Digging Deep

posted in: Life, Motherhood 104 comments



Two hours.

In. My. Ear.

Inconsolable, my teething baby.

(Yes, I’ve ordered him an amber teething necklace. From Australia. There is none here!)

It was 1.30 in the morning before he finally fell asleep, exhausted, on my chest.

I don’t remember what time I slept.

I do remember getting up at 6 o’clock.

Digging deep.

Giving my full attention to my children.

The ones I wanted with all my heart.

And still want, of course.

I love my children.

(Did I even have to say that? Yes, I do.)

Toys thrown on the floor, crumbs everywhere, people to be fed.

Do, do, do.

The small people, refusing a nap.

Can Mama have a nap?


On my feet all day.

Digging deep.

Because if I don’t, I may just be in a heap on the floor.

4.30 pm.

Number dialed.

“Hi Mummy. Happy Birthday! Sorry I took so long to call, this is the first time since 6.30 that I’ve sat down.”


Post ideas in my head, swirling.

Needing to be out. To be written down.

My tea is getting cold. Fuck.

(Again with the F word. Sorry about that.)

Digging deep.

Just Write with Heather of The Extraordinary Ordinary. 

Ever have days where they all just blend into one long day, and they just kick. your. ass? 

Alison Lee is a former PR and marketing professional turned work-at-home mother. After a 10-year career in various PR agencies, and of the world’s biggest sports brands, Alison traded in product launches and world travel, for sippy cups, diapers, and breastfeeding. Alison's writing has been featured on Mamalode, On Parenting at The Washington Post, The Huffington Post, Everyday Family, Scary Mommy, and DrGreene.com. She is one of 35 essayists in the anthology, My Other Ex: Women’s True Stories of Leaving and Losing Friends. In 2012, she founded Little Love Media, a social media consultancy specializing in blog book tours, and because she doesn’t sleep, is an editor at BonBon Break, an online magazine. Alison lives in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia with her husband and four children (two boys and boy/ girl twins).

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  • October 3, 2012 Tracie

    It is hard this mother thing. There are rewards, and good stuff, and all that…….but sometimes you just need to be able to acknowledge the hard.

    I’m sorry the hard hit you today. Hoping for a better tomorrow (and maybe even a nap!)
    Tracie recently wrote…Hope Fills My LifeMy Profile

    • October 3, 2012 Alison

      Oh yes, thank goodness for the good stuff too, or I may not make out of this alive and sane 🙂 Yes, today was MIUCH better (though no nap).

  • October 3, 2012 Chaunie

    Um, yes? Like every day for the past three months since my third child was born? I can’t remember most of the last four years of my life!
    Chaunie recently wrote…How Much Do You and Your Husband Have in Common?My Profile

    • October 3, 2012 Alison

      It is kinda like a blur, yes?

  • October 3, 2012 Susi

    Hope you get that amber necklace soon and that it helps your poor guy. Keeping a teething baby happy and the household running can be very tough. Hang in there. xxx
    Susi recently wrote…It’s October, it’s FallMy Profile

    • October 4, 2012 Alison

      I hope the amber necklace works! My poor child.

  • October 3, 2012 Melanie

    Today I got bit by my (normally very sweet) daughter like she was a rabid dog. To my credit, I did not toss her off the balcony. Digging deep, indeed.
    Melanie recently wrote…Dear Dentist, Please Don’t Let Me DieMy Profile

    • October 4, 2012 Alison

      Holy smack a pony.
      My toddler used to bite me. I dug deep then too.

  • October 3, 2012 Julie

    Yup, that’s motherhood. Perfect post form for that too. It’s a total gut check. 🙂
    Julie recently wrote…Well, $^!+. #iPPPMy Profile

    • October 4, 2012 Alison

      Oh yes, a gut check. Absolutely.

  • October 3, 2012 Mama Pants

    Oh yeah. And also yes. This mama gig isn’t for the weak.
    Mama Pants recently wrote…Sunday’s PearlMy Profile

    • October 4, 2012 Alison

      It most certainly isn’t!

