Searching for Overwhelmed Moms

by Janice

The baby won’t sleep. The kids won’t listen. The house is a mess. Your husband wants to know what is for dinner. And the clock just won’t stop.

You can’t take this pace much longer. But what can you do?
This is your life…

Motherhood is hard – brutally hard. And sometimes it all is just too much.

But what options does a busy mom have? The “show” must go on. The bills need to be paid, the children need to be looked after… and there is no one standing there ready to grab you when you fall.

Yesterday, a national talk show contacted us to help them in their search to find overwhelmed moms.

They want us to help them find women to share their stories – women who are wonderful mothers but have so much on their plates that those plates just might break.

They are looking for brutally honest confessions from stressed and overwhelmed moms.

Have you been so busy that you’ve forgotten to do something that could have ended in tragedy? Perhaps you have made a mistake that’s put your child in harm’s way.

Have you been so consumed with getting through your to-do list that you didn’t notice a child wandered out of the house or came dangerously close to falling in a pool?

Have you accidentally left your child in the car at the store — or momentarily forgotten that your child was in the car?

Do you feel like you’re out of control, trying to balance everything in your family, and scared of what could happen?

Are you sleep deprived or stretched to the point that you fear something awful could happen at a moment’s notice?

We’d like to hear your story.

If you want to remain anonymous, you can call their PHONE LINE at (312) 421-2713.

If you don’t mind sharing your name or being contacted by a television producer, please email your story to overwhelmedparent@gmail.com.
(Please feel free to do both.)

Sharing our stories, learning from each other and discovering we are not alone in our struggles – it is amazing how healing it can be.

We hope our incredible blogging community can reach out once again and share to heal.

P.S. We promise this National Show is one of your favorites – and someone you can trust.

We just don’t want to mention the name here in print and have the search engines go crazy. We want to get this message to you, our trusted, faithful audience.

If you want to know who we are referring to before you call them, feel free to email us personally at 5minutesformom @ gmail.com. (Please remove spaces in that address and write OVERWHELMED in the subject line.)



Email Author    |    Website About Janice

Janice is co-founder of 5 Minutes For Mom. She's been working online since 2003 and is thankful her days are full of social media, writing and photography. You can see more of her photos at janicecrozephotography.com.

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{ 9 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Natalie Jane August 21, 2008 at 11:40 pm

Yea, I’ve been a little stressed…but just for a few years now…

http://shane-natalie.blogspot.com/2008/03/wait-this-can-be-fun.html

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2 Anissa August 22, 2008 at 12:00 am

Oh, you KNOW I sent them an email on this one! LOL

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3 Maddy August 22, 2008 at 10:02 am

Alrighty I’ll try and do the Stumbleupon thing in a minute, but I usually disappear into middle earth never to see the light of day again!

But just for you, since you asked [reminded] so nicely.

Meanwhile.

Overwhelmed.

I was, but not so much so these days.

Share?

A few years back I took all three under three to the Mall to buy a baby shower present for a pal [silly me].

I needed to visit the loo. I had one in a baby bjorn and the other two in the double stroller. We all piled into the disabled stall [so shoot me]. When I was in position, my nearly three year old escaped from her safety strap, zipped out of the stroller and dived under the stall door. Whilst I called her name some extremely helpful person opened the main door of the restroom and she whizzed into the mall.

It took us a few seconds to extricate ourselves and zap on after her.

Gone.

Panic.

About to call security when I found her in Gymboree where she had joined the other children [even though we had never been members]

This is why I am allergic to shopping.

Cheers

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4 Briana August 22, 2008 at 10:53 am

I am very blessed to have a great group of mommy friends ready to unload all their “worst mommy” stories whenever I flub in my own parenting walk. I am not sure if I am ready to share them with the whole world on a national show, though. =P

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5 Brenda August 22, 2008 at 12:28 pm

Hmm, which story to tell, I have so many that I lost count! There’s probably a few I conveniently forgot as well…

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6 Heather August 22, 2008 at 4:50 pm

I’m overwhelmed… we talked about this at BlogHer, but much of it I bring on myself… although, some of it, I don’t…. don’t know about this one… maybe I’ll write it. So far I’m not worried abut missing anything big, but now you have me thinking…

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7 kim turner August 22, 2008 at 8:25 pm

Talk about overwhelmed, mom of 5 wife of 1 who acts like I am mom living in a one room hotel room. Could tell u all about it but their is not enough space.

