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Thoughts on Being a Mom: Taking Care of Others, Taking Care of Ourselves

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I admit it. I’m a Starbucks addict.

Every afternoon around 4 p.m. I get in line at the Starbucks closest to my home and buy a Venti iced Americano with a splash of cream. Sure, I’ve read the articles that say that drinking caffeinated beverages late in the day can interfere with getting to sleep at night but frankly, that isn’t a problem for me. If I didn’t have my late afternoon pick-me-up I’d probably fall asleep in my dinner plate of Kraft macaroni and cheese. With extra caffeine under my belt, I stand a good shot of making it at least until 10 p.m.

If the late-afternoon Starbucks run and Kraft mac and cheese for dinner didn’t give it away already, I’ll tell you now—I’m a Mom. I have two sons, ages 5 and 12. Plus three dogs, one cat and a husband. And I work from home as a writer. In other words, I am busy, all the time.

I often joke with my other Mom friends that I feel like one of those circus performers who keeps 10 or so plates spinning in the air at once. So far I have yet to find another Mom who doesn’t laugh at and heartily agree with this analogy. From the “laundry” plate to the “Mom chauffeur” plate to the “pay the bills” and the “get my work assignments done” plates, I think my number might be closer to 20. But on most days, one plate is conspicuously absent: the “take care of me” plate.

I also like to say that I haven’t had a good night’s sleep since 1997, when I first became a Mom. Even though my boys are well past the stage of getting up during the night, I now stay up late working, catching up on housework, or maybe even watching a show on television that does not involve an animated aardvark or duckling. Fortunately or unfortunately, depending on your viewpoint, I can easily get by and function on six or less hours of sleep a night.

Does any of this sound familiar to you? I suspect that it might. Being a Mom is truly the greatest job ever, but man, is it hard work. Relentless, on-going, rewarding, and tiring work.

And if you’re like me, we Moms spend so much time and energy taking care of the kids, hubby, pets, and house that we neglect the most important person in the whole equation—ourselves.

Add a Comment2 Comments

I'm a mom of a 12-year-old girl and a 14-year-old boy. This may seem like an off-the-wall question, but has anyone here ever looked the other way when your daughter hit your son in the balls? I did that earlier today because my son had been pestering his sister all day, in spite of my telling him to stop. I'm feeling a little guilty now.

May 10, 2010 - 3:05am

Nicely said. I can easily relate.

April 28, 2010 - 6:46pm
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We value and respect our HERWriters' experiences, but everyone is different. Many of our writers are speaking from personal experience, and what's worked for them may not work for you. Their articles are not a substitute for medical advice, although we hope you can gain knowledge from their insight.



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