Before I dive right into my blog topic for today, I just want to say a big THANK YOU to my contributors that have helped me get through summer this far! Thank you Jennifer, Debbie, Amber, Gloria and Diedre! Without each of you I wouldn’t have had the extra time to spend with my kids and work on my blog. I am taking some workshops and training courses to learn how to convert this blog into a business! As exciting as that sounds it isn’t easy to fit it all into my day of being a mom. It is especially difficult when there is no space for me.
I thought working from home is a dream come true. Until I started actually working from home… and the kids are here. Having the kids home while I’m trying to works is even harder than actually going to work. Yes, it saves me in day care. Yes, it saves me from schlepping and we can keep our own schedule. But at what price? My sanity. My sanity is the price.
Without a break from the care taking and the constant demands of sandwiches and laundry a mom could go insane. I am literally one person taking care of three other humans. I am all there is. I don’t have a mom close by that can help me take the kids to the park, or a sister two towns over who can take my kids to the movies one day. I have a husband who works a lot and two kids who demand a lot. That’s it. We see extended family once a year when I pack up the kids and drive home by myself. My life as a mom is so overwhelming.
I try to find space for myself in the small parts of the day not occupied by my kids and husband. I get up earlier than everyone else so I can sit outside and listen to the birds and drink my coffee. But I am usually interrupted with a screeching howl of, “MAAAAAAAAAAAAAHHHHM.”
I try to exercise to get the good energy flowing. But then I have to stop short because the kids are fighting over the TV.
I try to get to the gym so the kids can be the daycare providers problem and I can zone out on the treadmill and watch TV. But no one wants to cooperate to get out the door.
I try to read a book while the kids are quiet. But then I have to stop every other paragraph to make a snack, or change a channel, or end a dispute.
I try to enjoy a good home cooked meal. I miss connecting with my kitchen. I used to pour a glass of wine, light some candles, turn on the music and whip up a meal with fresh ingredients. Now I am tied to the toaster oven reheating frozen chicken nuggets.
I wake up early to get some blog writing done in those “fringe hours.” But suddenly one child is awake and crying. It is like I have an alarm button on the bottom of my feet that alerts I am upright and ready to accept their commands.
I attempt a moms night out and get a text from hubby we are out of over night underwear. I have to leave my friends early to go to the store and bring them home.
Nearly every day it is a struggle to find a space for just me. I can’t finish a sentence, a phone call a blog post or even check Facebook from my phone without a constant barrage of noise. My kids are almost six years old and I still don’t get to take a shower every day. It feels like every moment in my day is interrupted.
But then, in the moment just before I crack. Just as my tears start to well a little arm goes around my shoulders and a tiny voice says, “I love you mama.” The tension eases away. My jaw starts to release and the tears calm. “I love you too sweet heart.” This is the space where I belong. Right here in the comfort of little arms snuggling me tight. I belong right here in the little hearts who think I am the safest place on earth.
There is no space for me to exist any more without my beautiful, wonderful children. I am learning to let that space be big enough.
The Whatever Mom is a twin mom learning to let go of perfection. She shares her real life struggles with parenting through her blog and contributes her time and talents as a writer to Hudson Valley Parent and Masshole Mommy. When she isn’t writing you can find her chugging coffee, folding laundry and not judging other parents. Don’t forget to subscribe via email so you never miss a blog post again! You can also find her work featured on Mamapedia and The Novice Mommy.
Oh you are speaking my language! This is the SAHM real story! However it is completely true that at that tipping point a little hand in yours or a little hug can make everything ok again.
My kids are older, so trust me when I say it does change as they grow up. My oldest is going to be 12 next week and doesn’t need me like he used to, so I get lots of me time these days.
I feel you on a lot of these things. I try to remind myself that the kids are little for such a short time and will be off to college before we know it.
You have just reminded me why I only have one kid. And now that she is fully grown, I don’t intend on having any more. One was enough for me. I can’t imagine having three.
Literally tearing up right now. I only have one kid but my husband works a lot too (military) and we live away from family so I get it! My daughter and I are really close and she’s great, but we have our days… then out of nowhere she runs back and just hugs me. And none of the other stuff matters!
I hear all your “trys” and echo them vociferously. Life can drown you if you let it.
It really can be a struggle to work through a lot of this. I can completely relate to all of this and have had many of the same struggles.
When I teach yoga I talk a lot about creating physical and mental space for yourself. We all need it and with it we’re better at all the things we have to do and be.
I think my mom would totally agree with this post. Even as kids get older, they still hang around! haha, this is a great post
Wow, thank you for sharing this. While I’m not a mother yet, I can relate it to my childhood, having a mother who always put us first, even when we were driving her crazy. Kudos to you!!
On days I wish I had more space for me, I think about how one day, I will have all the space I need and miss my sweet babies. They really do make like. I’ll get there quick enough.
I used to work from home and I often felt left out. NOw that I am in the working world, I want to be left alone.
I hear you! My sanity saving trick is an early morning time. I get up before everyone else, so I can have some peaceful, uninterrupted time just for myself. I do yoga, meditate, have a cup of tea or two and write my blog posts. I don’t get enough sleep for sure, but it’s so worth it!
This is why I work all night practically. I need to change this schedule though because I am exhausted! You are not alone in feeling this way!
It’s so important to have space, but this post made me tear up a little. It’s such a sweet little story! So lovely
Ahhhh now this is part of the reason I’m one and done! Love kids, but yeah, the never having a moment for yourself…. Ughhh drives me insane!