Every year I ask my husband for the same thing on Mother’s Day:
A day off.
While other mamas are enjoying the day snuggling, tickling, going to brunches, and having picnics with their littles, I’d much prefer to spend the day alone.
We SAHM’s spend every single day not only physically caring for our kids, but carrying a mental load bigger than Mount Everest. Most people don’t see this or understand what it feels like until they’ve worked the never-ending “mom shift” themselves. From this I’ve learned that the #1 most misunderstood thing about SAHM life is this:
It’s not about all the “stuff” you have to do – it’s the stuff you have to THINK about… the DECISIONS you have to make, every single day.
My husband is a plumber, so he is usually doing hard labor (often digging several ft holes in the ground, operating heavy machinery, carrying equipment/heavy tools, etc.) most of the day, and typically works 10-12 hours a day, 6 days a week. Needless to say, when he comes home he is completely physically exhausted. It’s hard to not get irritated when he spends 15 minutes watching videos on his phone before he comes into the house, followed by a 30 minute poop session. I mean, all I want to do is peel my kids off of me for 5 minutes so I can eat the food I made for myself an hour ago, or check the 37 missed calls and texts I got throughout the day.
Before having kids, even I was under the impression that SAHM life was a breeze. Probably thanks to social media, but most people seem to think all we do is take our kids to school, nap, clean the house, workout, and drink wine. It’s difficult for anyone, who hasn’t been there themselves, to understand how a mama could possibly be exhausted or burned out after “spending all day at home”… especially if the house is just as messy as it was yesterday, or if dinner isn’t cooked, or the laundry isn’t done.
What no one sees, however, is all of the mental work that’s put in. The hours we spend playing pretend, or playing doctor, or dolls, or monster trucks, or the trip we took to the park, or the play date we had, or the museum we went to, or the books we read, or the crafts we made. While these things may not require much physical effort, they require a lot of mental/emotional/creative effort. And that’s just the entertainment aspect of the day.
I feel like I am constantly burned out, which makes me irritable and short-tempered – and that is why I ask for a day off. I love my babies, but I can’t forget to love me too.
While I will probably enjoy some snuggles and play time with my littles on Mother’s Day, I’m honestly mostly excited to NOT be responsible for anyone. I don’t want to make any decisions regarding the kids, the house, food, activities, anything. I want to shower. I want to sleep. I want silence. Just let me turn my mom-brain off for a little while so I can regain some sanity to last me until next Mother’s Day Off. 🙂