Confessions of a tired working mom

Bear with me. I’m tired.I know you all can relate.

I love caring for my nephew, and cherish the time we get to spend together. I know it helps my sister out, I get precious time with that darling baby boy, and I appreciate that my daughter has a chance to bond with her cousin every week. That said, watching two children at once, even just for one day a week, makes me even more confident in our decision to have only one child. I’m not sure I’m cut out for more than one kid, full-time.

A giant cup of coffee in the middle of a long, tough day can feel like a deep breath, am I right? Like my reset button, my second wind. It’s…almost…as satisfying as a glass of wine after the bedtime routine.

When my daughter is being particularly difficult in the morning, strapping her into the car seat for her nap is my favorite time of day. I know she’s under control (finally, and very literally by her car seat straps) and that the necessary-for-us-both sleep is inevitable.

I am just about the worst at getting children to sleep if I can’t nurse them until they drop off. I experienced this with my daughter, and I’m going through it all over again on the days I take care of my nephew. I’d like to flatter myself that those little cuties enjoy my company too much to sleep in my presence, but the reality is that this is a parenting trick I just don’t hold up my sleeve.

HaHA! I did it! Photo credit C.Allard

I feel guilty when I make my daughter play alone. And when she chooses to do it voluntarily I feel like I should be playing with her instead of taking a moment to drink my coffee or throw a load of laundry in. It’s an annoying catch 22. I know no one is expecting me, being home with her all day, to spend every last minute catering to her ever last whim, and yet I feel like it’s my job in a sense to be all about her. But it’s not realistic, and I know that. But then the guilt, necessary or not, sets in and I tend to guzzle my coffee or put off the load of laundry to play with princesses or play dough.

On one particularly tough week a couple weeks ago, I may or may not have forced my daughter to sit with me and watch several America’s Next Top Model reruns on Hulu. I simply needed to check out at that moment and ANTM did the trick. Thankfully my daughter didn’t seem to mind. This time, anyway.


What tired-mom confessions can you add?

8 thoughts on “Confessions of a tired working mom

  1. I don’t know if it’s being a ‘once and done’ mom, a working mom, or just me, but the thought that keeps running through my head is how I don’t want to miss a thing. This is my only shot at this and I want to make sure I’m there for all of it. Of course, that’s just not practical… or healthy… but I get that same guilt you all talked about any time I’m not fully engaged in my son’s activities. I did tell him this weekend to go play by himself for a few minutes so I could get the laundry folded. He’s only 16 months, so I wasn’t sure if he’d do it, but remarkably, he did… and he had fun.

  2. Every day (that I’m not working) all three of my munchkins (5, 2, and 1) have quiet time. The girls go take a nap and my 5 year old son goes and plays in his own room. He does it for a good hour. I do check on him and peek in but it lets me do the dishes or do the laundry. Even some homework (yes I’m still in College, but that’s what I get for going into the military as soon as I graduated high school!). I wouldn’t change that hour at all. I need it to keep my sanity.

  3. I think every good mom feels guilty sometimes (a lot). Just remember that taking time for you leads to a happier momma, which leads to happier children. And, I agree, it is good for children to learn to play by themselves – it leads to great imaginations and valuable self-reliance. (These are things I try to tell myself all the time. How come it is so much easier to say it to another mom than to convince ourselves?)

  4. Alone time is good for everyone- both parents and kids. I think it’s a good thing when kids are able to exercise their imaginative minds!

  5. Yup! I can definitely relate to the guilt in taking advantage of “you time”. I love that my daughter is learning to play solo and can entertain herself with her toys. But I feel like I should be watching her, listening to her, because she’s growing up so quickly. I think I feel too guilty too often!

  6. Vivian is so right. It fosters creativity, problem solving, all sorts of other good stuff (say the researchers that I’m sure were desperately trying to find scientific evidence to support their need for two consecutive sips of coffee without pause). Honestly, though, I wish we pushed the self-time on my son a bit more and earlier. Downtime and self-time is important for everyone. Good luck!

  7. I’m not ready to give up my true confessions yet, but I will say this – it’s good for kids to be “bored” every once in a while. They learn to entertain themselves! So, don’t feel bad when she plays alone!!!

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