Why are we here?

by Katrina on March 8, 2010

“How do you do it all?”

I used to get that a lot. From other moms at my son’s preschool. From parents at the Y where my daughter took swim lessons. From coworkers at the web consulting agency where I managed a team of designers. From the editor at the publishing company that offered me a contract to write a design book. Even from my husband.

I was a 37-year-old mother of three* and somehow, my kids, my marriage, and my career were all thriving.

Then, one Saturday afternoon in the spring of 2009, while driving to Target to buy diapers, I broke down. Not my car. Me.

photo by Natasha Mileshina

I pulled over to the side of the road, my hands shaking, barely able to breathe. I called my husband and sobbed, “I can’t do this anymore.”

Thus ended my career, and thus began a journey into crippling depression, anxiety, and insomnia; medication, meditation, and therapy. As I learned to heal my body and my mind, I searched for answers to one question: What the hell happened to me?

At first, I thought there was something wrong with me. After all, I had a loving husband, a supportive boss, healthy kids, a good income. If I couldn’t manage a career and a family then how were other women doing it, women who didn’t have all those advantages?

I started talking to my friends, my relatives, my housekeeper, my doctor, my babysitter. I wanted to know how were they managing it. Guess what? They weren’t. They suffered from panic attacks and depression, heart palpitations and hives, migraines and mysterious coughs that won’t go away. Some of them took anti-depressants. Others took anti-anxiety medications. Most of them fantasized about quitting their jobs. They were barely getting by. I had no idea. Like me, they had been putting a brave face on their suffering. Like me, they all assumed there was something wrong with them.

There are dozens of self-help books telling women they can do it all—succeed in demanding careers and still be good parents, good partners, and even happy, fulfilled people. But my experience and that of the women I know tells a different story.

I decided to start this blog as a place where I could organize my thoughts and connect with others who are thinking deeply about this issue. And so, dear reader, we find ourselves here, on an auspicious day, International Women’s Day, at the beginning of what I hope will be a fruitful conversation about why raising kids in the U.S. is so ridiculously, head-achingly, heart-breakingly hard, and what we can do about it.

If you have a story about raising kids and working or watching other people do it, I want to hear about it. If you’re a researcher or a policy maker and care about this issue, let’s talk. If you have a wild or brilliant idea for how to make this better, I want to hear about that, too.

Leave your comment here, or email me privately at katrina@workingmomsbreak.com.

*NOTE: I have two kids of my own and a stepdaughter on the weekends. I never know if I should say I have two kids or three. I usually say three because there are three children I love and care for on a regular basis.

{ 65 comments… read them below or add one }

Amanda

Hi I need help! I am a married mom of four . I work all day and rush to get my seven year old twins from school. Only to rush home to take my 13 year old to ball practice an hour away almost everyday. On the weekend I travel with her ball team. My husband works second shift so he is never home. I just need to find balance. I feel like I never stop and I’m always in a dead rush. I’ve gain twenty pounds in three months. I am really going crazy . My house a mess, my car trashed. Cooking that’s out of the question. Mean while the kids fight more and more. I can’t make anyone happy. Going to the market has even become difficult since my twins throw tantrums anywhere I go. What’s frustrating is hearing ” single moms” get so much credit. I have realized all moms should be viewed equally.

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Maribel

Hey there Amanda,I’m so sorry you’re going through all this,I’m by no means an expert,I’m also a mom so,I feel you!!
I don’t know what to call this,you name it,advice,opinion,etc.There’s so much going on in your daily life,have you considered asking your kids how they feel about their routine? Maybe they too feel overwhelmed and wished they could just give up some of their afterschool activities,sometimes less is more and that could give you all more time to connect as a family!!blessings!

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Monica

I understand.. Same here I can’t even cook and gained weight and I don’t even eat a lot.. I love off iced mochas lol .. I feel like I run crazy all day everyday and feel alone… I got anxiety and just a mess.. See your not alone 🙂

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jennifer

Good news, I want to use this opportunity to thank the great man Dr Mutuma who really made my life a pleasurable one today. This great man Dr Mutuma brought my husband back to me. I have two lovely kids for my husband, about four years ago i and my husband has been into one quarrel or the other until he finally left me for one lady. I felt my life was over and my kids thought they would never see their father again. I tried to be strong just for the kids but i could not control the pains that torments my heart, my heart was filled with sorrows and pains because i was really in love with my husband. Every day and night i think of him and always wish he would come back to me, until one day i met a good friend of mine that was also in a situation like me but her problem was her ex-boyfriend who she had an unwanted pregnancy for and he refused to take responsibility and dumped her. she told me that mine was a small case and that i should not worry about it at all, so i asked her what was the solution to my problems and she gave me this great man’s email address. drmutumahouseofsolution121@gmail .com. I was doubting if this man was the solution, so i contacted this great man and he told me what to do and i did them all, he told me to wait for just 48 hours and that my husband will come crawling on his kneels begging me just for forgiveness so i faithfully did what this great man asked me to do and for sure after 48 hours i heard a knock on the door, to my surprise i saw him on his kneels and i was speechless, when he saw me, all he did was crying and asking me for forgiveness, from that day, all the pains and sorrows in my heart flew away, since then i and my husband and our lovely kids are happy, that’s why i want to say a big thank you to Dr Mutuma. This great man made me to understand that there is no problem on earth that has no solution. if you know that you have this same problem or any problem that is similar, i will advise you to come straight to this great man. You can email him at: drmutumahouseofsolution121@gmail .com “He always keep his word”

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Rose

Hi moms,
I feel released that I am not alone for feeling anxious and worn out at work and at home with 2 boys (1 & 3 year old) and a husband.
I don’t have time for myself not to mention spending time with my childless friends liked I used to in my previous life. I am thinking about joining some support group or doing something without kids and husband around but I can’t find the time or the motivation to do it. I am hoping that many of you will share with me how you overcome a feeling of guilt for leaving with some friends (my husband and I have no close relatives around) and make time for yourself Our boys demand all of my attention morning and night, going to work is a break from them when I can go to the restroom peacefully. Lately, I don’t find joy in working much, and I think it is time to find a new job. I know a new job comes with so many unknown and uncertainty. At least I know that I know my current job well enough that I don’t find it challenging, fear of leaving my comfort zone but living in a silent desperation.
I’m not sure what will make me energetic again.

