I am a Mom, Can I Quit Now?

Image via Flickr/smoorenburg
Image via Flickr/smoorenburg

We had just wrapped up a holiday weekend, and a long summer break.  My husband got to take several weeks of paid vacation off over the summer, during which time he did the complete opposite of what he does every other week of the year: he slept in, watched SportsCenter reruns, worried about what was for dinner all day long, and lounged around some more.

Call me bitter, but after 15 years at this motherhood gig I can say I have ‘been there, done that.”  So, when do I get to quit? 

Me?  Not so lucky.  While I was dreaming of a summer break (for me and my minivan), I was still living the same old life of cleaning up cookie crumbs, sweeping the floors, vacuuming, doing dishes, cooking dinner, grocery shopping, turning laundry, trying to fit in a shower, chauffeuring children everywhere they had to go, waking up early to get a few minutes of quiet, umpiring arguments, wiping away tears, balancing guilt with pride, and pulling my graying hair out by the roots.  You know… the ‘mom thing'?!

The reality is that motherhood is not a job that you ever get a break from.  Some of my friends who DID take vacations over the summer came home from those vacations more exhausted than they were when they left.  Why?  Because even in a hotel room, or a pool side cabana, they were still mama.  Still on call.  Still the go-to person for anyone who needed their butt wiped, or who was hungry. 

Call me bitter, but after 15 years at this motherhood gig I can say I have ‘been there, done that.”  So, when do I get to quit?  When do I get to retire?  When do I get to take a ‘real' vacation where I can do the exact opposite of the things that I do every single darn day of the year?  

Even when I have had the rare opportunity to enjoy an outing with my kids that involved sitting waterside and soaking up rays, I certainly couldn't take my eyes off the kids because I just knew the moment I started reading a book one of them would choke on water and drown and then I would spend the rest of my life feeling awful.  When the kids and I go fishing I am so paranoid about a snake sneaking out from the tall grass and biting them on the ankle, that I seriously feel constantly on the brink of a panic attack.  

Suffice it to say – motherhood is a 24/7/365/lifetime job.  

Even if the kids are sound asleep, tucked snugly in bed, I get up during the night just to make sure they are breathing and have the covers pulled up. (And two of them are 15 now). And as cliche as it sounds, it is a reality that the moment a mother is caught relaxing or enjoying herself – the kids will do something just short of blowing up the house to shake her back to the reality that she is always ‘on call.' 

The only solution, of course, is running away to join the rodeo.  Leaving no forward address, and having my memory completely erased from my brain. (Because if I remembered my kids cute faces, laughs, giggles, and warm hugs I would never be able to leave the house).  And since this is really no solution – I will bask in the blessings of motherhood, remain ‘mama,' and spend the rest of my days loving, serving, and feeling grateful for my family while drinking copious amounts of coffee and dreaming of a real beach vacation where I have nothing to do all day but bake in the sun and listen to the ocean sing, and take long walks WITHOUT worrying that my kids are somewhere lost behind me.

Hey – a girl can dream, right?

Do you find it difficult to have time to yourself? How do you make time to relax? 

What do you think?

I am a Mom, Can I Quit Now?

Stef Daniel is the 40ish year old, experienced (meaning crazy already) mother of count ‘em…4 daughters (yes, she takes prayers) who have taught her nearly E.V.E.R.Y.T.H.I.N.G she needs to know about raising kids and staying sane. She hails from a small town in Georgia where she lives with her family in a red tin roofed house (with just ONE bathroom mind you) on a farm - with tons of animals of course. One day, due to her sheer aversion to shoes and her immense lov ... More

Tell us what you think!


  1. Profile photo of Nidha Nidha says:

    This article made me cry, I felt it was god sent, thankyou Daniel. Now I know i am not alone. I have a one beautiful 2 year old daughter and I am as paranoid as any other mom would be about her kids. I am also a full time working IT employee, after a stressful week, i am looking forward to a weekend to relax, but it seems like my job never ends, i was so upset that i can never hv a easy weekend, but after reading this,i dont know why but i feel at peace. I am at peace with the thought that my job will never end 🙂

  2. Profile photo of sayhola sayhola says:

    My son is 2.5 and baby #2 is due in November. With my husband’s “I’m going here – I’m doing this” take-me-for-granted attitude, I have decided that I will go away. A weekend in October. Still not sure where or doing what, or even with whom, but it will be my first time being away from my son overnight EVER, and with baby #2 in the wings, I’d better MAKE some “me-time” NOW, or else I’ll probably be waiting another 2-3 years! My husband still doesn’t know my plans, but this time I’m going to take-for-granted that HE will be available to hang with our darling son. 😉

  3. Profile photo of Cathleen Cathleen says:

    You know what? I dont think you ever are finished being a mother . Mothers are caregivers for life. I am 53 years old. Even though I am older and handicapped, i help watch my granddaughter. My daughter is pregnant with her second child, I worry and try to take care of her. When this second child makes his arrival. I am sure I will help with him. I have come to the conclusion I will never be finished, and if I was it would be a sad day for me, because deep down in my heart, I love it. The key is….don’t be a martyr No one is going to pin medals on us. ASK for some time. I did, and still do. When you need a break, or an hour just to relax or read, ask your husband or someone you can trust.”you have not because you ask not”

  4. Profile photo of Phammom Phammom says:

    I old be talking to my husband. Yes he deserves a brake from work but a few hours a day will not hurt him.


Get a FREE Newborn Sleep Guide when you sign up for our newsletter

By joining the EverydayFamily.com community, you will have access to our active community of mothers just like you, interactive tools, sweepstakes, free baby offers and more! You will also receive customized newsletters tailored specifically to you and special offers directly in your inbox.

Due Date or Baby's Birth Date

By clicking the "Join Now" button you are agreeing to the terms of use and privacy policy.

Send this to a friend