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Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Worn Out, but What Do You Do All Day?

I'm worn out.

There, I said it.

I'm tired.

I want to play with my kids more, but I don't have the time.

I work from home, and the deadlines pile up, deadlines for little if any money. And at every turn there's another employer beckoning for my attention, threatening to pull the plug on the relationship, wondering, 'why can't you just do this for me NOW? You're sitting at home while I'm at the office, working my ass off. Why don't you write, or edit, or research, or blog for me somewhere between your morning bath, your soap operas and bon bons and your third cup of coffee taken leisurely on the porch?'

As if my time is meaningless. As if the tasks I perform are worth less than the nothingness I get paid. As if I'm on vacation.

This is no vacation, people. This is my life. And I love it, I do, but I'm tired, and my priorities belong to my children. I know that's not going to make me successful in this world. I get it, I do. But I am stretched to my limit. I work all through nap, all through Sesame St., all through the hours after bedtime to get your assignments into you, and they get there, don't they?

Yes. They do.

And I know I'm whining, but how many other mothers feel the same pressures with different specifics? My bet is almost all of them. Having young children is not a magical playland for adults. It disrupts life as we know it, for most of us.

Just now, in fact, I had to leave this post to help my daughter use the bathroom in the middle of her nap. I took care of a tantrum, of her sister that had awoken and sang to them. It took a half hour. Will they go back to sleep? I doubt it. Nap time work time gone.

Anyway, I'm not saying to allow me to turn in shoddy work, or go past deadline, I'm just asking for a little more slack, a little less condescension. Understand that I can't show up to your business in person to interview you unless you want two three year olds tagging along. Know that email works best for me, not because I don't like you, but because no one wants to hear a tantrum on the other end of the phone, right?

And I know what you are saying. 'So, then, just quit a few of those things.'

It's hard to understand, but I just can't. I can't and I don't want to. I already feel marginalized enough in my current role. At least if I have to do 50 things for 50 different people, I'll feel as if I've done something. Anything. I can't give up. I can't admit defeat. I will not. One of these enterprises is going to get me on my feet, is going to get me back into the working world when I have to go. I must be prepared. And since I don't know which job it's going to be, I need them all. I need you, employers. Yes, I do.

And let's not forget that none of this would be possible if I didn't have a partner who understands that the house won't be immaculate, even though I'm home and should be on top of it.

Whether it's keeping a home, freelancing your time while you watch your little ones, or running back and forth to the office, wondering how your children's days are going, every parent of young kids is under enormous pressure.

Sometimes, in fact, we feel so rundown that we can't even manage a coherent blog post that's not us whining about how hard it is.

Sorry about that. I'll be back tomorrow, chipper as ever. I promise.


  1. I have a hard enough time sewing quilts and making socks when my kids are under foot and that doesn't take nearly the mental capacity that writing does. No wonder you're tired.

  2. As a WOHM, I feel like I have it so easy...I get out of the house sans kiddo, can do things during the day at my own pace, can take a friggin' bathroom break BY MYSELF, etc. I am just in awe of SAHMs and WAHMs. I don't know how you guys do it. <3

  3. Whew. I totally here you on this post...and I don't even have a "real" WAHM--yet. I'm working on that.

    It's so tired being Mom, Wife, Housekeeper, Dry Cleaner, Chef, Baby wrangler, mom blogger, friend, entrepreneur and more.

    Thanks for writing this!

  4. You took the words right out of my mouth and on a day I'm just too tired to write it down myself!

    Those who don't get it never will.

    Keep up the good work and take a break if you need it. The ones who can't understand that and move on were never meant for you to be working with anyway.



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