Life Parenting

I’m a Working Mom and This Is Why I Can’t

I'm a Working Mom and This Is Why I Can't

I’m a working mom. And I can’t right now.

I can’t answer the phone. I can’t grocery shop. I can’t do the laundry. I can’t go to the post office.

I’m tired. I’m stressed. I’m overwhelmed with life’s responsibilities. With my responsibilities to my kids, to my home, to my employer, to my family.

Every day is the same. Get up. Fight the kids to get ready so nobody’s late. Smile for 7.5 hours when sometimes all I want to do is sleep or cry. Work. Work. Work. Work. Come home. Ignore the growing piles of dirty dishes, the burgeoning mounds of laundry, the toys strewn here and there. Argue with the kids about cleaning their rooms, about watching TV, about eating their vegetables, about being decent to one another, all after having fielded a billion other problems related to my career. Other days, run errands or coordinate my son’s therapy with my husband or stay late for a meeting or lead a conference and never see my kids at all. Work. Work. Work some more.

I leave my job exhausted and dreading what’s to come. Who’s going to be grumpy? SPOILER: It’s someone. Who’s going to listen? SPOILER: It’s no one. Who’s going to get on my nerves? SPOILER: It’s everyone.

I hate that this is what I’m like at the end of the day. I hate that after giving my best to everyone else’s kids all day as a teacher, I have very little left for my own. I hate that I never get to spend time with my own children yet count down the minutes until bedtime when I do. I hate that we’re living in squalor because I can’t stand spending another fucking minute doing anything. I hate that I’m so spent, so edgy, so overextended, so BLECH.

The solution is easy, right? Quit my job and stay home. Except nope. I do that for 2.5 months out of the year. That’s hard, too. Not to mention I stuck at it. The SAHM thing, that is.

I like having a job. Or maybe I like the idea of having a job. I’m not sure what I like at this point. Perhaps that’s part of my problem.

My husband’s a do-er. He wants to go to the movies, take the kids to the park, play games outside, get busy living life. I, on the other hand, don’t have the energy for that. On the weekends, all I want to do is crawl under the covers and hide from the world.

My anxiety and introversion mean I need more re-energizing than I have time for. It means the mere thought of getting out of bed on Saturday is exhausting. It means the time I could be spending with my children — precious time I miss out on all week long — is replaced with an almost tangible desire to Just. Do. Nothing.

Last weekend my son asked me, “Mommy, is that the same outfit you had on yesterday?” Yes. Yes, it was. I went to bed in that motherfucker, woke up in that motherfucker, and wore that motherfucker the entire next day. Because sometimes — a lot of times — I just fucking can’t.

I drink too much, sleep too little, and yell too often to cope. And I’m sick of it. I’m really fucking sick of it.

So what am I going to do? Pull up my big girl panties and deal with it. That’s what I’m going to do. Keep my nose to the grindstone. Readjust this shitty attitude STAT.

Because I’m not the first mother in the history of ever to work. And I’m not the first mother in the history of ever — working or not — to feel overwhelmed.

But right now, in this moment? Right now, in this moment, I just can’t. Because right now, in this moment, I am at my wit’s end. And right now, in this moment, that’s just going to have to be fucking OK for a hot minute.