Even if you’ve never heard this term, you know what it is. It’s the accumulation of all the small details you manage in your head that keep your family’s life running smoothly. It’s remembering who needs to be where and when, and that everyone is appropriately attired for Tacky Sock Day and Wacky Hair Day, and every other fake holiday invented to push moms over the edge because we don’t already have enough to manage.
I’m tired because I’m doing important things. The problem with motherhood is that it doesn’t often feel this way. Whether you’re a working or a stay-at-home mom, it’s easy to feel like the million little things we do for our kids and our families don’t add up to anything big.
Motherhood is tricky. We spend our whole lives establishing who we are in our friendships, careers, and relationships, and then BAM!, the title of Mom comes along and upends it all. It’s easy to start referring to things in the past tense, as in “Before kids I used to _____.”
I was always the kid who shot for the stars. At any given point I wanted to be a Supreme Court judge, a NASA scientist, or an Olympic high jumper. While my zest for the law and astrophysics didn’t last, my ambition to do something big and important did. From a young age I was driven to collect accolades the way other kids collected stickers. National Honor Society, Cum Laude, MBA—nothing gave me more satisfaction than adding another title or set of initials next to my name. As I began my career, I was fiercely ambitious with my eyes always fixed firmly on the next rung of the ladder. Then I had a baby.
I’m proud to be a creature of habit. This has taken me a long time to come to terms with. For most of my life, I wanted to be the fun-loving, free-spirited girl known for her spontaneity. Call in sick to work and go sky diving? I’m in! Adopt a puppy on the way home from dinner? Absolutely! As much as I wanted to be that girl, though, it just wasn’t me. Looking back, this should have been clear from the diaries I kept as a kid. In them are pages of daily, minute-by-minute schedules that include activities like “Play with Barbies” and “Water fight with neighbors”. Apparently, these things can easily slip your mind when you’re seven.
Before I met my husband, I dated some amazing women. Some of them are still an important part of my life. We text on a daily basis, talk on the phone at least once a week, and every couple of months we spend a weekend together. They are strong, beautiful, and understand me in a way my husband never will. I’m grateful every day to have them in my life. What’s more, I know the only reason I do is because I’ve learned to treat my female friendships with the same care that I would a romantic relationship. So, I’ve learned to date my friends.