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by Deborah Cruz

If you have landed here tonight looking for whimsy, snark, or a mommy truism; you may want to stop reading. No, tonight is a post for me. Sometimes you just need a post where  you can get it all out of your system; where you can rage, wallow, and come out the other end a stronger, better person for surviving. That’s what this post is going to be. This is me trying not to drown. If you are a woman and you’ve ever felt swelled up, rolled, and pinched into the corner that is your life and the gravity of reality has hit you all at once like a ton of bricks, this may be a post you can relate to. If not, I am happy for you.You are dismissed…

Today, I woke up after 10 full hours of sleep. Probably the most peaceful rest I’ve had in months, truly. My sleep is about as effective and complete as my 3 year old cleaning her room.Some things may get moved around, she goes through the motions, but in the end, the effort was useless.The room is NEVER any cleaner,but there is a perceived sense of “cleaned”..but not really. Every night, I more or less pass out from exhaustion than drift off into peaceful slumber.When I do go to sleep, its that Mommy one eye open, both ears functioning like dogs, and I wake if the dog farts in another room..across the house. It’s just the way I’m built. Probably much like you. But last night was different,last night..I relaxed before bed time ( like I did before kids), I watched a movie, and a let myself “fall” into sleep. It was glorious. I always took that for granted but it really is a wonderful thing to experience. But then I woke up.

Funny thing about a full night of restful sleep.It gives your mind time to rest, relax, repair itself and, heaven forbid, in my case, think clearly.  I woke up this morning and the fog had lifted off my brain.Anyone who’s followed me for any length of time, knows my story. Quick recap; The Big Guy lives in another state Sunday through Friday ( due to work location)for the past 11 months. We (myself and my two littles) live here ( due to several external factors). He comes home on Friday nights ( this is my Christmas each and every week). It is hard. Really, really hard…on all of us.But we’ve been doing it for so long that I am on autopilot most days.Basically, living for the next Friday, the month, the year when this horrible living arrangement is over.Always, looking toward the end in sight.Worst of all; I love my husband.I honestly, truly; really love my husband and more than that I like him.

But this morning, with the fog dissipated and my brain functioning at full capacity, all of the sudden reality slapped me right across the face with the force of  freight train and I could no longer restrain myself from facing reality. I had to get it out.I tried to hold it in. After all,the Big Guy is in this same situation and I try not to let on how hard this is for me. I admit to having a mini meltdown every 3 months or so, but this was like nothing I’ve ever felt. It was overwhelming, raw pain. It was like losing someone, or something and then I realized..I am. We are being robbed of our life together. It’s NOT fair.

I guess I should tell you the whole story of this morning.I woke up fine and then, I realized it was Sunday ( which means the Big Guy is leaving..again) which normally leaves me with a knot in the pit of my stomach  but today it was like somebody stabbed me in the chest. At that very moment, I was making breakfast for the girls who have decided that they are going to refuse me everything I offer them, at least three times. And that is what cracked me. I started to tear up, I couldn’t eat because I couldn’t swallow anything with that giant lump in my throat and I walked away so the girls wouldn’t see. My emotions were overwhelming me.I was drowning.

Then lunch rolled around, I served the girls lunch..same thing.They didn’t like what it was, why did I give them this;I should know better; and they both refused again. To which, the weight was too much and I broke. I started to cry this time, part anger; part despair; part frustration. Then I went to the bathroom and I cried for what seemed like forever but I think it was more like 45 minutes.Every time, I thought I was done I’d remember one more piece of shit that was piled on my plate. Finally, I pulled it together enough to come out of the bathroom.The Big Guy was concerned and checking on me, I think he thought I was trying to escape down the toilet bowl. I felt as though I had some catharsis, crying my heart out..there in my desperately needing to be cleaned bathroom. Then I came out.