  • October 3, 2012 Alma

    sending you a virtual ((hug))
    Up for a laugh… I took a shower in the middle of the day, try to look good so I can feel good.
    My 4 year old girl looks up and says..”where are we going? I wanna go too.”
    I said ,” I just wanna shower in the middle of the afternoon.” Then I realize I live in sweats of jeans all day with her. She said “oh, that’s too bad”.
    I hope you get a moment to feel better and some shut eye.
    Alma recently wrote…All That GlittersMy Profile

    • October 4, 2012 Alison

      Thank you for the hug and the laugh!!

  • October 3, 2012 tracy

    I wish I could come warm your tea. xo
    tracy recently wrote…Trains, Trains and More Trains – and a GiveawayMy Profile

    • October 4, 2012 Alison

      I wish you could too. xo

  • October 3, 2012 angela

    Hugs. It will get better. It will. (Though I know this day, and so many days like it, where I heat up my coffee so many times it’s not even good anymore. And then I drink it anyway.)
    angela recently wrote…Letting Them ChooseMy Profile

    • October 4, 2012 Alison

      Oh I know. I know. (may you have at least one cup of hot coffee a day!)

  • October 3, 2012 Kimberly

    Every. Single. Day.
    I need more cupcakes.
    Kimberly recently wrote…I AmMy Profile

    • October 4, 2012 Alison

      Oh yes, me too.

  • October 3, 2012 Leslie

    Oh, mama. We’ve all been there. It’s become a joke around our house that 5 to 8 pm is L’s ‘witching hours’. Nothing will console her then. I hope that your little one feels better soon and that the teething necklace works for him! In the meantime, get as much caffeine as you’re allowed! (I know it’s not nearly enough)
    Leslie recently wrote…Three MonthsMy Profile

    • October 4, 2012 Alison

      Not nearly enough, indeed! I’m still waiting for the necklace, I REALLY hope it works!

  • October 3, 2012 Elaine A.

    Let it out girl.

    This post makes me think that I have NO IDEA how our mothers did it without the internet to vent.

    Hope today is better and that you get some rest.

    Elaine A. recently wrote…Starbucks RunMy Profile

    • October 4, 2012 Alison

      What WILL we do without the Internet???

  • October 3, 2012 Christine

    Yes – all.the.time. I’m so sorry that it’s been rough. You are doing an amazing job with those two incredibly cute and amazing boys of yours. Just breathe.
    Christine recently wrote…Are you strong?My Profile

    • October 4, 2012 Alison

      Brea-thing. 🙂

  • October 3, 2012 Amanda Jillian

    The necklace is a god sent, Ariel screamed when I took her’s off just to show it to my cousin so they could order their daughter one.
    Amanda Jillian recently wrote…The magic momentMy Profile

  • October 3, 2012 Sue

    Oh, hug. xo
    Sue recently wrote…GoodbyesMy Profile

    • October 4, 2012 Alison

      Thank you, I needed that. xo

  • October 3, 2012 Ben

    Here’s to hoping tomorrow is better, and if not maybe give yourself a break from the home made baking and grab some frozen premade baking treats 🙂
    Ben recently wrote…Cobypic is…My Profile

    • October 4, 2012 Alison

      Baking actually relaxes me 😉

  • October 3, 2012 Maureen

    Oh Mama, teething is always hard *I remember those nights* Hope you will get some nap soon.
    Maureen recently wrote…Chalean Extreme – Push Phase ResultsMy Profile

    • October 4, 2012 Alison

      I’m still trying to recover from the time my first was teething! 🙂

  • October 3, 2012 Barbara

    I’ve had too many of those days lately. Hugs! I’m right there with you.
    Barbara recently wrote…What about dinner?My Profile

    • October 4, 2012 Alison

      Hugs right back at you!