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8 it figures November 3, 2008 at 2:18 pm

well I just wrote a book to the email about my overwhelmed-mom-state and after reading your blog entries, I found it was too little too late. Hey, at least I feel like I unloaded a bit. However, if Oprah gave someone a car or something, I’ll cry myself to sleep ;]

I’ll share my rant with you guys for the sake of letting SOMEONE read the spiel that took me too long to write !

I dont know if you are still interested in having stories from overwhelmed parents, but I’ll type mine to you anyway. Maybe the venting will help me cry it out and unload the burden a bit. Its 7:46 am and the girls, 12 and 14 are off to middle school. I’ve been up since 5 am. I dont know if its the time change, or the fact I just cant sleep with the puppy barking, the baby or the 4 yr old getting up before dawn, cats meowing at my door to be fed cuz someone forgot to do it, or the caffeine induced mid-night wakenings to use the potty. I’m sitting here at the computer as I try to study for my real estate exam and cover three chapters heavy with legal jargon and unfamiliar concepts. My husband just walked in with the baby. They fell asleep in the basement watching tv since I was up studying late last night. I’ve asked, begged, and pleaded that he put her to sleep in her crib so we dont have a kid with the ungodly bad habit of sleeping with the parents and spazzing when it comes time to go to sleep, but he is a man… he is a man. Men dont see the necessities in household management quite like we do. Then dont stress over the cleaning because they think it gets done by magic or some other unseen phenomena. I can tell I am getting started on topics where I can rambl on and on. So rather than go on telling you about my moment of stress, I’ll sum it up and get to the point quicker. My name is Michelle Sather. I’m married to an attorney. We have 5 kids. I am a stay at home parent. Don’t let the stay at home part fool you into thinking I have it made. When I started staying home with the then 3 kids, I eventually ended up in therapy. The adjustment was quite difficult. I lost my identity. I gained weight. I quit smoking (although unhealthy, I felt like I cut off my arm.) The doc put me on meds, diagnosed me with a personlity disorder, and I was counseled for a short time. I quickly found that I wasnt really digging the whole experience. The drugs certainly didnt help, they made me feel worse. The therapy didnt help… after I got home I looked up personality disorders. I think the guy heard me say, ” I feel I’ve lost my identity” and read wayyy to into it. I am a far cry from The 3 Faces of Eve. So I looked up the meds he put me on… I cant remember the one, but one of the 2 was an anti-psychotic medication. After I saw that, I knew that whole ordeal was crazy (no pun). I began to read, self analyze, and figure things out a bit. It took some time but I came out of what I consider to be a state of depression with some resulting anxiety due to the depression. I never was quite the same however. I got over the depression, but I still felt empty without being in control of my life. I missed making money, having my own personal checking and credit accounts, choosing the outfit for the workday, conversing with like-minded adults, etc etc. I was frumpy, drab, and had a constant craving for something more to define my life as an individual, a woman, a person named something other than mom. I knew and know all the Barney songs by heart. I’ve began to enjoy cartoon network. I say buh-bye and potty to acquaintences, random adults, and neighbors. I make analogies no one understands because they always coincide with movies like the 1970′s Willy Wonka, PeeWee’s Big Adventure, and every Walt Disney movie ever created. So, getting back on point, I ended up getting the 3 kids off to school all day and decided to have another baby. We then had kids from 10, 8, 6 and baby. Today we have 14 Alycia, 12 Noelle, 10 Kaleb, 4 Cameron, and 16 mo. Ginger. So here we are. I’m 32 years old and physically feel far older. I’d used to say I feel 50, but I have seen gorgeous, vibrant, 50 somethings- 40 somethings, sprint pass me on the jogging path as I lugged my big bottom along while pushing the 100 lbs. double stroller. My 2older daughters are competitive cheerleaders and have been for 5 years. Thats 5 yearsof literally thousands of dollars, hours, and energies pumped into this very consuming activity. The kids are generally in the gym 4 days a week for a few hours each day. I consider cheer my job. It actually filled that void from back when I first had Cameron andI had that constant need to do something outside of the home. While the girls were benefiting physically, mentally, and emotionally from this disciplined form of cheer… I was with other moms-…moms like me, who probably also took solace in the fact that “We’re all in this together” (-High School Musical pun). People would always say, “I can’t believe you have 4 kids and do this(cheer).” “How do you do it?” “2 girls in the program has got to be crazy!” What people didnt know is that it was therapeutic for me to be doing those things. I need to feel energy, excitement, newness and just didnt get a rush from watching One Life to Live and folding towels. With competitive cheer you are committed to an 11 month season. Thats about $250 a month in gym fees, $1200 in competition fees, $4200 in gas (since I dont drive anywhere else), not to mention travel expenses-hotels-food, $500 uniforms & accessories. Its a huge