He had sent the girls to their rooms and the Big Guy was helping me take down the Christmas tree in silence and then I opened my mouth to speak. My heart was heavy, so heavy that I felt as though trying to force the words out of my mouth might choke me to death but I had to do it. He stood there in silence and listened as I fought for my life. I told him how I have no one to talk to and I’m all alone. I told him how I’ve been so busy trying to be strong for everyone else that I’ve neglected to deal with my own feelings. I opened up about how hard this is on me and the girls. How they are acting out in anger to the situation.They are hurt, they are confused. I explained how I feel like a failure as a mother because I am so tired, and so busy and always patching just to get by instead of nurturing because it’s all I can do to get by from one day to the next. I told him how I am overwhelmed by never having enough money because we are living in separate places, leading separate lives. I told home how much that bothers me. I told him how I feel like a failure at my dreams because its just one more thing that I don’t have time for. I feel like I am not utilizing my opportunities in a way I am supposed to. I see my friends, my age, achieving their goals, managing their families, making head way on their dreams…I feel like I am banging my head on a wall..a brick wall…falling short in every single category. On top of all that, the thing that I think actually made the weight too much to bear, the plans we had to be together this summer has been put on hold. We had a place to stay but now that choice is no longer an option (one of the reasons I hate putting my happiness in the hands of others). So now, the end in sight that has kept me going all these months..is gone. This was too much today. This broke me..but only for a day.

I’ve got it all off my chest,I cried, I screamed, I raged and now,I am moving on. Just one more thing I feel like a failure at, I am always positive. I am a half full type of girl. I always believe that everything is possible through hard work and determination and I truly believe that. I do, with all my heart, but my problem is I haven’t been acknowledging the situation. I’ve been so busy getting through it that I’ve not been dealing with it. This is me, feeling sorry for myself…for 24 hours, acknowledging, admitting that it is HARD, sucking it up and moving on. I will not be defeated. This situation has not broken me, as I first thought; it has bent me, it has rattled me and I will move forward stronger with an ever greater determination. I make my own success and happiness; that is what I am focusing on. I will tread water until I regain my strength to swim, but I will not drown.

Have you ever felt like you were overwhelmed in your life? In motherhood? How do you deal with it? What do you do to get over the hurdles of motherhood and life?

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BalancingMama (Julie) 2011/01/10 - 3:59 am

Wow, amazing post. You are so real. I could feel your pain. I admire you for your hard work. You are an awesome mother and wife. Sending happy thoughts for your future – may you guys be joined together M-Su again soon!

Truthful Mommy 2011/01/10 - 12:37 pm

Thanks for your kind words.Thank you for saying I am a good mother and wife. That means a lot to me. I know that we will find a way to make it through this valley of our lives and I know for certain that we will become stronger for this.It is the moving through it that has taken its toll. But I have gotten it off my chest and am moving forward:)

Shell 2011/01/10 - 4:59 am

I can’t imagine how hard that would be.

I get like that sometimes, though: I let things build up and build up and then I finally break down, sobbing and pouring out every little thing that has been going wrong.

A good cry helps, as does talking to a friend.


Truthful Mommy 2011/01/10 - 12:40 pm


Thanks for the understanding. I think we all have days like this , occasionally. I’m used to being overwhelmed but not having the time and energy to think about that, there in lies my fatal flaw of the day:) Who knew the price of that restful night of sleep.

You are right the cry did help.I feel like a weight has been lifted, just by having said the words out loud.


Jenni Chiu 2011/01/10 - 5:25 am

Did you know that the trees that have knots, and grow in several twisty different directions, are much harder to knock down than the ones that grow straight up? Did ya know?
I’m so sorry that things are so hard right now… and I know the feeling of being “pinned”, just functioning instead of thriving. These “raw” moments are what make us knotty and twisty… and ultimately stronger.
You are so amazing.
That is all.

Truthful Mommy 2011/01/10 - 12:44 pm


I love the way you explain it, it makes the pain almost poetic.

Thank you for being such a great friend.You always know how to make me see the positive in a crap situation.

I guess we’ve got our twisted knottiness and strength in common. You are one of the strongest women I know, my friend.