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stacy

Hi, I was a stay at home mom for 7 years, I have 3 girls. I’ve been back to work for 2 years. I’m now working full time and I’m starting to lose it. I’m yelling at my kids all the time, I can’t keep up with housework, laundry and cooking. My kids eat crap, their behavior sucks and I can’t get them into sports because I can’t leave work to take them. My husband is self employed and he has to work. I want to tell my boss that I want to reduce my hours, but we are just now getting successful and making money. (I’m an assistant in the
Mortgage business). I’m more concerned that I’m losing my family. Help!!!

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Flo

I hear you and am in a similar situation, I have done two things after breaking down last week- I hired a cleaner ($70) per fortnight, and have requested 4 days a week. The request has not yet been approved but on looking at the fair work website realise it’s pretty hard for employers to say no. I know it’s probably a career limiting move but I don’t really care. I just want some balance – I hope this helps you, am not sure if will help me yet. Change is hard and I run the risk of loosing my job but it’s better than the alternative.

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Tash

HI everyone, I feel so relieved to have read this post and all respective comments.
I am a full-time working step-mum in Australia and I feel like I am drowning is all sorts of negative feelings and thoughts. From my partner to his daughter to work and all the way through to living in general.
Working full time I’m up no later than 6:30am getting myself ready for work and when miss 4 wonders out (if she isn’t already awake from 4am and refuses to go back to sleep) I don’t even get a good morning just grunts, whining and crying, I have learnt to not ask her ANY questions in the morning, no how did you sleep, no what would you like for brekkie or to even put her slippers on. All of this before I am even showered. I have been “mum” for the past two years, I have never met BM nor has she attempted to even have contact with miss 4 in that time. SAHD I must say he has evolved to the role in leaps and bounds, now I can come home to no dishes and a tidy lounge room, the bed may not be made but the living are is tidy, So why am I so unhappy? I miss out on the best part of their days that’s why. I am always at work and then on weekends I try to catch up on the ‘bigger house chores’ like cleaning the bathroom, doing the washing and sweeping/mopping the floors throughout the whole house. Miss 4 refuses to listen to me and is very defiant towards me, hits me on regular occasions and randomly bites for no reason. Daddy jumps to her defence with – “she is only 4” “she doesn’t know any better” “lighten up your over reacting” but he does not stand beside me in combat, assisting her in breaking ALL the house rules ie: no eating in the living room, cleaning toys up before bringing more out, not tidying toys in her room or playroom, not eating dinner, getting snacks as she pleases (while I am in the kitchen cooking dinner) trading shoes in for slippers when they get home or after being outside. I feel like daddy is setting me up to fail with his daughter (I have seen her as and treated her as my own for the time she entered our home full time) He has recently made comment (unintentional – I hope) ‘my daughter’!! not ‘our daughter’ or even ‘Miss 4’ I work full time to support them both, come home from work at 5pm and the first thing I HAVE to do is cook dinner and swallow what ever my day was like and replace it with trying to keep my $#!t together. I’m not sure if its for my own sanity or because I feel like a failure for not being around or having a daughter that seems to hate me for it. I feel like I will never get out of this revolving door 🙁

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stacey

I feel like you are being taken advantage of that little miss 4 should be more respectable to she is a child. And your partner should enforce that she do

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Shalinda

Hi everyone! I’m so glad I am not alone in my situation. I am 28 years old and a mother of 3 girls (1,3, and 9). I work three 12 hour shifts a week (Mon, Wed +Thurs) and 1 half day (Fri) as a nurse 40 miles away from home and my husband sells cars so that means a lot of hours. I’m up by 5am and home around 8:30p. I have been feeling so overwhelmed lately and a majority of the time I get very little help from my husband because he is never home. Between the cooking, cleaning, hair days, laundry and errands I have no time for myself We purchased our house 2 years ago and converted our 2 car garage into an apartment. It was a great investment. I was hoping with the extra income I could stay home with our children temporarily but my husband isn’t taking me wanting to stay home too good. For the most part he just thinks I complain too much! I’ve explained several times that 100% of the household responsibility falls on me! I mean he never ever cooks and rarely bathes my 2 youngest kids! And he always tells me he has no patience to assist the kids with homework or school projects! I dread the school year. Now I’m going to have 2 kids in school and 1 still in diapers. I’m ready to pull my hair out now! Running away sounds even better…..I am physically and mentally exhausted…..

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Jessica

I see this post is from awhile ago but I’m glad to see a post from a fellow working nurse mom. Working as a full time nurse and being a full time mom on my days off is more exhausting then I ever imagined. I have full blown caregiver burnout! I feel like I’m always yelling at my 3 year old because my stress level is at a constant elevated level. It’s not fair to her, but I don’t know how to remedy this situation.

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Bev

I thought I was the only one that felt that way. I have 3 children 22months,4yrs old that has ADD and a14yr old. I work full time my husband works mid shift so he’s never home. I bring the kids to babysitter and school and then go to work. And then pick them up in the evening home, cook, feed, give baths. I have no time to myself only when I am at work. I feel like running away.

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Bx

I hear you. Mine are 12, 7 and 13 months. The bickering, messes, whining. I work full time and husband is self-employed. He works insanely long hours and I cook, clean, pay the bills, sign up kids for all the extracurriculars. I feel so guilty for being frustrated but I’m totally fed up and ready to snap.

