Parenting

Can busy moms find balance in life?

Katie’s counting down to the end of a very long week (and developing an even greater appreciation for juggling mamas everywhere).

Photo by leedsn/iStockphoto

I’m about to say something I rarely ever say. It will be shocking to some, sure, but I feel like I need to admit it. Okay, are you ready? Here goes.

I’m tired. Really tired.

What did you think it was going to be?!

I say that it’s a confession, because, more often than not, I get so focused on the tasks at hand that I don’t really notice. And if I do notice, I’m not one to admit to the tiredness at every turn. I don’t want to hear “You do too much” or “Well, stop worrying about having such a clean apartment” or “You’re going to burn out.” I know all of these things. That’s why, if you call my house past 9:00 p.m., you will get Blaine, with sports or The West Wing reruns on in the background, or our voicemail. My head hits the pillow not long after Soph’s.

But last week our Soph had her worst bout of teething yet. She refused to take a bottle, because the sucking action hurt her wee mouth, so we had to get creative to keep the milk in her. We fed her from the side of a bottle, we tried those little plastic pill-dispensing cups, and we mixed entire bottles with cereal and spoon-fed her. She was fine by Saturday, but we had a number of restless nights in a row and I haven’t caught up yet. We’re also in the final crunch for our August issue, so the days are packed with finishing pages — everyone in our office breathes a collective sigh of relief when we send a magazine (seriously, you can actually feel it in the air when the stories leave our hands). That should be enough to justify being tired, I guess, but of course I added daily training runs or workouts for my September half-marathon, too. I know I could cut these out, but the exercise actually makes me feel invigorated for the day (not to mention it’s really the only time I know I’ll have just for me) and I don’t want to lose out on that.

Here’s the part I do need to address, though. When I get into bed at night, I need to figure out a way to stop the constant whir in my brain. You know that scene in I Don’t Know How She Does It where Sarah Jessica Parker is making lists while lying in bed? That’s me. I’m thinking about task after task, with subcategories for work, home, Soph and Blaine. If something worrisome is happening on top of everything (or, let’s be honest, if I find something to worry about on top of everything), it gets its own category. This goes for exciting stuff, too. One of my best friends had a baby last night (welcome to Christopher and congratulations to Leigh-Anne and Ray!), so I was lying in bed trying to figure out when I can go visit and what I can make for her freezer. Yes, I probably would have been better equipped to make a decision on those things this morning, but I just don’t work that way.

So, I’m tired. It gives me a new appreciation for my mom, and so many other moms, who juggle better than any court jester out there. My mom had four kids and a career, always had a home-cooked supper on the table (though my dad helped, too) and sat on the school board. She was a busy mama but I never felt like she wasn’t there. I admire that. I should ask her if she lied awake at night making the mental lists, too — maybe it’s hereditary. If it is — Soph, baby, I’m really sorry. But hopefully the work ethic comes with it, so you’ll be alright.

I’m counting down the minutes to bedtime tonight. Fridays are my off days for training, so I’ll get to sleep in a little. Sophie, if you sleep through the night tonight, I promise to take your request for a pony when you’re six or a car when you’re 16 into consideration.

Second shocking confession of the day: I need caffeine. Now. Signing off.