February 1, 2011

Not SuperMom

You know her. The one who wakes up refreshed {because HER baby sleeps all night}, puts on the cutest {but baby friendly} outfit, has sex with her husband {on a regular basis}, cleans her house, has dinner ready for her husband when he gets home, makes time for her friends, works out {and is back into her pre-pregnancy clothes}, and even has time to read a book every once in a while. That’s the mom I wish I could be.
I read A LOT of blogs, A LOT. Most of the blogs I read are mommy blogs and I often find myself comparing. Not comparing children {mine’s the best, duh.}but mothering styles. Lifestyles. Decisions. Abilities. And I find myself in a constant struggle. HOW do these women seem to do it ALL?
I am a working mom and therein lay my biggest challenge. I am gone the majority of my waking day. I wake up at 5 am, after yet another wakeful night with KP, and the madness starts. I immediately jump in the shower and get ready for my day in approximately 45 minutes. I usually have another 30-45 minutes before KP wakes up so I frantically run around like a chicken with my head cut off and pick up anything left over from the night before, load the dishwasher, wash the bottles from yesterday {and last night}, feed the dogs, set out the food for dinner, make a cup of coffee {if I’m lucky}, and then feed KP and we’re out the door. By 8 o’clock {A.M.} I’m exhausted.
The evenings are just as crazy. We play with KP, feed, bathe, play some more, then its na-night time. That’s when we finally eat dinner and talk like married people do. Sometimes I’m lucky to squeeze in a 20 minute walk run but mostly I’d rather sleep.  Sex? I said I’d rather sleep. So I do. I am usually in bed by 9 o’clock on a late night}.
I do not have the option to stay home. I know what Dr. Laura is thinking, “yes you do! You just have to MAKE it work”. Well unless someone is willing to pay off my CC debt and student loans, or I win the lottery, we cannot “make it work”. In a few years my goal is to be a SAHM but for now I have to work. Then I think about KP. I should be the one she spends the most of her time with, not grandma. Although I am BEYOND lucky and grateful that my mother in law can be her
caretaker, I can’t help but feel selfish guilty that I’M not the one. I am her mommy. I should be spending the majority of my day with her, not in this 3x4 cube doing work I’m not proud of. Work that doesn't challenge me. Work that means NOTHING to me. I hate knowing that I’m spending this precious time away from her doing something that doesn't even make me happy. But it pays the bills.
At the same time, I am finding myself mourning our husband-wife days. I want to go on a date with Jimmy. I want to just RELAX with him. But then if we get a babysitter, I feel guilty. Like we are “getting rid” of Kendall. I know we shouldn't feel that way and that we deserve a night {here and there} to ourselves. Are we {moms} allowed to say that? Well…I just did.
So, working moms, how do you “do it all”? Am I being too hard on myself by thinking I can do everything I want to do? I need to find a balance soon because I’m falling apart. 


  1. Yesterday was my first day back to work and I feel the EXACT same way. I was hoping it was going to get better but it doesn't seem like it will. I cried all night when I got home because I missed out on her whole day and when we got home she was sooo tired and cranky. Going to back to work pretty much sucks all the way, I hate it.

  2. ...oh I can't help but compare my life to the stay at home moms too. It just seems like they've got it so good and I'm way jealous...I'm green with envy, lucky bitches!

  3. I could have written that post! I feel like I'm constantly trying to "catch up"! And then all those women that get to stay home all day, they make their own baby food, make elaborate dinners, have their mom/baby outings, etc., it's hard not to compare! (Who am I kidding? EVERY woman compares, I think it's our nature!) Anyway, I am realizing that I can't do it all, but it is still SO frustrating! By the time I get home from work, eat dinner, clean up, do a load of laundry, feed the baby, it's after 8 at least! There's no time to do anything anymore. I'm trying to tell myself that I need to set certain days to do certain things, and not try to everything everyday. Like laundry. I can't do it everyday. I can't clean every inch of my house everyday. And frankly, its more important to spend time with my baby in the evening than make sure all the laundry is caught up. In the end, the laundry won't matter. I TRY to remind myself of that, but I can't help but feel like a failure on the days where things aren't caught up {which is everyday}. I guess this is just a new phase in life that you have to work through, until you find a happy medium. And designate certain responsibilities for your husband. You HAVE TO have help. Period.
    Hope things get better. Just take it one day at a time.

