The mom mantra, “I’m just so tired” has never been truer than in today’s bizzaro new normal. I’m so tired. Just have to make it to when I get a little break from momming all the time. What? No break in sight? Sigh….
This morning I set out on our morning walk/ bike ride like I do every morning to start our day with some fresh air and exercise. It’s good for our bodies and our minds. Right? Right? So today the 6-year-old was on her scooter, the 3-year-old on her bike, and I was walking holding the leash of our 70lb labradoodle (the best dog ever). We do this almost every day, so we have a good routine and the kids are really good at being safe and staying near me, even when we have to wait for doggy pit stops (and me cleaning them up).
Today- the little one wiped out on her bike. Right next to a big storm drain. I dropped the dog leash and sprinted to her. I got her up on the sidewalk, then got her bike up out of the street, too. Her shoe was lost forever to the storm drain. So, she stood screaming about her favorite shoe while bleeding from the leg. She was screaming, the dog was freely wandering the field by the walking trail, and the 6-year-old was “helping” to comfort little sister. It was a sh** show. No other way to describe it.
We weren’t far from home. I carried screaming 3-year-old on my hip- her bike helmet making it extra awkward, got the dog leash again, and pushed her bike. A feat darn near impossible. We made it to our block, and I abandoned the bike, let the dog off the leash to run himself home and was able to carry my super sad little one the rest of the way. A neighbor happened to be out running and she sweetly stopped and carried the bike home to us. Everyone is fine. A minor scrape that has been cleaned up. A lost shoe. A worn out mom.
I was EXHAUSTED. Oh my gosh, I needed a break. My walk turned into quite the arm workout and I was sweaty and gross.
Y’all. It wasn’t even 9 am. What on earth was I going to do to keep these kids entertained the rest of the day?! My husband wouldn’t be home til after 5! Jesus take the wheel.
In our old world, a break would be coming. Summer camp, Vacation Bible School, preschool programs, Mother’s Day Out, playdates, fun family outings, lunch at a restaurant, send the kids to grandparents’, sleepovers with cousins, babysitters providing a date night- you name it. These days a lot of us aren’t able to do these things.
The breaks for moms are nowhere in sight. The break comes when my husband and I make plans for him to be in charge and I hide somewhere in our home. Because where else am I going to go?! But he’s already tired from stressful times at work like so many are having in this not so great economy. The break for me comes during rest time each day which is early afternoon. However, no one rests any more and I’ve yet to make it through rest time without having to referee my two littles who just can’t keep from playing together and inevitably unable to get along the whole time.
Moms, we are in this thing together. We are in it for the long haul. This is not what we pictured our summer would look like. And we have NO IDEA what school will actually look like for our kids this fall. It’s too much. But it’s here and it’s our reality.
It’s okay to be exhausted. It’s okay to be overwhelmed and stressed. It is OKAY.
This is not the first time I’ve written about this. Check out the tips from this article: Why being a quarantine mom is so hard: 10 tips for now.
3 Things to Remember Right Now
For today, I want you to focus on 3 things. Not 10 tips. 3 ideas.
1. Prioritize self-care. Whatever that means for you. Send the kids outside with a water hose and let them act like hooligans while you read a book, cook a meal alone, scroll Instagram, have an extra coffee, call a friend- whatever! Give them extra screen time so you can have some peace and quiet. Talk to your partner about building in some breaks for you. Prioritize YOU.
2. Lower the bar a little. Choose one thing to focus on with your kids. We used to juggle so many balls in the air, but it’s okay to drop a few. We are focusing on being kind to each other. Maybe you need to work on your kids speaking respectfully, obeying, eating whole meals, cleaning up after themselves, going to bed on time, using a nice tone of voice, etc. These are all important things but for now- we just don’t have the bandwidth to work on all of them. Just pick the one that is most important to you right now.
3. Practice gratitude. Every day find one happy thing. Say it out loud. Make your kids do the same.
Why do I share my story of fatigue with you? Am I just complaining into the void? Maybe. But I want you to know that you are not alone if you are exhausted and desperate for a break, too.
We are in this together. Moms who are desperate for a break: you are my people.
And of course, the behavior tools I share really will help- these days more than ever!
“Being a mom has made me so tired. And so happy.” – Tina Fey
It’s okay to be exhausted. It’s okay to be overwhelmed and stressed. It is OKAY. We got this. Mom power.
Ready to learn some simple behavior tools to help even when you’re exhausted?