John 2011/01/10 - 10:32 am

Oh my, I had no idea. That has to be incredibly hard. But it’s important you told your husband. Sometimes just acknowledging is the first step and getting off your chest. The question now is how do you both together start to solve it. I wish I could help or have some magical words. All I have is that I do care, and others do care.

Truthful Mommy 2011/01/10 - 12:46 pm


Thanks for your sympathy.It is hard but it is what we must do to get to the next part of our life. Its a great job and I am so happy that he has a job that he can thrive at and enjoy.The next step is figuring the living situation out.I need to refocus on the positive and thank God that we have such a strong marriage and love one another so much.

Andrea 2011/01/10 - 1:45 pm

I can totally empathize with your situation. My husband spent two years working in Afghanistan…coming home every 3-4 months for a few weeks at a time. We have one daughter.

It was terrible. The first year was truly the worst. The one thing we had going for us was that we knew it was only for 2 years and actually had a count down date.

But there were times when I felt much like you did/do. Things were never going to change, I was living in a state of WAIT. Everything was about the next trip home and then when he was home we were acutely aware that we only had 21 dinner together, 21 nights together, 2 full weekends and then the weekend he’d have to leave. Time was our enemy and also our friend. Mostly though, time was a nasty bitch sneering at us from the corner.

One thing that helped, greatly, was Skype. We video chatted nearly every single day that he was in Kabul. And we planned far ahead in advance for activities we’d do when he got home so that we’d have something to look forward to.

Eventually this time in your lives will pass and you’ll live together again, as a family. You’ll actually get to a point where you’ll be able to take Saturday night for granted.

But in the mean time know that you’re NOT alone. Many of us have to stand up and pretend we’re stronger then we are, we pretend to suck it up and take it in stride. And we all cry out of frustration and lonliness and exhaustion.

Keep writing and we’ll keep reading.

Truthful Mommy 2011/01/10 - 6:04 pm


We are kindred spirits. I am sorry that this is the bond that ties us, but I am glad to have someone to understand. Your words have landed on listening ears and you have helped to soothe my soul.Thank you so much for reading.

TheJugglingAct (Belinda) 2011/01/10 - 3:45 pm

I’m so sorry that you and your family are going through this rough patch right now. My girlfriend went through the same thing for almost 2 years before they were finally able to rent out their house in MI and find another one to rent in TN.
It puts my life in perspective. My husband leaves very early (3:30 a.m.) every morning and comes home exhausted every night around 7 pm. We only get Sunday with him and it never seems like enough. However, we do have him for an hour each night before he falls into bed and he’s with me while we sleep. I’ll remember to stay more positive about what I do have.
Bless you and try to stay strong.

Truthful Mommy 2011/01/10 - 6:10 pm

Don’t minimalize your own sacrifices. You too are a very strong woman. Having your husband gone most of the day, must be hard. BUt as you said, at least you have that touchstone each night.I used to be the woman who would freak out if my husband had ANY travel but now,well….I’m certainly cured of that:)LOL Travel would be a welcome relief to our norm. It will pass. I just had to rage a bit:)
Thanks for reading.

Peggy 2011/01/10 - 5:19 pm

Oh, Deb. I am so sorry you had that big dive to the bottom of the pit yesterday. I have taken that dip a couple of times myself. Hang in there. I know it is so hard to rationalize him working a job to support a life that you are not currently living together. I did the same thing when we were separated for a short period of time. A little thing that someone mentioned passingly really helped me. I had to remember how important it was to my husband that he support and provide for his family. When he wasn’t, he was depressed and miserable. Therefore, I was depressed and miserable. Just as it was my life’s focus to care for our family, it was as important to him to provide for it. When I looked at it like that, I knew it would be okay. We would make it through the temporary situation and be back together. You guys will too. I am so sorry it is taking so long. Thinking of you!

Truthful Mommy 2011/01/10 - 6:18 pm


Thanks and I know it is easier when I think of it in those terms. Rationally, I know this will pass. I know that it is necessary..right now. But sometimes, rationale loses out to my heart and yesterday, my heart was hurting.Today,Im doing much better) Thanks for the sweet thoughts!