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Melissa

Well, I have a 5 year old who was born prematurely… Dealing with nebulizer treatments and sleepless nights alone was hard…When she finally started sleeping at night- I started working night shift. One child is enough for my full time work load and folks who don’t live my life need to get one.

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tori

I am a mother of 3 boys (8,5,11 months) no daycare or babysitters. Basically I do the full time mom thing, clean the house and cook , pay incoming bills , try to be the best loving wife to my husband, and work a overnight job. Just like most overnight workers when my husband comes home i’m out the door. I did go back to school , hoping for a better life . I couldn’t find a job in that career and it wasn’t working with my mommy schedule. Mentally I am broken down but still try to keep my head up and smile. My life is great 3 wonderful boys , loving husband, and financially comfortable . But yet feel broken down inside and not understood. My husband is amazing but yet I feel that he doesn’t understand how hard it is to do all that I do and that’s with little to no sleep. I feel that he thinks that since im home all day I should do more with my time , cleaning and maintain a house and kids doesn’t take all day. Be more productive with my time and try bettering myself since I don’t have a career like he does. I don’t know how to get him to understand working at night is hard by itself, it really put a toll on you. Plus I’ve been doing it for 8yr.s now. On top of that I take care of a baby , the older boys, and everything else. I feel so lost and broken I just don’t know what to do and its harder to keep smiling.

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Phoebe

I am a mom to a two year old, a 10 month old, and I am currently pregnant with my third, which we have learned is coming to us with Down Syndrome. I started my career as an environmental consultant two weeks after graduating from college. I was the rockstar employee destined to run the company someday. I worked 50-60 hrs a week making a name for myself. I loved my job and my success at only 23 years old. Then I got married and started a family. Paying for childcare was/is not a issue we both make great money. But I too find myself in a constant battle of not being great all around. The stress of work, and being a mommy, house keeper, cook…well you all know the roles actually to my belief contributed to the severe stroke (complete paralysis on the left side of my body) I suffered 1.5 yrs ago at the age of 28 yes 28 while 8 weeks pregnant. I have since made some changes in my life that have lowered the stress level, but I’m still running in the working full time and being a mom race. I cry some days thinking there has to be a better way.

I just found my way to your blog and can’t wait to explore it more. I’m glad to here I’m not the only one with these thoughts.

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Renatha

Hi I am a mother of three children ( 2,4, 13yrs old). I have been a single mother for years, working as a soldier, running a side business selling avon, teaching my little ones there preschool stuff, helping out my oldest with his teenager homework, church, cleaning four times a day bc I have ocd, cooking, and I am a full time undergraduate student majoring in pharmacy technician then heading to graduate school to be a pharmacists. I know its alot and after reading some of the stories below I see I am not alone however I don’t have a husband to help me out or care for me it’s just the kids and I. I hope and prayer for a loving supportive husband so I keep myself in shape to take away the stress of all my tasks n duties, make sure to take my breaks in between studying, aND I have created a schedule for meal plans etc for the kids and if I can some me time even if it’s watching the Titanic over n overy again or greys anatomy series I have missed. Ladies keep up the good work it’s amazing how everything falls on the women but men only have to do one thing and that is work. We can juggle it all so why can’t they assist us just saying. Men need to step it up we work we do this n that and stil cook and clean and do homework til 3 or 4 am so why they can’t they what’s the excuse. I feel like I am on overload like someone pushed a button and made me go into super mommy mode. It’s very challenging to say the least. My social life doesn’t exist well it hasn’t existed in like over ten years.

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Shana Norton

Hang in there. I was reading over these other entries thinking…”at least you have a HUSBAND to help!” My husband left when the boys were two and four. I have earned my doctorate, work full time, am raising the boys, taking care of the house, etc… the financial stress is huge. Also, trying to raise the children to be law abiding, moral, and loving citizens is tough when you are the only one doing it. You are not alone… I understand. Hang in there. There are many single moms out there. This is just a phase. I finally bought a used treadmill to keep in my basement because I couldn’t even get out to run, but couldn’t afford (nor did I want to drop them off in yet ANOTHER daycare) to join the gym. I hear you. You can do it! 🙂 You are amazing. One day your children will tell you how much they appreciate you!

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Heather

I am at such a loss, I am married with 2 boys one is out on his own, my youngest is a senior in high school. We just filed bankruptcy and we are foreclosing on our house of 9 yrs. we just had 11 wedding anniversary and my husband has lost both his Dad 7 yrs ago and Mom last December. He was adopted and they had such an amazing relationship. My job was being downgraded so I took a job as a Supervisor in a clinic that has been very busy and now I am acting for another clinic. Our dreams were to be working retired and buy some land and build a tiny house. But my husband says I am controlling and complain a lot about money. He spends so much and it is always either breaking us or barely pushing the next paycheck. We found an apartment and thought we were going to be able to keep both our dogs but then they came back and said we could keep the rat terrier but not our puppy blue heeler. It has destroyed my husband we got into an argument over money and he smokes pot which I am ok with but pay bills first then have fun. But he started staying at the house until it is foreclosed on completely. We started working together and then pay day came and he took a bunch of money out and I said something and he blew up. So we were really bad and it was over. He scared me and I went and pulled out of our cell plan and I am adding our son as well. We talked yesterday for the first time without being hateful and I took off work so we could spend the day working on us. But as soon as he got here it was almost a fight brewing and telling me he will have to move to another town closer to work as we only have one vehicle. I said you need to stay here with us and we can work on us but he doesn’t want to give up the dog we got her from his family. I understand and our oldest said he could keep her and we could just go and take care of her. I went and changed bank accounts because I really thought we were over not that I want to be but we just signed a lease for a year and I feel I need to take care of bills and save money. Crappy day

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marion

From my early days on I was always the one being strong to be able to support and be there for others. All that went fine without any issues until about 3yrs ago. I had a two he commute to work, worked an average of 11 hrs and wad there for my family. I finally had the strength to leave my husband but from that time one I was unable to take constructive feedback (never bothered me before), etc. From then on, I have been crying about everything and anything, This crying and emotional turmoil cost me my second job in about one year. That makes me cry because.I am used to working. Everything seems to be falling apart, including my financial independence. I want to be the OLD me again. I was happy then.

