Mom of 3 Gets Brutally Honest About Her Crushing ‘Motherhood Crisis’ & She’s Not Alone

Katie Swenson and Cooper Swenson
Finding Cooper's Voice/Facebook

Raising tiny humans is an exhausting, thankless, 24/7 job. One that often leaves you unsure of the last time you showered/took a break/did anything for yourself. It doesn't matter how many articles you read on "carving out some me time" -- actually making that happen is hard. In fact, it can sometimes feel like an impossible feat. Katie Swenson knows what this is like. She knows how it feels to lose yourself in motherhood and to wake up one day and realize you're a shadow of your former self. Recently, she came clean about it in a stirring post on Facebook, which has quickly gone viral for its brutal honesty.

  • In the February 3 post, Swenson first takes a moment to introduce herself.

    "Hi, my name is Kate and I am 36 and I’m having a serious case of lost identity," she began. "Or maybe it’s a midlife crisis. Or a little postpartum depression. Or maybe I’m just tired, overweight and mentally drained."

    Swenson is a mom of three boys, one of whom has severe autism and is the inspiration behind her Facebook page, Finding Cooper's Voice.

    Despite her exhaustion, Swenson is devoted to her family, writing that "most days, I am happy to do it. But some days, some weeks, I don’t feel that way," she explained. "I feel like I have lost myself along the way."

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  • Now, she hardly recognizes herself when she looks in the mirror.

    View this post on Instagram

    Hello clingy phase. My little peanut helping me make dinner.

    A post shared by Kate (@findingcoopersvoice) on

    And as she approaches middle age, the changes are "scary."

    "It’s not that I necessary look old," she wrote. "It’s that I look like someone I don’t even recognize. I look tired. I look like I’ve let myself go. I look angry. I look really rushed.

    "Rushed to shower. Rushed to eat. Rushed at stoplights," she continued. "Rushed at pick up and drop off. Rushed to get dinner on the table. Even rushed at Target. Rushed to type this because a baby is screaming and one is getting off the bus in 11 minutes."

  • For a while, Swenson was used to being the strong mom -- the one who is "un-rattled" and can handle anything. 

    "But lately, I feel almost empty," she admitted. "When I’m with my kids I feel guilty for not working and when I’m working I feel guilty for not playing with my kids more. It’s a lose-lose at times."

  • And in the process, it feels like she's lost the thread of who she was before she had kids.

    "I feel like I wasted my education," the mom confessed. "I feel like a housekeeper, a cook, a chauffeur, and a ring leader. I feel like I always have sick kids and I can't finish the laundry or squeeze my butt into my fat jeans.

    "I know I’m a good mom," she wrote. "I don’t doubt myself in that department. But I also feel like all I am is a mom sometimes."

  • Swenson has stretched herself so thin, that now she feels like she's "disappearing into nothing."

    She's even grown envious of her husband's free time. 

    "I didn’t know I could be jealous of my husband for getting to poop alone," she wrote. "He’ll be in the bathroom, on his phone, and I’ll be angry."

    She even forced her husband to draw straws to go upstairs in their home and change the "pee sheets" -- because it meant having five minutes alone.

    "That’s what it’s come to," she wrote.

  • Even taking daily showers can be draining. 

    "I used to care about how I looked," she lamented. "Like really care. I ate well. I exercised. I showered. I put makeup on. I’d peek at hashtags on Instagram like ‘outfits for summer’ and pin cute outfits."

    But after kids?

    "Now, I wear hoodies," she wrote. "Dirty ones. Grey T-shirts."

    Like so many of us, Swenson says that other things started to be more important to her than looking perfectly put together -- like getting more precious moments of sleep or simply being there for her kids.

  • And remember having hobbies? Yeah, Swenson doesn't either.

    In her post, she added that she no longer does things just for fun. 

    "I have no time to do anything," she explained. "I just care for kids. For my home. I keep the ship going."

    Even when she watches TV, it's mostly for 15-minute increments, and she's not actually paying attention.

    "I’m nonstop busy and yet bored at the same time," she wrote. "It’s a bizarre way to feel."

  • The worst part of all is that Swenson doesn't know how to get out of her self-proclaimed "funk."

    But she's trying to find the solution. 

    "This year I will find balance in motherhood, marriage, my job, my home and my sanity," she vowed. "That's my goal. Learn to laugh more too and give myself more grace."

  • To date, Swenson's post has been shared over 5,000 times. 


    In the comments, many people wrote in to share they they too have felt this same kind of "mom burnout."

    "I just want today to be over," a fellow mom wrote. "I desperately need a time out. I desperately need a minute without someone demanding something of me. I see you. I hear you. I’m sorry. Strength be with you."

    "I’ve been there, in fact I’m there a lot!" another woman wrote. "All I can say is I understand, and I think you’re amazing."

    Although every parent's circumstance is different, Swenson's post -- as well as the reaction to it -- clearly shows just how many moms are feeling the same way. It's also a reminder that it's OK to ask for help, and that sharing frustrations, sadness, and honest feelings about motherhood only brings us closer together in the end.

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