

  8. 315

    Stacey E says

    All.the.time. I was just going to check my library to see if they have this book and it’s also in my cart on amazon. I so need this book. Thanks for the chance to win!

  9. 316


    Oh my goodness, when am I NOT feeling desperate??? I have a 5 yr old (who seems to be going on 17) and a 13 week old and most days I feel like I am at my wit’s end, even though I love my boys tremendously.

  10. 318

    Laura says

    I have 2 little ones currently – 2 1/2 and 3 months. My toddler is my trial by fire. She is wonderful with more charisma than she knows what to do with. I love how great and entertaining she is. But with this comes a very willful, stubborn, emotional streak. And that doesn’t mix well with my very sinful short fuse. I have a tendency to burst out at her in anger when she is pushing my buttons. It’s gotten alot better in the last several months, by the grace of Jesus only, but I still see it rise up when I’m stressed or tired or hungry (which, really, is a good part of the time). And I hate that I see her doing these same things. She gets frustrated and angry quickly too. And I see her slam drawers, doors, or just hit a wall (don’t think she’s seen me do that one) when she doesn’t get what she wants. I don’t want her to think of me or remember me as an angry mommy. Jesus is changing me, but I don’t think I’m always very cooperative.

  11. 322

    joellen says

    Yes, yes, and yes. Life is easier than it was a year ago, but with four kids 7 and under, still trying to pull our family together after being separated by hospitalization for a few months last winter…it’s been a rough year. Years.

  12. 326

    Kristen says

    Desperate and often feeling inadequate. So inadequate. Theres so much I want the 3 (7/9/12) to learn, know, understand, etc etc etc and just not enough time/energy. And PMS does not help at all!! :)

  13. 327


    Thank you so much for sharing! I feel like I’m the only one that has moments like that. Last week we had a moment where one kid drenched his hearing aid (not supposed to get wet) while the other pooped all over the bathroom (ahhh potty training). I lost it! After screaming and using words I’m not proud of I hid in my room and cried. Sad moments, desperate moments, moments we feel all alone.

  14. 329

    Amy says

    I totally felt like that, just yesterday. My hubby is a trucker driver so it’s just me , the 18 month old, and the giant dog all week. Yesterday, some body didn’t want to nap and I had a horrible headache. I wound up lying beside her and we both cried.

  15. 331

    Joni says

    Desperate? I actually feel like I’ve accidently stepped into a dark deep hole and haven’t hit the bottom yet. Two beautiful children: 9 and 2.5. My sweet precious 2.5 was born with a heart defect and severe reflux. He’s developmentally behind and possibly has sensory processing issues. I haven’t slept through the night in over 2 years due to his issues and also because my 9 year old daughter has started talking and crying out in her sleep. I love my children so very much- but I sometimes feel like I’m literally going to come out of my skin. Last week my poor baby had a stomach virus sending him into a reflux nightmare- this week it’s a double ear infection and high fever. There are no pinch hitters; this is the motherhood no one talks about. Be 100% for both kids and still have something left. Haven’t yet figured out a way to keep from feeling like a failure.

  16. 332


    Absolutely! Most days with a teenager, a 9 year old and an ADHD 5 year old! Desperate (along with guilt) is my middle name many days. Sounds like a great book.

  17. 333

    Kari says

    I feel this way many days like am the worst mother ever. I try so hard and fail. But keep trying. Feel so alone like I am the only one when I hear other mom’s softly, gently, patiently handling their children. I often wonder why God entrusted me with my beautiful 2 children. I love them with all my heart, would lay down my life for them but so often feel like such a failure and if only I could start over.

  18. 334

    Andrea says

    We have a precious little adopted boy that was born addicted to the crack cocaine his birth mother smoked daily. He is a never ending little boy of energy and noise. He has the dearest heart and has so much love, but there are many moments that I am desperate………….desperate for QUIET, for CALMNESS, for PEACE. Being a homeschool mama that recently finished aggressive cancer treatment and trying to daily pour out my energies for my family, has left me *desperate* in many moments.