Sasha 2011/01/10 - 5:25 pm

Oh sweetie pie, my heart is hurting for you. I wish I had some awesome words of wisdom, but you read my blog. All I have is snark. I’ll spare you my snark.

I hope that you guys are able to work something better out. And soon. You need your husband. I know I sure as hell need mine.

Truthful Mommy 2011/01/10 - 6:21 pm

Yes, indeed, I do need my husband. I hope that there is an end to this situation …soon. I am much better for having raged.I’m just praying we are int eh same zip code again before I have to have another breakdown:)

parentingadabsurdum 2011/01/10 - 6:34 pm

Oh Missy, I so hear you. I had that feeling in the pit of my stomach all last week – sick kids, traveling husband. Usually the best thing for me is a bit of mama-only time – but I know that’s hard for you to get. A bath, a book, a glass (bottle of wine)? Sending you big hugs.

Truthful Mommy 2011/01/10 - 6:45 pm


Thanks so much. Sometimes a glass of wine or hot soak can make the world of difference..I think its been so long since I’ve even had time to stop and think about whats been going on that when I did…it was just too much , too fast.I guess that will teach me to get a full nights rest:)LOL

Don’t worry about me. I am doing much better today. I just needed to get it all out.I did and I’m good for another few months:)LOL

Good things have got to be around my bend: Thanks for the hugs!


Melanie 2011/01/10 - 1:44 pm

I could feel your pain. I understand completely. Here if you ever need an ear. I have been a life coach for women for many years. I understand the frustrations, hurts, fears of being alone. Your not alone my dear. Share away…it helps to get it out of the way, and then YOU will help yourself by getting out of your own way. Email and I will explain.

Truthful Mommy 2011/01/10 - 6:02 pm


Thanks for your kind thoughts and encouragement!

sarah 2011/01/10 - 7:12 pm

What keeps you where you are instead of moving with him?

Truthful Mommy 2011/01/10 - 7:46 pm

He was originally at a contract job, which would have made NO sense to move. Right AFTER school started, he got this permanent job. It’s pretty much impossible to get into a good school after the school year has started not to mention we had already pulled our little girl out of of a school last year ( due to a job).
He was living in corporate housing in a very small town. Now he is commuting from an hour away.It doesn’t make sense to leave or house and move in someone else’s house.We can’t afford 2 mortgages between all the gas money for commuting and our current mortgage. This is the only way it can work.
I’m praying the house sells quickly in the spring so we can be in the same house:) Right now, its not possible.

Renee 2011/01/10 - 8:09 pm

Talking to your husband was the best thing you did. And crying. Because we all need to do that. It is cleansing. And then? You were able to stand up, shake it off and look ahead.
I send my best wishes to you that things move the right way. Until then, deep breaths and make room for smiles at every chance.

Truthful Mommy 2011/01/10 - 8:18 pm


A woman after my own heart! Lots of deep breaths. It was very cathartic to cry and get it all out of me. I am ready to move forward.

Pamela 2011/01/10 - 3:27 pm

I bet it felt good to unleash. I know that as the mother, we’re supposed to be strong and never fail at anything. Our worries are bottled up until one day, someone is able to remove the lid and we come splashing out.

For me, I work and my husband stays home with our 3 kids (2 of them after school). My husband goes to school at night. He will graduate at the end of this year, hopefully, and get a job so I can stay home. I’m jealous of him. All the I could do this, that and the other, while at home. But no, I juggle it all while also earning a paycheck.

I started running. It’s free therapy and it has worked wonders for me. This is my escape, every other day for 30 minutes.

Truthful Mommy 2011/01/10 - 6:06 pm

The emptying of my soul was definitely cathartic, as well as exhausting. When you hold stuff in that long, it clouds your world. It dulls the taste of the joy in your world. I was glad to let it go.