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Lindsey

It sounds as if you are still dealing with leaving your husband maybe? I don’t know your history but that seemed to be a big impact.

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Sandra

Hi.
I just came across your blog as I googled ” routines for working mums on days off”

After having a messy house, two girls of 3 who I spend no quality time with, a messy car and a husband who needs a “wife” he asked to marry. Messing things up at work and generally feeling overwhelmed, stressed and angry with everyone.

I decided enough is enough. The power is in my hands. I indetified having a bad sleeping and eating routine as the main issues and so causes for my life being a mess right now.

And so I have come up with a 30 day challenge for myself. No idea if I will be able to stick to it or even continue to the momentum when u wake up but am hopefully I will do my best because all other options have not worked.

Right so my challenge is to sleep at 10-10;30 every night rather than my usual 2am. And wake up at 6;30 giving myself and hour and a half to prepare for work. Have breakfast, go for a quick run and then take my time getting dressed.

Then schedule my eating and make sure to eat through out the day.

Then a routine for when I get home at 6 with my twins. Who stay with a child minder until I get back from work.

If all goes well and my life suddenly becomes awesome and my energy levels get back up, I will let you all know.

Until then please give me some tips on how to enjoy my days off work and how to spend some time with my kids on my days working????

Good luck to us all xxx

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Jody

Hi I’m a working single mum but I have 4 amazing kids 14,11,8,4 all to the same bloke but he’s not interested in any of them , there 3 boys and a girl yes it’s hard really hard but I do it for them , I do get days where I’m drained and had enough of the fighting and arguing and the attitudes and tantrums , and just want to give up but I keep fighting , some days I have no idea how I do it but I do , I’m up in the nights when there poorley I take them to school, then go to work get home walk the dogs then pick kids up , cook tea , tidy house , bath kids , more house work , sit eat my tea , do homework , read book then lights out for them , bath for me then bed , it’s the same everyday , day in day out but it’s worth it so please next time you think you got it bad maybe just maybe think there’s someone out there who’s worse off than yourself x

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Sarah M.

I don’t think this is a competition. This is a safe place where we share our own personal breaking points, which is based off our own experiences. I leave for work and I am gone for 9 hours. I have a feeling, based on your comment, that you are only working part-time. If what you are dealing with stresses you out, fine, that’s what this site is here for, but don’t discredit someone else’s feelings because you feel yours are more validated.

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Jody

Sorry if that came across that way but that’s what my told me as I was growing up there’s always someone worse of than yourself I also work 9/5 kids go to school clubs befor and after school which is a massive help x

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Sarah M.

Alright. It did come off competitive but I understand what you’re trying to say. There is ALWAYS someone that will be “worse off” but it’s all in perspective. Unfortunately, someone else’s broken legs does not make the bruise on my arm feel any less tender.

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SaveMe

I am a single mother of a preschooler going through the horrible, and I mean HORRIBLE threes. I wake up at the crack of dawn to get us both ready in our paper thin, falling apart overly priced apartment, drop him off at his caregiver, commute 45 minutes to work, work 9 1/2 hours, get home with him by 7pm where I attempt to play with him, cook dinner, pay my bills if I’m lucky and then fight to get him to sleep for an hour. By then, it’s usually 11pm and I end up passing out on the couch. Clean? I don’t even know what that is. I’m pretty sure I’ve invented a new strain of penicillin in the pile of dishes in my sink. I live over an hour away from family to help. To top it off, I was recently diagnosed with Lupus. I honestly don’t what to do or think I can keep this up for much longer. While I could never it do it myself, I view the women who take off less harshly these days.

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Sarah

There isn’t much balance because I have a full time job and take care of my daughter. It can be tough. The women on my husband’s side of the family keep asking me “When are you going to have another?” Yet they never had a job and I just keep thinking about my mortgage payments. It’s rude to ask such questions whenever your load is full.

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Lindsey

It’s good to know that I am not alone. I work full time, am back in college full time (since last year), have three boys, a husband, a house and two dogs. I can’t keep up. I’m forgetting things and it’s things I should normally remember. It’s upsetting and scary at the same time. I’m sitting here thinking I’ve got early dementia and I’m in my early 30’s! I don’t know what to do. Is my brain in overload?

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Bree

I never imagined how insanely difficult it was going to be to juggle a newborn, work, school, and a house. My son is 7 weeks old and I just went back to work as nanny, and I don’t know how I am going to cope with these hours. I work 50 hours one week, and then 53 the following week, and my daily commute is an hour and thirty minutes. I feel so physically and emotionally exhausted when I get home that the thought of doing my homework gives me anxiety. My husband works very hard at his job, but when he comes home he leaves a trail of garbage, food, and clothes behind him. I am not exaggerating when I say I have never seen him do the dishes. It is like I have a second child to tend to. I have to some how clean everything, do the laundry, do school work, get up almost every hour to feed my son, work crazy long hours, and maintain my sanity…. I am in my mid twenties and I feel like I have taken on too much. This momma needs help!!

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Sondra Gomberg

Hi guys, I am a new mother and I’m desperately to get my three month daughter to sleep through the night. Currently I am lucky to get four hours rest a night. Regards

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Cynthia

I’m not a doctor but what I did when my son was that age was I cut the nipple of the bottle very slightly so that baby cereal could fit through the nipple. I gave give a bottle after a bath before bed with a little bit of cereal in the milk (breast milk at that time). That helped him to sleep longer since his belly was full.

