Never Stop

Never Stop

April 8, 2020 0 By Laura

We’re nearly a month into “social distancing” and I feel like I’m on the edge of losing my mind, though not in the way I expected. I thought my kids would drive me nuts, I’d be stressed about the virus, finances would worry me, and I’d be going stir crazy not leaving my house.

But instead, I just feel blah.

A lot of those things I listed do apply, but only a little bit. They’re not overwhelming and they aren’t driving me to the cliffs of insanity like I thought they would. Instead, I’m struggling with feeling like every single day is the same, and every single day is mundane and boring and not enough. I feel like I’M not enough.

I see all these posts on social media of people enjoying their extra time and spending quality time as a family and making the most of an otherwise difficult situation. But as a stay-at-home, work-from-home, single mom of four kids 7 and under, what changed for me at the start of all this was very different. I didn’t gain more time because of a lack of a commute or because my workload has changed. I don’t get extra time with a spouse or more time to relax.

Instead, my days were cut shorter. My kids are home more, but I have the same responsibilities with work and my home and my infant, and now I also have to find time to do schoolwork with my kids. I feel like I’m barely keeping my head above water. It’s the same thing day after day and I’m exhausted. I can’t seem to ever catch up on laundry or dishes or cooking or cleaning. I feel like my house is a disaster, my kids haven’t bathed in a week, and I haven’t eaten in days.

Now, none of those things are completely true. There may be a nugget of truth in each of my complaints and frustrations and fears, but the reality is that I’m just feeling burned out.

I’m being dramatic and over-exaggerating because times are tough. And I’m tired. And I’m so desperate for alone time that seems to be constantly evading me.

Even when I get the kids to bed at a decent hour, there is laundry to fold, dishes to wash, or work that got neglected earlier in the day because the kids were more pressing than a client’s blog.

I’ve always said that working from home is not for the faint of heart and I meant it. As a full-time, single mom, I’m never off the clock with my kids. But now having to never be off the clock with work because of a more-than-packed schedule is just exhausting.

It’s true that we’re not going anywhere—not to dance, karate, or even Nana’s house or the grocery store. Yet somehow, our days are busier than ever and more exhausting than they have been in a while.

I’m more than thankful that I get to sleep in past 6:00, and that’s served me well on the many nights that I’ve been up past midnight working.

And I feel ridiculous for complaining. I seriously do. This is just basically a vent session, I guess. I am thankful for so much right now, and it has been surprisingly easy to find more and more things to be grateful for and to have joy about.

But I’m just feeling rundown because of the mundane. I’m bored with the same old things and I hate feeling like I can’t catch a break or come up for air or get a moment to feel like I’m caught up on everything.

I know I need to shift to an attitude of gratitude and I need to choose joy. But right now, I honestly don’t want to. I don’t want to be thankful for my job and work for the next two hours while my kids sleep. I don’t want to look to the only One who gives me peace and hope. I should, and I know I should. But I just want to boo hoo. I want to pitch a fit and eat some ice cream and sleep for ten hours straight.

But I can’t. And I won’t.

Because I’m a Jesus-lover who knows better, and I’m a mom whose kids need her to be present, and I’m a writer whose clients know I’m reliable and punctual.

So I’ll open my Bible and I’ll get some refreshment. I’ll talk to my Lord and I’ll ask for productivity and peace and rest for my soul. And He’ll deliver. I know He will because He always does.

And then I’ll work. I’ll write for an hour or two and I’ll make the submissions and I’ll meet the deadlines. Then I’ll go nurse my sweet baby so that he sleeps through the night, and then I’ll read my Bible again for a few minutes before I fall asleep. It will likely be tomorrow before I shut my eyes for the night, but I know sleep will come within moments of shutting my eyes.

And then tomorrow. I’ll wake up, likely to a kiddo opening my door and asking if they can go watch TV. I’ll drag myself down the stairs, feed the baby, make the coffee, and do the mom thing and the writer thing all over again.

It’s hard to be a mom, especially right now. It’s hard to be a single mom. But I know for certain that I would never ever in a million years trade this life for anything. This hard, challenge-filled, obstacle-ridden, mind-blowingly exhausting life is exactly where I want to be. With these incredible kids and my amazing job and all the struggles and the triumphs and the defeats and the victories. This life is mine and it was made for me. And even through the hardest of days and the most mundane times, I will never give up, I will never stop being there for my kids, and I will never stop appreciating this life.