When ‘Having it All’ Makes You Exhausted

Mom works at computer with babies on her lap
Image via Flickr/ rancun76

5:00 a.m.  Wake up.

5:15 a.m.  Go to the gym for a workout.

6:00 a.m. Get home and hop in the shower.

6:30 a.m.  Eat breakfast while half ironing the shirt you're going to wear to work today, give up halfway through and throw in the dryer on permanent press (after you pull the load of laundry still in the dryer out).

6:45 a.m.  Make and set out lunches, backpacks, diaper bags, and travel bags for all members of the family.

7:00 a.m.  Wake up your brood and shovel breakfast down their throats as you get each of their hair tamed as they eat (a little hair in the cereal — a casualty of the morning crazy).

7:15 a.m.  Find rogue shoe, homework, and Baby's favorite binky to send to daycare with Baby.

7:30 a.m.  Brush teeth, wash faces, and dry tears (if they happen to be your tears today, you’ll need to reapply makeup).

7:45 a.m.  Head out the door and make four stops for drop-offs before you make it to work. (Dry a few more tears and manage meltdowns on the way.)

8:39 a.m.  Arrive at work (nine minutes late).

11:30 a.m.  Take an early lunch to drive home and get soccer permission slip and drop off at son's school.

12:36 p.m.  Arrive back at work six minutes late with a ketchup stain on your freshly ironed/tumble-dried shirt from your fast food burger that negates your morning workout.

5:00 p.m.  Leave work and pick up children. Listen to them tell you how starving they are in the car while waiting for their brother to finish soccer practice, which has run over by 6 minutes and 37.4 seconds.

5:45 p.m.  Arrive home and realize in the morning bustle you failed to defrost your meat for dinner. Grab a frozen pizza instead. Throw together a salad to make it healthy.

5:46 p.m.  Kids tell you they’re starving and can't possibly wait for dinner.

5:47 p.m.  Let them have a snack to “hold them over.”

6:10 p.m.  Dinner is ready.

6:15 p.m.  Husband arrives home, dinner is on the table, kids are now “not hungry,” and don't touch their dinner. 

7:00 p.m.  Help with homework and referee for bickering siblings.

While society places ever more pressure on women to “have it all” and look good doing it. I say have what you choose, and love your choice.

7:30 p.m. Bath me for kids.

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8:00 p.m.  Read bedtime stories, brush teeth, comb hair (they're all miraculously hungry again).

8:30 p.m.  Kids in bed.

8:31 p.m.  Clean up kitchen from dinner, pick up toys, and fold that load of laundry you took out of the dryer earlier. Realize today was Wednesday and that your daughter missed dance class.

9:30 p.m.  Sit down for a moment and get “that look” from your husband. Promise if he will get up in the night with the baby that it's a deal!

10:00 p.m.  Get to the work you brought home to finish.

11:30 p.m.  Lie in bed thinking about all the things you should have done that you didn't get to and that Pinterest project your daughter wanted for school. Consider “If I fall asleep right now, I could get 5½ hours of sleep!”

Sound a little too familiar? Make you tired just thinking about it? I really don't think this is what feminists had in mind when they started the women's liberation movement. But yet, here we are — spread incredibly thin, exhausted, trying to have it all.

The idea that a woman could have and be whatever she chose didn't mean to choose it all. I think we have become so focused on having what the women before us didn't that we've forgotten to enjoy what we have. The key is to find joy in your choice!

To me, NOT “having it all” has meant having more time for what I want to focus on. I chose to have children, and for me, that means that I am willing to stay home and devote the majority of my own time to raising them. Do I give up other things? ABSOLUTELY! I have to. I've realized that while I may be able to choose more, that when I overload my plate, I am not happy, and my kids are not happy with a mom who's unhappy. I'm doing a disservice to us all.

So, while society places even more pressure on women to “have it all” and look good doing it, I say have what you choose and love your choice. If you choose something and you don’t love it, re-evaluate and make it work for you and your family.

After all, The Walking Dead is about zombies — not exhausted mommies.

What have you prioritized and why? What have you had to just say no to?

What do you think?

When ‘Having it All’ Makes You Exhausted

Jeanna Strassburg is a wife, and mother of three, who enjoys kitchen dance parties and summer time! Jeanna received her bachelor’s degree in Education from Brigham Young University-Idaho in April of 2007. She enjoys spending her time cooking, cleaning and tending to the proper duties of a stay at home mother… NOPE! Truthfully, she enjoys eating the food, but not making it or cleaning up after it. She likes to have a clean home, but loathes laundry and dishes. Loves her children, but coul ... More

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2 comments

  1. Julie says:

    I have a son who is 19 months, I work part time, receiving my bachelors degree in child psychology and starting my masters in the fall! My husband is a painter/handy man so he is not home as often as I would like him to be!! I get up at 6 am take a shower, eat, get ready for work, get the bag ready for the babysitter, he wakes up, I feed him, take him to the sitter, go to work, pick him up from the sitter, come home cook dinner and do homework and taking breaks in between to play and spend time with my son! am exhausted by the end of the night but you know I would not trade it for anything in the world!!

  2. jennifier33 says:

    This is why I’m looking for a new job. Trying to do everything for work and take care of my son is killing me.

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