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Wanted~ Mommy Life preserver

by Deborah Cruz

Lately, I’ve been feeling like I am drowning…as only a mother can. If you are a mother, I am sure that you have at one point been acquainted with this feeling. If not….go you!I am feeling overwhelmed by responsibility and exhaustion.Caught somewhere between who I was and who I am becoming. Having slight issue with relinquishing the idea of the person I will never be. I am trying desperately to keep my head above water but I keep going under and swallowing salt while trying desperately to suck in air.. My arms are flailing and my feet are kicking furiously, fighting to make it until the next life preserver can be thrown out to me.I’m working harder than I’ve ever worked for something more important than I’ve ever wanted but the crushing weight of the minutia is drowning me. I feel rendered incapable by the sheer exhaustion of existing to a standard that I feel is ever changing and unrealistic at best.

I feel as if I am doing so many different things that I am half-assing everything and nothing is being done to my own acceptable standard.Do you ever feel like this? I have so many things that actually need to be in done in a single day that I am in need of about 5 more hours in the day and 3 less hours of sleep.I think it’s the nature of the beast. I keep telling myself that it is all a part of being  a Mommy. And when I complain, in my head or out loud, I feel guilt and shame. It is a perpetually infinite to do list. Just thinking about it,right now, I can feel the weight growing on my shoulders and the preserver floating off in the distance…in the opposite direction. Just my luck.The preserver has broken free and is wandering aimlessly, just out of any possible reach.

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Courtesy of Google

Decisions have to be made.Priorities have to be updated. I am so tired of waiting for that damn life preserver.I’m impatient. I think most of you know that about me. But I have really been giving patience and moderation a try. But,  it’s boot strap time. I have to stop crying over that damn preserver that’s never coming, pick myself up, stop, think for a moment, exhale and swim with direction. The things that are imperative *the girls, the Big Guy, our marriage,us being together and our health and happiness * will take precedence. The rest will have to float off aimlessly on its own for awhile. I have to swim to the preserver, it’s the only way the overwhelming chaos of the minutia will subside. I don’t want to tread water. I don’t want to drown. I want to live satisfied and fulfilled. Isn’t that all any of us wants?

Have you ever felt overwhelmed?Over tired? Drowning in the minutia? What did you do? How did you get to your “life preserver”?[/fusion_builder_column][/fusion_builder_row][/fusion_builder_container]

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Theresa 2011/04/18 - 2:33 pm

Oh yes, so many times.

I totally feel your pain sista. When my youngest was an infant it was so hard to keep with a baby and a toddler. I felt so overwhelmed. My life preserver was telling myself it was okay to not do laundry today, to not enroll the kids in swimming, preschool, storytime, and music class. I let go and just let us live our lives. It was much better. Who needs to know how to swim and wear clean clothes anyways?

Truthful Mommy 2011/04/18 - 8:05 pm

I guess you are right swimming is optional and clean clothes are a luxury:) LOL I have to learn to let go! You were wise to make the decision before you became too overwhelmed.

Abbi 2011/04/18 - 2:40 pm

Still waiting for my life preserver, too. All I can do is wake up every morning, take a deep breath, and grab the day by the balls and do the very best I can. Whatever doesn’t get done today, will be added to the list tomorrow. I’m done worrying about the mother I should be. I will worry about the mommy that I am for today. And strive to be better every day following. Sometimes I pick up right where I left off, other days, I start back at zero and build myself back up. It’s life. And yes, it’s sucks. But all we can do is put our big girl panties (or thongs in some cases) on and suck it up.

I think as mothers we worry about the status quo and we shouldn’t. Each of us are different. We cannot be like so-n-so. We need to do the best for our husbands and children. That’s it. Nothing more, nothing less.

Pick your chin up. Smile. And don’t sweat the small stuff… and it’s all small stuff.

Truthful Mommy 2011/04/18 - 2:49 pm

My friend, you are so right….”ITS ALL SMALL STUFF”. Thanks for the reminder. I got it out, now I move forward. No point in crying over the lost life preserver:) Thanks for identifying and sharing. You rock, lady!

