I’m an overwhelmed mom. For months now, I feel like I’ve been treading water, just barely keeping my head above the surface. Gasping for little breaths that fill my lungs just enough so I don’t float away. And when I look around, it seems as though everyone else is pleasantly paddling along and I just can’t understand what is wrong with me?
Most of the time I am filled with an overwhelming sense of responsibility. So many things to do, so many people to take care of, so many places to be, and so many things to remember. Except often times, I fall short on those responsibilities and the feeling of guilt or anger then fills me up even more. Until I am left gasping and just plain tired.
I wake up in the morning and I do what I can. I fight a toddler to get dressed and get shoes on and to brush hair. Every. Single. Day. Some mornings end in tears or timeouts and I scramble to get myself ready. I punch the clock with a minute to spare, if I’m lucky, and spend the day thinking about all the things I didn’t do the day before and vow to myself that I will do them tonight because I have to. But I don’t because of dinner, then bath, and the wrestle to bed and the chores that just absolutely can’t wait because no one has any clean underwear and there is a weird smell coming from the dishes in the sink. And that little thing called marriage? Where in the world does that fit in?
You know the story, because it’s probably similar to yours. It’s nothing out of the ordinary. But it’s hard. I often wonder why is it so hard for me when other moms seem to be smooth sailing and accomplishing things I can only dream of. Literally – because I’m probably sleeping because I told you, I’m just so tired. I can’t seem to do the extras. I can barely do musts.
I tell myself it is just a season. I’ll look back and it will be just a blip of crazy irrational toddler behavior that pushed me near my limits. Someday the tide will shift and I’ll be able to find my bearings. It won’t matter if my house was a mess or that we ate cereal for dinner. But in the meantime my whole world feels overwhelmed with these minor details that I can’t get under control. And I feel angry and disappointed with myself that I can’t find the motivation to push through and do more than just survive, when I see so many other moms killin’ it left and right.
Someone might need to throw me the life preserver. And I need to learn when to use it.
Maybe that means I need to say no to some of the responsibilities and obligations I put on myself. Maybe that means I need to find a babysitter and not feel guilty about it, even though my daughter spends five days a week all day long at daycare already. Maybe I need to make me a priority every once in awhile and get that work out in or spend a few minutes writing. Talk to a friend, talk to your mom, talk to someone.
These days there is a moms must do it all kind of mentality, fueled particularly by social media. Thanks Pinterest. And you and I must remember – those perfectly curated Instagram feeds are highlights, it’s not what real life is like – it’s what they want you to see. Nobody wants to hear about your problems anyway.
So I am struggling. I don’t have it together. And I don’t have any life changing advice for you. I often wonder why it’s so hard for me. Everyone’s circumstances are so different and as they say, comparison is the thief of joy.
So just so you know, if this is you, you are not alone. We can’t do it all. And that’s okay. We do what we can, even if it doesn’t include all of the extras. And remember, tomorrow is a new day. Let’s start penciling ourselves in.
**Please note, anxiety is a big factor for many of us, including me, and I have been working on ways to manage it. If you suspect anxiety or depression, talk with your doctor. There are people out there who can help!