  4. I'm a SAHM (a "lucky bitch") right now and I know that I'm fortunate to be able to say that, but I can tell you that it also has it's share of challenges. For example; the fact that I cannot afford (financially or otherwise) to stay at home for the rest of my life and by the time my son returns to school I'm afraid I won't have anything left to contribute in the outside world, not to mention that me staying at home means we have alot less money coming in each week and that's a constant struggle to juggle all the bills. I hate sitting here depending on someone else to take care of me - knowing that if anything happens to my husband I have no way of supporting my child at this time. Also, my husband works overtime every week - usually including weekends so that I can stay home and that means being a single parent most of the time. Many days, my husband leaves long before my son wakes up in the morning and gets home after bedtime so he doesn't even see Jacob. If we had a family member or childcare we could afford and trust, I would consider it a blessing to be able to work even part time and at least feel like I'm able to contribute. Also, having an adult conversation a little more often would be nice.
    I DO get the days with my son, I got to see him reach all his milestones, say his very first word...I get the outings at the park and all the things you all are missing out on and I do hear what you're saying. I know the grass isn't greener on the other side, but it might be a bit more self-empowering, if nothing else.
    Shannon, I completely understand what you're saying about missing the time you used to have with your husband...And YES!!! you're allowed to say that! If fact, I want to THANK YOU BIG TIME for saying it because I think about that alot and I feel like whenever I talk about it, it makes people uncomfortable. I'm a mom...I'm not "supposed" to feel that way. Well, I'm still a human. I just started my own little blog and I posted a poem called "Dreaming" about exactly that feeling. I doubt most people who read it will "get it" and I was beginning to wonder if any other moms felt that way. I miss my husband and wife time so much. We were together for 11 years before we had our son and it seems like we would've had enough time to spend together and move on, but it's never enough when you really love and enjoy someone and I do still miss being "friends" with him. It seems like we just don't get enough time for that anymore.
    Thank you for your honest post! I'm so glad I found you out here in the big old blogosphere :)

  5. I meant to say "when my son is ready to start school," not "returns to school." (duh)

  6. Oh Shannon... I think you are a stylish Mom.. all your photos are cute even when you are in your workout clothes.

  7. Shannon, I think all the 'perfect mommy' blogs you're reading are a bunch of fairy tales. lol Those women just want you to feel inferior because it makes them feel better! Just kidding...sorta.
    I read your blog on a regular basis, and seriously, I think you're doing a wonderful job.
    I was a single mom years and years ago... I worked a part time job and went to business college so that my kids could have a good life. They remember the sacrifices. But they remember the times we spent together more.
    Now my kids are grown... my two daughters have kids of their own. And even though at the time I thought I was a failure, now my daughters are saying, "Mom, how did you do it??"
    See what I mean?

  8. I was in the same boat. I had my baby 5 months ago and started work 10 weeks after she was born. Going back to work sucked but also was really great for me. Personally, I could not be a SAHM. I need a routine, I need adult conversation, I need personal growth. I cherish every moment I do get with my baby but I have learned a few tricks to balance it out!

    I also hit the sheets by 9PM but I always FORCE myself to pack her diaper bag and get her bottles prepared for the next day. We eat grilled cheese for dinner every once in awhile. I leave the livingroom a mess once in awhile- no one can do it ALL. I clean and get prepared for the week on the weekend (in between naps of course, gotta catch those zzz's!) I drink a lot of coffee in the morning, but not in the afternoon...otherwise I lay awake knowing if I don't fall asleep soon, I will just be up all night with M&M anyway thus leading to more stress on the already stressful life of a new mom.

    After 4 1/2 months I NEEDED a date. On a long weekend we got dinner. Just the two of us. Just an hour. It felt great. A few days later we went bowling. Just the two of us. Just an hour. It was awesome! It did wonders. Simple yet the joy of being with the hubs and letting responsibility slip for just a little bit was NEEDED.

