I’m not any everything-needs-to-be-perfect mom. I’m just a strung out WAHM who is kinda drowning a little bit.
-Allison Cooper, “When Mom Burnout is Your Reality”
Allison Cooper of Project Motherhood and I have been friends for years. Our husbands, Chris and Damany, have been best friends since high school, so we’ve known each other through pregnancies, weddings, moving days, birthdays, and now into multiple anniversaries of our 29th birthdays (haha!)
Back in November, Allison sent out an article called “When Mom Burnout is Your Reality,” and it landed in my inbox at exactly the right time. I had been diagnosed with postpartum depression after my son’s birth, I was in the middle of a full-time semester at school, and I had just finished a work conference that left me discouraged, drained, and sick.
What I loved the most about this article was that she didn’t offer solutions, try to put a positive spin on things, or hurry to explain it away. It was simple, straightforward and honest. Allison didn’t come across like she was complaining or helpless. She just wanted to put the weight of motherhood down for a second.
I appreciated that message so much, because there have been so many (mostly!) positive changes in my life lately that I haven’t had a chance to really stop and process. My grandmother passed away and my son was born within a week (I was in labor during her funeral). I started school and a research fellowship. My web design business has unexpectedly taken off, I took on more accountability with a major client, and my family and I are preparing for one of the biggest changes of our lives. It’s all mostly great, but definitely emotional and, well…it’s just a lot.
So yes, I know exactly what you mean, Allison. I am the strung out WAHM. I never have enough time. I use yoga pants as active wear, daywear, and pajamas. I order takeout wayyyyy too often. I fall asleep with my laptop in my hands. I wrap gifts in the car. I drag myself to barre at 5:30am just to try to squeeze in a workout and a little me time. My daughter is late to school three days a week and almost never turns in her homework. I am the mom, or at least, one of the many moms, that Ali was talking about who are just incredibly overwhelmed and over-mommed every single day. And in seeing that post, I was reminded of why I write this blog and why it’s so important to share our experiences. In a world driven by social media, it’s easy to think that everyone’s doing so much better than you are. Everyone’s lives seem easier, their kids seem better behaved, their houses seem cleaner. Being honest takes bravery, but it helps all of us heal. And sometimes that message comes from close to home, or far away, but I like to think it’s always at the right time.
Thank you, Ali, for blazing this motherhood trail for me. I admire you more than you know.