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syretta

WOW. I googled feeling overwhelmed, exhausted and unhappy I came on to this forum. I have justed taken up volunteering at a company called HOME START as all four of my kids are now in primary school and I wanted some thing more than cleaning, coookin, and more cleaning cookin to do on a day as I work nights. I was researching a scenario on how I woukd help some feeling overwhelmed, exhausted and unhappy. I have read all your comments and it was like reading about my self, you just really dont know how much you do till we crash and burn which ive done a few times throughout my kids lifes.
I really hope you all find that middle peace and have a happy life xxx

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Sania

Hello all

And I thought I was the only super mom. I am mother of a 6 yr old and a one year old. I am responsible for groceries, cooking everyday religiously, taking kids for all their appointments, activities, dropping older one to school and picking up, and I work full time. My profession involves a lot of driving. And guess what I am a mental health counselor, but I just can’t seem to manage my stress level. My husband is a business man and hence he works 24/7. No help at all. Wants food on demand, tea/coffee on demand. I put kids to sleep everyday, give them baths everyday. I sleep at 1 am and I am up at 7.30 am. I do manage to do everything, but recently I have been feeling frustrated and angry. I forgot to mention something important. My job is getting me and my husband citizenship and hence I feel more pressured to perform better at work. I honestly feel that my husband takes me for granted as he knows no matter how much I complain I am still going to do it. I am on a verge of nervous breakdown. I am just tired. Any suggestions or advice will be appreciated.

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Sarah M.

Sania,
Oh no. That’s not OK that you do EVERYTHING, regardless of his career. Being a partner is exactly that, the responsibilities must be shared equally. I understand that some careers are more demanding, but coming home does not mean that you get to put your feet up. When there are children involved, both parents must work until the kids are asleep. That’s just how it is. If he chooses not to do it, then you have a couple of options but first, does he at least appreciate your efforts? Does he take the time to show you how much what you do means to him? If not, then it sounds like there may be a bigger problem. Now, most people would just suggest divorce, which yes, it is an option. However, we don’t know the situation fully so based on just what you’ve said, I wouldn’t say that’s the best option. BUT you do need some time to relax. Pick one day a week that is just for you, even if it’s just a Friday night after work where you take yourself out to a movie, get your nails done, or even just sit in a mall and read a book, but you need some me-time. You are in control of you and the absence of you will also show him how much you do.
I hope this helps and I would love to talk more privately if you’re interested. Just let me know and I can send my email address.

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Jennifer

I don’t know what to do! I’m a single parent of 2 beautiful children and i have no one to help with childcare. I am about to lose my job as an assistant property manager because sooooo much pressure has been building on me daily for years. I have been having constant anxiety, depression and panic attacks for the past couple months and I don’t know how i’m gonna keep this roof over our heads. We lost my mom last year who was a big support in our lives and my kids are struggling immensely, my 6 year old has high levels of anxiety and many nervous habits and my 10 year old is acting out with behavior problems at school. 5yo just started kindergarten and 10 yo is going to middle school next year, I don’t know what to do to make this work! I am by no means giving up, but if i can’t work, i can’t keep a roof. My kids need me to be there for them, and even if i had someone to watch them at night or on the weekends, I would never be able to see them. I am at such a loss right now and no one is able or willing to help me out.

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Sam

I had post natal depression after the birth of my third child who is now just three. I’ve only just stopped taking meds and finding it all too much again, but I don’t want to medicate. I keep thinking surely I can do this. My eldest daughter is just going through puberty and she cries a lot. I try my best to be patient and kind, but I find I can’t always be. I often feel my temper rising. My husband is unemployed and not the most supportive husbands. In fact I carry a whole lot of resentment to him as well. How to manage? I want to be able to enjoy the moments, but I reach my limits too often. Where did that kind sweet person I used to be go?

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katay

I am at a feel low! I have a 2 half year old and work full time, my work is very tiring and full on I literally feel like collapsing at the end of the day! But of course I can’t I have my boy to come home to. My house is a constant mess my moods are awful, up and down. I barely find time to feed my self, I no if I had a healthy diet I may feel I bit more sane! I’m at breaking point, I can’t leave my job! I never in a million years ever imagined parenthood being this difficult and draining, I expected it to be the best thing for me and if I’m honest it the biggest mistake I could have made, I love my son to the moon and back but I still can’t help but think I have made a mistake! Any advice would be very helpful thank u

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Marie

Hello! Well my issue that I have is that…I don’t have enough fun! I work all week and when I come home I’m on mommy duty and we both know that that job never ends so we cannot clock in or out of that one. I’am dating again…finally so I do have romance in my life but I think I can use more of a social life…more fun like going out with some friends or close family members…a nice social outing. I would love to have that at least once a week. So yea I need to start having more fun and it’s not easy when you have a small kid that is always with you twenty four seven. I mean she does go on outings with other family members sometimes so when I do get my breaks I try to enjoy them. Dating is not easy either. Him and I only see each other when I have the free time and that’s when she’s not home. We both agreed that it’s too early in our relationship for him to be around her too much right now. What would be your suggestions on me trying to have more fun…more of a social life along with being a mom and a working woman?

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caroline

I don’t think anyone can help me. Here it is. I am a mother of a 2 y/o, pregnant, just started a 3rd shift job, im used to 1st shift. My husband works long hours and his job is very hard on him. After he eats dinner, he falls asleep on the couch. Our apartment is a mess, we both are barely making ends meet, I can’t afford daycare so I get about 3 hrs of sleep int he morning before my son gets up. Im so exhausted I don’t cook. So he ends up eating chicken nuggets or fast food. Im so stressed and depressed. I’m neglecting everything around me. Im also going to school part time for registered nurse and I can’t even find the energy to get through one page of reading. I have no friends and I don’t talk to my family much. I’m not getting any emotional support from my husband, as he is going to school as well and also exhausted. Im about 2,000 in debt. II dont know what to do. I have no life left in me to even smile.

