Exhaustion and Mommy Guilt

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In my 28 years, I have moved nearly 20 times.  I lived in nine different houses in three different states before graduating from high school.  Once I went to college, I did the traditional move every year, and in the six years Chris and I have been married, we have lived in four different states and in six different houses.  This move was my 19th move.   I know it won’t be my last, but we’ll be bursting from the seams before I volunteer to move again because, at this point, I am D-O-N-E.


Obviously, I haven’t written much lately.  I’m not doing much by way of websites either and I’ve been just rolling along with the girls, doing what it takes to survive and not a lot more.  I hate to admit it, but I let school slide and we ended up taking off a whole month.  Even when Nora asked to do school (which was pretty much every day), I usually said no, that there were dishes to be washed or boxes to be unpacked.  Most of July I felt like I was flirting with exhaustion…edging closer and closer to being burnt out with a To-Do list that wasn’t shrinking fast enough.  I had a hard time rallying, whether for story hour at the library or productivity after the girls’ bedtime, which includes blogging.  Even this post: I have tried to sit down and write it four times, but I just have not had the mental capacity to actually finish it.  All I wanted to do is join my girls in bed.


Thankfully, this move was much easier than anticipated.  My father-in-law came up for a short visit and ended up staying to help me move since Chris wasn’t able to take any time off.


Because of his assistance, we were able to move mostly in smaller truckloads over the course of a week, which meant moving into a house that was much more functional than not.  We have lived here a little over a week and I’m just down to the odds and ends boxes and pictures waiting to be hung on the wall.

We had Chris home for two days in a row last week.  It was the first time in a long time I can remember him having a “weekend” of sorts, and it was supposed to be the first of many.  That is one of the wonderful things about this job.  Once things settle in, Chris is supposed to have 5 day work weeks like most other people (albeit longer days those 5 days).  He has never had regular “weekends” since becoming a chef; I was so excited that last week was going to be the beginning of having him home more…and then things at the restaurant changed and instead of moving forward we are moving backward in the amount of hours he will be working.  I won’t lie, I’m disappointed.  I know it is just a phase, but boy can I not wait for it to be over.


I feel a little guilty talking about how exhausted I am with this schedule.  Afterall, I don’t spend 12 to 16 hours every day on my feet sweating in a hot kitchen.  But guilty or not, it does feel hard to do 24/7 kids for so long.  As cute as they are, they’re still work.  Not to mention, trying to do websites and holding multiple La Leche League meetings per month…  Every time someone comes to visit, I am reminded of what I am missing without Chris at home.  It is amazing how much easier the end of the day is with someone else to help during the tough hours of 5-8.  Or how much faster I can wash dishes or fold laundry when I don’t have to stop every 10 minutes to assist or entertain.

I’ve been thinking about hiring a babysitter/mother’s helper to come a few hours per week just so I can get things done and maybe go to an occasional P.E.O. meeting.  I wasn’t sure that I truly wanted to do it because I don’t want to seem like one of those stay-at-home (you know the ones I’m talking about, with a nanny and a housecleaner just so they can play tennis and get their nails done).  I’ve been trying to remind myself that I’m not just a stay-at-home mom.  I work too.  And, I am a stay-at-home mom with a husband in a very demanding career. Yet, it still feels a little silly to hire a babysitter as a stay-at-home mom.  I am guilty of expecting myself to do it all even if it means surviving on five hours of sleep, and even though we are in the best financial situation we have been since getting married, I’m still very frugal about spending money on things that I could be doing on my own.

I’m trying to be better about giving myself a break and with this latest backward change in Chris’ schedule I think I’m going to get serious about finding someone to help out occasionally.   I’m just going to have to figure out how to not be embarrassed about it.

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5 responses

  1. I think SAHM’s are the *exact* women who need a mommy’s helper/babysitter for those few errands and things that just can’t be done with kids underfoot! Remember it is only in recent history that isolated families without multi-generational help is the new norm. It would be one thing if you had a FT nanny to allow you to tend to your daily massages or something, but this is so so different. Don’t feel guilty or embarrassed and get some help if needed! Your kids will appreciate it b/c when you’re with them, you’ll be so much more present…

  2. I used to swap watching kids with another mom. She would take mine for a few hours and then next time I would take hers. You probably don’t have the community or trust levels for that yet (maybe), but it might be an idea for down the road…

  3. Jen: There is nothing wrong with having a FT nanny to get a daily massage. Happy moms make happy kids 🙂

  4. Jessica Avatar

    I say hire a mother’s helper. It’s funny how easy it is to suggest that for you, but I can’t seem to do it for myself even with working nights and struggling though the days with the kids. Why do we insist on doing it all ourselves?

  5. Thanks for the support everyone! I sent an email to see if I can hire someone from the local community college. I don’t think I want to do a swap situation right now, though we did that all the time in Nantucket. Hopefully we can find someone good until Chris can be home more again.

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