The Motherload; Carrying it all and dropping the ball

Life as a stay at home, work at home Mum can be a bit of a rollercoaster. There are plenty of high times when life feels one massive gift, when I’m channelling hashtag blessed; living the dream. When I laugh in the face of snow days, sick days, baker days and all other curve balls. But, there are also times when it can feel a bit of a downer, and things can get on top of you.

With so much going on in our busy modern lives, juggling it all can start to feel a bit overwhelming, the joy factor starts to get lost in the never ending laundry, the picking up of other people’s stuff, and the time vacuum that a family of four creates; life being compartmentalised in two hour windows between nursery, school, clubs, their bedtime and my collapse in a heap time. Weekends pass by in a blur of kids parties and social events, or in a ‘can we just have a moment’ pause of slobbiness.

Whilst flexibly working is certainly an absolute game changer, it can sometimes feel like a losing battle too, with the windows of opportunity to knuckle down being quashed between other life admin that also, needs to get done. I can only imagine that for working parents (as in outside the home, on set hours) you must feel the same, if not even more pressured to do all the stuff. It’s easy to lose sight of the happy moments of parenting; the days out, the milestones, the ‘soak it all up’ loveliness, and get totally consumed by the logistics.

In all honesty, I’ve been having a few of those days lately.

It’s all good, and I’ve been here before – questioning whether we’d all be happier if I just went back to work, stuck the kids in childcare and relived the high life of leaving the house and having a boss who praised me for my efforts, as opposed to two small bosses who are all about setting me challenging assignments without ever rewarding me with an ‘exceeded expectations’ end of year appraisal. I’m sharing this in the interest of honest parenting, which lies at the core of my blog.

We all know the signs. An increase is huffs and puffs whilst picking up socks, a decrease in smiles and chit chat. A tendency to overreact at the kids pushing my buttons and a general lack of zest for life.

Free stock photo of pen, calendar, to do, checklist

Perhaps it’s the time of year? It’s still really chilly and we are at the end of a long winter of dark evenings and indoor play date hell. And that’s just with my own two, who seem to have found a love of wrestling each other, and cries of ‘I don’t love you any more’ can be heard daily being hollered across the landing by my three year old.

Free stock photo of man, people, sport, stadium

Maybe we just all need to get outside, get some sunshine on our faces and some Vitamin D under our skin.

Or maybe, it’s just sometimes hard being a parent. Constantly prioritising the needs of the rest of the family over your own, living knee deep in unglamorous tasks on a daily basis, then collapsing in an exhausted heap, ready for bed by 8pm.

Free stock photo of person, looking, searching, clean

It’s not just the physical tasks – the school run, the nursery run, the packed lunches, the food shopping to fill them, the washing, the homework battle, the dinner, the clearing up, the refereeing, but it’s sometimes just as much the mental goings on which can push you to breaking point.

Wall Clock at 5:50

What day did world book day get postponed to? Whose birthday is it this week? Who needs a wedding anniversary message, new baby card and gift. Have I paid that bill? Chased that invoice? I need to reply to the email from a relative, say thank you for the birthday gifts. Contact the school regarding after school clubs. Make a decision on Septembers pre-school placement. Get back to the girls about dates for that night out. Book a hotel for the wedding. It’s never ending…

There is no real answer, and I guess I’m just putting this out there as I’m pretty sure I’m not alone in getting fed up with being the operations manager for the household. My blog work time isn’t ringfenced by an external office and as such it becomes a bit of a juggle at the best of times. But steps have been made to put things right. A good venting to the hubby, who has received the message loud and clear and is wholeheartedly trying to be more of a help. This of course requiring a reduction in my ridiculously high standards and a ‘Thank you’ instead of a ‘That doesn’t go there’.

It also requires some self love. Some realisation that I don’t have to do it all. The ball can be dropped, and other people are there and ready to catch it. I need to let go of perfect, accept the muddle, and start smiling and appreciating my life a bit more; the one I am hugely privileged to be living with the people I choose to put first every single time .

