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I’m the Mother. I am the lover of all lovers of my family. I share the physical workload with an awesome husband/partner/friend, it’s true, but there is only one Mother and that is me. Right now I feel as though my family is getting the short end of the stick. They are missing out on parts of me and it breaks my ever-aching heart.
During this season in our lives my family is not getting the best of me. Almost every ounce of energy is expended on my work outside the home. Each morning I put my best face forward, smiling, talking, networking, marketing, working, laundering, cleaning, and planning. My work is physically demanding, and because I am a very small business owner it is also mentally and emotionally draining. Yet, I cannot slow down or stop. They are depending on me. During this time I am the primary earner. Yes, he contributes, but he is obtaining his degree to help secure our future. And, hallelujah, he’s approaching the finish line!
Why is it so hard right now when this is how it’s been the last couple of years? Why does each day seem longer than the last? Why does my body feel like it won’t make it through one more hour of work? I’m expecting another child. I don’t remember pregnancy being this physically exhausting the first time around. There are no health problems to speak of just sheer exhaustion.
My family doesn’t get to see the fully made-up smiling face I wear during the day. I come home to melt onto the sofa while the evening drags by. Laundry, dishes, and vacuuming all sit undone while my legs and feet beg to be left alone. So I sit.
My 7-year-old daughter is a real sport about this. She doesn’t complain. She either snuggles up for a bit or finds something else to do. And it just about breaks my heart. I’ve never been the one to rough house and play, but I’ve also never been one to just sit. I try so very hard not to have every sentence start with “mommy can’t right now.”
She isn’t quite old enough to understand everything I do outside the home is for her. Some days I wonder if she misses me. Other days I think she doesn’t even notice. Sweet husband takes care of so much of the household workload, I am so thankful. Yet, I feel guilty.
I feel guilty even though I keep the mortgage paid, electricity on, and food in our bellies. (With his help, of course.) I feel guilt when I need to put my feet up for just a while right when she asks for help with something. Somehow every little thing I do or don’t do makes me feel guilty. I’m off work every other Saturday to spend time with them, yet on a slow week I chastise myself for not trying to work the weekend. I work every other Saturday and beat myself up as I leave the house while they still sleep.
Is it just me who feels so torn? I love my work, my career, my passion so much. I’m so lucky to have a career I enjoy. I also love my growing family. I want to spend more time with them, do more fun things with them. Are we really missing out on things? We are together all the time. We laugh, watch movies, play outside, and enjoy books together.
Even though they don’t see the best of me I hope they know I’m doing everything I can to keep them happy, healthy, and full of love.
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