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Melanie

Hey, I hope that everything has got a bit easier for u hun. I know how u feel! I had 2 children when me and my husband had just started university. I left to go to work full time. My husband worked 2 jobs as well as studying law! It was a difficult 4 years! Now 6 years on I have just found out I’m pregnant!!!! My husband is in the military now and I have my own business. My husband is away all the time! It awful feeling lonely and doing all the childcare, cooking, housework and working full time! I think the thing to do is try not to worry!! Don’t worry about not cooking everyday, chicken nuggets are not the end of the world :0) also lack of sleep is a killer. Its so hard to function without it. Both u and your husband sound as if u need sleep. I’m sure he is just as worn out as u. It can feel like everything is on your head, that mummy has to do it all but u honestly don’t. And all your hard work will pay off! It just takes time, and suddenly u will look back together and feel so proud of everything u have achieved! So hang in there! Carry on. oh we have a ton of debt to! But its is going…… Slowly. All this stuff just takes time. Try to enjoy your pregnancy and your little one. Every mother out there feel like this at some point. U are not alone! Xx

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Heather

I am so lost, my husband and I have been separated for 6 months and he wants to come home but I am afraid that things will go back to the same as before. He spent a lot of money and did not respect me and my job. Our boys are grown and almost grown 20 and 18. We lost our house and filed bankruptcy and the apartment I moved into is small but I have money and a little savings. I have put money into my car. He hopped around with buddies and spent money and left a lease, at a trailer and racked up a few tickets. He smoked some pot ok a lot of pot. And he says he hasn’t but I am afraid to give in. So many mean and hurtful things have been done. I know I haven’t said I love him for a long time. I do he was my first love, but he says he doesn’t want to say he will not smoke and won’t spend money. I like spending money too but I do it after the bills are paid. Help me I am so lost he says he is leaving to go back to his hometown where I know he will be a hot mess there.

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Nubia Steffen

I do have to say. Thank you! It is good to know I am not the only one to feel “crazy”. The term I found to comprise all the feeling of depression, incompetence and everything else a working mother can feel. I am a medical provider and have two boys. I basically count with my husband to do all for my kids. I feel like a visiting mother. Get home exhausted. Trying to hear what the kids say. Trying to show interest in their lives. Trying to be part of it. To know what is happening to them! But my mind is just thinking that I am tired. I want to sleep because I have to wake up early for another day of work. And I get to realize my kids do not know me. I do not know them. I am too tired to know myself. My home is a mess. And I yell all the time at my husband and kids complaining about my how the home is a mess. And at the same time I ask how was everybody’s day and how is everything. I feel a failure. Depressed. The only thing I seem to be doing maybe right is my job. But I have to support my family. I became a visitor at my home. I became a stranger to myself. I am depressed. Taking medications. Having therapy if I find time for it. Usually not. I feel a failure. And I do not know what to do.

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M k

Heather, I don’t know when your comment was left, but I will respond.
What you are describing is a dynamic where your husband acts like a child who shows no regard for your well being or the well being of your family. He appears to lack empathy. I think it’s important to understand that behaviour such as you describe – remorselessly leaving your family destitute – really has nothing to do with money. It has to do with character.
The solution isn’t for you to prevent him from going back to his hometown or prevent him from smoking pot or control the money. Grown ups control themselves and our actions reflect our values. He has shown you over and over again what his values are; it’s time to believe him when he shows you who he really is. I realize that’s a bitter pill to swallow.
This is the question I asked myself (*really* asked myself) which finally led me to divorcing my ex- husband: Do you like who you are with him?

I wish you clarity and courage.

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M k

I feel like I am working hard and getting nowhere. Two years ago I got out of a horrible marriage. My ex-husband was verbally abusive and refused to work. I should have left well before I did based on those things. But I finally left when I found out about his secret and completely bizarre double life.
I had worked my way up to a senior management position while still married, which was necessary as I was the sole bread winner. Now I am a full-time single mother, with no breaks, working a demanding job, with two children with special needs (my oldest has high functioning autism, my youngest has low vision and ADHD). I feel tremendous guilt that I am not more engaged with my children. When I do have some time after dinner and clean up, I want to have some much needed peace and quiet, rather than play with my kids. I was treated for severe depression and PTSD secondary to domestic abuse and trauma from what I found out my ex-husband did to me. I am doing much better, but I have been left with this constant numbness. What I want most is just to be alone, in bed, and enjoy some quiet.
I used to love planning fun crafts to do with my kids and really enjoyed being a mom. I adore my kids but, frankly, I don’t enjoy being a mom anymore. I’m too tired and this is too hard. I’m sick of failing at this.

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Heather

Thank you for your kind words, MK! My husband is leaving in the next two months and will probably default on our bankruptcy payment, as I am covering all the health insurance on the family. I will not be able to afford it. He is trying to get my oldest step son to go back with him to a dead end job and skip college. He said he didn’t want to go so now I am a horrible person for coming between him and his son”technically not his biological son either” just on the birth certificate we took him in to give him stability he lives with a buddy with a great job and soon to go to college along with my youngest. They are so close and hate to see him uproot their lives because he thinks everyone is out to get him. He took a downgrade at work because he was messing up at work and ended up with a $8 pay cut. He is mad all the time and tells me what I have done to him. You are right I may have bitched a lot about money but I stayed at home and at work if my girlfriends asked me to dinner or go shopping, I made excuses and flaked out on all my friends and alienated them. I am trying to open up and do things for myself and learn to love me again, and of course my boys❤️. Good Luck to you all
I love this blog, I feel much better after posting. Peace with all you Moms out there!

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Mamamama

I’m sort of relieved to hear a lot of people are experiencing this. I just had a melt down and turned on the TV for the kids (3 and 6) and was crying in my bed. I’m exhausted. I work part time (32hrs) but I’m in charge of everything around the house. From cooking, making kids lunch, doing home work with my 6year old, keeping up with school and after school activities, cleaning, managing finances, grocery shopping, taking trash out, doing taxes.