  • October 3, 2012 Kim

    Days that blend into one long day? I’ve seen those, too. Wishing you hot tea and more rest and also some relief from that teething pain for your little guy.
    Kim recently wrote…Picasso Strikes AgainMy Profile

    • October 4, 2012 Alison

      Thank you Kim!

  • October 3, 2012 Vanita

    seems you had my yesterday. and you’ve just inspired me to write about it.
    Vanita recently wrote…Linkedin You Dirty ScoundrelMy Profile

    • October 4, 2012 Alison

      It’s nice to be able to inspire posts 🙂

  • October 3, 2012 Maggie S.

    Yeah. Some days, if there were no eff word, Mommy’s head would explode. Then who would clean up the mess. No one. They don’t know which cleaner to use or where to find a rag.
    Maggie S. recently wrote…Sitting Around Here On SundayMy Profile

    • October 4, 2012 Alison

      Haha! Yes, exactly!

  • October 3, 2012 Laura

    What have you been doing spying on my life and then writing about it?
    Yeah. I get it.
    Laura recently wrote…Least FavouriteMy Profile

    • October 4, 2012 Alison

      #bloggingtwins #parallelives #enoughsaid

  • October 3, 2012 sarah

    I hope your lil guy likes the amber. I seems to work well for Oscar. Screaming babies are so pitiful, no fun for anyone 🙁
    sarah recently wrote…the sunday spill–about shifting and sucking up the bunniesMy Profile

    • October 4, 2012 Alison

      I hope it does too. Poor thing is itching to bite on stuff all the time, and the screaming – sigh.

  • October 3, 2012 Mirjam

    Teething. Is. Brutal.
    That’s all. xoxo
    Mirjam recently wrote…Sunday GatheringsMy Profile

    • October 4, 2012 Alison

      Sigh. Yes. Yes it is.

  • October 3, 2012 KalleyC

    Oh, hell yes! I would think at this stage in my home that I wouldn’t have to go through night time wake up. But with potty training, I’m awake from 1am to 4 or 5 am trying to get my girl go back to sleep, so that she can wake up 2 hours later. Guess I should be thankful she’s using the potty at night.

    Days like this I would LOVE to to just sit down and be a blob on the couch, but as you know…duty calls. Hope your necklace gets here soon.
    KalleyC recently wrote…Newborn Shopping–Starting All Over AgainMy Profile

    • October 4, 2012 Alison

      OMG we aren’t even potty training just yet. The goal is to start in a month or two. I’m never sleeping again, am I?

  • October 3, 2012 melinda

    we all have “those” days and the moms that portray a perfect world with perfect children and a perfect job and perfect friends are full of shit. motherhood is hard work whatever stage you’re at.
    melinda recently wrote…I Think She Eats ThemMy Profile

    • October 4, 2012 Alison

      Thank you for saying that out loud! 🙂

  • October 3, 2012 AnnMarie

    Too many days to count, my friend…too many days. I hope those teeth come in soon so that you guys can all get some sleep.
    AnnMarie recently wrote…It’s Working!My Profile

    • October 4, 2012 Alison

      My day probably sound like peanuts to your chaos! 🙂

  • October 4, 2012 Kristen

    My husband travels a lot and there are some days where I call him at the end of the day and just say, “I’m done.” Granted, I never am truly done…we moms always dig a bit deeper to make it all work but it feels good to say it sometimes. Just to let it out is a huge load off for me.
    You are never alone in this…if you are getting your bum kicked, read back through these comments and know that we are all cheering you on!
    Kristen recently wrote…Dinner Battle With A Picky TweenMy Profile

    • October 4, 2012 Alison

      This is why I’m glad I blog, or god knows, what hell I’ll end up in 🙂

  • October 4, 2012 Kimberly

    Yes. Yes. Yes. Even when we are worn to the bone we have to dig deeper. Those babes need us and if that means putting them first, over fucking tea that is always cold, then we do it.
    Just remember to have a breather…and a pee xoxo
    Kimberly recently wrote…When Words FailMy Profile

    • October 4, 2012 Alison

      They come first, always. They also save us, every day. xo

  • October 4, 2012 Courtney Kirkland

    I know that feeling…the whole drop in the chair and then realize what a gigantic mistake you just made? I do that at least once a day. LOL Teething might be as bad as the newborn phase. Hope it passes for you guys quickly!!
    Courtney Kirkland recently wrote…My Favorite MomentsMy Profile

    • October 4, 2012 Alison

      I think teething is actually not as bad, as once he’s asleep, he’s asleep for longer 🙂 Until the next growth spurt/ more teeth come along!