I do workout daily and that helps to clear my mind but only for a bit.I have to accept that this i my reality for a little while longer.But I am certain that once we move past this hurdle, life will seem that much sweeter together:)

Thank you.

happyfamilytravels 2011/01/10 - 8:40 pm

So glad you finally let it all out. Sending good thoughts your way and hoping all your wishes work out just the way you want or even better than you could imagine!!!

Truthful Mommy 2011/01/10 - 9:07 pm

Very sweet of you to say. I think you have the right idea. I do hope things turn out even better than I am hoping for in the end.Thanks fort he positive words.

Leigh Ann 2011/01/10 - 4:38 pm

First off, your family is gorgeous. What cute little girls.

I’m so sorry you are having to deal with this and I can’t imagine how hard it is. I get bogged down sometimes trudging through the day trying to manage 3 under 3, but it seems like a mere inconvenience compared to what you are struggling with.

I have to remind my husband that it’s ok for me to get down sometimes, it’s ok for me to cry, and it’s ok for me to outright lose it sometimes. It’s how I work through it all. I just need a good cry, some time to think, then I can come back hopefully fresh with a new outlook: I have a great husband, 3 beautiful, healthy girls, and life won’t always be this tough.

Here’s a virtual hug!

Truthful Mommy 2011/01/10 - 6:12 pm

Leigh Ann,

I completely agree. I just needed to rage and buck and feel my pain for a minute. I am back up to about 75% unicorns and rainbows today:) I know this is temporary sometimes ,w hen your in the middle, it feel like forever…sorta like high school:)LOL

Thanks for the encouraging words and virtual hugs!


blueviolet 2011/01/10 - 10:20 pm

When you get it out like that, it really does help you feel better. I hate that you were hurting so much, but I’m glad you got some of that out!!!!!

Truthful Mommy 2011/01/11 - 3:17 am

Thank you. You are exactly right! SOmetimes you need to reboot:)

Bruna 2011/01/11 - 1:37 am

Oh, my friend, you had me in tears with post. I wanted nothing but to reach through the screen and hug you! You are such an amazing friend, Mother, wife and writer. You are so full of life and love. It’s not good keeping it all in and trying to tough it all out for everyone without considering your own feelings. So good you talked to Hubs about it.

I’ve felt like you before but for different reasons. There are days when I wake up miserable and days when I wake up happier than ever. I think it’s pretty and moreso considering the situation you’re in right now. I would find it equally as challenging to be doing it alone through the week. You’ve got a good man. You are a wonderful woman. Together you have a beautiful little family. For that, you are truly blessed. Stay strong my friend! You deserve all the happiness in the world!

Truthful Mommy 2011/01/11 - 3:19 am


Thanks for the love. I am truly blessed.I do have a wonderful husband and two healthy, beautiful daughters. That is all that really matters,a ll the rest is unimportant.

Thank you for being such a wonderful friend.


Lydia 2011/01/11 - 1:39 am

Im really sorry sweetie, that you’ve had to go through all this-but know that all of us trying to do it all have moments when the world feels like it’s falling apart. You’ve had a lot on your shoulders and that moment was well deserved. But I also know that you’re a super star & this too shall pass- hopefully it’s all sorted out soon. xx

Truthful Mommy 2011/01/11 - 3:22 am


Thanks sweetie. I know it shall pass. I also know that I am not the only one who is in this situation, and more and more with each passing day thanks to this crap economy. Lucky for me, I have such an incredible community and they always envelope me with love and support.

Thanks for the love.


Nicole @MTDLBlog 2011/01/11 - 2:21 am

You posted what many of us have felt at one time or another. What I like about it, is you choose the positive. You choose to have your moment, as you should! And then pick yourself up, dust yourself off and begin again. You choose to be half-full most of the time but recognize that a day of emotion is sometimes just warranted. You have to let it out, to find the strength to move forward. We are similar in that right.

Tomorrow’s a new day. You will find your way no doubt and see these tougher days as a distant memory.

