I Struggled Today: Confessions of a Stay-at-home Mom
I struggled today. And I’m not just referring to my Chest and Tris workout. But also yes. Worst. Split. Ever. Even so, exercise is supposed to make me feel like Superwoman, right? Pushing through defeat and accepting it all in the same rep…damn, that’s some good stuff. Today I felt strong in the moment, here and there, but only physically. Mentally, today I’m weak. I’m short-tempered. I’m inconvenienced. I’m exhausted. I’m annoyed. I’m frustrated. I’m listless. I’m struggling.
And when my husband comes home I’ll tell him everything was fine. Everything is fine. I’m fine. Because he doesn’t need to hear my bitching about my privileged life. I mean, It’s 2 pm and I’m still in my pajamas. How bad could my day really be?
It’s not even that today was a “bad” day. Honestly, there’s not much difference between a bad day and a good day around here. Even on good days, with barely any potty accidents, minimal tantrums, and just a few injuries, this shit is hard. The constant demands and incessant needs I cater to what seems like every second of every day, from dawn to dusk and dusk to dawn is exhausting.
And I’m a little put out that I actually feel guilty for not being over the moon that I had just slightly less bullshit to deal with.
I should be grateful I only had to send my son to his room twice.
I should be happy I only had to handle 3 screaming fits.
I should be thankful I only had to fetch 6 snacks and drink refills before 11 am.
And I am grateful. I am happy.
But that doesn’t negate the fact that even my “good” days suck. Even on the “good” days I’m unable to finish a thought, task, meal, email, or sentence without a request or interruption. And those requests and interruptions aren’t of the please, thank you, excuse me variety. Typically it’s my daughter hurling her empty juice cup at me because she’s furious because it’s empty, like it’s my fault she completely forgot she chugged it mere moments before. Or my son collapsing on the floor, crying about, well, anything. You name it and he’ll cry about it.
Sure, every day has its moments, both good and bad, and it’s my job to focus on the good blah, blah, blah. Yes, sure, got it. Thanks, Dr. Phil. Send Dr. Kevorkian in, would you? I think he might be able to help me a bit more than you today. (Terrible, insensitive joke, sorry not sorry.)
The frustration and loss of self I’ve felt since becoming a mother is the reason I began my fitness journey and why I still clutch it so tightly even now, years later. My workouts bring me clarity, pride, and accomplishment when literally nothing else in my life does. But sometimes fitness just doesn’t cut it – like today. It’s still there, supporting my need to feel like I’m in control of at least one little piece of my life. And I still do it for this sense of control, out of both desire and habit, but it is literally just that – one little piece of my life. It’s a powerful little piece, but just one facet of what I’m capable of. It’s given me the confidence to believe I can achieve things bigger than chores, and be more than just a mom.
Sure, being a stay-at-home mom is “the most important job in the world” blah blah blah. Thanks, again, Phil. If it’s sooooo important how about you compensate me with some of your less important salary?
I struggled today. And I’ll struggle tonight, after my husband is home, to share my thoughts and feelings and explain why I have them. First of all, because kids. Second of all, because fear, guilt, and shame. As mothers we are expected to do and be so much for our families. And happily, to boot. Motherhood drains the life out of me sometimes, and I’m willing to bet you feel the same way.
I wish I had some words of wisdom…a motherhood “success” story to inspire you to keep your head above water, because “if I can do it, you can, too.” *Insert sweet picture of me with one of my clean, smiling children in each arm here.* But the truth is, some days, like today, the waves just keep crashing and pulling me under. If you’re gasping for air, too, I see you.
You’re not alone.
You’re a good mom.
You’re doing more than you know.
You’re worth more than you think.
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