To you, it looks like Mom is being emotional, but she’s actually exhausted from taking care of everything. Stop complaining and start helping!
I was thinking recently about how many balls I have in the air at one time, and if one of them fell, would they all fall?
Would anyone notice?
House cleaning, dinners, school work, work, laundry, workouts, school lunches….you know the list. It’s never ending.
We moms are so good at juggling that we can answer emails, make breakfast, have a conference call and make the grocery list at the same time.
No one notices.
I can bet this is the same in every one of your homes.
I bet you do more than your fair share, and you do it happily.
Don’t get me wrong, my family loves me, but I notice that for so many moms, me included, it’s the little things that go unnoticed.
We give so much of our time that it’s become the norm. Sort of expected. The daily routine has been set, and we’ve done such a good job of ensuring their daily lives run smoothly.
We feed the animals, clean the floors, arrange the calendars, load and unload the dishwasher and no one notices. And we don’t ask to be recognized either. It’s just part of keeping the house moving.
For the majority of us, we’re working full time jobs to bring in some money, while working the equivalent of full time jobs running the home.
We run home from work to make all the meals, and when it’s Dad’s turn, it’s take-out.
Even though we wish he did the actual cooking, because fair is fair, we still appreciate the effort and the night off.
Here’s thing though: living life to serve others, no matter much you love them, will eventually leave you exhausted. And a dinner off here or there isn’t enough.
As moms, exhaustion comes in many forms, and no one knows what to do. Even us!
Let me talk to the people who need to make this better: partners and kids. LISTEN UP
When mom gets to this point the symptoms are moodiness, irritability, acting irrationally, indecisiveness. The need to be left alone but also have you close. We yell. We may scream and ask out loud why no one listens!
It may even look like an adult temper tantrum.
She shouldn’t have to explain why she’s acting the way she does. She’s reached her breaking point.
It means for once she wants to be asked what can be done for HER.
It means it’s her pick for movie night.
Pick up dinner on the way home so she doesn’t have to cook. Don’t forget the wine.
Or cook. That would be great.
It means YOU need to call your parents to take the kids and just take her out. Don’t ask her where she wants to go, take her where you KNOW she’d want to go.
Moms just want to be cared for. One hour during the week to have someone take that mental load for her.
When we get to the point of exhaustion, just be there for her and don’t fuel the fire by telling her she’s moody, irritable, acting irrationally, indecisive. WE KNOW.
And for GOD’s sake don’t ask if she’s on her period. YOU HEAR ME?
And if you value your life, don’t tell her to get over it.
Look, there’s no code or handbook to how to handle this, but the rule of thumb is, just be there for her. Meet her where she’s at, where she needs you to be.
Understand that while you’re hard at work and the kids are off at school and everyone is feeling the stresses of life, she’s continually showing up for you to make sure you’re ok. To make sure your needs are met, forsaking her own needs sometimes. While she’s dealing with 150% more stress.
We’re juggling activities and social calendars. Let’s be honest, just that alone is exhausting.
I know you’re probably one of those people that will say, “but I clean the house on Saturdays”, or “I help out”.
Not saying you don’t. You’re probably a huge help by putting the garbage out. But we want you to do something that benefits that freaking exhausted woman you’re with.
Do something bigger and something just for her. She would do that for you. You know she would.
We guarantee her workload is heavier and she has more balls in the air. If one of them drops, they all do, but she learns to keep juggling. No one else has that kind of stress.
Moms do though. And they’re absolute rock stars at dealing with it.
And when they get to the point of exhaustion. Let them sit in it. Don’t make them feel worse or point out that the balls were dropped. Or worse, tell them to get over it.
Pick the damn balls up and start juggling for her.
The exhausted mom just needs this moment to rest and repair.
There’s a lot of talk about self care, which is great, but sometimes we just want someone to care for us instead of doing that for ourselves.
Let’s be real, sometimes the small self care moments are still pushed aside. We try to catch up on missed TV shows early Saturday morning, only to be booted off the couch by your kid when he wakes up. And we happily give it up.
But during this time of needing rest, she will get pissed off, and you have to roll with it.
Your real mom or your loving wife will be back, she needs this time.
If you want her back sooner, just remember this advice and follow the steps.
I guarantee you it will be easier if she just knows that someone cares and appreciates her.
That’s really all it takes.