    I am a better mom because I leave my baby every once in awhile and get some ME/HUBBY time.

    Good Luck. Finding a balance is hard, but it will come. Your happiness is more important to KP than a scrubbed kitchen floor, an elaborate dinner, or all the errands done on time.

    I wish you the best!

  9. You aren't alone with your feelings. I find it a constant struggle being a working mom, though I for the most part love what I do, so that makes it a little easier for me. I still haven't figured out how to work this balancing act perfectly after almost 17 months, but I am beginning to think you never will. Some days you will do it all, and some days you won't. I'm pretty hard on myself as I expect to do what I used to do before I had a baby - and I can't. Some days I convince myself that it's okay, and other days are a big pity party that I can't do it all. On days that I am able to get a workout in, have a productive day at the office, and spend some quality time with my little guy and not stay up til really late getting stuff ready for the next day, I try to think about that day as much as I can - to remind myself that there will be another day like that at some point - it's something to look forward to! Hang in there. You deserve more credit than you are giving yourself...something I need to do too.

  10. I am NOT a working mom and I still can't do it all. To Traci, SAHM do NOT have it all. We never, ever get a break from our kids. when we ask for help, we rarely get it. I am far from refreshed, far from dressing cute, far from having a clean home, far from always being happy, far from fitting into my pre pregnancy clothes and far from being sane. Yes I spend my time with my kids and that is priceless and I'm beyond thankful but a break (even if it were work) would be awesome. I guess I'm a "lucky bitch" too but the grass isn't always greener. I don't have time with my husband like I did when I worked. He works 6 days a week and they are 12-14 hour days. I juggle bills, kids, laundry, dinners, baths...everything by myself because he's not home until 7 or later every night. Some days I don't feel like I even enjoy them because I can't breathe when they are both all over me and both crying all day long. Most times I feel like a single parent. I cook every night; we dont' go out b/c it's too late and the kids have to go to bed. Being at home is far less glamorous than it sounds.

  11. No body is supermom. Don't beat yourself up over it. It may not feel like it but you're doing the best you can and at the end of the day KP is a happy, beautiful baby and that's what matters most.

    I had my own mommy guilt pity party last month so I know what you're going through. It sucks. Big time. My son spend 50 hours a week...50...in someone elses care. Almost half my income goes to paying for it. I wish I could just quit, but unfortunately the other half of my salary goes towards bills and the mortgage so that's not really an option.

    I too read all these other SAHM mommy blogs and want to bitch slap most of them. In fact...there are a few I had to stop following because I couldn't take reading about their fairy tale lives anymore. I actually read one where her daughter is almost 6 months old and she's never spent more than 2.5 hours away from her. Really? Now I think that's a little much personally. Cut the cord already! She probably thinks I'm the worst mom ever. I try really hard to not let it bother me. And my house is mess 95% of the time. I've learned to be "ok" with that because otherwise I'd never sleep.

    I'm going to shut up now because I could go on forever. I think being a working mom is one of the hardest jobs out there because not only are you working outside the home, you're still expected to do all the things the SAHMs are doing. So don't be so hard on yourself....it can only get better. And you are a supermom!

  12. No one is perfect and you are doing a great job! Make sure you make some time for you and your husband (even if it's only watching a date or having a late dinner alone after KP goes to bed). It's important to foster that relationship so that KP will see how much her parents love each other.

    Take it all one day at a time. It can be very overwhelming and, honestly, some things are just more important than others. Prioritize and do the best you can. Don't compare yourself to other moms when you're awesome the way you are!

  13. I feel like you just wrote everything that's on MY mind. I work and wish I could stay home. My MIL keeps our daughter and I struggle with not being the first to hear her count to 10 and cringe when she accidentally calls me grandma. I think what we have to tell ourselves is that we are working to make our childrens lives better. We have to provide for them and they are happy and that's what is most important. At least that is what I tell myself. Know that you definitely are not alone and I too wish I could be supermom.

