Dear Overwhelmed/Tired Mom

Dear Overwhelmed/Tired Mom,

Let me start by acknowledging that I don’t understand.  I say that because I can sometimes be annoyed by people who tell me that they understand what I’m feeling when I don’t think that they do.  Many times, the person means well, and I think the person means to convey that they hear me, they care, and they have been through similar experiences. 

There is only one you, so only you know what it’s like to walk in your shoes.  Only you know what it’s like to wake up in the morning, Mondays through Fridays, to get yourself ready for work, and also to get your children up and awake, showered, clothed, and fed before school.  You may drive them and yourself to school and work, or like me, you may walk or drive a portion of the way, then take a train – in our case, at least 3 trains – just to get to school and work.  Only you know how you feel during and after the shuffle, hustle, and bustle just to get your children to school.  Only you know how you feel walking into your place of work before 9am, yet feeling as though you have already completed a full day of work.  Only you know what it’s like to work a whole day doing whatever it is your day job is while your children are at school, and your mind wanders sometimes because, as much as they are each a handful, you miss your children during the work day.  Only you know what it’s like to have an alarm on your phone, so that you know when the work at your 9-to-5 has to get wrapped up for the day so that you can pick up your children from afterschool.  You look forward to seeing your children’s faces.  Only you know what it’s like to arrive at afterschool to pick up your child and have that child whine about wanting to stay longer to finish a drawing, game, or other project, when you’ve been drained since before 9am.  Only you know what it’s like to then endure the shuffle, hustle, and bustle of your particular commute home with your children.  Only you know what it’s like to want to then, just plop down in bed and sleep for a week straight, but to instead muster up the strength to bathe and feed the children, and to check homework before bedtime.  Of course, your husband does some of the day’s tasks when he’s at home, but only you know how it feels when you’re the one at home with the children 90% of the time due to your husband’s work schedule.  Only you know what it’s like to do the above-mentioned tasks over and over again, five out of seven days a week, and still be the warm, loving, nurturing mommy you are.  Ok, ok… so only you know what it’s like to feel guilty because sometimes you’re not the warm, loving, nurturing mommy that you want to be, but you are the screaming, shrieking, losing-your-cool mommy who’s tired and just wants to feel human.   

For me, vacation-planning and vacationing is my way to get through this.  I enjoy planning time away from our day-to-day grind.  Thus far, as you can read from this blog and my social media posts, our cruises have been family cruises with my husband, our two sons, my mother, and me.  We are looking forward to another such cruise this year, AND we are considering a mommy escape trip for me, and a romantic getaway for my husband and me, so that, within a year, we will get those three major trips from which I think all of us overwhelmed/tired mothers and our families can benefit. 

The entire family benefits from enjoying a cruise together, and even during that time “together,” as discussed in a number of my other blog posts, children have special designated activities on the cruise ship while adults have separate activities, so the children and the adults can enjoy the cruise while maintaining a healthy distance from each other throughout each day – children attend the onboard children’s club and adults can sleep, or roam about the ship, doing as they please.  The children benefit from their parents taking a couple’s escape because it will provide a refreshing break and revitalization for their parents.  Husbands and wives can benefit from a few days apart because, as we know, absence makes the heart grow fonder. 

We hope that we inspire you to make these three sorts of getaways a priority for you and your family.  In my humble opinion, knowing that I have multiple trips lined up helps me to get through the day-to-day grind.