Nobody understands parenthood until they are a parent. All of the demands from not only society, but the internal demands we place on ourselves. We have to be the best. We have to be at every event for our children. We also have to look our best, drink water and have a social life.
I think about my mornings and it seems like I put in 8 hours before I actually arrive at my place of employment. My childless colleagues have no clue the amount of work I do before sitting at my desk to view financial statements.
Beating it out the door every morning. Staring at the clock every five seconds. One eye on breakfast praying it does not burn. The other eye on the outlet making sure that I do not forget to unplug the iron. A basic morning consists of me yelling multiple times for my daughter to get up and dressing my son while he is asleep. All the way to driving back home because I forgot my work badge or my briefcase.
Is every day like this? No. Some days and weekends I am fully prepared. The food is cooked, clothes are ironed the week prior and everything goes smooth. On the flipside, there are days when work was rough, and I neglect all responsibilities that may make my next morning easier. On those nights, everything that I was supposed to do the night before gets neglected. So that brings chaos the next morning.
With chaos comes stress. I was so stressed out that my immune system became weak and I became sick with pneumonia. Obviously, I explained in my previous post I caught pneumonia from my son who contracted during a camping trip. However, I can’t help but think if I was not stressed I might have avoided being sick. I have a pretty durable immune system.
It seems as if, from week to week it is a constrant struggle. My latest struggle is finding reliable transportation for my daughter after school. It seems like you have everything figured out and then out of nowhere, a curved ball.
I was discussing my struggles with other moms and we all had one thing in common: we are exhausted! Yet, we feel guilty about it. We all felt like we needed to toughen up. Maybe even add some self-care to our routine. The catch is, we are not adding it to feel better, but to make us stronger to do more. Do you hear what I am saying? Not to lessen our load, but to build ourselves up only to do more.
For instance, I will spend a weekend resting only to get up the next week and overwhelm myself with duties that need to be eliminated. There will need to be times that I say no. There will be days when the kids need to eat take out. I was telling my mom friends at work that we need to admit that we are exhausted, own it and do something about it.
What can you do to lessen your load? It is time to stop pretending that we are ok and ask for the help we need, outsource and find ways to make our lives as simple as possible.
My doctor haunted me with his last words during my visit.
“Tahnee, you can die from exhaustion. You do a lot. At the rate you are going, you won’t make it to see 40.”
Sounds harsh, but it woke me up. It forced me to realize that I need to make changes. I needed to admit I was exhausted, own it and do something about it.
From A Mom Who is Figuring it all out…