  14. You just wrote about everything I have been feeling for the last 7 months. I can't be a SAHM but most of the time I don't feel sad about that. I keep telling myself that by me working is only benefiting Grayson. Luckily I have a job that allows me to have a lot of time with Grayson. I used to not have that and I did everything I could to become a teacher (well I am an aide right now but doing everything I can to get a full time teaching gig) so I could have the time with him.

    Lately I feel like my husband and I are roommates. He is having to work a lot to make up for my salary loss and when he is home we are busy taking care of Grayson and getting things done around the house. I am asleep by 9 too and finding balance is hard. I feel so incredibly guilty leaving Grayson for a few hours on a weekend to go to dinner with my husband since I work all week.

    I thought for sure by now these feelings would have gone away but they are still here. I wish I had more advice but just know that you aren't the only one with those feelings.

  15. you'll get there...it will click all of a sudden. I do finf that I'm a better mom because I work. I cherish my time more with my kids, etc... I have been really good about having dinners prepped the night before, stuff for daycare prepped the night before,etc. It helps my oldest is self sufficient, but after the baby goes to bed at 7:30 or 8, I just have the little guy until about 8:30 and can get most done at night. I cherish my time with my kids- but I will never be a SAHM either- and that's ok.

  16. I could have written this same post word for word myself. I try and remind myself that I'm working for my daughter. If I were to be a SAHM we would be sacrificing our lifestyle. I want my daughter to have the best, go on family vacations and pay for her wedding and college education one day. I try to look at the big picture - she won't remember that I worked when she was this young!

  17. I am a SAHM that can't be super mom either. I think working mom's like you deserve a lot of credit...I couldn't imagine how on your toes you must have to be. I can't even get my crap together and I'm at home all day. I, like you, are struggling for balance. I feel it taking a toll on my life as well.

    I think both sides have their positive and negatives. SAHM have the plus of being with their kids all day, but on the flip side there's no adult conversation, you take things for granted, and sometimes lose yourself in all the childcare. I know being a working mom has it's fair share of guilt as well....neither side is a complete win.

  18. Awe, I'm sorry you are feeling this way. I don't have any advice for you because I'm not a mother...unless you are talking about fur babies. But what I will tell you is to STOP comparing your life to other people's. You and I both know that people only want to write about all the fun stuff and they don't tell you all the hard behind the scenes stuff that goes on. You are doing what's best for you and for your family and that's very admirable. Don't be so hard on yourself...if you get some free time, have some sex, maybe it will help you relax. ;)

    But really, you do a wonderful job with KP, you are a wonderful mom, I know its hard now but it's not forever, keep your eyes on the end goal! xoxo

  19. I'm not a mommy (yet -- maybe next year) but I wanted to tell you that I think your concerns are totally justified!

    And I agree with other posters that the grass is always greener on the other side -- SAHMs complain about never seeing their husbands, never having money, never getting a break ... working moms complain about missing moments with their kids, having two jobs (regular adult job + mommy job) and honestly, I think it's hard for ALL women, no matter if they work or stay at home, because in our society, the burden of child-rearing still falls to the mother (or at least, all of the pressure of child-rearing, there are definitely helpful dads out there!).

    Rarely do we hear of fathers who say that they feel like they don't do enough, or feel like they fail because they work too hard and miss moments. Moms judge themselves and each other way too harsh. You need to cut yourself a break, girl. Nobody said you have to be super mom. If KP is happy and healthy that's really all that matters. Can you try to find a job you like more so you feel fulfilled in your adult life? I bet that would help a little bit.