Hugs from another Mom who has SO been in your shoes 😉

Truthful Mommy 2011/01/11 - 3:23 am


Thank you so much for your kind words. I am so blessed to have so much in my life. It makes me feel guilty to complain but you are right, some days we just need to break down, pick ourselves up and continue on. Yesterday was that day.

Hugs, my friend!

Christan/MamaBearPing 2011/01/11 - 7:45 pm

I really appreciated this post. My husband was deployed for 15 months so I know how hard separation can be.

What I appreciate most about this post, is that you LIKE your husband. You like having him around. You like being with him.

I’ll hope and pray for you that the schedule changes and your family will get family time more often.

Truthful Mommy 2011/01/11 - 7:51 pm

Thank you for your words. I have found a new understanding for military wives and single mothers through this period in our lives. Not that I didn’t have one before, I just had no clue how hard it actually was to experience.Now, I know and I have a great respect for these women.

I really do like my husband.He is my best friend. I tell him everything about everything.That is the hardest part of this entire situation;missing our conversations and his support.
Thank you for reading! And thank you for your prayers and kind thoughts.

purseblogger 2011/01/12 - 10:16 pm

Oh girl, I love you! I cannot imagine how hard it is for you both. You are an amazing wife and mother, and friend. I am here for you anytime you need me. Please know that. xoxo

Truthful Mommy 2011/01/13 - 2:52 am


Thanks! And you know that goes both ways!

Holly W 2011/01/13 - 12:26 am

I absolutely couldn’t imagine not having my husband right here with me..he is my rock…and I can’t even think of the pain and stress you must feel not having him with you…
I would only say that I imagine this is how it is for the livlihood of your family…work is needed and we have to go where the work is…to the detriment of the family life…which is horrible…because then what happens to family life? Obviously your girls are acting out in the only way they know how…
I feel for you..I won’t say I know how you feel…but I feel your pain…and I’m sorry…
life isn’t fair…
in fact…it’s a shit sandwich sometimes…

Truthful Mommy 2011/01/13 - 2:55 am


Thank you for the sympathy. It is indeed a shit sandwich but I just have to believe that we go through this so that we come out the other end as better, stronger people!
We will find a way to make this work until we can be together. He is my best friend and my rock and he knows that.His absence is definitely felt by all of us.

You are certainly right, life is not fair but I also know that we are never given more than we can handle:) At least that’s what I choose to believe.

Family Salmagundi 2011/01/17 - 5:16 pm

Wow! Thanks for this. I needed a little solidarity today.

My husband has always traveled off and on for work but is in the middle of an intense travel schedule. This week is the 12th out of 18 that he’s been gone, next week will be 13 out of 19, and I don’t even know what will happen after that. There is, hopefully, an end to it, out there somewhere. After reading this I wish I’d taken an hour or two this weekend to cry on the bathroom floor, but I was trying very hard not to unload on him. This isn’t what he wants either.

I just found your blog today and am adding it to my RSS feed. Love your honesty.

Truthful Mommy 2011/01/17 - 5:29 pm

Thank you so much for your kind words. I am so sorry that you are having to go through this. It is very difficult. I normally have a breakdown about every 3 months.That’s apparently my threshold:) It really helps to cry it out, blog it out, rage and just get the weight of the world off your shoulders! Here’s hoping and praying that both of us get some respite soon. Hugs, my friend.

Dara P. 2011/01/17 - 9:38 pm

I feel like this often and my husband NEVER leaves town for work! I think as moms we are all struggling to find balance between giving our children all they need and deserve without completely losing ourselves in the process. This is a daily struggle that just boils over sometimes. There is no perfect- most of the time it seems I settle for ” good enough” but it’ s the quest for that harmony that keeps me going. And keeps me crazy. I think you just gotta let it out every now and then. Those sort of outbursts/ breakdowns usually scare/ completely freak out our husbands enough that they start to truly understand and sympathize our plights. Or at least they’ ll take the kids to the park. Once. For an hour. Throw in an unsolicited garbage take out and that might sustain a mom for awhile anyway. It is just going to straight up suck sometimes and that’s okay.

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