  19. 336

    Amber says

    I feel like I have more moments of desperation than calm as I navigate parenting three kids (3.5, almost 2, and 4 weeks). It’s hard and I’m thankful that I’m not alone.

  20. 337

    Michelle says

    I have arrived at the stage of desperate nearly everyday. I have two teenagers. My son is going through growing pains (of I can do what I want to do and I don’t have to do what you say.) . My daughter feels she is grown at 14 and can not wait to move out. Somedays I have had enough and I forget to guard my tongue. So help would be much appreciated. Thank you for this wonderful giveaway.

  21. 342

    Amy says

    Desperate….I am part of a moms group that call ourselves “The Desperate Housewives”. we get together once a month to get out and have a day with woman that are walking the same road we are. I would love to read this book! Desperate doesn’t sometimes hardly come close to how I am feeling waiting for this day to come….I would love to read the insight and thoughts expressed in the book!

  22. 343

    Rebecca N says

    After my fourth child, I really felt a difference. A constant pull in multiply directions, ALL day long. No chance to have a moment to think or catch my breath! I’m just purely outnumbered 😉

  23. 346

    Christine says

    Those moments are what make me scared to have more kids. I feel like I can barely do it with one, let alone 2 or 3 or more.

  24. 348


    Oh my I have been desperate countless times. Most of the time I find its usually outside influences topped it off my kid like actions! Once it starts to happen it sure seems like water boiling over and there’s no stopping! My kids are 11 &12, 10 months apart! One is visually impaired. I’d Love love love this book and I’m sure it would be a great read and much help! Thanks for All you do!

  25. 350


    Well, my baby is 24 now, I am beyond those type of days as a mother. I miss the old days!
    Be blessed, thank you for your blog and sharing your family with us.

    • 351.1

      shelly foster says

      Oh gracious your post made me giggle — I have done that before! Then he pointed out I was yelling at him!!!

  26. 353

    Jennifer H says

    I resemble this book. I had my four children in 5 years and while I was physically exhausted when they were all little, I am finding that preferable to the emotional and spiritual exhaustion I feel now that they are teenagers and pre-teenagers! A good nap doesn”t always remedy the situation!

    As my sister always tells me: “Motherhood is a marathon not a sprint!”

  27. 355

    Ally says

    My husband just had his gall bladder out, my two kids (ages 3 and 2) are driving me crazy. I have no family with the nanny thing but flying distance. you could say I’m desperate at the moment.

  28. 356

    Kate says

    I haven’t become a desperate mommy yet….today! There’s still time though, (especially) seeing as I was awake from 2 am to 7 am with one daughter who isn’t napping this afternoon either (but her usually not-napping sister is right now, urgggh!!) and therefore got a grand total of 5 hours of sleep before and after that. It’s something that hits multiple times a week right now as a mom of 3 year old twin girls who are stretching their independence skills, one foot still firmly in babyhood, the other in childhood. Thank God for grace and mercies that are new every morning, even when morning starts at 2 am!

  29. 357

    Jennifer says

    6 children; 17, 15, 15, 9, 20 months, 20 months….numerous times a week it seems that at some point or another there is a desperate moment where I, too, run to the bathroom, lock the door and fall to my knees begging for help, begging for guidance, begging for patience, begging for strength to face situations that I don’t want to face. Thankfully, His grace and presence wash over me the minute I call on Him….just wish I would remember to do it sooner before I get to the overwhelming, do something stupid moment. SIGH. Tomorrow is another day, thank goodness! :)

  30. 359


    I am due in a week with our third child- my oldest just turned 5 and my 2nd is 3. I definitely have desperate days and even though we are excited about the upcoming birth, boy do I already feel desperate thinking about some of the times ahead! :)

  31. 363

    Lori Cortright says

    I love the honesty in your post. I hate it when I lose it with my kids, when my example doesn’t feel like enough. With four kids age 7 to 19 and the demands of life, I am learning to breathe daily and lean into Him.

  32. 365


    Every day I need to be reminded of that grace. I’m new to being a stay at home mommy. I’m new to having more than one child. I struggle every day to keep my cool, remain patient, and realize I can do this – the hardest job on the planet! – and be successful. Too often though, I just feel like I’m the worst. I’m my own worst critic, Debbie Downer, and worst enemy but only I can also have the power to realize that if I keep myself focused on the cheering from God then I can be the best mom He has made me to be. Love your entries and your mission – peace!

