Tuesday, June 8, 2010


A week ago I said I was on fire to update my blog and declutter the draft list. But I just can't get there. I'm really in a mental funk, and I'm having a hard time getting out.

Being a working mom is hard. At the end of the day it feels like I just get the scraps of parenting left, missing their happy and well rested days that I work so hard for. On the weekends I get re-filled by the time with my children, it feels like it's going to be enough to get me through another work week to reach the weekend on the other side. But sometimes it's not.

Yesterday it was only Monday and it was not. It started too early, it lasted too long. My stay at home mom friends will tell you that their days are really hard too, that their 'to do' lists don't get done, that the stress and frustration of the day often overwhelms them to their limits. And I know that's true.

But, at the end of their day - spending a few minutes with their kids, is not still waiting at the top of a very long to do list. And that's the difference. A very hard difference that often isolates me and makes me feel very lonely in all this.

At the end of yesterday, I cried. Because I was tired, because I was sad, because I was frustrated, because I want to be more than I am.

I can feel my self wanting to withdraw. Me! The wants-to-connect-with-everyone-all-the-time-girl. Wants to withdraw. This is so not like me. Every small request that comes from any direction gives me anxiety. Whether it's a request to meet for coffee, come to a funeral, drop something off, send a card, email a picture, pay a bill, check a date on the calendar, come to a birthday party. I panic. And then I feel pissed. I'm so overwhelmed and I guess my brain is telling me that if I shut down and disconnect from more people - I won't have to deal with as much. I want to be in a little bubble with just me and the people who live in my house, and that's it.

Of course that's not really the root of my problem. Nor is it really my answer.

The problem is I'm a working mom who has 3 kids who aren't yet school age. In my pity party last night, I realized that I do not know a single mom who works with 3 children who are not yet old enough to be in school. In a way that's a little bit comforting, it allows me to give myself a break, but it also hard because I feel really alone. I don't have someone I can connect with relating to this.

Lawrence is so sweet and supportive, and he wants to know what he can do to help me feel better. And so I give him some things, relating to consistency with discipline, or mood, or tone, but mostly there isn't anything anyone can do. I don't even really want to talk about it because I don't want sympathy, I don't want pity eyes, I don't want, "I don't know how you do it". So for yesterday he said, "Let's control the one thing we can, and you go to bed early". So I did, and I was asleep by 9:30 and he fed Bryson his dream feed at 10pm, and I slept until Addie came in at 6am. And it helped. Some sleep helped.

Yesterday I had planned to start day 1 of a new 30 day shred in 40 days. I need to incorporate exercise back in my life. Not only for the physical, but mostly for the mental health it provides me. But I didn't. I'll start that today I guess, yesterday I needed to melt down and then go to sleep.

Work is extremely high pressure right now. There are so many things that are high priority. I'm blessed because I have a great job, and a great boss, and a great staff - and because of all of those things, I am able to barely do all I do.

Addie still continues to have the hardest time with me back to work. It is heartbreaking to see her, she just seems generally less happy, or less happy around me. She and Lily both cling to me and act like bed time is torture, they whine and cry when it's time for me to leave for work, especially Addie. Working from home 2 days a week, saves me the commute time, and the rat race in the evening. It allows me to have lunch together with them and put Addie down for her nap. It allows Sabine to do something with the girls while Bryson naps. But it is hard for Addie to have me home and not to be with me. It's hard for her if I'm in the same room or if I even come in to get a drink of water. She has to readjust to me going back to my office to work again. She is just a mess at least 50% of the time. It pains me to see her hurting. I'm dreading a few months from now when happy & smiling Bryson will start going through separation anxiety and will cry when I leave as well. It will break. my.heart. He is the easiest of the three right now, but requires the most amount of time. But he's so loving and happy, so it seems easier. He's needs are basic and easy to meet, and I don't second guess my self or feel guilty on a daily basis like I do with the other 2. Lily continues to get the short end of the stick with my patience, but she's really an awesome help. She and Addie have been fighting more, and I'm told that happens when, out of survival, kids feel the need to win the heart of moms and dads. To win their time and attention. Some of this is normal, but it's really stepped up a notch over the past month. Great. I know kids are resilient. I know we will all be okay.

And I will continue to revolve my weekends and evenings around them. I will continue to let the laundry and dishes and filing and clutter and mess in the garage pile up so that I can spend every moment with them in the evenings until bed time. I will get to bed earlier, leaving emails unanswered and thank you cards unwritten. I will get my exercise in so that I can have more energy and patience. I have to, because these are the things I can control. These are the things that can do with out me. My husband and my kids cannot, nor can I do with out them. I have to find a way to do less, so I can do more.