    And don't despair being a working mom. My mom worked my entire childhood -- I spent lots of time with my grandma and at daycare and I turned out just fine :)

  20. How about instead of calling us
    SAHMs "lucky bitches," we all just try to support each other and realize that there are challenges on both sides and being a mom means making sacrifices in your life - whether you work or not. I don't call mom's who word "career bitches," although I've heard the term used and thought it was just as rude. You never truly know what a person's life is like until you walk in their shoes and bashing each other certainly isn't the solution. I too hate those other SAHM blogs that make everything seem perfect and flowery. What a joke! THAT'S WHY I DON'T READ THEM! I'm nowhere near perfect and my life is no "fairy tale" for sure. Being at home with kids is not always happy, fun time - especially when your spouse has to work constantly to make up for the lack of income and there is still never enough money in the bank. Maybe rich women who stay at home and are constantly on playdates, going out to lunch, paying someone else to clean their house, mow the lawn, shovel the snow when it comes, and take care of everything else so they can attend to their children every waking minute have it GREAT, but the majority of us live in the real world where the grass isn't any greener and it sucks over here on this side of the fence too. I love my son and don't regret being here with him, but I definetely sacrifice many aspects of my own "personal life" to do it.
    I started my blog to connect with other people and have some small space where I could share my thoughts as an adult, because alot of us SAHMs don't get that. I wouldn't dream of trying to make things seem "perfect." If other SAHMs who have "those blogs" are really living fairy tale lives, then I'm doing something horribly wrong! It really can be very lonely. I'm not complaining or trying to be confrontational - just trying to explain that there is another side to it :)

  21. Awe Shan, I could have wrote this post too. You are NOT alone. We all feel that way and now here I am pregnant with #2 and have a feeling I am about to feel those emotions x2!! I am very freaked. In an ideal world, I would love to work part time. Get the best of both worlds. But that isn't happening for me either. Lately, I have found myself playing around with different schedules to make it work. For workouts, I find myself using my lunch hour to power walk. LOL. I know you have some serious snow so that may not work but when the weather gets better maybe. Maybe you could prep meals on the weekend and freeze them to pull out during the week. (I do NOT do this, I should try my own advice LOL). I also don't know how far you are from KP during the day but 2 days a week I go meet my mom who watches Hay and have lunch with them so at least I break up the hours I see her. Find even little things that can brighten your day!! You are NOT alone though. We are all right there with you, trying to stay afloat. Love ya!!

  22. I'm too lazy to go back and find it, but after I had Leah, I posted something, very, very similar to this. There's no easy answer except that it IS hard, no matter what you do, and you just have figure out what you're willing to let slide. Example: I couldn't tell you the last time I scrubbed the bathroom floor. I brush out the toilet periodically, I wipe off the counter, but I just can't bring myself to scrub the floor.

    I will say, it gets easier as the kids get older. They're able to entertain themselves, care for themselves a little, etc... It's a lot easier to make supper when the kids are off playing, versus trying to make supper in between bottle feeding and diaper changing.

    And yes, I think a lot of those mommy bloggers are lying through their teeth.

  23. Honey, you are not alone in this. I feel exactly the way you do! It happens to all of us. Finding that balance is tough. REALLY tough. And forget about sex with the Husband. I'd rather sleep too. Sleep is the grandest of luxuries in our house. It doesn't come easy.

    I am here any time you want to vent. Because I'm going through it with you!

  24. Aww, Shannon, you've got this under control I promise! When I went back to work, I quickly realized laundry everyday was NOT happening. I now do laundry once a week (Friday / Saturday). It works out great! I know what you mean about being gone all day. I think grocery shopping / cooking dinner suffer the most for us. Who wants to start cooking dinner at 6pm?? And I do not want to waste any of my weekend / evening time with my son to go grocery shopping! But I'm working on getting better!

    I know for a fact that if I stayed home, I would NOT clean more. No way. I hired someone over a year ago to clean and let me tell you, its money well spent. I would try to keep her even if I did stay home. Makes life way LESS stressful!

    I always make sure my house is picked up every night before bedtime. I like to control the chaos before it gets too too insane. I used to make bottles and lay out everything L needed for the next day at night before bed. I still do actually, although I no longer make bottles. Don't tell me you handwash them???

    And I know the feelings about feeling guilty about leaving her to go on a date! I do it more often now, but still feel sort of guilty. But everyone needs a break and it is very important to still be a WIFE in addition to being a mom!

    I am often a working + single mom and while it's not always fun, its life. Not much you can do about it but go with the flow.

  25. You're doing FINE. STOP reading mommy blogs!!

    Trade of some chores, trade off who makes dinner, and don't try to do it all. b/c if you set out to "do it all", you'll only be disappointed...