financial/time obligation that stress the marriage. But its what they’ve worked for for years. They’ve acquired amazing gymnastic tumbling. They’ve formed bonds and friendships. If I was to eliminate the kids activities, I would feel as if I failed them because I couldnt handle it. I just cant take it away from them because I feel they should be deprived of something I put them in and now they love it and I’ve had more kids and now its harder on me. So I deal with it. This year my 4 yr old started preschool 3 days a week so now I drive to Naperville for cheer and preschool. my days are spent running kid group 1, my night are spent running kid group 2. The kids work so hard in this house. They do so much. I realize it when I am talking with other families or see it when other parents are complaining to me that they are tired of doing laundry, cooking, cleaning kids rooms and I think to myself, “geez my big kids do all that on their own”. Although the kids dont always do it right. I find dishes unloaded from the dishwasher that were dirty, dirty clothes crammed in the closets, drinks and food remnants in the forbidden rooms etc. Ultimately I am the one overseeing the household and ensuring the work is done right or just doing it myself. My husband is busy working ridiculously to try and keep our heads above water because of the wretched economy. Our investments have plummeted, his clients cant pay him or stiff him because they are broke too. The last thing my poor husband wants to deal with is an overwraught wife. So I always try to hold it in and not burden him further. I suck it up so he doesnt feel like his work is in vane. There are those days when I just freak out and cry and want to leave and escape and try to communicate with him and he is blindsided by it all. He is clueless about how much it takes to do what I do. Absolutely clueless. It stresses me out more when I ask him for help and come home only to find either it wasnt done, or that he completely neglected routine kid upkeep ie. showers, dressing them, feeding them, cleaning up after himself and them. Thats when I lose it. Its like a huge slap in the face when you’ve cleaned all day and your family comes home and just erupts all over every single room. I love my husband and my kids beyond compare. I would do anything for them. I just want to be appreciated and I want those feelings of sacrifice to be reciprocated on their end. Maybe not so much sacrifice from the kids because they do so much, but moreso, the husband. He wonders why when I crawl into bed at night I just want to be left alone. Its almost laughable. Are you kidding? I’ve been putting out all day, I dont have anything left to put out!! I give burning the candle at both ends the definition it deserves. My heart hurts. I am physically and emotionally crumbling. The worst part is that I want to leave, run, hop in the car and just go… but really I DONT want to do that because I love this family. This is what I HAVE CREATED. How could I bail on them? They didnt ask for this! So I am trapped, caught between myself and myself. I spend too much time beating myself up with guilt and regret and wondering if I did them harm by digging myself in too deep. I am alone in this and I prefer it to be that way because I dont want the family strained. However, I think they are anyway because no one in this house is getting the best of me, the real me… The me that loves to sing, play, ride rollercoasters, cuddle, listen, LISTEN to whats REALLY important. I feel like my fast life is speeding me right past the precious moments of my families life that I’ll never have a chance to recover. I try to breathe, slow down, self talk myself down from the ledge, but it never fails… the stress demon is always there, awaiting a vulnerable moment to strike. Thanks for being there at 6 am! It is now 12 noon and between the numerous interruptions pertaining to my overwhlemed mom status, I am finally concluding my rant! Michelle SatherChicago burbs’

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9 Ricki Jean December 3, 2008 at 2:26 am

To Michelle SatherChicago burbs’
although I am working and our stories are different in many ways, I related to many of the feelinss you expressed, especially the overwhelmed part and the lack of sleep. Even with work I feel I’m getting lost in it all. Besides trying to help raise my 2 children who I don’t get to see nearly as much as I would like, I’m taking care of a very sick Mom who lives by herself in addition to dealing with a very dysfuntional family (outside of my very immediate family that is). The economy & market conditions are adding additional burden and stress to all of us and quite frankly, I felt like I was feeling all alone with these feelings of stress until I read you blog. I wish more woman would talk about how hard life truly is and stop telling me to schedule a date with my husband or child. These issues are bigger than that and for the sakes of millions of families in this word, society needs to figure out a better way. Otherwise, moms, teens, dads, etc turn to vices that are unhealthy to hopefully ease the pain, guilt and/or overwhelmness they feel which costs this world more … not just financially, but morally. If we can not help our mothers to be successful (i.e. flexible schedules, equal pay, support, etc.) how can our children be successful? We have to stop failing each other and work together to come up with real solutions that really work. Lord knows I need ‘em. Ricki Jean from Denver

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