Days when even supermoms need a break

Of late, this juggling mom has been struggling to keep afloat.

Can I be honest and confess that I really haven’t got it all under control? My house is in a constant state of mess that I no longer invite any of my friends over. That includes my mummy dearest, because I know she will nag at me and express disappointment of how I have failed in my house keeping duties as a mother and wife. After 2, 3 months of cooking healthy meals for myself, I am now in two minds about giving up on cooking when it’s not exactly my hubby’s choice of food plus cooking for one just seems like a waste of time when it included cutting, cooking and washing up late into the nights.

My daughter has been extremely sticky to me,  and she’s been crying inconsolably when she sees me in my  jogging gear and insist that only mama can put her to bed. And while I could wake up early to jog before everyone is up, all I really want to do is catch a few more winks so that I can keep awake at work.

These days, it’s my dream to be able to sleep in on a weekend or maybe even sleep the day away. Which is really unlike me as I’ll be the first to lecture you that you’re wasting your precious life away by being so unproductive. Yet on weekends when I do fall asleep when I put Sophie to sleep for her nap, I’ll get so frustrated at myself because I would feel guilty that I have “wasted” the time sleeping instead of catching up on my house chores.

As a working mom, the weekends are precious for me to bond and spend quality time with Sophie. Yet at times, I am also secretly thankful that she’s over at her grandma’s place for a night or two so that I don’t have to deal with her tantrums or keep her busy when I’m running around the house picking after the toys, doing the laundry and what have you.

I’m not even trying to be a supermom and am giving myself pep talks that I can get through it like most of the working moms in Singapore. But I don’t know if I’m only setting myself up for more stress by trying to give 100% in every aspect of my life.

I’m beginning to feel very stretched and am experiencing stress, that’s manifesting itself with indigestion by the end of the work day. I don’t want to short change by family nor my company, and would really appreciate help to keep my sanity these days.

Supermom – NOT!

If you’ve got suggestions or advice on how I can get my juggling act together, do drop me a note. Perhaps, I just need to have a good run to beat this defeated feeling.

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  1. Debby Amalia June 12, 2012 at 12:04 am Reply

    Can i suggest u get a part time helper for a few hours on weekend so u can relax a lil/ catch up on ur jogging or other things??

  2. Susan Koh June 12, 2012 at 12:08 am Reply

    Debby Amalia: Yes,I’m seriously considering getting PT help too. I’ve been asking some friends if they’ve got anyone to recommend. I’m waving my white flag already.

  3. Joanna Ash June 12, 2012 at 12:12 am Reply

    Honey, the trick in being a great mom, is knowing when you’d need to not feel guilty about an occasional “me” time, so that you can come back recharged and energized as truly a supermok should feel. Going for a jog, reading a magazine in a little solitude, space and time to write your blog, a chat with mom on phone are all powerful examples of “me” time that should never be underestimated for its usefulness.

  4. Regina Soejanto-Moo June 12, 2012 at 12:14 am Reply

    Susan Koh: I totally KNOW where you’re coming from! Thank you for being so upfront about your thoughts and feelings – and for admitting that it would be best to have some help.

    I think P/T help will ease the load. A whole lot. I think I’m able to stay sane because I have help in the form of my Mum’s helper to do the chores and to clear the laundry. Weekends are so precious for us… it’s a time to bond (the only time we have) and I would beat myself up if it passes by ‘unproductively’.

    Cindy Chia may be able to help in terms of recommending someone. Good luck… and you know if you need to vent we’re all here!

  5. Susan Koh June 12, 2012 at 12:24 am Reply

    Thanks Jo. I’m trying to remind myself that I am NOT a supermom and you[re so right about having my “me” time to get recharged. No guilt, no guilt, no guilt…*walks away chanting*

  6. Susan Koh June 12, 2012 at 12:27 am Reply

    Regina Soejanto-Moo: I’ve dropped Cindy a note on the PT help she mentioned. I used to think about all the inconveniences of getting PT help for the weekends as I would either have to wake up early or stay home on a weekend while my house is cleaned. But at the rate it’s going, my house is soon turning into the set on “Day after tomorrow” or something. But now, I would rather have that outsourced so that I can rest or spend time with the family.

  7. Regina Soejanto-Moo June 12, 2012 at 12:29 am Reply

    Susan Koh: Realising that is half the battle won! 😉

  8. Gladys June 12, 2012 at 12:30 am Reply

    Can empathize with this juggling act. Feels overwhelmed often with work n being a mum. Like you, I wonder how other mums do it lol.

    Anyway think you are doing your best – don’t have to beat yourself up if Sophie stays at grandparents’ place once in a while.. I tell myself that I am of no use to the kids if I am grouchy or tired so must take care of myself and do happy things.

    On the chores – do you have part time helper? It helps somewhat for me, at least the house looks ok on most days ha.


