Life as a stay-at-home mom has been hitting me hard lately. I’ve been in this position for a few years now, but it’s something about recent events that’s got me feeling stuck. Like I’m a fly trapped in a spider’s web. My spouses work schedule has made things worse for me because they’re only here maybe 8 or 9 hours a day – and has only seen two off days in two months. At this point I’m drowning in my own emotions, my children’s, household duties, upcoming events and decision making. It’s working me so much that I’m thinking this isn’t the best idea for me anymore.
We’re a family of five and it’s difficult because it seems like I’m the only one who has to pour into all of us – yes, that includes myself. I feel like I have less than half a brain most days because the pace of my thoughts stays on top speed. I could be loading the washing machine and remember that I forgot about the food sitting on the counter. In my mind I’m going to start the washer but once the clothes are in there, I’m thinking about the food sitting out so much that I forget to turn the damn thing on. I’m already downstairs by that time putting that food away then guess what I see next *waits for you to guess*. Did you say the dishes? DING DING DING! They need to be done so I start doing those then I end up tidying up the living room then the trash gets taken out then a child is crying, and another wants me to download something. This cycle continues but I never think about those clothes until I realize that I need a specific shirt and I go back only to realize I never even started the washing machine. Can you say H-E-C-T-I-C?
It’s so bad that I’ve created so many schedules and set so many alarms throughout the day and I still ignore them all. At this point I just need somebody standing beside me at all times with a bullhorn telling me what to do. I feel like my kids already don’t get enough one-on-one time with me, but I also don’t get enough of it with myself. The few times that I do, it still doesn’t feel like my time because I’m doing something that I plan to share with others. In other words I’m more than likely creating content because I feel like I don’t create enough so I’m really adding extra stress to myself. My children are all different ages and truthfully only the oldest is the one who desires the one-on-one time. The other two could care less because my middle child only wants people around when she wants them and my baby, well, she’s just a baby. I often think about playdates and things but even taking COVID out of the picture, that would be so overwhelming for me too.
Parent or not, you know that other people’s children are just that. There are too many parents who act like they don’t see their kids doing stuff and if you say anything it’s an issue regardless of what their child did. I’ve been dealing with that for a little bit too long and honestly the parent(s) starts to get on my nerve after a while too. And I’m a people person but some people I can only tolerate for so long. I’m already not comfortable with a bunch of people being in my home so I don’t want myself and/or my children in anyone else’s with them – as in the parent(s) – thinking that we’re going to be trading homes for playdates. I want mom friends but I’m understanding that I want the moms as friends because I need that adult interaction. I don’t want to have to deal with the kids too, mine or theirs. However, I’m also coming to terms with the fact that just because there’s another mom it doesn’t mean that she can relate to my world of motherhood at all. That’s where the judgment begins and that’s when I start to sink into my hole of loneliness.
Work isn’t an option for me right now. Well, remote work, but not outside of the house work. Daycare is damn near the same amount as rent, we don’t have an extra car for me to travel to and from which creates more issues. Those issues being public transportation cost for me and one of us being able to get to all three of our children – at two or three different locations – on time which stirs up another issue. My partner would be on the way to work when the kids are to be getting out and I’d either still be at work or panicking because I’m late getting to them. So, although being a stay-at-home mom has been stressful for me, I don’t want the kind of stress that I just mentioned. These are things that run through my mind daily so when I think of all the people who tell me I’m “making excuses” and I’m “not trying” and whatever else they say, my response is simply the middle finger from now on. Maybe even both.
I want people to mind their business even if they are helping. I don’t need any more judgment because it’s already hard enough on me. I know my kids need more of my time individually. I know that I could do better by simply speaking more positively to myself and getting up 30 minutes to an hour earlier. I know that I don’t have to rush to get twelve things done in one day even though it feels right but stresses me out. I know that I don’t need anybody to be anything for me, but it gets lonely, so I want them to be. That’s one of my biggest problems right now and the person suffering the most from that want is my partner. My therapist is helping me through this patch, but I still want to admit my wrong. If that’s what I should even call it.
I am struggling with the fact that I’m starving from adult interaction while my partner is overwhelmed from it and that’s not okay with me. From what I just said you would think that I’d be more understanding but I’m not. It’s hard to not expect some sort of attention from my partner and I’m merely talking about conversation. He knows that aside from my dad and a really close friend that I don’t talk to anybody so I don’t understand why I can’t expect it from him. We both have our issues with our day to day, but we already rarely see each other. So, I’m struggling with this lack of quality time. Plus, we’re still young and most of the time I feel like we’re older based off our lives alone.
Stay-at-home mom, homemaker, housewife, whatever you want to call it everyone’s journey is different. I’m a woman, a mother, a wife, a (homeschool) teacher, the chef, the nurse, the confidant, the nurturer, and the list goes on. Nowhere in this entire post did you see me say that I carve out time for a mani/pedi or a girl’s night or anything that strictly belongs to me. That right there is a huge part of why my journey feels so tough. Everybody always needs me, everybody wants or needs mommy and that’s not to take anything away from daddy. I need a life outside of my home and those in it and that’s a struggle because I don’t know any stay-at-home moms and the people that I do know either live an arm and a leg away or are always busy. I feel like any time I get with anybody I’m on the clock and I need people, somebody around me that helps me feel like I can just … slow … down.