I’m an immigrant so it’s pretty stressful to work in a country that’s not yours, language and culture wise plus when I get home, I work a little bit more, then goes to pick kids up from a different place at a different time. At night, I’m back at the desk sorting through our bills, medical stuff and finances. Which is also hard if you were doing it in your non-native language…

Like this writer, I’m so stressed and have panic attacks every once in a while. My husband works regular hours (9am-5pm) but he just doesn’t understand how much I’m doing and how much he could help out. Every time I ask about splitting the loads, he gets upset and the conversation goes no where.

I don’t know what to do. Though, I do feel a little better knowing you’re feeling the same…

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sad

10 years going out with a guy,broke up for 1 year due to not moving forward in life,This Saturday it will be a year since being back together, I feel like I want to run away until he leaves…I can’t ask simple questions and he screams at me,my teenage daughter (17) is so rude,disrespectful to me..it,s heart breaking. Both my best friends have passed,I don’t have anyone to talk to. The woman at work talk about me behind my back..im successful at my job. I feel like I’m going to crack..

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Patricia Hovde

Hi Ladies.
I can relate to all of these stories. I am in the same situation. Only worse- I did not have a supportive husband. Mine was a high powered CFO who told me our marriage was over if I stopped working. Now I am a divorced mom but still unbelievably stressed still doing it all. I really think family life is broken and men have placed far too great a burden on us. We are working ourselves ragged to the point of ill health, and Bad temper. It’s bad for us, our marriages and worst of all our kids. I am in the preliminary stages of writing a book about this as I feel this topic needs to be addressed and discussed. If you would like to share information or your stories more please reach out to me. My email address is: runningraggedbook@gmail.com
Let’s work together to share our stories and try to change the narrative!! Thanks so much!! :-). Patricia

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Jen

Agreed – our way of life is broken, society is asking too much of us and in return, the impact for our children is currently unknown. What will the next generation think and feel based on their experience of growing up in care. How are we shaping a generation of kids who spend 5 days a week in the company of 11 children and 3 disconnected daycare workers?

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D

Hello and thank you for sharing everyone. I am a married, working full-time mom to 2 children: a 9 year old boy and an almost 6 year old girl. My son is a Type 1 diabetic, my husband is an emergency responder dealing with depression and anxiety and I am trying to keep it all together. This morning my daughter threw a huge tantrum complete with hitting her brother because she couldn’t decide what to bring for special helper day at school and also that I would not go back in the house to get her stuffed bunny as we were running late for me to drop them off at daycare and then get to work. I am tired, beyond tired. I basically don’t have any hobbies or any free time to myself. Everyone at my house is so needy right now. I love my family but the demands on me are stacking up. I am embarrassed that I lost my cool this morning and yelled at my kids and slammed doors, not something that I’m proud of and not the message I want to send to my kids – mom will be doing some apologizing tonight! In the past 10 years we have lost our first born child, our son was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes, my parents both died from cancer and my husbands dad died on New Years Eve. How much is this family supposed to take. Thanks for allowing me to vent – much appreciated. Keep on keeping on everyone!

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Monica

I so understand.. I feel like this is where I’m at.. I’m going to break.. I raised my two sons who are 21 and 20 and started over with a 3 year old daughter and 8 month old son.. I have a good career a nice house s good husband but I feel so depressed.. He works so much for hardly anything and I cut my work time but still work 8 hours a day and I feel like I sacrifice and he doesn’t..it is so hard I feel alone

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Mae

Hi, I am a mum of 2 toddlers and works full time. I am blessed with a supportive husband. I guess the difference I have with most of you here is that I have a full time nanny, who is very dependable. My issue is that due to the nature of my work which requires 60 hours a week, I always end up working at home (at night and on weekends). However, with kids growing up fast and being more playful and needing attention when I am around, I seldom complete work and not meeting deadlines. Hence, lately I feel so incompetent at work and feeling so depressed. I have been in this profession even before I get married and it is only this is the worst time that am feeling so inadequate.

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Claudia

I need some sort of motivation or inspiration or just an opinion from someone that I do not know. I am getting married on sat to my fiance who is terminally ill. we do not know how long he has left to live but I also have my 1 year old son to look after and I have to work- I am so tired and now i feel that I am going to be the run away bride- I feel so unappreciative- everything that i do gets a negative comment everything that i say gets a negative answer- i’m not allowed to choose anything for my own wedding or give ideas or suggestions because my fiance thinks my ideas are embarrassing. all i do is get sworn at permanently as soon as i have an off day- belittles me and also disrespects me in front of our son and also makes a joke every time i try to discipline our son. he cringes when i speak in front of people that he knows and i am not allowed to tell the drs or his friends or family how he feels or how sick he is, but yet i have to deal with his emotions all on my own on a permanent basis. our parents live far away and we can not afford someone to help me with my child- or help with cleaning the house. he refuses to speak to the people at hospice. he refuses to make friends and does not want to see his old friends- i am not allowed to hang out with anyone- let alone guy friends, we have gotten abusive on all levels before and i had the most terrible baby shower 2 years ago- and he still blames me for it- yet he is the one that came home super drunk and decided to take me on-. i’m so tired. – i do not know if i can look after him because his moods will only get worse the more pain he goes through. he is never sorry about anything that he does or says blames it all on me- i understand that he is busy dying and i feel for him- but is it fair of him to treat me this way- the wedding is being paid for us we do not have to spend any money on it- i really appreciate it but i do not know if i can go through with it- i love my job and love where i live- but what will happen to me if i leave him- where do i go with my son- i cant leave my work- and i don’t want to move out of our place. because ultimately it will be my mine once he is gone- i’m confused and just need some encouragement

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Heather

Claudia, I have to say you are a very strong woman! You have my blessings. I think you need to stop and think of what is best for you and your child, I know you love your fiancé but no one should belittle you. This is not just his wedding it is your wedding too. Strength be with you through this.

