Why Do I Feel Like I Am Never Off?
I am struggling.
I think the hardest part about this transition from a full-time working mom, or hell - from a single executive to a mom - is feeling like I am never off. When the kids wake up in the night, I am expected to get up and check on them. When they rise in the morning, I am up, and now, throughout the whole day, I am on, every day. And by the time they go to sleep, I am not far behind out of pure exhaustion.
I naively thought when I took on this role I would have MORE time to myself , more time to do “things,” but I have much much less, and in order to have time, I have to get creative.
But now that I'm a mom full-time (which I LOVE, so please don't misunderstand - this is what I want!), how does a stay-at-home mom take a break?
The Shift From Working Mom to Stay-At-Home Mom
When I was working, there was a clearer line on delegation of duties. My husband and I both helped the kids get ready in the AM, I could carve out “me” time in to my weekly calendar, and I didn’t mind the evenings or the middle of the night duties because I got to be “mom,” when all day I was “executive.” And then there was the nanny/school that took care of the littles.
Let me be clear: I have an amazing partner is this things called life. Hell, one of the reasons I married him was because he was already a GREAT father (I have been lucky enough to know my bonus son, now nine, since he was three! And fortunate to see my hubby as a father before we conceived).
But his role hasn’t changed; he works full-time and although it’s often out of the home, he has a very demanding job which requires his dedicated attention. So he might as well be at an office. I do feel since I’ve taken on role of SAHM, the delegation of duties isn’t so clear. Or maybe it's me and my new perspective, because I feel like I’m always ON…
Everything's a Blur
In the past, a cry at 3 a.m. was an opportunity for me to be “mom,” but now a...I'm tired. I want to stay in bed. Weekends blur with the weekdays, and although I look forward to my husband being with us on Saturdays and Sundays, my bonus son joining in and the fun family activities we have planned, the weekend is definitely a different feeling from when I was working. In the past I remember being excited for Monday, because I knew the nanny was coming, and I could get some time to myself. I love my littles but I looked forward to that break.
And now there is no break.
It’s funny, this role is never one I imagined I would take on, nor is it one I would’ve ever imagined would be this challenging. Give me office politics, unrealistic client expectations, scope creep, tight deadlines or 80-hour office weeks any day over a screaming 3-year-old and 1-year-old! I LOVE this role, and as challenging as it can be (and I am always up for a good challenge!) I recognize that I need to find a way to be “off,” if only for a a few breaths. I am grateful that my husband, too, recognized this recently and took bath-time with the littles on alone, encouraged me to grab a glass of wine and indulge in a Hallmark movie on Netflix while he also did the bedtime routine. It was exactly what I needed in that moment. Maybe these moments are how I take “off?”
So I am listening! How do you take “off” as a stay-at-home parent?