Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Mommy Overload

My mind at this very moment feels like a pile of mush-there is no neuron activity happening whatsoever, I am staring straight ahead, and I haven’t blinked for about a minute now. I am experiencing “Mommy Overload,” I know there is no real cure, and I am hoping to regain a semi-conscious state after my kids go to bed. They are now sitting in front of the TV watching the new Tinkerbelle movie we rented, but because watching this causes even more brain inactivity in adults, I chose to blog about my Mommy Overload instead.

I really don’t know what causes me to actually shut down, but it stems from an inordinate amount of time alone with my kids, especially my son. I feel awful about this, and I wonder if maybe things would be different if I wasn’t a working mom. I mean do stay at home mothers have the ability to hone their tolerance skills more than working mothers just because they have always spent a large amount of time with their kids, or is this just a skill that I lack? I wonder about this a lot, but I still don’t have any answers.

Both the kids and I are off today through November 30 for the Thanksgiving holiday, and I always have these rosy colored visions of what my time with the kids will be like. I envision us all getting up early (but not too early), and I am at the stove busily making chocolate chip pancakes. Everyone is smiling and laughing and we’re talking about all the fun activities we will do together, but then the reality of the day sets in. My son got up when he heard my husband getting ready for work, and since my son gets a little freaked out being the only one awake, he does everything in his power to wake up the rest of us, including the dog! Because I am awake when I didn’t want to be, I am not the happiest of mommies, so cereal and Pop Tarts replace chocolate chip pancakes for breakfast, and the smiles and laughter from my dreams become grunts and groans in real life.

Then there are the mundane activities that must be done during the course of the day-the dog needs to be fed then taken out and it’s pouring down rain, you have to tidy up the kitchen after breakfast is over, the kids need a bath, and I find out that I am going to have to run a load of whites through the wash. Before you know it, lunchtime is here and the routine starts all over again-fix lunch, serve lunch, then clean up after lunch. The fun activity today was to go shopping for a Christmas present for my husband, but we didn’t have much time because I needed to go to the bank first, and my daughter had practice today. And once again, my picture of shopping for “daddy” did not include my kids running through the store aisles, having them continually spinning a rack full of DVDs until I told them to stop, having them touch anything that wasn’t nailed down, and losing at least one kid at different times in the store because something else caught their eye.

We finally finished our shopping, I dropped my daughter off for practice, and I was alone with my son. Now don’t get me wrong, I love spending time with him, but too much one-on-one time, especially after the wonderful experiences I had in the store, can be a challenge. I usually like to have his sister around as sort of a human buffer, because my son will talk non-stop to an audience of one, and he started the moment my daughter got out of the car. Here are some excerpts from our many conversations:

“Yes dear.”

“If you could be any super hero you wanted, who would it be?”

I named the first super hero I could think of-Thor. Lame, maybe, but I do think the guy gets no respect at all...

“You want to be Thor? Not Superman, or The Hulk?”

“I like Thor so I choose him.”

“Ok, but do you think he would win in a fight against The Hulk?”

“Yes, I do because he could change the weather and suck The Hulk up in a tornado.”


There was a slight lull in the conversation while my son mulled that over in his little brain, and I decided I should stop by the grocery store on the way home. My son almost immediately started in on a new topic, but this time he didn’t ask for my opinion, he just wanted to relay the latest superhero episode that he watched yesterday, and he told me everything, down to the most minute detail, about the story. I am not sure whether my son knows that after a while I really don’t know what he is talking about-a person can only take so much.

I was then hit with even more “conversation” on the way home, but now he wanted answers to questions, but there were so many that I couldn’t recall them even if I wanted to, but I can tell you that they were along the lines of “why is the sky blue?" I could feel the numbness in my head start, so I quickly immersed myself in getting dinner ready and thankfully my son went off to play. My husband came home, and at last I had my buffer, but it was short lived because when he left to get my daughter, my son decided to stay home with me-yea? Now I am explaining what exaggerate means, and I am asked to spell seriously, and my son starts reading to me from the book Kooks in the Cafeteria while I am trying to type up an entry for tonight’s blog-but it’s no use because there are pictures to see, and questions to answer, and the book to ponder…

So here I sit, quietly basking in the glow of my computer, my contacts feeling like grains of sand in my eyes, when my son calls from his bedroom. It seems he has “forgotten” to go to the bathroom before he went to bed. I listen as he gets out of bed and heads to the bathroom, and I strain my ears for the flush and the sound of running water, two things of vital importance to every mother I’m sure. But I didn’t hear him go back to his room, and as I was turning my head to look down the hall I notice him standing beside me, and after he utters something he forgot to tell me earlier, he gives me a big hug and heads back to bed. I am smiling now despite my mental state, despite the cereal for breakfast, despite all the running around I did today, despite the fact that I forgot to put the laundry in the dryer and will now have to put them through a short wash-despite all my shortcomings, my son still loves me and that’s the greatest feeling in the world. Goodnight everyone and have a Happy Thanksgiving!


  1. I love this post. It hits right on. Trust me, just because I stay home all day does not mean I have some skill in tolerance that you lack! Either way, it can be a nightmare sometimes. I feel so guilty for thinking like that, but GOD! How much can you take?! Then something little, like a hug or a smile, makes it all go away. :)

    Happy Thanksgiving to you and your family!

  2. Mommy Overload can hit me really hard some days. My three boys especially can push my buttons with their bickering, competitiveness and fighting. You should have seen me today with my hair up in a frightening ponytail as I (probably too loudly) reprimanded my boys from the front steps. Hopefully, the nice old lady down the block didn't notice "wild mama Kelly" and her ranting. Like you, I appreciate any down time away from the constant kid pull. As I type away now, I know that my sleeping angels will soften me real quick. This whole mama thing is not easy, but I love those little hugs too.

    Hope you had a nice Thanksgiving! My potatoes came out so so :)

  3. You pretty much described every day off I've ever had with my kids.

  4. Ah yes. Mommy overload is a close, personal friend of mine. As far as I know, there is no cure.

    Great post. Thanks for stopping by my blog.

  5. I go into long weekends loving them and wishing I was a true SAHM. And then about 25 hours into it, I am on babble overload. I'm ready again for Monday. I guess that's a good thing?

  6. That was a fantastic, universal post!! I stay at home all day and sometimes I do not have the patience and I zone out. Then of course comes the guilt from zoing out, but we are all human.

    I am following you too now and am super happy to do so!!!

  7. holy cow, I've been staying home with the kids for four years, and I have overload almost every day. I think tolerence and patience are skills that you are born with, and I pray all the time to get more of those skills!!

    btw, Disney Channel is playing the second Tinker Bell Movie at 8:00 on Sunday night...set your DVR if you have one!

  8. A mute button would be great in times like those! I stay at home with my 2 year old and she drives me nuts.
    Your post made me laugh. Thanks.
    Oh and I didn't make those bacon contraptions. I just saw them on the internet and had to share. Thanks for leaving your comment!
    Have a great day :)

  9. Just read your post at Diary of a Mad Bathroom. Hilarious.

    As for moms staying at home having more patience or tolerance...NO...well, at least not this mom.


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