  33. 368

    shelly foster says

    THANK YOU!!!! Some days you feel like the worst mom ever because you had abad day or you got frustrated, etc…. It’s nice to know you are NOT alone that other Mommy’s have same struggles!!! I have a 5 year old son I am raising alone — so thankful because when I retired from Air Force we moved back home to be close with family. God has been so good to us…. And thank you your posts always make me feel not alone in the struggle of worrying if you are “good enough” mom!!

  34. 370

    Mandi guy says

    I’ve read it, loved it, would love to give it away as gifts to friends!! This is my go to gift now to other mom friends.

  35. 372

    Kathy says

    I struggle with feeling like a failure as a mom daily. I transitioned from working outside the home to a staying at home with my kids a few years ago. It has been a wonderful yet very tough transition for me. I was so organized and on top of things when I worked outside the home but now I am always behind and exhausted.

  36. 375

    Melody Benschoter says

    Mothering is so much harder than I expected! It’s not so much any one thing… but all of it, together. Day after day. The mental challenge of staying ahead of them, knowing when to show grace and when to punish. To see the heart issues and deal with them. To be consistent… all the livelong day! Big sigh.

  37. 377

    Dawn B. says

    One preteen girl and one teen boy and me going through perimenopause!…too many hormones raging in this house :) I have to say, this stage of life has definitely enhanced my prayer life!

  38. 378

    Avery Copeland says

    At 23, I was a career-bound structural engineer. Then I got pregnant. Now, fourteen years later, I’m the homeschooling mother of 5 beautiful daughters. This was not what I had planned for my life and for the longest time I fought against it. I stay desperate for so many things: a quiet moment, a clean house, an uninterrupted meal, privacy in the bathroom. Mostly I stay desperate for grace with myself, my husband, and my kids. I so identify with locking yourself in the bathroom.

  39. 379


    Just today…I loose my cool…blow my top…and it hurts…them and me and Him. I needed your words today, and no doubt need the words in this book too. Thank you!

  40. 380


    Desperate. Yes. Inept. Yes. Grace? Yes, please!

    My oldest is sitting here with me, and said “Oh, wow!” when she saw the many responses to this post. I guess I’m not alone… :)

  41. 381


    My daughter and my only child will be 23 years old on March 5th. I’m desperate to have a loooonnnnngggg talk with her. I’ve confessed, repented, and received forgiveness from God. I’m desperate to receive her forgiveness.

  42. 382

    SoCalLynn says

    I have been having so many struggles with my 13 year old daughter lately. It seems as though I mess up, she messes up, we apologize and ask forgiveness then the next day we are doing it again. uuuuuggh!And I have been through raising a teenage daughter already, but the struggles are different… This is the second time I’ve seen this book recommended lately. Maybe I should get it? :-)

  43. 383

    Tracey says

    I have been a desperate mom too many times to count!! I guess in my desperate attempt to gain contol over what’s “out of control. ” As you said, only by God’s Grace are we forgiven repeatedly!! What a loving Father!! The book sounds interesting, can’t wait!

  44. 385

    Laura says

    I am a desperate mom for SLEEP! My 10 month old still does not sleep through the night and I am tired daily. But I know he will grow up and sleep on his own (eventually). :)

    • 386.1


      Oh, and I have the book (a generous friend bought it for me when I said that I really, really needed to read it), but I’m entering because I’ve been wanting to send a copy to my sweet friend Carol who just moved to Thailand to serve the Lord. She has four little ones, ages 8 and under, and I know she would love this book!

  45. 388


    When my normally even-keeled 2-year-old screamed, “YES. NO. YES. NO…ETC ETC” and flung himself to the ground to any choices as I was trying to get out the door to deliver new-mama goods to a friend…. on time. Time lost and God won, with all credit to God and my husband who reminded me that consistency and love matter most. And that this is just a phase :)

  46. 389


    I have twins. It’s not always, not even most of the time, but desperate is the right word. Thank you for your post. Sometimes it’s enough to know it’s not just you.

