The Work at Home Mom Blues

I am no Donna Reed. I hate to clean. I don’t greet my husband at the door with his pipe and a glass of brandy. Dinner is rarely on the table. And I sure as hell don’t wear pearls.

But there is something about this 1950’s housewife stereotype that I just can’t shake? I know that all of this is not expected of me from the husbter. If I know all of this, why am I pushing this on myself?

I am finding myself getting incredibly mad at me when things aren’t done. When the sink is full of dirty dishes. When the laundry is still sitting in the basket. When the toys are all over the floor. When dinner is no where close to being on the table.

I am beating myself up inside while trying to appear to be “keeping it together” on the outside.

The only one who has these high expectations of me is me. The hubster doesn’t even bat an eye. He gets it. He knows that I do what I can during the day while spending time with the kids.

So why am I doing this to myself?

I truly had some lofty goals for myself going into this whole stay at home mom business. In actuality, I am not just a stay at home mom. I work. I work a lot. I work hard. It’s difficult to find a balance {what’s that?} in working, raising a family, keeping a home, and staying sane.

Unfortunately, I feel like my sanity is suffering. It’s all starting to become too much. I can’t do it all. This past weekend, I gave myself a free pass. A free pass to say it’s ok that it’s not all done. It will be there tomorrow {and the next day and the next day}. I gave myself a free pass to say “F it” and do what I wanted {but not really, but kind of}.

And because of that., I am drowning. I am running an even faster rat race to get it all done.

Why do we do this to ourselves?

Why do we run ourselves ragged to do what we think is expected of us?

When trying to keep all of these balls in the air, we are the ones who suffer. We are the ones who lose out.

So why?

If you can answer that question, please enlighten me. I would love you forever!


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  1. I am so there with you! I’ve gone through this many times {and still do}. When I am feeling overwhelmed, I try to disconnect for a few days, not put pressure on myself. For some reason woman think we have to do it all…and it’s ok to take a break 🙂

  2. I have so been there and done that. It’s just in our nature to think we have to do it all. So maybe take a little break for some just you time…time to re-group if you will 🙂

  3. I wish I knew the answer. I know all that matter is that we are all happy and healthy. Messes can wait. But I, too, put the pressure on myself to do it all.

    Those 1950 wives might have looked like they had it all together and did it all, but I wonder… were they really happy?

  4. I have put a lot of pressure on myself, too. The best thing I did for myself was ask my husband what his expectations were. One of the main reasons I quit my job (very recently) was because I couldn’t be the mom I wanted to be and I couldn’t take care of the house the way it needed. Surprisingly, he told me he just wanted me to be happy. When I got the “ok” to let some things slide every now and then, the pressure on myself came off, too. Hang in there! And figure out a way to take a minute for yourself- you aren’t being selfish at all! You can’t do this job if you don’t take care of yourself first!

  5. I stopped trying to “do it all”. Now I just do enough. I make sure we have clean clothes, meals to eat and dishes to eat off of. That we don’t stick to the floor when we walk and that the litter box smell doesn’t take over the house. I have a bin I keep in the living room to throw toys in and hope that the house is somewhat presentable. Dinner some night may be grilled cheese and tomato soup. But thats okay too! Hang in there!

  6. It’s hard to let go but you have to try. Things aren’t always going to get done and you won’t always be able to have it all together but if at the end of the day I got 75% of my list done then I’m proud. My husband is like yours and knows I do my best which helps. Also, taking a few days to say f it is fine to me, we are full time at home so some days you need a vacation day. I take a lazy day once every week or two. I hope you find your balance!

  7. Remember there will always be clothes to wash, and dishes to do. I say take to 30min cleaning breaks a day what doesn’t get done doesn’t get done but don’t beat yourself up over it. Best advice I was ever given was when I was lucky enough to be home with Lexie is to not miss out on the time with her! In my eyes you are def a WAHM not SAHM!

  8. It’s impossible to do it all. don’t be so hard on yourself. When I start to feel overwhelmed I try to take a step back and evaluate priorities. Then, I start crossing things off my list that aren’t truly important to the well being of my family.

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  10. Hi Steph,
    Here’s a poem for you! Hopefully, it helps you not beat yourself up for not being on top of it all and feel good about your priorities.

    Babies Don’t Keep

    Mother, O’ Mother, come shake out your cloth,
    Empty the dustpan, poison the moth.
    Hang out the washing, make up the bed,
    Sew on a button and butter the bread.

    Where is the mother whose house is so shocking?
    She’s up in the nursery, blissfully rocking.

    Oh, I’ve grown as shiftless as Little Boy Blue,
    Lullaby, rockaby, lullaby loo.
    Dishes are waiting and bills are past due,
    Pat-a-cake, darling, and peek – peekaboo.

    The shopping’s not done and there’s nothing for stew,
    And out in the yard there’s a hullabaloo.
    But I’m playing Kanga and this is my Roo.
    Look! Aren’t his eyes the most wonderful hue?
    Lullaby, rockaby, lullaby loo.

    The cleaning and scrubbing can wait till tomorrow,
    But children grow up, as I’ve learned to my sorrow.
    So quiet down cobwebs; Dust go to sleep!
    I’m rocking my baby and babies don’t keep.

    ~ Ruth Hulbert Hamilton

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