All the Feelings – Part Two: Overwhelmed and Overworked

The kids are back to school, and now our routine is back to usual. It made me think of all the things i do as parent, both what i expect to do and what i put on myself. I also never knew just how busy my to-do lists would be. I think I’m going to add some new skills to my resume. Here is a good sample list, as a place to start:

Coordination of meetings – i.e. doctor, dentist, naturopath, osteopath, Fracture Clinic (just June-July alone)
Nurse and emergency response support, Health and Safety Committee
Mediation and Conflict Resolution
Budget allocation – enough said
Minutes/notetaker – for contact with teacher
Copy editing – of homework, budding reader practice
Art facilitation – craft supplies, doing crafts, organizing crafts and more
Curator – for all the above-mentioned art work
Anthropologist – finding all the things the kids lose (toy figure Light Saber, SMALL Lego pieces, lip balm?
Short-order cook – everyone wants eggs but different
Caterer
Party planner – ain’t no party like a kid’s birthday party these days
Librarian – book collector, reader, finder, fine payer, and more
Organizer – pack their school bags, put away all. the. things
Dry Cleaner – they leave their clothes out and it magically cleans itself, and then puts it away
Secretarial skills – book play dates, take messages, talk to teachers, talk to parents
Manage small groups – i.e. keep the kids alive when friends come visit
Life coach – helping kids be humans
Therapist – friendship support, frustrations at school, etc.
Teacher – music, dance, art, reading, math, gym, yoga, mediation, spelling
Tour guide – PA day fun, weekend plans, trips, summer vacay
Personal Buyer
Chauffeur

A local therapist and colleague, Olivia, shares about some great ‘buckets of work’ that parents have to do. I love this list – it unpacks the layers and also pinpoints all the areas of work that gets unnoticed but is so key to keeping things moving. Check it out for more on this never-ending list of things we do as parents.

What would you add?

It’s no wonder that more articles and press is being given to the concepts of ‘mama brain’ and ‘mental load.’ While i know my partner does a fair share of work in the house and for the family, it is me that wakes up at any sound. I have heard my kids fall out of bed, throwing up, calling for me. I have been the first call the school makes when my kids are hurt. It’s me that tracks down the things the kids lose (just recently that includes 2 library books, a purse, water bottle, hat, and another water bottle. It’s me that looks at sales for clothes and gets hand-me-downs to save money for things we really need.

And yet folks complain about the mama brain and assume we are tired from not sleeping enough, but actually it’s the opposite – just look at this list. It’s because we are thinking about all the things all the time. And yes, i still typically turn my bedside light off after my partner, and yes it takes me forever to fall asleep, while he’s snoring in 2 minutes flat. I’m not exaggerating. But gees, that’s the best time i’ve got for just me stuff. I close my day with stuff i actually like and do just for me. It helps me get to bed and ready for the next day. That’s a little tool i use to help me start the whole Groundhog Day of life all over again. Wanna read more about this, and have something else to do? Here’s a good article about why we stay up past our bedtime.

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