The other day I found myself saying ‘so this is my life now’ under my breath. I had just finished fighting another bedtime battle that ended in tears (as usual). It made me realize I have started to say that a lot. I guess I never really expected motherhood would be quite this difficult in so many ways.
I feel like I keep waiting for my life to get better, but now I’m starting to wonder if it ever will. Don’t get me wrong, this is the life I always wanted. The one I chose to lead. My husband and I carefully considered and decided together I would be home with the kids full-time, at least until they are both in school. But every time we seem to make it through a ‘rough’ phase, rough adjusts and follows us into the next stage.
Right now I can’t even imagine being in an office setting again. Not to mention dealing with child care, sick days, field trips. I don’t know how you full-time working moms do it! The thought of dealing with co-workers, bosses, and clients in addition to coordinating everyone’s schedules makes my head spin. I already feel like I have so much to keep track of, so much that I am in charge of. How do you possibly add more?
There are so many times when I just collapse at the end of the day and my husband calmly takes over. I don’t know how you single moms do it! I can’t even begin to imagine doing all of it on my own. Busting your butt to earn a living. Giving every ounce of yourself and then some more just to give your kids the best life possible. The cooking, the cleaning, the laundry (so much laundry). Never being able to completely shut down and relax. Never feeling like you get a break.
For me, a rare chance to run errands alone at 9 pm is my break. Though I can’t really check out mentally because I’m usually shopping with a purpose related to my family. If I’m being really honest, I don’t know how full-time stay-at-home-moms do it either! Even after 6 years, I am sure I’m still not doing it right. The hours and sometimes days on end without talking to another adult. Being tuned in to mom-mode literally 24/7. Balancing discipline with comfort all day long. Trying to give the kids valuable experiences and opportunity for socialization without spending too much money or interrupting their precious sleep schedule. It is a big mental burden when it is every.single.day over time.
But maybe that is the key, no one knows how they do it, not really. Sure we do it, of course we do, we’re moms. Sometimes things come up that we know will be hard, really hard, maybe impossible. But we do it, we get through it and we can look back and say ‘man, that was tough’ or ‘hey, that wasn’t as bad as I thought’. We learn and keep going, but no one knows the right way to be a mom. No one can do all of the right things all of the time.
Not only do you not have to do it all, you literally can’t! So don’t stress yourself out trying. It doesn’t matter if you live in an apartment or a big house. It doesn’t matter if your kids go to Montessori or public or are homeschooled (oh homeschooling mama – I really don’t know how you do it!!). Parenting will never get easier, the hard just changes. Every mom has at least one part of her life that she considers a failure. Maybe if we all try to remember that, we can give ourselves a much-needed break too. I know you deserve it.