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Leigh

Hi, I’m 28 and a newly married mother of 2, soon to be three beautiful daughters. One is 4, one is 1 and my other is due next month. I’m currently in my last semester of school for medical assisting and working part time. My husband works 3rd shift, so 5 nights out of the week I’m alone wrestling my 1 year old to sleep, who wakes EVERY hour. I cannot say that my husband doesn’t help, as he’s the cash cow, and gets the girls ready for school and bed almost every day. I guess I’m frustrated at the lack of sleep I get, and the fact that while we’re out, hustling and bustling, he’s home, enjoying his uninterrupted sleep. We’re barely making ends meet which is also added stress. I have no social and I honestly don’t know how I’ve made it this far. I feel selfish for complaining about being alone every night, but I feel like there should be some happy medium.

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Rachel

I’m glad to come across you blog :). I am a mother of 3, work full time and go to college part time. I am tired, so so tired and want so bad to give up work but can’t for financial reasons 😪 I’v just finished 3 weeks worth of college exams and now all I see is my house that has been abondoned for the last few months. It needs some redecorating and a deep clean but I have no energy left!! I just feel so overwhelmed. I am 33 and last year I went on anxiety medication for the first time in my life. The anxiety also makes me tired because I worry constantly and I mean constantly, it’s none stop. I don’t really have much support systems either. My boss doesn’t be too impressed when I’m off work sick, my husband expects me to do it all and doesn’t see what the big deal is, my GP just gives me meds and sends me on my way. Ugh I just want to run away and hide but I can’t because I have 3 beautiful children who right now are the only things to make me smile!

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Jen

I’m a mother of 1 – I know I shouldn’t complain but I’m not coping. I work 5 days a week in a high profile role for a large corporate and I’m trying to be a mother to my 2 year old daughter. It’s hard and I feel like I’m a constant let-down. Not to mention the fact that I’m only just keeping my mental health together, I feel constantly on the verge of a falling down moment. Why do we do it – because we’re old (41) and we’re desperately trying to save for a house. I wish, we hadn’t spent our youth having so much fun – and not establishing a stable base for ourselves but we did. And now we’re trying to buy a house (and stability) and I’ve landed a job that asks too much of me on a daily basis and my daughter constantly asks why – why can’t you look after me. My mother died when I was 4 – I want to be a great mum. I’m not – I’m a total looser, and I hate what I’m doing….

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padilladerrano01232010@gmail.com

I have 3 kids work 2 full time jobs I have felt tired but just knowing the responsibility that I have no matter how tired I am I move forward it’s just what I know to work and provide. To keep me going prayer and vitamins.

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Elle

As I’m reading through all the comments, I can quickly assess a pattern–it appears that few of us are holding the people around us accountable to do their part. We are just abdicating that crucial responsibility and absorbing more and more responsibility onto ourselves. If your kids are older (teens), put them to work! Make them clean the trashed house. Make them help you grocery shop. Make them help you do and put away laundry. Make them help with the yard and cleaning the cars. I do! My daughter has been doing her own laundry since she was 10 because I taught her. She helps me cook. She has weekly chores to do–real ones that have true impact on the running of our household. I’m a single mom, and my daughter has been raised in a household culture of “a family works to help each other; mamma ain’t the work horse.” And yes, I run a business, manage employees and clients, and my daughter’s schooling and getting my daughter to her two sporting events, a sports psychologist, a home with an acre of land, and an ex husband who does almost nothing financial for my child. But I was raised by parents that grew up in poverty but in good families where the work ethic was passed down–not burdened to one parent. Try that, and see how your life takes shape afterward. Holding your kids’ feet to the fire today makes them into string adults down the road that may not be living in your basement, growing a man bun at 27.

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Kathy

Happy I found this blog. I thought I was the only one losing it. Mother of 3 young children (including twins with one with special needs) and working full time as a project manager for a bank.

I did exactly what you described and suddenly broke down in tears overwhelmed this weekend. My pride won’t let me call it quits at work until I finish my mandate (presently setting up a factoring division for the bank). Hoping I can last for another few months.

PS Sorry for my English. Mother tongue French.

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Jess

Hi, I feel like iv come to breaking point, I really don’t even no if I ever want to leave my bed again, my body aches I have had the worse headaches and I think my heart is about to pop right out of my chest! I have a daughter, she is 3 she’s always been a good child but lately she’s so clingy I can’t move when I go to work she’s screames the house down, I work in a call centre where basically I just get yelled at, then I return home to my crying child making me feel like the most useless guilty shit mum I never wanted to be! My partner thinks he help by washing the dishes and also working a part time job on a bar, where he can socialise and chill at the end of his shift and have a pint, while I cook every meal and do the mojority off all chores to be done while looking after my daughter making sure all her needs are met! Iv got no one who listens my partner simply says I am lucky to have him as he could leave then I would truly be a singal mum, everyone says “aw it gets easier” I think that is just a lie because people don’t want to help they just want you to be happy and supportive ALL the time, I am really struggling today so I searched for other moms feeling this way, and found this post, I guess I just needed to write this all down and get I out of my head, any advice or support would be greatly appreciated xx

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Teresa perez

I am a single mother of 6 well behaved kid, ages17,15,13,12,4&4 that are in my custody 100% of the time. I am self employed and work between 40-80 hours a week and still struggle to stay on top of my bills. I dole out chores and expect to come home to a clean house but once I am home I take over and do the laundry, cook homemade meals, wash dishes and find time to sit and talk with my kids. What I did to cope was sat down and made a list of my priorities which included raising respectful hard working healthy kids, have my house presentable, have clean clothes, and bills paid. Not really hard once you prioritize. We can only do so much, be realistic in your goals but don’t expect too much or you will set yourself up for disappointment. Don’t compare yourself to others. I am very high energy and I know that I get more done than some others can because of this, there are others that do way more than I do but I know I am not up to it. Just set your mind on doing the main things and everything else will be ok

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