running on fumes

I’m exhausted. The “terrible twos” (x2) are upon us, and I feel it applies to my second year of motherhood as well. Not that terrible, but very trying. I hesitate to write about this topic, as I really can’t say anything that hasn’t already been said. As much as I feel settled and content as a mother, I’m struggling to maintain my own identity (and sanity, ha), as so many women do. Being a mother is both my greatest struggle and reward in my life (thus far). Pretty sure it always will be.

Motherhood isn’t glamorous (as most of us know). I’m a maid, a referee, a chauffeur, a teacher, and a chef. Most days, I live in yoga pants, keep my hair in a messy top knot, and am lucky to get a shower lasting longer than two minutes. I’ve resigned to the fact that a clean and orderly home is simply not possible with twin toddlers (or any young children for that matter), and am doing my best to accept the mess (not easy for a type A personality). Without any help right now, I get my work done during nap time + in the evenings, which isn’t ideal, as I need time for myself, and my husband. Date nights are a rarity–something we hope to remedy soon. I need (and want) more time for my marriage.

Our days are a whirlwind of activity, and even though I’ve grown accustomed to the chaos, it doesn’t make it any easier. I’m usually exhausted by lunchtime, and I get through the the rest of the day with sheer adrenaline + willpower. I’m usually counting the minutes until my husband is home to help with dinner, bath, and bedtime. As grateful as I am for the opportunity to be with them 24/7, I need a break, and am not sure how to get one (without feeling riddled with guilt). I know I’m not alone, and welcome your thoughts. I’m so thankful for this outlet and community.


  1. Oh Susan, sending hugs from overseas. I don’t have children, but I admire anyone who teaches those of who don’t have them what a challenge it is. It can be hard to understand what motherhood entails for those of us who haven’t gone through it (but who have many friends who do have them). I’ll always applaud your honesty and in the meantime, try to subliminally will certain twins into some additional naptime in the near future for you. xx

  2. I very much relate to this post, Susan! As a mother of a nine month old, also type A, and an introverted person, I, too, am exhausted by the requirement of being “on” all day long, every day. I am sending so many good thoughts your way. <3 <3 <3

    • yes…”ON” is exactly right – it’s exhausting! thank you Anna, back atcha! xx

  3. Man. I totally understand this. While my girls aren’t twins they sure as hell felt like it for years. I remember when Maya was 15 mo and here I was with a newborn. Sleeping on the couch with one eye open while Maya played and Senna did what babies do. Kids are hard and staying home is rough. It’s an amazing opportunity… I agree, but woah. Your day never ends, you don’t have a transition period and you’re always… always on call! I treasured the moment that my husband would come home and just knowing he was around provided relief. Someone who could keep eyes on those busy babes.

    I know it’s annoying to say, but it gets easier. When they can play without having to be watched, when they can entertain each other w/o fear of them getting hurt or breaking something… it’s really awesome. I’m grateful for this age now as a single mama… although there are many days I feel just like you all over again. You’re just a few years away from that independence you crave! :) xoxo

    • thank you Kim…I also cannot imagine that situation of a baby + toddler, whoa. I do understand it will get easier, and I look forward to that but also want them to stay this age forever (a feeling I know you understand). thank you for your comment Kim…xoxo

  4. Susan, I just don’t know how you do it all! I worked from home with C today for the first time in months, and at one point found myself serving her lunch while on a conference call and loading the dishwasher. What you do with two is not for the faint of heart! Anyways, all this to say I have so much respect for you, and am hopeful that you can find a way to give yourself some much needed quiet time. I know it is hard to do! xoxo

    • thank you so much Alexandra…that is a similar scene in our house! so sweet of you to comment. xoxo

  5. What Jess said!! I obviously don’t have any wisdom to offer here, but I too am so grateful for the window you give by vulnerably sharing the realities of daily life momhood. Hearing this gives me even greater respect to approach being a mom someday…*runs and hides* ;) Maybe the guilty feeling will lessen as they get older, although that doesn’t exactly solve the issue at hand. I hope something magical happens this week and it gets easier. Love you!!

    • that means a lot Angie, as I strive to be transparent in sharing my journey…don’t let this scare you too much! (you know the majority of what I share is the joyous beauty of it all) and you will be an amazing mother. I too hope something magical happens this week…we have an interview for help this morning actually, so fingers crossed! love you too.

  6. Well, I’m not a mom, so allow me to preface that I’m probably way out of my element here. BUT I do have a very busy life and the first thing that gets sacrificed is time with my husband. I’m lucky and thankful that he’s very understanding and has been instrumental in helping me build my own business, but nearly every weekend for years has been a working weekend, away from him. Dinners each night are very late, usually 10 or 11pm, and quick as I try to get to bed before midnight to wake up early and do it all over again. I struggle with trying to balance some quality time with him and imagine that with kids, this can be even more elusive and frustrating. But I’m trying to practice being kind to myself. The to-do list will always be there, so pulling back a little and focusing on what I can accomplish within a reasonable amount of time instead of pushing so hard I forget to eat/sleep/go home at a decent hour is a goal. Pulling back allows for better focus when I return to the work because I’ve allowed some rest and replenished my energies. Another thing I’m trying to be a stickler about is exercising. I get better sleep, I eat better, I manage time better when my body is exhausted enough to override the insane nagging drill sergeant in my brain. The soreness makes me mindful, thankful, and present in my body and I pay better attention to when I am hungry or tired or getting dehydrated. Plus, the times at the gym really feel like “me time” which is something I think we all need. I also try to give myself 20-30 mins before bed to read a couple chapters in a book. It feels like a luxurious indulgence, and is a great way to relax before falling asleep. So, I think it’s key to finding even a small indulgence for yourself, like perhaps even a 15 minute shower, maybe once your husband is home to watch the kids a bit. Just that little bit of breathing room can help you feel rejuvenated. It’s not easy, but it’s simple stuff that can make a big difference. xoxoxoxox

    • I agree with small indulgences Elizabeth, and as a parent, that’s pretty much all you get anyway! Those little moments can be very rejuvenating indeed, and I always read before bed. I need to be more relaxed with my to do list, and not let it loom over me so heavily. Thank you for your thoughts! xoxo

  7. Can only agree with you Susan and all the other comments. Parenting is wonderfully exhausting!

  8. You would love a mother’s helper. If you can locate a girl in your neighborhood between the ages of 12 and 15 who could come over after school 2-3 days a week and play with the kids while you’re home, it would make a world of difference. The kids will love the new attention and novelty and you will enjoy 2 hours of email, dinner prep, sitting down with a cup of tea. This is a very affordable option and a safe one too b/c you are still on the premises and can generally oversee that all is well. Good luck!

  9. You need a babysitter. ASAP. Even if it’s to have someone come over for an hour or two during the day so that you can take a long hot shower and read a magazine. I can recommend a couple of people. But I’ve always found my babysitters through West Chester University and have had great success.

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