Motherhood is hard. Like, makes you feel exhausted and overwhelmed, hard. Add in a full-time or part-time job on top of that, and it can feel unbearable some days.
I’m a middle school theatre teacher, and to say I come home drained at the end of my work day is an understatement. It takes a ridiculous amount of energy to teach students all day, no matter what age they are. But add theatre to that, and it takes it to another level. Actors are supposed to have energy no matter what, and so are theatre teachers.
My day starts with seventh grade, then sixth grade shows up in the middle, and I round my day out with eighth grade. Want to guess which grade is the most challenging to teach? Yep. Eighth grade.
My last two classes of the day always prove the most difficult, and take the most out of me physically, mentally, and emotionally. On top of that, I’m dealing with some health issues right now, and being on my feet all day doesn’t help. So by the time I leave work, I am fully drained and I feel like I have nothing left to give.
The thing is, I’m not a young single woman going home after work who can just take a nap, or relax and chill all evening. I’m a wife and a mother to two boys. So, I can’t just kick my shoes off and lay on the couch when I get home. Dinner has to be made, homework needs to be checked, bills need to be paid, laundry and dishes need to be washed, the kiddos need to be put to bed, lunches need packed … and so on, and so on. You know how it goes.
But there are so many days I feel so drained from work that I don’t have anything left to give to my family. I come home tired, cranky, and emotionally spent. I don’t have it in me to handle much more. As much as I want to be there for my family, some days I just don’t feel like I have it in me.
I hate feeling that way because I want to be there for my husband and boys. I want to be physically, mentally, and emotionally present with them. It’s not fair that everything gets taken by my job during the day and they get what’s left over. And some days, there’s not much left at all.
Fortunately, my husband and boys are very loving and understanding. They can immediately tell when I’m drained as I walk through the door, and are there to help pick up the pieces. My oldest has become more sensitive to that lately. He greets me with a big hug as soon as I step across the threshold, and he doesn’t let go until he knows I’m okay. He’ll ask me how I’m feeling and what I need. Sometimes he’ll even guide me into the living room and sit me down on the couch. He’s a sweet soul, that one.
My husband gets it too. He’s a teacher as well, so he understands the demands of the job, and how draining it can be. He will often start dinner before I get home so I don’t have to do it. He’s really good about doing laundry too. I love how helpful and supportive he is.
They are what I need to help get me through. The hugs and kisses from my little guy brighten my mood. The love and care from my oldest warms my heart. And the solidarity and help around the house from my husband pulls me in like a warm hug.
So, when I get home feeling exhausted and utterly drained, they are there to lift me up. Even when I have nothing left to give. They take me as I am, and love me anyway. And that’s the way it should be.