How Am I? Crumbling, Thanks for Asking {Getting Real with Our Emotions}

Whenever someone asks me how I’m doing, I’ll give the normal reply: “I’m wonderful, thanks for asking. How are you?” and then they will say, “oh, that’s so great! I’m really well!” and we’ll go about our day.

But, are any of us really ok?

The perfectionist in me never wants to let on that I am struggling. I would never need someone to check on me. 

Except that I did.

In a Facebook group of women that I belong to, one of the women asked for honest responses to the question, “How are you? Really.”

I began to really think about this. And, while loading the dishwasher for the 3rd time that day, the tears began to flow.

How am I? Crumbling, thanks for asking.

It’s all too much. My expectations for myself have gotten way out of control.

Be a perfect mother. Be a perfect wife. Be a perfect social worker. Be an unaffected witness to incredible grief. Be an engaged friend. Lose those pesky 15 pounds. Clean the house. Weed the garden. Cook dinner. Go to Church. Make art. Read a book. Get off the internet. But stay in the know. Eat healthy when all I want is a bag of Sour Cream and Cheddar Ruffles.

All the Ruffles.

Recycle. Walk the dog. Run a half marathon. Go to yoga. Don’t cuss so much. Be an active feminist. Don’t let anyone walk all over you. Get the kid away from screens. Make sure he’s always entertained. Do the dishes. Do the laundry. Be present. But plan ahead. Save money. Wear sunscreen. Be funny. Be positive. Don’t let anyone see you struggling.

Then, do it all again the next day.emotions

No wonder I’m exhausted. No wonder that when I was asked to honestly share how I was feeling, the word “crumbling” came tumbling out of my mouth. 

I remember very clearly, years ago while working at a psychiatric hospital, an amazing substance abuse counselor came to me and said, “Amanda, did you realize that you’re walking around every day with your emotions filled up to here? {he pointed to his Adam’s apple}. You keep doing that without emptying some of it out, and eventually it’s all going to spill everywhere and it won’t be pretty.”

He was right. It did spill out everywhere. It spilled out in outbursts, tears, and isolation until I learned better self care.

But, since becoming a mother, my self care is lacking again. My raw emotions filled me up right to the top. And again, I needed to empty out, before I exploded.

So, I said it. Out loud and in print. I wasn’t ok. I was crumbling. And I let other people give me support. I let other people hold me up. That was what I needed: an outlet to feel heard.

Why was that so hard? Why did I have to wait for someone to ask the question, “How are you?” Why couldn’t I make myself vulnerable and admit that I needed someone to check on me? I know it’s not just me, it’s all of us.

What do we need to do as a community of mothers to tame the epidemic of feeling alone, forgotten and overwhelmed? Taking a quote from The Real World, “What would happen if we all “stopped being polite and started getting real?”

Maybe that is the answer. Drop the façade. Drop the pleasantries. Drop the pat answers that can be heard, but really say nothing.

So, let’s get real for a moment.

How are you, Momma? Really.

Amanda Fuselier
Amanda is a native of Kenner, LA and is now an honorary Cajun. She is married to a psychiatric nurse, Joe, and is a hospice social worker so don't come to her house unless you are ready to talk about your feelings! Amanda and Joe are parents to Kael and Remy and furry parents to Luna and Spiderman. Amanda is all about that #boymom life and is enjoying wrangling her two wild men while checking out the wonderful culture of Acadiana and all of Louisiana. Amanda is a fan of all things yummy and enjoys a good cocktail. Her motto is "if I can't wear yoga pants, I'm not going".


  1. THANK YOU for writing this. I am in the same boat… overwhelmed and crumbling with all the things…

    • Girl, this momming thing is hard! Thank goodness for community and honest women like you! Keep trucking and know that you are seen and supported!

  2. Thanks for sharing. I’ve been crumbling off little pieces for years, but the older I get the bigger the pieces. I’m not near where I’d hoped I’d be as a college graduate at almost 50, due to a car accident that left me somewhat disabled 8 years ago. I’m a very smart and talented individual that was used to being successful, useful and needed. Now I feel like I’m just hanging out in the shadows and no one really cares or needs me anymore. I wanted to be a strong and successful example of a mom and woman for my two daughters to look up to and be proud of, but I feel like a failure. Since I’m able to get around a little better, I’ve been trying for over a year to find employment again, and I’ve only had three interviews out of the 50+ resumes I’ve sent out and no job offers. Talk about crumbling. I’ve been praying for years for God to open doors, show me his will, help me through the pain, and use my situation; but again, I feel forgotten or pushed aside. I feel like no one understands what I’m going through, and from many I get the obvious impression they really don’t care when I try to talk to friends or family. I do see a therapist and take depression medication, but that simply is a bandaid to hide the problem.

  3. I think this everyday. If I answered honestly everytime someone asked, “how are you doing?” I’d likely be committed. So I guess I’ll keep faking it. The sad part is I’m not doing much to hide it, it’s just easier for the world to pretend they dont see it.

  4. I’m reading this as I sit on my couch crying. I never feel like I’m doing enough or doing good enough. I feel so overwhelmed with burden to be perfect that I don’t even know which of my imperfections to tackle first so I do nothing except cry in disappointment of my own failing. Thank you for putting it into words. Crumbling is exactly it.

    • Thank you for speaking your truth. One of my son’s teachers always tells them “stay in the struggle” to explain to them to feel what you’re feeling and keep fighting. I’ve started repeating that to myself when I feel stuck or don’t know which way to turn.

  5. This is so me!! Fills “up to here” then spills out bc it’s just too much. we have to say we’re fine and good bc it’s just polite conversation. Suppose we actually responded with a real honest answer? No one would be ready for that! So we just keep rolling along like it’s fine when on the inside, at home, by yourself, in your own head & in your own heart, it’s not. It’s tough and so many times others – not even those closest to us – could possibly understand what we go through and how we feel about it. They can’t – they’re not in our shoes. But it would be so helpful it they would just listen, don’t judge or say what you need to do but give a pat on the back and say I’m here for you. And then really be there when you are at the lowest. That’s what we all need.

  6. Amanda, The honesty & bravery in your writing this is amazing. Thank you. I’m so greateful your post reached my eyeballs & soul …. in the swirl of news, mom blogs, social media & wellness advice, you really spoke to my soul. And to 1000s if others who needed to hear this.

    As a fellow professional in this wellness space for mothers (we are in Minneapolis) would you consider being featured on our blog & social media? Here are our sites: on FB you can follow The Postpartum Counseling Center, we are 10 metro locations across our metro area. My email is [email protected]

    Keep up the important work!!! -Emily

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