Sarah 2011/04/18 - 2:48 pm

omg YES I’ve felt as though I were drowning! When my husband was away with the military last year, I thought I’d go insane. Each of my 4 kids got sick with something different in a 4 months period when Hubs was gone during the week but, home on weekends. I actually got to a point where I was so run down that I tested positive for Mono… for the 3rd time in 4 years. FTL!
How did I survive? I did ONLY the basics… dishwasher, laundry washed (not folded), and everyone was clean every day. We ate a lot of “bag o’ salad” and hot dogs. I took naps while the kids were at school. I taught my oldest 2 kids to clean their own bathrooms… at 7 and 8 they can handle it. YES, it’s not done the way MOM would do it, but it’s One Less Thing. I’m a fan of passing off things like that to the kids. It teaches them responsibility and gives me less work. Win-WIN!
One thing I’ve learned about these seasons of drowning is… they DO have an end. Taking care of your sanity has a benefit for your family. No one ever died from lack of folded laundry. YES, our home has to NOT look like Hoarders live in… and I like keeping the microbes to a minimum. I pick ONE THING to put on my list to do for the day. If it gets done… great. If it doesn’t get done… well, it’s only ONE thing! And if I get MORE done… I’m Mom of the Year in my own mind.
Cut your self slack. Don’t compare your circumstances with other people’s ability to look like they have their shit together. Some of us are great at LOOKING awesome when really, we’re falling apart. Just do your best with what you have in any given moment.
The Season of Drowning will end in time. Hang in there!

Truthful Mommy 2011/04/18 - 2:58 pm

I know you are right. People are good at seeming like they have all their shit together. I know most don’t. I don’t know if my issue is so much comparing myself to others as the feeling of being completely overwhelmed in my own life.
I know there is an end in sight. The Big Guy and I have been doing this commuter marriage for about 2 years and its time to be in the same house. We are moving to be where he is as soon as school is over. I only need to hang on for a couple more months.I’ve got my eye on the prize…now, I just have to remind myself that the overwhelming craziness is not forever…the drowning season is just for now.

Sarah 2011/04/18 - 3:04 pm

I’m glad that you can see the end. I know that in my experience the times away because of military junk, that knowing when I’ll be relieved helps a lot. My prayer will be that your calendar pages continue to turn at the same rate (not SLOWER!) as you daily move closer to being all together again. Keep on treading water… you’re totally gonna make it! oxo

Truthful Mommy 2011/04/18 - 8:07 pm

Thanks sweetie!

Mommy Nani Booboo 2011/04/18 - 2:57 pm

I’m trying to swim! I am! But sometimes I can’t even see the preserver and I’m afraid I’m swimming in the wrong direction!
We have all been where you are, I think. Keep swimming, baby! Never know when a big ole’ cruise ship will come by and give you a break.

Truthful Mommy 2011/04/18 - 3:01 pm

I know you are right! I just wish the fucking preserver would stop floating off towards the horizon just when I think I’ve about reached it. Flailing and making no headway is exhausting. I’ll keep a look out for that Cruise ship. Some days it feels like I;m alone out here in the ocean and there isn’t even a damn search and rescue looking for me. I’ll just keep swimming, Mama’s no quitter!

Perfect Dad 2011/04/18 - 3:48 pm

Let go. Relax. I don’t have anything together, but it’s still cool. Just go after one or two things each day that make a difference, and the rest is just bonus. When I feel drowning in troubles I think about someone else who is worse off then me.

Truthful Mommy 2011/04/18 - 8:12 pm

You are so right, perspective can help a lot. But for me, letting go and giving in to what I feel like is defeat is very hard. I wish I could be more laid back and let things slide off my back.I am working on it. Acceptance is the first step right? I accept that I can’t do everything well, so now I just have to prioritize. That’s what I’m doing.Thanks for letting me know that I’m not the only one:)

Perfecting Parenthood 2011/04/18 - 11:23 pm

Oh, did I say it was easy? It’s easy to write, that’s about it. But you will definitely feel better if you do one thing per day than worry about ten.

Dana 2011/04/18 - 5:17 pm

I’ve been going through so much of the same thought processes lately. How to reconcile my pre-mommy self with the new me. As I look at my blog posts over the past few weeks, they’re all pointing to the same theme: guilt, loving my kids but missing some aspects of the old me, more guilt for missing those aspects of the old me… I think that any mom with any amount of personal insight wonders and worries about these things. Hang in there and know you’re in good company.

Truthful Mommy 2011/04/18 - 8:18 pm

You are so right. I hate the guilt the most. Shouldn’t we be allowed to feel remorse for our old lives? I don;t want to be who I was before my girls but I don;t want to completely lose myself either. I also don;t want to feel like I gave up my old life to have this life and feel like I;m constantly overwhelmed.I need to get my rhythm and kick this chaos’ ass.I;m better than drowning in minutia and guilt, we all are.

Allie 2011/04/18 - 5:30 pm

All the time.

Do I have to go into detail? I’m not going to because, frankly, I get ashamed and it hurts.

But you know what snaps me out of it? Realizing I’m being a sissy.

I have health, my kids have health, we have love, we have food, we have everything we need and more. Really, I’m gonna complain? Nope.

Yes, there are days, weeks, even a few months in my past where I just wanted to throw in the towel and disappear. I am a lucky woman to get through it and so are you.

Stop stressing. Your daughters and husband do not see you the harsh way you see yourself.

I know you’re not a Sissy.



