I feel like a run over dog at the end of most days. Don’t get me wrong, I’m very grateful to be a stay at home mom and spend 24/7 with my kids, but I’m exhausted when bedtime rolls around. The baby’s fussy, the toddler wants to see his grandparents but doesn’t understand why we can’t, the dog is muddy (again), the cat got left in the garage, it’s raining (again), we’re out of caffeine, and I want to hole myself up in a closet somewhere just so I can breathe alone for a minute. Once the kids go to bed I’m still at work, doing all the things that can’t be done with a two-year-old-tornado at my feet.
I love them with all that I am, but I am not sad when they go to bed. I know I’m not alone in this.
When I finally get in bed at whatever-o’clock, I immediately think of all the things I needed to get done during the day that inevitably still aren’t done. Boxes on my checklist left empty, mocking me as I try to lull my mind to sleep. But a thought that almost always happens is: I don’t know how working moms do it.
SERIOUSLY. I DON’T.
I worked before I had kids and I remember being so tired at the end of the day. I think I would be a walking corpse if I was working a full-time job and taking care of my kids. (On top of already being a wife, housekeeper, friend, church-goer, neighbor friend –let’s not get in to this never ending list.)
I’m home all the time and when dinnertime rolls around you can usually still find me passing out chicken nuggets in the kitchen with a side of instant mac’n’cheese. I often feel overwhelmed with all of my to-dos, only to remind myself, well, you’ll be home tomorrow you can do it then.
Working moms usually aren’t home like I am. How do they do it? How do they balance it all? How do they determine order of importance when literally everything is important?
I grew up watching women in my family dominate the work force – a principal, a secretary, a bookkeeper, and a counselor. All of these people were also moms, wives, sisters, daughters, aunts, and friends. I almost always had a hot meal on the table at dinner, I was never neglected, my parents were at all the ball games and scholastic events I participated in, I had help with school work when needed, and I always had an ear available to listen to me complain about my ‘big’ problems. I never thought twice about any of this. I thought, well this is just how it is.
And, maybe, right?
Even though I find myself tired at the end of each day, I can’t wrap my mind around the lives of women that are both amazing mothers and excelling in their careers outside the four walls of their home.
I SEE YOU.
Me, the stay at home mom who hasn’t brushed her hair in days, has baby fluids on her clothes, has a degree in a box somewhere collecting dust – I see you.
I applaud you. I’m in awe of you excellently walking the delicate balance between work and home.
I’M PROUD OF YOU.
If you think no one is in your corner cheering for you, I want you to know that I am. I’m teaching my children to cheer for you too.
Thank you for showing little girls, and women everywhere, that there will always be enough of yourself to go around – even if you feel like there isn’t.
This post originally appeared on the author's blog.