A few months ago a mom posted in a Facebook group that she felt useless once her kids got home from school. I felt for her but also felt seen because I too feel depleted come 4:30 pm. I’ve often wondered if something is wrong with me or if I’m just not an awesome mom (wrote about that here), but when I read that woman’s post and all the comments that followed, it felt good to know that I am not alone.
As you scroll through social media, you are punched in the face with moms doing the most. Everyone is smiling, everything is great, and no one is, gasp, on an iPad. I swear, these moms are living their absolute best life watching their kids play whatever time-sucking travel sports team their kids are on, all the meanwhile sweating their butts off. The most confusing part is that they never seem tired of it all.
What sort of sorcery is this?
I don’t care if you have one kid or you’re Jon and Kate Plus Eight, parenting is exhausting. I have one child and I swear when we hit the garage to leave for school in the morning, I could take a nap right there. I wish I could be more like my sister-in-law, Tia, who is what I consider “a doing the most” mom. She never complains of being tired of giving every second of her day to her boys. She doesn’t need “me” time, or naps, and spends every last bit of energy on her boys.
It’s exhausting being a single-est mom (widow) who is a functioning narcoleptic. I literally could take a nap at any given point in the day. Seriously, given the choice between playing another round of Exploding Kittens or taking a nap, I will hands down take that nap. Why you ask? Since her dad quit helping five years ago (it’s called dark humor and it’s fine), it’s just me all the time. I answer all the questions, I am in charge of the finances, I am the head chef, I do all the scheduling, and appointments, and on top of keeping my daughter alive and well, I find a hot minute in the time between 8:00 and 10:00 pm to keep myself relatively sane.
It is exhausting to continually put our kid’s needs before our own but that’s what moms do. Allegedly, one day they’ll appreciate all we’ve done (or so I hear). I hope that someday my daughter will not only appreciate what I did for her but also realize it’s okay to take time for herself and enjoy a weekly nap to recharge her batteries. It’s called self-care and it’s super important.
To the mom of that Midtown post, I hear you and want you to know you’re not alone. Do not for one second feel bad because you are tired and you don’t want to play with your kids when they get home from school. That’s likely not what they’re going to remember about you, but I can guarantee there’s something you do, that no other mom does, that they love and that’s what really matters to them. It’s fine. In the words of one of our generation’s “most” moms, Kris Jenner, “you’re doing amazing sweetie.”