Perhaps the ball isn’t the never end of things that need doing, it’s the ability to smile in the face of it all. To keep things going, but to not miss the beauty of it all along the way.


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30 thoughts on “The Motherload; Carrying it all and dropping the ball

  1. Chloe Wood Reply

    Fantastic post – couldn’t have said it better myself #DreamTeam

  2. viewfromthebeachchair Reply

    It is very tiring. One small hint I always keep cards on hand. Birthday for kids and adults, sympathy cards, blank note cards that can fit anything. I buy them in bulk and they have rescued me more than once. It is hard being the mom but we do it! #dreamteam

  3. Nicole - Tales from Mamaville Reply

    Such a heartfelt and lovely post Sarah – every word is so true. We’re juggling so many things that there comes a point where we can’t figure out what to do next!!! But I love the last para; the way you’ve summed it all up – I guess finding that balance is crucial.

    This post is apt for an upcoming linky I’m co-hosting from next month (details here – – I hope you will join us.

  4. Pass the wine please Reply

    I definitely agree that the weather has something to do with it – after weeks of snow, cold or ridiculously strong winds, we’ve been really limited as to where we can go and after a few too many soft play visits you all start going a bit stir crazy! Bring on the sunshine! #CoolMumClub

  5. Jenny Curtis Reply

    I think these feelings engulf us all at some point- my family life is relatively hassle free with one pre-schooler and I work with my husband so can be flexible with hours. However, I still get overwhelmed sometimes with the sheer volume of things to do and remember! List making works for me- if it’s on a list it’s not in my head! #coolmumclub

  6. minihumanresources6 Reply

    This is so relatable. Honestly some days I leave work and cant remember where I’m going next (School pick up? nursery pick up? or my mums to get the baby?) and life admin always gets left to the last minute. One day though, maybe we will look back and miss this crazy life? (Or maybe not we will be too busy relaxing on a sun lounger somewhere!)

  7. mummyhereandthere Reply

    This resonates with me and every word so true. Parenting is bloody hard work! X #coolmumclub

  8. amumatwork Reply

    You’ve summed the motherload up so neatly here (if it’s not a word in the dictionary yet, it should be!). Like you, I work from home, and the boundaries between family/work/life become so blurred it’s a struggle to juggle it all. But then the same can be said for every type of parenting set-up. It’s just so tough sometimes. I love your thoughts at the end, it’s a great reminder that a change of perspective can be as beneficial as a change of situation.

  9. Life Love and Dirty Dishes Reply

    I totally get this Sarah. It’s a roller-coaster. I have days where I’m wishing time away. Roll on September when my youngest starts school and I will have more time. Then I have days where I want time to slow down because I’m not ready for him to go to school and not be with me. I need to learn to let go more too and like you say, accept that things don’t have to be perfect. #coolmumclub

  10. Helen - cooking with my kids Reply

    You’ve summed up everything perfectly. I often wonder if it would be better if I went back to work but always reach the same conclusion. #coolmumclub

  11. motherhoodtherealdeal Reply

    I totally relate to this hun – this is me of late! And also seems quite a few other mums I know. I blame it on the time of year…hoping things change with the upcoming Spring Equinox (hippy or what!). Sending #coolmumclub hugs your way xoxo

  12. franbackwithabump Reply

    Couldn’t agree more. Some days are just C R A Z Y!!! #coolmumclub x

  13. beautybabyandme Reply

    Such a great post hun and one I can really relate to! Sometimes it feels like you are juggling so much yet you are still referred to as “just a stay at home Mum” or “Only a blogger” – it’s frustrating. I think you’re amazing xx #coolmumclub

  14. Tubbs Reply

    Been there. Done that. As have we all! And had all the things fall on my head. Brilliant post 🙂

  15. Kate@TheMumConundrum Reply

    Such a good post. I can relate 100%. Thanks for sharing #coolmumclub

  16. Sophie Reply

    This is so relatable to all parents I expect. The thing is whether you work from home or go out to work, those home jobs still have to be done and that’s where I fall down! I think my Hubbie doesn’t event hunk about birthday cards or the washing! It’s a massive juggling task but you can do it! Keep plodding on but like you say, enjoy the journal. #coolmumclub

  17. Rhyming with Wine Reply

    MMT! I am sending hugs. I get you. I totally relate. Sometimes the ball has been so far dropped in my house that the ball is a dot to me! I honestly think without my diary dictating my every waking moment due to the zillion tasks that need ticking off, I would fail to function at all. I know things are bad when I have to start itemising “get dressed” and “cook dinner” just to make sure I don’t forget. This too shall pass my lovely friend. And at least you have unicorn cake?