  9. Nina Lee June 12, 2012 at 12:34 am Reply

    Can understand how u feel … i’m feeling stressed out everyday too even though i’m a sahm. I think i’ve been too busy with housework & cooking dat i think i spent my time longer in the kitchen den with ovann … u know, really good quality time.

    At least when u work u have dat lunch hour of free time, for a break ….. the only free time i have is at nite, after he sleeps, like now, den i can do wat i want. I’d watch tv rite into 2am even though i’m very tired & sleepy. Hubby has ticked me off, asking why do i torture myself when i’m already so tired? He doesn’t realise dat this is the only hour i can really, really, zonk out my brain, relax my body and no need to MULTI-TASK with anything else! It is so precious to me dat i dun want to waste it in sleeping …. LOL!

  10. Susan Koh June 12, 2012 at 12:51 am Reply

    Nina Lee: I know exactly what you means which explains why I’m still up to. Having my “me” time now before I sleep.

  11. Adeline June 12, 2012 at 8:30 am Reply

    Dear Susan, thanks for sharing this. You are not alone. Worst when I am a SAHM and I think my home is a mess right? :p
    I think it all boils down to expectations. We expect too much from ourselves and want to achieve and complete many things just because we are mothers. Perhaps your hubs can help out with some chores too? Mine helps me with laundry, though its nothing to shout out because its just sorting the clothes out into the washer while I do the rest. :p
    Hang in there. I always say, its a phase.

    • Susan June 12, 2012 at 1:57 pm Reply

      Thanks Ade. I know it’s something that a lot of moms struggle with. I do have to get my priorities right and learn to not sweat over the small stuffs.

  12. Amie June 12, 2012 at 8:32 am Reply

    Hi Susan,
    You’re not alone to face this sort of problem. I don’t have a helper at home coz after trying out a few, I have some sort of phobia with them at the meantime. I’m lucky in a way that my mum stays with me & she help me with some of the house chores while I’m working during the day time. But some house chores I still need to do it in the middle of the night when all of them are fast asleep. I’m not a super woman either, I have my ups & downs. Trying to find time to go shopping peacefully, eat a meal gracefully is quite impossible for me these days as I have to face the children’s tantrums & mood swings. I keep telling myself that these are passing phase which I have to go thru & very soon when they are older I will have a more relax time or “me” time 🙂
    So I just need to endure for now 🙂

    • Susan June 12, 2012 at 2:00 pm Reply

      That’s keeping the long-term goal in mind! I try to remind myself that I’m not competing for the title of Supermom and should have realistic expectations of the cleanliness of the home. Meanwhile I’m looking at some part-time and accepting that I do need help.

  13. June June 12, 2012 at 9:53 am Reply

    Hugs, Susan, I can relate to this. I’m only working part-time and already I get a part-time cleaner in every week! 😛

    I hope that you get the right help you need, and every time you’re tempted to go on a guilt trip, perhaps try going on a ‘thankful trip’ instead? 😉

    • Susan June 12, 2012 at 2:02 pm Reply

      Yes, I do have a lot to be thankful for June. A roof over my head inspite of how messy it is and a family that loves me even though I’m less than perfect. Thanks for the reminder *hugs*

  14. qiu xian June 12, 2012 at 9:54 am Reply

    Don’t get too beat up about it! Its just those off days and you’ll get back your ‘on’ days soon enough! 🙂

  15. Elizabeth June 12, 2012 at 10:07 am Reply

    Not easy at all! I know exactly how you feel. I just had my third kid and will return to work in two weeks. When there were only two, every work day felt like a day I didn’t have time to catch my breath. Wake up at 5 before everyone else, whisk everyone to daycare, run around at work chasing deadlines, pick them from daycare, bathe and feed kids, spend a little time with them (if too tired plonk them in front of tv), tuck them in bed and then by the time I have some time to myself I’d have collapse in exhaustion. I got a domestic helper who herself is overwhelmed with the endless chores to do. I can’t imagine doing chores myself on weekends or after the kids are asleep!

    In two weeks I’m gonna have to go through it again! I don’t have any encouraging words for you,but I just suck it up and go through my day everyday. You are not alone. 🙂

    • Susan June 12, 2012 at 2:24 pm Reply

      Sucking it up girl! We moms can be superman and take over the world with what we do already. We were initially planning for number 2, but these days I’m getting apprehensive.

  16. Ai Sakura June 12, 2012 at 10:27 am Reply

    I can relate and I know how frustrating it is to see the house in a mess, or things left undone. However, I constantly remind myself that sometimes there really are more things impt than a clean house. Playing with our girls, just spending time with them.. even though doing nothing much may seem unimportant, but it really is. Children remember the times you are with them, not the times you spent cleaning the house for them. that’s what I feel anyway… and yes, remember that you are not alone!!!