But if it seems like I've been missing, from phone calls and facebook and emails and from this blog, it's because I'm struggling, that's where I'm at. I'm withdrawing to put a protective bubble around my house.

If you are my friend or if you are my family, you know I have a generous heart, and I give of my time and my energy and my heart to everyone, all the time. It's hard for me to be selfish. It's hard for me to say no. So I guess I can ask you to not ask anything of me for a few weeks...I'm hanging on by a thread and I just can't do any more right now.

I didn't write this to sound like a downer. I wrote it to be honest about what life is like as a working mom of three. Sometimes it is kind of a downer, that's the truth. Being a mom and a wife and a friend is awesome. I refuse to be discontented with the hard things in my life. And that's kind of where I've been during the week lately, I come up on the weekends gasping for air. So I just need to find a way to get through this tough time. I'm someone who loves my life. I'm someone who loves my family and my friends. And I'm someone who always finds a way to see the good, have faith in God's plan for me, and who will walk through the tough stuff, holding tight to the great stuff.

This is just a season, and this too shall pass. I know that. I'm not even really looking for it to pass. Passing means they grow up, and I know there will be a day that I look back and LONG for them to be this size. So I want to savor this time, not hope for it to pass. And as long as I'm in my little bubble with my little household, I'm really okay. It's when the outside world, good intentioned as it may be, starts crashing in, that I start to feel that can't handle any more.


  1. Oh girl, you know I feel you. I feel you on all counts. I've been bitter angry at the world lately that my weekends, the hours I should be connecting and catching up with the kids is instead spent connecting with grocery stores, bills, housework, and endless laundry. The bottom line is we lose 40 hours of our week or more and it's like treading water to make it up. I'm sorry your struggling. I really really am. And your not alone...never alone. xoxo

  2. Jenny, your blog is the voice of every working mom. There are not enough hours in the day, days in a week to get everything done that we feel we need to. I feel your pain with three kids and a husband who want/need you. There have been days where I will sit in the bathroom and cry out of saddness, frustration, lack of sleep, guilt. No that you are no alone and you can only do what you can do. We are moms not super robots. Remember from Sex in The City the conversation that Charlotte and Miranda had about being moms it is so true! Sending you much love and hugs!!

  3. I SO get the feeling of "being alone" and "that no one else is like you". I often feel this with having both of my parents die of cancer, having 5 young kids, homeschooling, etc etc. But as others have said, you are not alone in the struggles you are experiencing. All of us moms have these struggles periodically. You are smart to protect those most close to you in your bubble. It is survival and what you need to do! Sending you love and hugs and prayers as always!!!!

  4. Oh Jenny, you can't be so hard on yourself. All we can do as mom's is our very best. You are doing your very best and that is all anyone can expect of you.

    It is obvious from the smiles on your kids faces, that they are happy and loved. Even though you feel stressed, they feel loved!

    However, that being said. I totally understand where you are coming from and more recently than I can ever remember, I am losing it. Motherhood is hard and it can be very taxing. We just have to take it day-by-day.

    Hugs to you!

  5. Jenny, I cried when I read this because I feel it. I have to work too, although not full time. Plus, I've got the same kid situation. I am going through the exact same thing with Camille that you are with Addie. So please know, if nothing else, you've helped heal a part of me by letting me know I'm not alone in my heartache of being a working mom. Hang in there! You're doing better than you think you are. I'll be praying for you, and cheering for you too!

  6. I'll be praying for you to get through this tough time in your life.

  7. I'm going to pray to win the lottery. Probably means I should start playing. Then I can share my winnings with you and we can both be full-time moms.

    Today I breastfed in the classroom where I first started teaching (adjacent to where I had a roomful of kids reading quietly for summer school). I felt a bit overwhelmed and then I remembered how I used to be as a young teacher and how much I enjoyed it, but how badly I had wanted to find the right man and have babies.

    And there I was, nursing my little guy in that same room. And that overwhelmed feeling slowly faded to a blessed feeling.

    I wish lots of blessings for you this week to help fill your cup.

    Love Melinda

  8. wow, what a beautiful/sad/hopeful post...your words are wise, woman! you sort of do have to laser focus on what's important and essential and let everything/everyone else go for a season. you started back to work at a good time of year though as soon the days will be longer and you will have more family time in the sunshine. much love and hugs to you, thanks for sharing your mommy heart, <3 dl