If someone asks me what I do, I reply that I am a stay-at-home mom.
Most people get what a huge undertaking that is, especially with two under three constantly underfoot and needing me for all the things at every single moment. However, some seem to wonder what it is I do with “all of that free time.” Free time? Adorable.
I think all moms are rock stars, but I belong to a special league of motherhood I refer to as the “Overtime Moms.”
What is an Overtime Mom, you ask?
An Overtime Mom is a mom whose partner works hours that far exceed the regular 40-45 hour work week. An Overtime Mom is a mom whose partner travels for work throughout the year. An Overtime Mom is someone who can go entire days from wake-up to bed-time without any help, and then do it again the next day.
I sometimes envy the partners of those with 40-hour work weeks. My husband can hit 40 hours by Wednesday, and that’s on a week when he’s NOT traveling. I envy the moms who have their partners around to divide and conquer the morning crazy. I feel bad that there are days where my kids’ only contact with their father is the five minutes of FaceTime he carved out of an insanely busy schedule.
Don’t get me wrong, I’m not the martyr here. My husband is. He is one of the hardest working, most loving parents I have ever seen. He’s Superdad. The man doesn’t even need coffee. I’m convinced he has a radioactive spider stashed somewhere. He’s fun and devoted. He takes such good care of us. Even with his crazy hours, I know there is no better man I could have picked to parent with.
That said, there are times when I feel like my kids don’t get enough of him and I just don’t have anything left over to give to make up for that.
Parenting non-stop from 6am has me struggling to be my best self by 4. The nights when my husband works late are basically forced marches from the end of nap-time (if it exists) until bed-time. My kids deserve better than that. I hate that I can’t always give it to them.
I’m not alone, however. I’m part of a Facebook group for the Overtime Moms of my area. We meet for play dates and try our best to keep one another sane. They are my village, and together, we lift one another up. It’s a special kind of sorority that none of us bargained for, and we are bound together by our shared–often stressful–experience. We are stretched thin, but blessed beyond imagination, because our partners do come home eventually. And that makes it all worth it.
P.S. Single mamas, you all deserve a medal and a really long nap, because living your life just part of the time takes all of what we have to give. We acknowledge that on a regular basis and are continually in awe of you.