  47. 390

    Shaunta says

    I am a mom of 5-ages 6 and under. I want this book but its outside of the budget right now. I really hope I win.

  48. 391

    Kelly says

    Desperate is a good description of motherhood. Am I doing this right, will my son hate me, etc. Would love to win this book!

  49. 392

    Shaunna says

    At almost 400 posts I am definitely not feeling alone in my desperate moments, but I think this post and this book crossed my path for a reason today. There were a few desperate moments today as I tried to work through a migraine and keep up with our daily routine. Hoping to do better tomorrow. Thanks for the reminder that it happens to all of us.

  50. 393

    Juli vrotney says

    Today is that kind of desperate mom day…..disobedience, non-listening children,
    Messy bread dough spread all over the front of the fridge …definitely made for a xrazy day…and though I didn’t go overboard, I was very disappointed with my little girl. Grace is what Ineed eight now to face what lies,ahead.

  51. 394


    totally had one of those moments this morning. My oldest always has a way of making me blow my top. Then we miss the school bus and I have to drive them all to school… sigh… I suppose that makes me as desperate of a mother as any.

  52. 395

    Jami C says

    I am desperate nearly every day at some point. I have wanted to read this book for a while, but haven’t been able to purchase it. Hearing other moms’ struggling with the same things I do gives me hope…

  53. 397

    Amy says

    I have a 3 year old little blessing who is a very spirited child. He brings me great joy and also brings me to my knees. I

    Laprochaine at gmail dot com

  54. 398


    Desparate, longing for a helper, looking to my Saviour, wishing as I teach my children to be selfless, it would be more instantaneous for this Momma who knows the blessings, wishing I could be a model of gratitude and joy faster than I can correct or direct…

  55. 400

    Aisha says

    So..yeah…sometimes I fail so hard I have to cry on the bathroom floor. I feel like I fail my son…and then it hits me that God entrusted me with this child…and…sigh…some days are better than most. But I am a single mom of a 9 yr old (almost 10) and I must depend on His grace and mercy DAILY. And… remember that my son is just a kid…and not let ME get in the way of parenting him! Thanks for sharing!

  56. 404


    Just yesterday when my son muttered a bad word under his breath. I felt completely responsible. Why would he say that. I did not raise him like that. In those moments I feel like a failure.

  57. 405

    Tara says

    Your posts the past couple days have really hit home with me. Desperate – a lot. Wanting so badly to do right by them but my humanness bubbling to the top. I would love to read the book. Thanks for the opportunity.

  58. 407


    Thanks for letting me know about this book. I’ll be buying it because I’m a soon to be mom and I want to be well prepared ahead of time lol.

  59. 408

    Brittany says

    I am in need of this, yes I feel desperate often. The times I yell are give me the most guilt, I need direction and would love to win this, thank you.

  60. 411

    Kelly says

    Oh I am desperate pretty regularly. I raise my voice with that feeling of tight anxiety in my chest.
    And then I want to cry, afraid I’ve hardened their little hearts a little but more.
    It’s so hard to be so tired. And feel like an island.

  61. 412

    Tiffany says

    I only have one child right now, pregnant with number two, and we’ve just started into the independent stage of 21 months. My sweet, compliant little one has begun testing boundaries multiple times a day, and by time number 6 or so, I become a DESPERATE momma. I’ve begun waking up a bit earlier to spend time with the Lord each morning, but though I’m feeling the difference spiritually, I’m so tired, sometimes the two cancel each other out.

    I’m still learning to be a housewife, too. Turns out that living in a house all day every day makes it much messier than cleaning it once a week and leaving for work every morning. As I’ve begun training my little one, I’ve realized how many discipline issues I have in my own life. I’m quite grateful for the growth motherhood has brought, but sometimes I feel quite desperate while I wait for the refining to hurry up and mature me.

    I have a feeling this book may be quite timely!

  62. 414

    Elaine says

    Desperado, why don’t you come to your senses…… So thankful for God’s grace, especially in parenting! Would love to read this book! Thanks for keeping it real, Kristen! God bless you!

