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What to tell the overwhelmed working mom

October 4, 2018 8 Comments

You guys. I had this whole blog post ready to go for today about my surprise at how not-overwhelmed I’ve been so far and we can do new and hard things and girl power–yeah!

And then I cried at daycare drop off today. So, there’s that

Apparently I’m a little more whelmed than I thought.

What to tell yourself when you feel overwhelmed as a working mom trying to manage it all. #workingmom #momincollege

Not with school, but with family stuff. School hasn’t been stressful at all so far. Grad school is a ton of fun! Starting my second week of classes, Utah caught on fire again, this time just south of us, so we went to bed every night seeing flames on the mountains behind us. The air was unbearably smokey, which got all of us sick. Respiratory tract infections, head colds, coughs, ear infections, and the snot–oh the snot! We’re all still recovering.

Then my three-year-old started throwing up every night. Almost daily for three weeks now. So.much.barf. Turns out she’s not allergic to anything (hallelujah), but has ginormous tonsils that she gags on when she eats and sleeps. So she’ll have an adenoidtonsillectomy soon, plus another round of PE tubes for her ears. But two weeks of barfing has made her afraid of food, sleep, mixing bowls (Puke catching should be in the parenting olympics), and for some unknown reason she’s afraid of toilets now and I’m stressed that she’s going to get a UTI from not going.

She’s underslept, dehydrated, confused, and her behavior is either slap happy or rage monster. None of it’s her fault, I’d be too. But this morning’s throw up and overtired 25-minute epic meltdown (because she had to get dressed) caught up with me as I explained to the staff why she has a sippy cup of Gatorade, where the fruit & veggie pouches are in her bag in case she throws up lunch, and to remember to try to get her to use the small potty instead of the normal sized one.

Ice Cream Eating GIF

As I drove to work, trying to stop myself from crying more, I wondered why I’m trying to do school and work and if anything I was doing was right anymore. #dramaqueen  But just as soon as I thought it, my brain followed up with, “Would any of this be different if I wasn’t working or in school?”


She’d still be throwing up all the time. My husband’s insurance plan isn’t nearly as good as mine. It would be way worse on us financially, which would cause more stress. We’d all see my husband less, which wouldn’t be good for anyone. She’d miss playing with her friends at school.

This would all be going on, and I wouldn’t be able to work towards my goals like I am now.

Whether we’re SAHM’s or working part-or-full-time, have five little kids running around the house or are empty-nesters, it’s guaranteed that family stuff will always happen. Allllways. Trust me, I have 10 adult siblings and the drama family situations never end.

And that’s fine, that’s part of family life. But, it doesn’t mean we always have to put off our own goals. We still feel like this is the right time for me to be in school, to get skills I want that will help me have a more flexible schedule and career in the future.

When I feel like all of the poop emojis are hitting the fan, it helps me to stop and think, “If I weren’t doing    (insert goal/plans/hobbies/etc.)    right now, would that change anything?”

Usually, it’s a no. Maybe I need to make some adjustments, but I rarely ever feel like I have to stop working on something completely.

Working towards something that is important for my personal development frequently gives me strength I need to accomplish things in all aspects of my life. It would be a lot harder to clean up barf every day if I didn’t remember that my needs and goals are important, too.

How would your situation change if you gave up on your goals?


btdubs, does anyone have any carpet deodorizer they recommend?

The Goonies Vomit GIF



  • manderpantz October 8, 2018 at 5:33 pm

    Love this post! We all need that little reminder now and then when we feel everything is going wrong. What a great perspective to take x

    • Katie October 8, 2018 at 5:57 pm

      Thank you! I feel like parenting is all about keeping your perspective so you don’t lose it, haha!

  • Rebecca October 8, 2018 at 5:33 pm

    Great read! And I can relate to all of it! As someone who worked 6-7 days a week 8-13 hours a day for the first 5 years of my sons life this all resonated with me!

    • Katie October 8, 2018 at 5:58 pm

      Oh my gosh, that’s a lot of hours even without kids! That had to be tough! I’m glad it spoke to you!

  • So, I'm a Mom Now... October 8, 2018 at 8:15 pm

    YES! Sometimes I have to ask myself that question multiple times in a day! I think the most important part is staying focused on what you want now but also in the future. Life is going to be hard no matter what you’re doing, but that is life. It happens around you all the time even when you’re not paying attention, so isn’t it better for you to look at what you want to happen in life instead of life happening to you? YES!

    • Katie October 22, 2018 at 8:47 pm

      I completely agree! I feel like motherhood is largely about repeating mantras to yourself so you don’t lose it haha

  • Tread Lightly, Retire Early October 22, 2018 at 7:54 pm

    To be honest, at least most of the time, getting to escape to work and at least deal with a different set of problems feels less overwhelming than being home all the time. Of course, everyone is different in that regard though.

    • Katie October 23, 2018 at 2:46 am

      I completely agree. It really is an escape and I have no shame in saying that. SAHM really hasn’t been part of society for that long, and it’s even completely different than how it was in the 50’s. Most people don’t have that local family support to relieve some of the pressure/stress of childrearing (their escape), and I think work really does fill that need for something else. But I know there are plenty of women who don’t feel that need. Everyone’s different!

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