The Roar of Motherhood

Sometimes I growl.

I don’t really mean to but for many years, I’ve growled in moments of feeling overwhelmed or frustrated or flustered; and whether it’s an attractive or effective tactic of life, it’s just kind of a thing I do.

It’s not like a lion in the jungle snarl or anything super weird. It’s just sort of a low grumble under my breath on most occasions. There are times, however, that it’s more of a roar. A louder, deeper, more cavernous tone that comes from my core.

The other day I did that roar.

It was about 10 o’clock at night. I’d been up since 4:30, worked a full day, did all the things, and was simply running out of steam. I had gone through the bedtime routine and gotten my three boys in bed, and just as I thought I could lay down, my sons all started the typical bedtime stall tactics we all know and love so well.


I finally got everyone to stay put in bed after threats of stripping their room of every toy they own (and don’t think I wouldn’t do it) and never allowing them to have another sip of water for the rest of their days, only to be woken up a couple hours later by my son crying and barking like a seal.

So at 2 am after what felt like minutes of sleep, prior to figuring out my son was truly sick (croup…Hallelujah)… I ROARED.

After determining he was in fact sick; following the calming and comforting, after giving him medicine and laying him back down, prior to laying myself back down…

I ROARED again.

It struck me in that moment that I had roared more than usual that day.

When I spilled my coffee on myself earlier that morning. When we were pulling out of the driveway running late for work and my son said he had to poop. When I couldn’t find any parking spots in the normal lot at work so I had to walk half a mile in. When I had to sit in traffic on my way daycare after work. When my sons acted like lunatics as we went through the evening routine.


Multiple times, for multiple reasons, I realized I was growling a lot.

I thought about it-this growly roar-and recognized it comes from more than a reaction of frustration and annoyance. It’s more significant, and much more complicated than that.

“Sometimes the strength of motherhood is greater than natural laws.” Barbara Kingsolver

I think we can all agree that parenthood pushes us to corners of ourselves we never even knew existed. It tests our limits (the good and the bad) all day every day, and sometimes to cope with that, we growl. Or roar. At least that’s what I do.

Aside from the fact that our kids are sometimes reminiscent of feral animals in the wilderness, there is something rather primal about motherhood. An almost animalistic, instinctual prowess within us to both protect and teach our children. Depending on the details of our day, week, year, or even life, I think that instinct can feel stronger at times. More powerful. More desperate. More urgent. More overwhelming.


There’s a lot on our shoulders as mothers. The responsibility of raising these little people we love more than life is immense. I think sometimes we forget how much it really is we do all day every day. We can discount our own significance and power, our own ability and strength as we become stressed and tired by the weight of it all. And then when we have moments where our strength, love, and stress collide and we “roar,” however it looks in that particular moment, we feel like failures. We feel like our weakness is getting the best of us.

I’m learning that’s not what that roar is.

It’s not weakness or failure. It’s our lioness instincts kicking in.

It’s the roar of motherhood.

The depth of love we carry in our bodies for our children is often too much to be contained within our own bodies.


The weight of responsibility we carry for raising them to be healthy, loving, productive citizens of society sits on our chest and sometimes we can’t breathe.

Rachael Boley
Rachael Boley
Rachael is a 29 year old single mom of 3 little nuggets-identical twin 2 1/2 year olds and a 14 month old. She works full time as an Oncology Social Worker, and in her "spare time," she wrestles, snuggles, and loves on her three boys. She moonlights as a blogger and writer, and spends her days learning to enjoy this crazy, messy beautiful life of single motherhood. Follow her on her blog Three Boys and a Mom and on her Facebook page , and read more of her writings at Divorced Moms.

Related Posts


Recent Stories