I walk outside and sit down shortly after putting the kids to bed. I don’t want to hear anything or be around anyone. It’s not that it’s been a particularly tough day, it’s that the fuse for my patience is running short. And it keeps getting shorter by the day.
We’re in the second week of summer at our house. That means that I’ve had all three kids home without a break for 10 days in a row (not that I’m counting or anything).
Don’t get me wrong, I love spending summers with my kids. Really, I do. It’s a chance for us to break away from the routine and do things that we all enjoy. We travel, take day trips to places we’ve never been before, visit our favorite local spots. We make the most out of our days and it’s the only time of the year where we can really do that with all of us together.
In the midst of all the summer fun — the ice cream runs and pool trips and firefly catching — I can feel it happening: I’m already losing steam.
Even on the days when we just take it easy and spend most of our time in the backyard or watching a movie, I’m exhausted by the end of it. Is it possible to love what you’re doing in the day-to-day, but still feel burnt out?
Honestly, I think I’m in that stage of motherhood where no matter what I do or how I do it, I’m just over it. Right now the only thing that sounds like fun for me is sitting in a room with no one else, just listening to the silence. I don’t want to be bothered, I don’t want anyone calling my name; I just want to be with me and focus on my thoughts. But now that I’m a mother and my kids are my number one priority, is solely focusing on me possible?
Of course, I know that a lot of this is stress-related. My husband has been out of the country for work a lot lately, and a lot has fallen on my plate. I’m having trouble just making it through the days, trying to juggle it all, while still maintaining some sort of my sanity. What bothers me most though is that my kids are the first to deal with my exhaustion and limited patience. I hate the fact that they’re just being kids, trying to enjoy summer, and yet here I am — over all of it.
Summer is supposed to be the part of childhood that children remember forever. I remember mine like it was yesterday. I want the same for my kids. I want them to remember our adventures: The time that we’ve spent hours running through the sprinklers at the splash park, the impromptu road trips into the city, the splurge of getting ice cream before dinner. What I don’t want them to remember is me telling them I just can’t deal with them at that moment and that I need some space.
But this phase, too, will pass. I know I’ll get that much-needed time to myself eventually, and will get recharged so that we can go back to our normal everyday activities. Still, I can’t help but wonder: Even if this burn out is only temporary, does that still make it okay?