  • October 4, 2012 Charlotte

    Uhm, yes I do have days like this. I just wrote a post about it, actually. I think the work of a mother is never fully appreciated. You do so much, momma. Please try to get some sleep when you can, k? I worry about you! XOXO
    Charlotte recently wrote…Groundhog Day in OctoberMy Profile

    • October 4, 2012 Alison

      Oh you’re so sweet to worry, my dear, but really, don’t. My husband nags me enough about the sleeping 🙂 xo

  • October 4, 2012 Runnermom-jen

    Runnermom-jen recently wrote…Through the LensMy Profile

    • October 4, 2012 Alison

      Thank you, much needed. 🙂

  • October 4, 2012 thedoseofreality

    Oh my yes. And they are just the hardest days. You captured it perfectly here, by the way. Because honestly, it is exhausting to be exhausted. Hang in there!-Ashley
    thedoseofreality recently wrote…A Picture Is Worth a Thousand WordsMy Profile

    • October 4, 2012 Alison

      Yes, yes it is. Exhausting to be this exhausted. The other day when I had barely any sleep, my husband asked me if I felt tired. I told him, I’m not sure, because I’ve felt this way for 3 years so it’s my normal. Tired is my normal. At least, I think so. 🙂

  • October 4, 2012 Jessica

    You are tremendous. What you are doing is tremendous. The work of the world is on your shoulders, you are holding up the future on those blades, with your muscles. This too shall pass, let go what you can. Sending hugs from the middle of nowhere…
    Jessica recently wrote…Instant! Gram!My Profile

    • October 4, 2012 Alison

      You’re amazing and sweet and I love that we’re friends, even though you’re in the middle of nowhere 🙂

  • October 4, 2012 Kate F.

    Oh. My. Gosh. Have I EVER had days like those 🙂 Keep on digging. Eventually you dig yourself out… right???
    Kate F. recently wrote…Love, Appreciation & the Death of a Hair DryerMy Profile

    • October 4, 2012 Alison

      As long as it’s out and not deeper in 🙂

  • October 4, 2012 Tina

    Um that seems like every day to me 🙂
    Tina recently wrote…Wordless Wednesday: Why I Love FallMy Profile

    • October 4, 2012 Alison

      Oh. Dear. 🙂

  • October 4, 2012 Stasha

    Loads of those days. Complete with f words… But all it takes is one smile to make it all better. Or a tub of Ben and jerry’s …
    Stasha recently wrote…Wordless WednesdayMy Profile

    • October 4, 2012 Alison

      Thank goodness my children are cute. Also, thank god for ice cream.

  • October 4, 2012 Ruth

    It’s one of those days I guess. And teething is a phase, it will pass. And then, there will be something else. But no matter how bad it may feel at the moment, someday we will look back and smile at all these experiences that makes motherhood such an amazing journey.
    Ruth recently wrote…Toilet Training – A SurpriseMy Profile

    • October 4, 2012 Alison

      It’s a phase I can’t wait to be over 🙂

  • October 4, 2012 karen

    ((((HUGS))) those days are just NOT fun. hope today is a better day babe.
    karen recently wrote…Secret Subject SwapMy Profile

    • October 4, 2012 Alison

      Thank you – the next day WAS much better, fortunately.