  63. 415

    Robin in AZ says

    Having 5 kids (and a miscarriage) in 11 years has had it’s challenges. Even though they are mostly grown (now ages 17 to 28) , the feelings of desperation and unpreparedness to mother them and their spouses and children are still often overwhelming! I’m so thankful The Lord walks with me through each challenging day! He knows our circumstances from squabbles to birth defects, to a grandchild born out of wedlock. How could we walk this path without Him?

  64. 417

    H Triplett says

    I know exactly how you feel.
    And you may want to edit this post and remove the expletive. It’s a “dam” that broke. 😉

  65. 418

    Jennifer O says

    Oh yes! I feel like I’m not doing enough. No matter what I do, it’s never enough. I desperately just want to enjoy being wife, mommy, homemaker, and God’s child.

  66. 419

    Lori Fulton says

    Yep, quite a few of those “locking myself in the bathroom” kind of days. As the mom of 2 boys, some days my patience is stretched and broken. We all need a little grace sometimes though.

  67. 420

    Brandee says

    Yes! I am desperate to read this book. After the conference this past weekend in Dallas, I am so inspired to bring more civility to my home. Thanks for the giveaway…and for your honest words. Much love!

  68. 421

    Denise Wilson says

    Yes, I have… And we are just getting started! I have a 5-year-old boy, and 2-year-old girl, and a baby on the way!

  69. 422

    Heather E. says

    Oh my… so desperate! I yell way to often at my two boys. I know they would love me to NEVER yell. That is my desire. God is my provider! Thank you for this!

  70. 424

    Jennifer H says

    Yesterday was a low day. I have been feeling quietly desperate. Attempting to balance work and home, family and self, can be overwhelming all too often. Know that you are used by God to give hope to this lonely heart.

  71. 426

    Bev Z says

    So comforting to know that I’m not the only one who ends up losing her temper over the bickering that goes on amongst my kids. And so THANKFUL for God’s grace when I fail day after day. Love your blog!

  72. 430

    Tara S. says

    As a homeschooling mom of two little ones, I struggle daily with patience and being the “good” mom that they need.

  73. 431

    Cara says

    Wow! Desperate definitely describes me… homeschooling mama of 5 children… most days I don’t know how to cope.

  74. 432

    Kathryn @ Expectant hearts says

    Oh YES! Today, RIGHT NOW. My 7 year old girl and 11 year old boy won’t stop fighting and my 14 year old has to be driven out to and picked up from youth group.. pick up is after the 7 year olds bed time and it’s YOUTH GROUP at our church, it should be a blessing and right now all I can see is inconvenience and burden. And I”m so tired.. (fighting a cold). Thank you for reminding me God’s grace is enough and i”m not alone.

  75. 433

    Jen C. says

    I think I’ve been in Desperate-mode for the last several years… just trying to survive. I know God has so much more for me, but I can NOT see it in the craziness of life :-(

  76. 440

    Kelly Knapp says

    Desperate for God’s truth and grace to penetrate me AND my children as we journey together as a family. Thank you for an opportunity to have this book!

  77. 446

    Chrystal says

    I’m so glad you wrote about this! I punish myself by not being able to eat the next meal when I do this… Which makes me more grouchy, or humbles me if I approach it like a fast. But I cry so much thinking that’s all my children will remember… I have scripture all over & never thought I would struggle with a temper!!! Being a quiet shy person who had never struggled with it before.

  78. 447

    kelly says

    “We often don’t talk about the desperate moments because we’re ashamed. ”

    thanks for this post tonight. i was DESPERATE for it! bless you for your transparency. i would love to read this book

  79. 448


    Going on 3 a.m…..watching Mickey Mouse, feeding my 11monther graham crackers the couch so she doesn’t wake her 2.5 year old brother. File this one under things I said I’d never do before I had kids. Thank God for Grace, graham crackers and cartoons.

  80. 449

    Melissa says

    I am touched by your openness. Sometimes, when I feel this desperate, I think “Am I the only one?” But no, I cannot be.

Leave a Reply

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

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>