I know all of that. Some days I really feel it, and I drink in all the sensations that will slip away in the blink of an eye.
Today I’m tired. Today I want quiet. Today I’m overwhelmed by demands and requests and questions. Today I don’t want to feel quite so needed. I want to sit in my sunny backyard with a good book and a cup of tea and to not be interrupted. I don’t want to make another peanut butter and jelly sandwich. Today I don’t want to hear “Mama” one more time. I’m burned out, worn out, and touched out. Today I just want to be left alone.
Today I’m weary and I’m overwhelmed. Not because I’ve scheduled too much or because I can’t manage my time. I’m overwhelmed because the very act of being a parent just feels like too much on days like this. I’m tired of talking, I’m tired of the noise, and I’m tired of listening.
What I’ve come to realize is that it’s okay to feel the way I do. I don’t have to relish every moment of every day; I don’t always have to enjoy being a mama. It’s okay that I occasionally daydream about the day I’ll have a peaceful, clean house.
There are days I just don’t want to mom. That doesn’t mean I’m not a good mama. It doesn’t mean I will feel this way tomorrow, or even this afternoon. It doesn’t mean I’m not grateful for my family and my life. Some days it simply feels oppressive to be so needed.
It’s okay if you feel this way sometimes, too. Do you know that? Has anyone ever told you that the days when you feel trapped are the days you most deserve your compassion rather than your judgment? Did you know that every parent has probably felt this way at some point, even if they don’t talk about it?
I can’t tell you what to do on days like this. I have some ideas you can read here, but all of those suggestions might fall flat. Sometimes all you can do is acknowledge a hard feeling, name it, and accept it. You can even bow to it.
Today I chose a walk in the woods with my boy, knowing it might be nothing more than a slight reprieve from my feelings of burnout. Nature and the change of scenery managed, as they so often do, to create space in my heart for other emotions: joy and wonder and gratitude.
I know this day won’t last. It never does. Tomorrow is a new day, and I’ll accept what it brings. In the meantime, I’ll extend myself grace. I’ll keep moving forward, and I’ll do my best, even if it’s not very good. And when today is over I’ll go to bed knowing that someday I’ll miss this.