By Ashley Murcia, ReNest Studio (reneststudio.com)
Start of School 2019
Last night, I fell asleep with my little one and, slept there all. night. long. I woke up once, and determined that I was just too exhausted to move and decided that sleeping with an octopus-like four-year-old was the best course of action.
This was not the first time this has happened. I’d say this happens about four nights a week, every week for the last three months. Meaning that on top of normal motherhood exhaustion, I’m even more tired because 1. I’m not sleeping in my bed, 2. I’m being slapped in the face/stomach/chest/legs at any given time during the night, and 3. I’m getting older (ahem, 40) and I wake up in total pain because my bed supports my back, my hips, and my neck way better than the boys’ beds do. (Note: A month ago, I had a hormone check-up to see where things were after my first check 18 months ago. It shouldn’t come as a surprise when the nurse practitioner looked at my hormone results, looked at me, and said, “You’re not sleeping. And, you’re stressed out.”)
So, I’m tired. And, I wake up every day with my head buzzing between, “Is today a preschool day?,” “What’s the first thing I need to get done at work today?,” “Do the boys have clean uniforms?,” and “What is going on tonight for the boys?” Besides this every day early morning panic, I feel like I can honestly say that this year has run me more ragged than normal. I can’t point to any one specific thing that is making me more tired, but it’s a combination of all of those things that are just my life as a busy mom of two young boys, who works full-time outside of the home, whose husband has a totally demanding job, runs her own side hustle business, and is PTO president. I’ve always been a busy-body. I have always said “yes.” but this year, something has opened my eyes. Life is packed. In addition, while I have tried to keep it all together, I have not.
I love the paper planner life, meaning I like to write things down….on paper! And, I still do, because it helps keep my life and to-do lists together. And, I meal plan two weeks at a time (which is my saving grace). Both of these things give me some sanity. But, I’ve always prided myself on “keeping it all together,” and recently, I feel like a lot fell apart. I procrastinated, a lot, a lot, laundry was not done when it should, milk expired, my husband had to run to target at 9:30pm when we realized we did not have bread for lunches the next day.
And, you know what? We survived. Some of it was messy at times, but we all survived. It does not mean that I do not have goals to get it together this school year. However, I think it’s important to see and understand that life has cycles for every person and every family. That sometimes you have it all together, and sometimes you don’t. That it’s okay to ask for help, and to lean on some of those services that can help make life better (ahem, can you say Target subscriptions…which is the only way we manage to always have paper towels, toilet paper, and paper plates that never run out.) Essentially, if you’re reading this, and are like, “wait, she’s writing about my life!”…you’re not alone.
As the new school year is starting, know that when you’re sitting next to another mom at work, or at playgroup, or at the doctor’s office, and if she looks like she has it all together, know that every single person is going through their own stuff and they likely are feeling just. like. you. That some days you will feel like you are killing it in your mom life and that there will be days when you feel like you are not. But know what I’ve learned? My boys don’t know the difference. They see a mama who loves them, hugs them, loves her job, is proud of her work, and is working every day to help them become the great little men they are becoming.
If you are feeling overwhelmed, you can always connect with our resource advisors, mentors, or counselors at The Women’s Resource Center. Contact us today at 941-256-9721 or visit mywrc.org.