I see you over there, with your giant coffee, your laptop, and your tired eyes bouncing from your computer screen, to your daughter out on the gym floor who keeps yelling to you to watch “just one more cartwheel!”
This is your break time. Your me time. You get a whole 55 minutes to respond to emails, complete a discussion for a class, or even just peruse Facebook, uninterrupted. You feel so accomplished as you start crossing things off of your to do list while your daughter is cartwheeling away.
And then it’s over.
She runs up to you all giddy, because she can finally do a handstand all by herself! “Did you see, mom? Did you see?!”
But, you didn’t see.
You were feeling like super mom while you got the Girl Scout cookie order in and submitted an assignment before the due date (for once). And then super mom fades away, and you start to feel guilty for crossing items off of your to do list instead of watching all 743 cartwheels.
It feels like no one understands what it’s like to be the busy mom. To do more chauffeuring than playing, more late nights studying than late nights snuggling. You pray that no one stops by your house unannounced, because there are times where housework doesn’t get done for days on end, and your sanity needs the world to believe that you’ve got it all together.
Not the kind of tired that moms of newborns feel or nurses working 12 hour shifts on their feet feel. I’m talking about the kind of tired that feels like an acrobatic juggler standing on one leg while throwing obligations and kids’ activities into the air instead of fruit.
The mental exhaustion of being busy wears down heavy. Less time with your kids leads to feelings of guilt, less time cleaning the house leads to feelings of failure, and less time with your spouse leads to feeling a lack of love. You always feel like you’re in need of more sleep, rushing everyone out the door to the next activity, and always manage to show up five minutes late everywhere you go.
You’re standing there feeling like a hot mess, looking around at all of the other moms who managed to show up early to soccer practice this week, and trying to figure out why you can’t seem to get it together.
Sometimes, you’ve gotta take a look at your plate full of responsibilities on top of working full-time, being a mom full-time, going to school, and realize that something’s gotta go. If you want to show up to conferences on time for once, get just a little more sleep, and avoid doing your grocery shopping at 9pm on a Sunday (Hey, at least the parking lot is empty!), you’ll have to start turning some obligations down.
So let’s all work together, busy moms.
Let’s join together, coffee in hand, and help each other learn how to take a step back from some of our obligations, and a step forward into our kids’ imaginations.