  17. Madeline June 12, 2012 at 10:31 am Reply

    Feel u babe! A suggesting from the wise words of my mother: have lower expectations on how clean n tidy ur house is. Windows dirty? Close one eye. Rooms messy? Tidy tomorrow. Do only what needs to be done and don’t feel a stitch of guilt for it! Jiayou! We’re all in this together! 🙂

  18. Rachel June 12, 2012 at 11:07 am Reply

    U need practical help from PT help with chores and try not to be pressured into your mom’s expectations for your home. With your load of responsibilities working FT, it is very challenging to keep the house spick and span all the time and even tougher to keep up with the chores.

    This balancing act of working moms is becoming more like a myth to me these days, and I am also putting some plans in place to put Kyle in CC so that I can work in the day. Please don’t ‘beat’ yourself up for not being able to live up to it. Sounds like Sophie do need alot more attention from u at this point, so focus on what’s more important, which is time for Sophie and Alexis.

  19. Cindy Chia June 12, 2012 at 11:12 am Reply

    I’ve pm you, Susan!

  20. Christina June 12, 2012 at 11:22 am Reply

    You are not alone! You are blessed to have parents around; so does Sophie, blessed to spend time with grandparents. Don’t feel guilty, let Sophie spend time with grandparents once in a while, it helps her to relate to the elder and also give you some time to reclaim your sanity.
    Have a good run on the weekend in a park with husband playing with your girl in the park? Get a PT helper to ease your chores? Let Sophie stay overnight with grandparents on Fri night? Take a day off from work and relax while Sophie is in school.
    FTWM, we can run and win this race! His grace is sufficient for you 🙂 Be blessed.

  21. Susan Koh June 12, 2012 at 11:31 am Reply

    Got it. Thanks Cindy.

  22. Michele Soon June 12, 2012 at 3:17 pm Reply

    Take care Susan… Hang in there, it will all pass someday, that’s what I tell myself…

  23. Winnie June 13, 2012 at 12:17 am Reply

    I totally understand how you feel. I may have a FT helper, but with a 4 mth old baby who constantly wants to be carried and a 2 yr old who is sticky really zaps my energy. Doesn’t help that my younger one has been waking up 3-4 times every night to feed. Sleep is never enough, and I really want to sleep!! And when I do get to go out for some me time, I feel guilty. Yes, it’s a challenge not to feel guilty to catch up on sleep or get me time. But must try… Jia you jia you! Every mum is a super mum!

  24. Evelyn June 13, 2012 at 1:54 am Reply

    Hope you’re feeling better today! Just wanted to say: Don’t feel too bad about those nights where Sophie sleeps over at Grandma’s. I am thankful for such breaks too—we all need them.

  25. […] this from Susan of A Juggling Mom has inspired some thoughts for this […]

  26. Homeschool@sg June 13, 2012 at 10:43 am Reply

    It’s heartening to see more of such post because it is very easy for mommies to read other mommy blogs and have the impression that ‘the other moms’ have it altogether & then feel lousy about themselves for not doing as well. But the truth is, we all, SAHM or working moms, struggle to juggle the multiple hats we have. We all have our ‘moments’. So, I found comfort in what you wrote because…..I’m exactly like you! :p

  27. CE June 13, 2012 at 11:14 am Reply

    Thanks for sharing. I recalled my working days and felt the same. Still learning to keep the house in sane state.
    I had seen those western mums do without helper but realize they use more gadgets like dish washers, dryer, robot vc and very simple meals like sandwich, salad, cereals, cracker with cheese. Also lower expectation helps. They seldom freak out when the kids dropped ice cream all over the clothes etc. Using part-time babysitter is common too.
    For myself instead of cooking lunch for the kids, I buy lunch for them most of the time although I am SaHM. Cos I realize mental health is more important.

  28. Stephanie June 13, 2012 at 12:07 pm Reply

    I’m a working mom too and can totally relate to this post! Having time to do things by yourself (running, reading a magazine, shopping, etc.) is incredibly important. A happy mommy is a better mommy!

  29. Jus June 14, 2012 at 6:23 am Reply

    Big big hugs Susan! Can understand your exhaustion, and on top of that you still have to work! I think you’re doing great already, and its totally ok for Sophie to spend time with the gramps so that you get a breather. Hang in there ok!

  30. Susan June 16, 2012 at 12:17 am Reply

    Thanks everyone for your words of encouragement. I’m learning to let go and reprioritise what’s really important and not to sweat over the small stuffs 🙂
    And yes what good is a stressed up mom for her family. Happy moms, happy families 🙂 Have a great weekend all.

  31. lisacng July 11, 2012 at 4:36 am Reply

    No woman is an island! Seek help. When I feel stretched thin, I enlist help from the hubs. Also, knowing what I don’t HAVE to do right this second also helps. And yes, go to the gym/run. I need to myself!

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