I am pretty good at pretending that I have it all together.
Truth is. I don’t.
Lately, the mental struggle has been extremely real.
I don’t really know why. Nothing significant has happened.
I’ve just been in a mental rut, which has began to spill over into a physical rut.
Today, I woke up with the desire to go back to bed. But alas, I didn’t have the luxury of doing so.
There are so many people that expect so much from me. It’s exhausting.
It is mentally and physically exhausting.
My “friend circle” is small. And it gets smaller everyday. Not for a lack of friendships, but because my relationships with my friends are the first ones to get neglected when I get overwhelmed.
My marriage suffers next. My husband is amazing. And I think I probably take him for granted. Not intentionally, of course.
I think I just expect him to understand that I have a lot on my plate.
He’s the one that talks me down whenever I go a little crazy and consider walking out of my job. He reminds me that a less demanding job means less money. Less money means more struggle. Maybe I resent that a little bit. I don’t really know.
But I do know that if I don’t figure out a way to better balance my life, he will definitely someday end up resenting me.
My kids suffer next. I am most ashamed of that.
My kids are the reason I do what I do. Yet they are the ones that suffer the most.
It’s unfair to them, and to me. I only have so much time with them. To think that I’m missing out on so many experiences that I could be having with them makes me angry.
I go to bed every night feeling guilty. Guilty because I didn’t have it in me to give them 100% of me.
I tell myself that I’ll do better tomorrow.
Tomorrow, I’ll be a better mom.
Most tomorrows, though, I’m not better.
And then I have to wonder, how many more tomorrows do I have to try again before they stop forgiving my failures? How many more tomorrows do I have before they stop caring if I’m home after school?
How many more tomorrows do I have before they don’t want to play with me anymore? Before they would rather do anything else besides hang out with mom?
Before they stop wanting to cuddle on my lap? Before my kisses can fix their problems?
My work never seems to be the one suffers.
My punctuality suffers when I try to be it all and do it all. So then I back off of everything else. That way I can be the punctual, hardworking employee that they need me to be.
When I say that out loud, it sounds ridiculous.
I can’t remember the last week that I worked only 40 hours, or less.
If I close on a Friday, work a midshift on Saturday, and open on Sunday, it means they go from Friday before school until Sunday afternoon without seeing me. This happens often enough that Friday when I left for work, my five year old said, “Bye Mom. See you tomorrow, hopefully.”
It’s exhausting. And heartbreaking.
Unfortunately, this is one of those times that I don’t have any solutions. There’s no cut and dry answer as to what I should do.
There is no scenario that pleases everyone. What pleases me isn’t best for my family. What is logically best for my family doesn’t make me happy.
And so, I’m stuck. Everyday is the same as the last. Everyday ends with a tug of war between the emotional part of me, and the logical part of me.
I’m angry. Everyday.
I have such a short temper these days.
I am angry at work.
I am angry at home.
I get angry with my kids, for just being kids.
I get angry with my husband for not being able to read my mind, and for not just knowing what I so desperately need.
I am angry at myself for not saying what I need. But I can’t say what I need, because I don’t know what I need.
Angry, because I know it’s irrational to be this angry.
I don’t know what I need, but I know what I want.
I know what I want, but I don’t know how to get it.
Being a grown up is hard.
Being a wife is hard.
Being a mom is hard.
Everybody thinks I have it all together, because I pretend that I do. I don’t how to tell them that I don’t.
When the people around you are accustomed to you being the one that has it all together, they never give you the chance to be one that falls apart. They just assume that you are always going to be the strong, level headed, sane one. It’s your job. They count on you to stand strong, because you’re the one they lean on. The one with the answers. The one no one has to worry about. Because you’ve got this.
The weight of it all can only be described as suffocating.
But I can’t say that out loud. Because people that have it all together don’t say things like that. They say that everything is fine. And as long as I continue to get up everyday and say that everything is fine, then it must be.
If I admit that everything is in fact not fine, I just might break.
And once you have broken, people will never look at you the same again.
Generations of women before me fought so hard to make it acceptable for a woman to be a mom and a professional. I am living proof that you can have it all.
At least that’s what people think.
And for whatever reason, I apparently care what people think.
But that’s okay, because everything is fine.