    How about a big Sunday cooking day? Cook 2 big meals to have all week? Viola! Little dinner prep Mon-Thurs

    The grass is always greener... See your post from Sept 20 :)

    You're a GREAT mom. xoxox

  26. Oh my goodness Shannon...you took the words right out of my mouth! Everything you said is exactly how I have felt SO many times! I LOVE reading your blog and I'll tell ya that you seem to be one of "those Moms" that have it all together! Obviously, that isn't how you feel so I am sure that all the other blogs you read feel the same way!
    I have had a lot of trouble with comparing myself lately to my fellow friends and bloggers but I have tried to get over it. I am who I am...a Mother and a Wife that is loved for what I do and 9 times out of 10 it is just me being too hard on myself.
    I have 2 girls, 2 and 7 months, and I LOVE being with them but I would never want to be a full SAHM (I know, I shouldn't say that!). I feel that when I work I miss them more and appreciate them more. Same goes for "dating" my husband. Just since November we have started to have a mandatory date night, and in March we are even going to NY without the girls. Again...I think it only builds our relationship together and with our girls.

    Hope this helps...again, I love reading your blog! You are doing an amazing job!!


  27. Don't beat yourself up! I'm a working mom too, and it is SO hard. I feel so guilty for not seeing him during the week. Literally, I see him for about an hour a day. His bedtime routine starts at 5:30, so I only see him for 30 minutes in the evenings :( It sucks. But we're in the same boat with the majority of moms out there. The worst thing you can do is read those fairy tale SAHM blogs. For the record, I read a million too, and personally know that they do not always paint a true picture of what life is like as a SAHM.

  28. "...Most people are motivated to success because they envy their friends. But this meaningless-like chasing after the wind...Better is one handful of quietness than two of hard work and chasing after the wind." Ecc. 4:4 AND 6

    Don't worry about what other Mamas are doing-just do whatever God has handed to you...sounds like you have a lot to take care without comparing yourself to others...I hope you find some rest soon...the best place for that is in the Lord. :)

  29. Things are not easy for working mothers or for a stay at home moms...I struggle with my decision of returning to work even though I had the option of not to....but I couldn't see myself at home, am I a bad mother? selfish SOB? but I just couldn't, I hated being at home during maternity leave...I guess the guilt will follow us regardless of what we choose...I'm happy and I think if I am, Olivia will be.

  30. The perfect mom does not exist, so stop being so hard on yourself. Any woman who is a mother amazes me. You are doing your best, and as long as you can go to bed at night knowing that you did your best every day makes you a perfect mom to KP. So stop beating yourself up. You aren't a stay at home mom yet, so there's no comparison. Jealousy maybe, but no comparison. Hopefully soon you will know what those lucky bitches feels like. You don't have to be a supermom to be a good mother. Keep your head up!

  31. Aww darling, I don't have a kid but I can imagine what you are going through. Unless the skies part, my husband gets a raise and someone pays off about 50 grand in debt I'll be working my whole life! That's the one thing that scares me most about having a kid- balancing it all. I can barely balance my life now and it's just me and the husband.

  32. I felt overwhelmed to begin with and I am a SAHM. Then I discovered The Fly Lady and went by her philosophy- to always end the day with a clean sink. Sounds so simple, but it really makes a start. At least if the place is still a mess it feels clean.

    Also, much yelling at my husband to help more around the house proved to be very beneficial. I don't get why you have to get up at 5am to load the dishwasher when your husband can do this the night before to help you out, especially if you've done the cooking. Also investing in a crockpot/slow cooker saved me completely from cooking as you can throw everything in before you leave for work, and you can come home to a cooked dinner. Add a rice cooker into the mix and you're sorted. And you can blend it all up together to make a meal for KP when she's ready for big girl food. It *does* get easier.

    PS Believe it or not as a SAHM I still don't get time to do housework and stuff. On the limited occasions I do get to clean, it just gets messy straight away, and with us being in the house during the day, we create more washing up/untidiness etc so it's not exactly a life of leisure.