The Mental Burden of Being a Mother
I'm so tired. I'm tired because I'm currently experiencing the daily mental burden of being a mother. It's the kind of exhausting that I can't totally explain without saying something like "I'm just tired, alright, leave me alone!" But for the purposes of this blog, I'm going to try to go deeper:
Yes... I got to sleep in on Sunday morning, and I also got to take a nap on Saturday when the boys were napping so I feel guilty saying I'm tired. Especially when I have friends who have newborn babies. Or teething babies. Or more than one infant/toddler/baby. But then I remember that since my first little man was born, I've been given a new brain. A new way of thinking: long heavy thoughts about all of the things that I have to think about, worry about, obsess about, concern myself with, question, debate, obsess about obsessing--you get it. Because if you're reading this, hopefully, you're living that #momlyfe as well. Or nearing it.
Being a mom is beautiful. It is. And I'm complaining only because I'm ALL THE WAY IN IT right now and it's hard to have perspective on how fucking beautiful it is when you're so fucking tired all the time.
Let’s break it down and commiserate together, shall we?
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The Mental Exhaustion of Motherhood
Every single week I start out feeling newly refreshed from the extra two or three hours of sleep I somehow cull together on the weekend, and then every single week I’m confronted with some new hell adding to my mental load.
I’m always surprised and never prepared. Like a total hot mess, I don’t learn from my prior lessons. I blissfully believe it will never happen again. In fact, I usually spend about thirty minutes on Sunday night planning out my week, navigating my deadlines with clients, and lunch dates, social engagements with the boys, and consulting my editorial calendar for this blog, as well as for my other clients. I'm blissfully optimistic that my expectations for the week will be met and I'm going to sail through it unscathed.
I typically go to sleep Sunday night feeling invigorated and refreshed in a very specific I’m-gonna-own-this-week kinda way.
And then, as if on cue, Monday hits and something happens. Every Monday it’s something different. This Monday I was reminded by my son’s teacher about his Parent/Teacher conference on Wednesday. Fine. Sure. No biggie, I miraculously got a time slot around the same time that we typically drop off every day.
Fuck you, Monday I still own your shit!
And then, without me consciously even trying to do this, suddenly my brain takes a deep dive down the stairway of my mom responsibilities, wondering what else I have forgotten about, racing faster than my mind can keep up, tripping on all the shit I have to do that I entirely and (maybe on purpose) forgot that I have to do this week...
This week is My husband’s birthday, and also it’s Father’s day, and also I haven’t sent my dad a card yet. So. Shit....
But this is all stuff I can handle. Right? Surely this is the exact shit that any mom worth her salt in Goldfish and stale Cheerios could handle.
Except it’s not the end of it…here comes the…
Wheel of Motherhood Mental Crap! Take a Spin if You Dare!
Jack doesn’t seem to have a single swimsuit that fits him.
We started a new healthy eating plan and how will we make sure the boys still eat dinner with us and still enjoy it.
They need haircuts.
Where is the missing water bottle that has my son’s name on it (literally)?
Why doesn’t he know the letter A though? When he sees it. He knows it in his written name, but not anywhere else?
You’re pressuring him too much. French children don’t learn their letters till their six-years-old. Stop being such a Tiger Mom.
Pressuring him is okay. You’re human. And you’re worried. You’re just doing your best.
Sam is ready to be potty trained. When should we do this though? When can we carve out time?
Also, I want the boys to make something for Chris for Father’s Day. Fuck.
And then my hubby snaps me out of it:
“What do you think about this watch, babe?”
“It’s nice...is that the one you want for Father’s Day Slash your birthday?”
Add that to the list.
And it goes on and on and on and....
Will This Mental Feedback Loop Ever End?
Probably not. Because I love being in control way too much (or at least believing that I'm in some control). If I'm lucky, I'll remember to write some of it down so that I manage to tackle it.
But more often, I end up showing up late to birthday parties because I ran out of time to run to the store to get a present. Or forgot. Or ran out of my pre-bought presents.
And, ya’ll. I haven’t even touched on the family drama. And the friend drama. And the random, “There was an incident” drama as reported to me by the boy’s school that I end up carrying around wondering about/obsessing over.
And I think, yes, yes, I will handle all of these things this weekend. I need to get my work done and focus on that, and then this weekend I will handle my shit because I can handle anything because I’m a boss mom goddess bitch.
And then the weekend comes, and I end up taking a nap instead of dealing with it half because of exhaustion and half because of an allergy to handle my mom goddess bitch business.
I know I can’t be alone. Momma, do you hear me?
How to Be Less Overwhelmed Though
I feel like I won't get to feel less tired again in a real way until MAYBE my children go to college but then I'll only have new worries about what sort of mayhem they're getting into and their future career goals and our health at that time and all the rest until forever amen.
Okay, but real talk.
I’ve been listening to Headspace (an app for your phone) for over a year now. It's essentially several guided meditations that you can pick and choose between (they even have one-minute meditations or up to 30-minute meditations depending on your time constraints!) It seriously helps me feel less overwhelmed, at the very least. And it's given me tools to manage my day and feel more empowered to push through and prioritize what's truly important.
I’ve also made Trello my bitch. Trello is an organizational planning tool for your desktop and phone that you can use to organize and track nearly anything (I'm using it to plan my hubby's birthday party at the moment). It's super user friendly, and it seriously helps me stay focused and on task.
I have boards for my blog, for my freelance clients and assignments, for my social marketing, and even for my weekly and monthly “to do” lists, as well as yearly goals.
A DGAF Gut Check
I’m supposedly the DGAF mom. My whole identity as a blogger is being built on the idea of not giving fucks about certain things and choosing the fucks I want to give so that I can live a happier life.
Embracing this idea is helping me to stay grounded in the fucks I have to give. And knowing that I’m probably going to write about most of the shit going on in my life at some point, helps me prioritize fucks in a particular way. So thank you, dear readers, for hanging out with me in this beautiful chaos.
In the meantime, my to-do list is legit unmanageable.
So, instead I’m going to drink a cup of coffee, and fucking prioritize the shit out of it until I pass out. Not get enough sleep. And then do it all over again tomorrow. Yay!
What’s your mental burden, momma? What’s one thing you wish you didn’t have on your plate right now? Comment below. Let’s share in the uncomfortable comfort of knowing we’re not alone.