Truthful Mommy 2011/04/18 - 8:48 pm

Thanks fro reminding me that I am not a sissy!I;m swimming and you are right we have health, and each other. I just need to let the bullshit fall tot he wayside and foggedaboutit!LOL

January 2011/04/18 - 7:14 pm

I do feel the same way at times but then I look around at my family, we all have our health, a roof over our heads, food in the fridge. The boys (including my husband) might drive me crazy sometimes but that’s what husbands and kids do best. That my friend, is LIFE. NOBODY has their shit together. Chin up…we don’t want you drowning out there! 😉

Truthful Mommy 2011/04/18 - 8:50 pm

Thanks! Good to hear that NOBODY has their shit together. My chin is up, my friend.

BalancingMama 2011/04/18 - 9:47 pm

Oh boy, I can totally relate! Sorry you are drowning a bit right now. We all feel that way sometimes. I just “graduated” from my therapist and a 5-month course of Cymbalta. I was not finding happiness anywhere. And I was too beaten down to search for it. You do what you gotta do; our priorities must always come first. As well as our happiness.

Bug and the Sweet Banana 2011/04/18 - 10:56 pm

I can completely related to half-assing everything and not doing things to your own acceptable standard. That sounds a lot like me. I finally grabbed hold of my life preserver by giving myself a big old reality check. (I wrote about it here: https://boogaboojones.typepad.com/boogaboojones/2011/03/normal-day.html)

Love your blog!

susan 2011/04/19 - 4:04 am

turns out the experts were right….just taking some time to do something for ME was what saved me….seemed everything i did was for other people (and don’t you often think…surely, surely, life wasn’t meant to be this way, so frantic, so regimented, so diary driven!).
For me, it was getting blogging again, and dancing.
me me me:)

Loukia 2011/04/19 - 9:59 am

I so know what you’re talking about, my friend.

Krysta MacGray 2011/04/19 - 10:48 am

One word…vacation.

Coolwhipmom 2011/04/19 - 2:23 pm

Completely and totally relate. It is so hard to find a place for your own needs as a mom. Or even to get everything done that you feel you need to do for the family. You should see the state of my house right now. You would probably defriend me if you did. Sometimes I really just can’t find a way to keep my head above water. I appreciate the way you talk openly about these things. It really makes me feel so much less alone. Thanks you, sweetie.

Cam - Bibs & Baubles 2011/04/20 - 1:54 am

been there. it’s so hard to snap out of it sometimes. thanks for sharing with such honesty and clarity. i had to admit to myself that I can’t do it all and then stop trying to do it all and just do what’s important. but guess what – that list is pretty long too. 🙂

jess 2011/04/24 - 9:37 pm

Of course I’ve felt it. I think we all have. I feel it now as I try to decide where best for both my girls to be in school. I wrestle with the thought of daycare but know staying home isn’t an option and not something I want to do anyhow. Cue more guilt.

I think we just put so much thought and weight into everything it’s just the nature of being a mom. I’m with you mama!

Frogs are for soup, Friends are forever! | The TRUTH About Motherhood 2011/10/04 - 11:03 pm

[…] to goodness friends who you can be yourself with. You know the friends that you can have those heart to hearts with and actually let your guard down without fear of backlash. Those same ladies that you would […]

Friends are forever, frogs are for soup 2011/10/05 - 8:04 am

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Luella Rasmussen 2011/12/13 - 8:10 pm

Acceptance is the first step right? i had to admit to myself that I can’t do it all and then stop trying to do it all and just do what’s important.

Fatima Mandangan 2019/04/21 - 11:05 am

Hi. I came across your article on Pinterest just a few minutes ago. And wow, it was almost like it was meant for me to bump into your blog. I have been needing to hear this FOR A LONG TIME. I needed to know that it’s not just me. That I’m not the only one scared as fuck that I’m going to screw up. Because like you said, this is a perpetual thing. Motherhood is something we’re going to have to do FOR THE REST OF OUR LIVES. And who can guarantee that we won’t screw up our child?

I have a two year old now and I am EXTREMELY OVERWHELMED AND SCARED with how I’m going to deal with this motherhood stuff. She’s only two years old and I feel like this is too much to handle for me already. You see, this wasn’t planned. I got pregnant with her while I was in college. MY LIFE CHANGED 360 DEGREES WHEN I GOT PREGNANT AND I WAN NOT READY AT ALL.

And now, three years later, my mind is eating me up. My head is full of regrets and shame and disappointments and fears. I can’t. I really can’t do this. I feel like I’m going to screw up. I can’t even take care of myself and the universe gave me A LIFE that I have to take care of and be responsible for UNTIL MY LAST BREATH.

And my “marriage”? I don’t even know where to begin.



My mind is winning. My thoughts have been constantly, for three years now, eating me up. And I’m slowly but surely, believing everything that’s in my head.

Please. Help.

I can’t breathe anymore.

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