    Thanks for joining us for #DreamTeam xx

  18. Navigating Baby Reply

    Maybe it is the weather and the time of year as I am right there with you 😉 I was sick of my day at around 9:15am today – not ideal! #coolmumclub

  19. fiveinthehive2018 Reply

    A very honest perspective on parenting and you most certainly are not alone. I’ve spoken to so many people feeling a bit ‘blergh’ at the moment, it really must be the time of year and cold dreary weather. We need some sunshine #Coolmumclub

  20. Charlotte Stein Reply

    I can definitely relate to this everlasting to do list, these weeks where its like being in the fog on a treadmill are rubbish! Sending wine, coffee and a virtual hug #coolmumclub

  21. thewillowtree1 Reply

    I do agree with the weather. When its cold and miserable outside, you tend to find that your staying in the house more and the kids get grouchy. When its the summer,doors and windows are open, the sun is shining and there are more trips to the park! Moe distraction I say! #CoolMumClub

  22. Alice Letters to my Daughter Reply

    Totally feel you here. It seems like this winter has been particularly tough as I know so many people who’ve struggled the last few months and it’s all recently come to a head. I just ran away to Spain on my own for 5 days to recuperate! It is usually temporary though like you say. Spring is on the way – hang on in there! #coolmumclub

  23. Laura Dove Reply

    I totally agree with this, I have been dropping balls left right and centre this last couple of weeks and beating myself up for it. I think we have to remember that it really doesn’t matter if we get things wrong every now and then, or the kids uniforms are a little more creased than normal (and by creased I mean dug out of the laundry basket). Roll on spring!! #coolmumclub

  24. kirstyelizabeth6 Reply

    I could have written this myself! I sometimes think the standards out there have put too much pressure on ourselves! for example the endless patties ( plus gifts) endless weddings ( plus gifts) sometimes I just want to be selfish and think “no actually id like to keep my own money for a change thanks” or “no thank you, to be honest we just want a day the four of us” the balance is so hard to get write but I think we all need to find a bit of our inner selfishness just to stay sane! xx

  25. thesingleswan Reply

    I know how you feel. The admin burden of life and the mental load is never ending. I think that the trick is knowing which balls you feel okay dropping and which balls you really have to keep juggling. The trouble is that we all try to do too much. There are just not enough hours in the day to do everything. Pen x #coolmumclub

  26. Nicola Reply

    I couldn’t agree more! I work full time from home, plus write my blog on top and I’m an Avon rep – I’m lucky in that my two are in school so are gone for at least 6 hours each day but there is that huge pressure to remember everything. I bought a white board planner for our hallway so that everyone could see what they were doing and when, but it’s still up to me to write everything on it! My other half is always happy to help but what irks me is the “tell me what to do and I’ll do it”. It would be so much easier if they just did things without being asked! #coolmumclub

  27. Emma T Reply

    It isn’t easy is it. Especially when you’ve an OH like mine who moans about the place being untidy and that it’s not cleaned enough, but then doesn’t even do his jobs of the toilets or bins. He also says I dont really work (I work full time) because to him working is 7 days a week. It really does need everyone to pull together.

  28. The Queen of Collage Reply

    Do ‘a boss who praised me for my efforts’ actually exist? I’ve yet to come across one of those. There are things I’ve tried to do to make things easier such as my homemade wrapping station but sometimes being a mother can feel overwhelming #coolmumclub

  29. lukeosaurusandme Reply

    It can get a bit much with the kids around. Especially when the only gratification you get is what you give yourself. I think self praise and self care are key! #coolmumclub

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