  • October 4, 2012 Natalie

    Yes, yes as a matter of fact I sure have 🙂 You can do it girl…you are good at digging deep!
    Natalie recently wrote…Busy As a BeeMy Profile

    • October 4, 2012 Alison

      I’m better at sitting back and drinking tea 🙂

  • October 4, 2012 Julia

    Yes, this, absolutely. I feel better now since I only have my son and he just turned 3, but there are about 2 years of my life that are all in a barely memorable fog.
    Thank goodness these kiddos are cute.
    Julia recently wrote…Heavy GreyMy Profile

    • October 4, 2012 Alison

      Yes, thank goodness they’re cute! 🙂

  • October 5, 2012 Kristin

    “Ever have days where they just blend into one long day and just kick your ass?”

    Yes. OMG, yes. This week, in fact. And last week, too. Oh, hell… this whole damn month.

    Hang in there, Alison.
    Kristin recently wrote…Game Day in the Age of Social MediaMy Profile

    • October 6, 2012 Alison

      You too, my friend. You too.

  • October 5, 2012 Andrea

    Hello! Great post! I have to dig deep on another level now that my boys are up and running (literally) but they don’t listen when they are entangled in a disagreement – so annoying! I’ve never yelled the word SSTTOOPPP this much in my life!!!
    Andrea recently wrote…5 Reasons Your Kindergartner Had a Bad DayMy Profile

    • October 6, 2012 Alison

      I think we’ll never stop yelling stop 🙂 Thanks for dropping by!

  • October 5, 2012 Robbie

    teething is difficult add in 2 needy kids and one tired momma and it’s a recipe for a crappy day. Hop ethe rest of the week is better.
    Robbie recently wrote…CelebrateMy Profile

    • October 6, 2012 Alison

      It did get better, but the teething really sucks. Sigh.

  • October 5, 2012 Kate


    I’ve got a teething baby, a sick 3 year old, & more things to do this weekend than I could possibly count on both hands!

    Great post!
    Kate recently wrote…Is staying home the right choice?My Profile

    • October 6, 2012 Alison

      Hi Kate! *waves*

      This motherhood gig is not for the weak, is it? 🙂 Hope your weekend gets better!

  • October 6, 2012 Jessica

    Such is the life of a mom. I hope the teething pains get better soon.
    Jessica recently wrote…Essence of Now: SurprisesMy Profile

    • October 6, 2012 Alison

      Indeed. I hope so too!

  • October 6, 2012 Robin

    Oy. Yes. And you wonder how you’ll get through, but you do. Hang in there.
    Robin recently wrote…It MattersMy Profile

    • October 6, 2012 Alison

      Yes. And here I am, still.
      How are YOU my friend? Enjoying the newbornness? 🙂

  • October 6, 2012 Mothering From Scratch

    {Melinda} Yes, motherhood does require a whole lot of digging deep, doesn’t it? I wish I could tell you it gets loads better — and during certain seasons of parenting it does. However, I think I was digging a hole the depth of the Grand Canyon during the middle school years. Yikes! High school years are better, though!
    Mothering From Scratch recently wrote…five excuses we use to stay isolatedMy Profile

    • October 6, 2012 Alison

      Motherhood is certainly not for the weak, is it?

  • October 7, 2012 Elena

    Answer to your question – YES! So many of them. Those days are killer. Makes the smooth days seem just that much more precious.
    Elena recently wrote…First World Problems of the Reality KindMy Profile

    • October 8, 2012 Alison

      I know, right?? And too far and few in between in the teething days. Sigh.

  • October 8, 2012 Katie


    Which is why I have been a lousy commenter. But I have always been here. Reading all the words.

    Between all the other things in this life of momming and teaching.
    Katie recently wrote…Project 365 {week 40}My Profile

    • October 8, 2012 Alison

      Thank you for taking time to even write this, because I know how stretched you are, and how much you have going on.

      Hang on in there, my friend.

  • October 9, 2012 Lady Jennie

    Poor thing. I always went straight for the pain reliever, which seemed to help. I never tried the amber bracelet, but I think it’s a good idea.
    Lady Jennie recently wrote…Crockpot Boeuf BourgignonMy Profile

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