Relatable Rantings From a Stressed Out, Middle-Aged Mom

“Mom, did you call the orthodontist about scheduling my next appointment?” Shoot. Nope. Totally forgot.

“Mom, we’re out of paper towels.” Yes, I know.

“What are we having for dinner?” Seriously, it’s time for dinner AGAIN?

“Hey friend, did you get a chance to read the email I sent you?” Not yet, I’m so sorry.

“Honey, were you able to find the receipt I need for that return?” I will, as soon as I get a minute.

“Reminder: You’re due for your teeth cleaning/mammogram/eye exam/car maintenance.”
Has it already been a YEAR??

sticky tags
Sticky note reminders for mom. (Janene Dutt/I Might Be Funny)

The family is relaxing but mom keeps moving

Right now my entire family is upstairs together watching a movie. I should be with them. I know this. But I’m not.

Instead, I am running around the house like a movie on fast forward. There are towels that have been sitting in the washing machine for far too long that need to be switched. There are dishes piled up in the sink.

I notice the tufts of dog hair collecting in the corners of the floor. The dog needs to be brushed. I need to re-order his medicine. Schedule the follow-up vet appointment.

I have lists and sticky notes all over the house — reminders of yet MORE things that need to get done.

I complete one task, only to discover two more, and I feel like my daughter’s hamster on his wheel — constantly running but not really getting anywhere.

I’ve been with my family for ten months and I need a break

I don’t think I’ve been alone in this house for nearly ten months. I love my family dearly, but I swear to God, if one more person walks by me chewing loudly on peanut brittle, I fear my head might explode.

I’m normally a very even-keeled person. It takes a lot to make me cry. But tonight, as I was washing my hands, I caught a glimpse of myself in the bathroom mirror. I saw roots long overdue to be dyed. Bags under my eyes that have never been there before.

I looked exactly how I felt…utterly exhausted.

And then I glanced around at the clutter on the kitchen countertops, and at the floor that needed vacuuming, the laundry that needed folding, the dishes that needed doing, and the after-Christmas piles of stuff still in the living room — and I unexpectedly lost it.

Here’s the thing: I knew, if I simply ASKED, my husband would gladly fold the towels. My daughter would vacuum the floor. My son would unload the dishwasher.

I need to learn to ask for help

But most of the time, I DON’T ask for help. And honestly, I’m not exactly sure why. Sometimes I think it’s just out of habit, that after so many years of taking care of little kids, I forget that my big kids are fully capable now. I don’t mean to imply that my family doesn’t pitch in, they ​do.​.but it seems the vast majority of, well,​ everything​, is still on me.

And that’s completely my fault. Because I set the expectations. I take on all of the responsibility. My son saw me loading the dishwasher the other day and actually ​asked if I wanted help. And I reflexively said, “No thanks, buddy, I’ve got it.”

A TEENAGER offers to help and I say no?? I’m shaking my own head at myself right now.

I think a part of me feels I shouldn’t “need” help like I’m failing if I can’t do it all myself. This is something I have to work on.

My fellow moms can relate to the exhaustion

Why am I telling you all this? Because I think you, my fellow moms, will understand. And because if anyone else out there feels exhausted and overwhelmed right now, I want you to know YOU ARE NOT ALONE.

Being a mom is stressful enough WITHOUT living through a global pandemic and everything else going on in our country right now. This is not an easy time in our lives. We are all struggling in one way or another.

As for me, I’m trying my best. And right now, if my “best” includes a messier-than-usual house, grey roots, and eating waaay too much chocolate, so be it. I will be better about asking for help when I need it. I will give myself what I happily offer my family, some grace.

I hope you do too…because nobody deserves a little grace more than mom.

More to Read:

I Didn’t Cry Until I Did and I Wept From the Bottom of My Soul

About Janene Dutt

Janene Dutt is the creator of the popular humor and parenting site, I Might Be Funny and the author of All About Mom and Me: a Journal for Mothers and Daughters.

Read more posts by Janene

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