It seems like I hit a wall every night around 9 pm. I sit down for the first time of the day, and I start to veg on a little TV with my husband. MasterChef lately if you really want to know. That’s when the exhaustion sets in nightly. It’s the time of the day when I think how could it possibly be true. It might be a day where Sweet Baby J and I spent it mostly at classes where I was able to get a break from running around or a day he’s spent with yaya, but I’m still exhausted. It made me think. What is it about the millennial moms exhaustion that is different than the moms before us. I mean we’ve all heard about how tired our parents were over the years, but we also remember our parents enjoying weekly Bunco nights. How did they have the energy for that but sometimes I rarely feel like I have the energy to lift my wine glass?
1. We’re overscheduled.
The truth is that we’re told our kids need to learn a foreign language, musical instrument, or dance before they reach school age. We’re told that our kids won’t get ahead in life if they aren’t given the best opportunities. This means that we inevitably overschedule ourselves and our kids. Sweet Baby J had 2 classes a week in July, and that was rough. They were scheduled on back-to-back days. We spent Wednesdays enjoying music class and then Thursdays we had swim lessons. Now, I’ll admit the swim lessons were a necessity. Sweet Baby J hates getting his hair wet in the bathtub so we needed a way for that to get easier and swim classes did the trick. Music class is more for fun. These classes last approximately 45-1 hour and they’re exhausting. He’s busy running around the entire class, and I’m busy chasing him. He takes a 3-hour nap after class, and I take at least an hour myself. This is why there is so much focus now on bringing back free play, but we don’t want our children to be behind. How do you stop yourself from overscheduling yourself and your children?
We have set unrealistic expectations for ourselves. We expect to be able to do #allthethings. We want to be a great wife, mother, housekeeper, and run our own business or just uphold the family budget. This is impossible. No one person can do it all. Yet, we remember our mothers doing it all. We don’t think about the fact that our entire family used to sit together stringing and breaking beans for a large canning session. We forget that our mom used the crockpot like it was her best friend. We fail to remember the nights when dinner was easy because mom just didn’t have time. We have set unrealistic expectations for ourselves based on nostalgia. A nostalgia our own parents won’t remember the same, because it didn’t always happen the way we remember it. We see the best in our parents versus the reality.
We no longer live close to our village and those who are in our village often tell us we use technology too much. Our moms think we’re on Facebook too much. The rest of our village gives us outdated advice and doesn’t believe anything they read on the internet. How many times did someone suggest cereal in your babies bottle? What happens when you can’t call your mom at 3am over a fever? We turn to our online village or WebMD. We turn to sources of information that are there for us when no one can be reached, but it’s exhausting. We have to sift through it all and then feel guilty for using it. We also end up feeling exhausted, because we don’t have grandma next door to help babysit when we need 5 minutes to take a shower. My mom was pretty lucky there. Each and every one of us are running ourselves ragged trying to keep up with what’s going on in the world and not finding much relief from our own children. We love our babies dearly, but even YOU need a break.
It’s not easy being a mom in an age when all the information you need is at your fingertips. It’s not easy being a mom when your village is far away. It’s not easy being a mom when you’re exhausted. One of the things I love to focus on is making sure that we are doing things because we want to do them and they are important to our family unit. I do this by building my family mission statement. Click below to build yours.