As I hopped in my car last night to begin my 45-minute trek home, I began to think about my evening plans and plans for the week. The more I thought about everything that needed to be done, the more overwhelmed I got…and soon I found myself sobbing all the way to my therapist’s office. I had asked the boys to walk over from their middle school soccer practice to the local YMCA where I would pick them up after my appointment. I spent 10 minutes finding parking and finally arrived at the office and sat down on the couch where all it took was “how are you” for the tears to start falling. Let me back up by saying that it normally takes a lot for me to start crying and I in the 6 sessions with my previous therapist I never once even came close, but in my third week with this therapist, the waterworks were flowing…maybe a sign that it is a good fit, but also could also represent just how exhausted I am.
Let me explain my current schedule. I get up weekdays at 5:20 (I gave up trying to get up earlier to work out for the time being), wake up the boys, make breakfast and lunches for the crew (pups included), and when the boys are on the bus at 6:37, I hop in the shower and leave the house by 7:05 for work. I work until 4:30 and the boys also have soccer until 4:30, so after practice they have been going to the YMCA, as I have yet to find someone interested in watching them for two hours. By the time I pick them up it is between 5:15 and 5:30, so we quickly do a run home for a snack before one of them has a 6:30 travel soccer practice until 8pm. Sometimes, I can fit in a dog walk during the practice, sometimes I have another appointment scheduled during that time. Soccer ends at 8 and then we head home, where I make dinner while they do homework. We eat dinner around 9pm…then by the time they are in bed it is 10 and I need to work on school assignments or the bare minimum house cleaning. I try to get to bed between 11 and 11:30…Saturdays are soccer, school work for me, and an evening movie with the boys. Sundays are church, grocery shopping, cooking a few things for the week, housecleaning, and getting ready for the upcoming week.
I am not saying all this to be dramatic, but rather to say that this is the reality that many families face. When there were two of us sharing the load…when my ex worked the Monday to Friday job and I worked 3 12 hour shifts a week, we shuffled. I worked on meals on my days off, we shared the back and forth to and from practices (he more than me, as a coach) or appointments. Now, I find myself trying to do it all and I can’t. I am losing my sh** here trying to do it all, while still trying myself the time to think. Not to mention, we are still grieving and needing a litle more grace to process in whatever way we need. Something has got to give. As I sat in my therapist’s office explaining this, she agreed, but we both struggled to find the what that something is. I miss having someone to share the enormous responsibility of parenting and yet, I find myself so grieved and angry with my ex for leaving the state to let me do this alone and just waiting for me to fail.
So, here I lay…awake late, despite my need for sleep, because I had to do one of my mandatory shifts to maintain a per diem status in the ER. The bags under my eyes are growing. I am so very exhausted and my tank is running on empty…every few days I can add drops into my empty fuel tank, but it feels like just enough to keep this car from stalling. But seriously, this is not sustainable and I can’t see the solution…