Today I woke up at 10:00 a.m. (that’s really f*cking late). I feel guilty when I wake up so late because my husband gets up at 6:00 a.m. and it’s not fair for me to get so much more sleep than he does. When I sleep in I feel like I’m slapping him in the face. So my whole day starts really late, and I have to go grocery shopping but we end up going when my husband normally comes home for lunch, so the kids don’t get to see him and that makes me feel doubly guilty. (I’m crying as I write this am I seriously crying???) I have to deny Lucas a cookie at the grocery store because I’ve been a lazy parent and his behavior has gotten out of control. Get it together, momma. Discipline that kid. Be consistent. His little sister rubs it in his face that she got a cookie and he didn’t. She’s such a little kiss-ass. He cries this sad, quiet cry and I almost go back and get him a cookie. (He really wasn’t that bad… He can’t help it; he has ADHD. Stop making excuses for him, Kristen.) Crap. Maybe I could make banana pudding for him. I would do that, as a ridiculous consolation for not getting the stupid cookie, but… I’m too goddamn tired. And plus, then I might eat it. And my hair is really greasy. I dumped baby powder on my head and slicked it into a ponytail to go to the grocery store. I should shower. It’s been so long that I’m embarrassed to say how long it’s been. I should shower. I already said that. But I want, no, need to exercise. If I shower I won’t exercise. I HAVE TO EXERCISE. If I don’t, it’ll be the start of a slippery slope to gaining all my weight back. I ate like a f*cking pig over the weekend. Cookies, ice cream, macaroni and cheese. I HATE those things. They are not even food!!! GAH!!! And my phone has been blowing up all day. LEAVE ME ALONE, PHONE!!! I can’t deal with people right now… and Candy Crush, you’re a life-sucking asshole! I’m going to delete you as soon as I finish this level! And my people… they’re all such nice people, the very best people in the world, I love them. But go away, people that I love. Happy birthday, sister. Sing Happy Birthday to the phone, kids, while mommy’s heart pounds against her ribcage, at the edge of an undeserved break-down. The air in the car is set to ‘arctic’ and I’m still sweating like a motherf*cking horse (I have to say “horse” and not “pig” because pigs don’t sweat you know – WHY DON’T PIGS SWEAT THAT IS SO WEIRD). So I’m sweating and it’s dripping down my butt-crack. Why am I sweating like this? Why do I feel this way? I don’t deserve to feel this way; I’m not allowed. I’m in the top five percent! After sleeping in till 10:00 a.m. I take a nap on the floor from 1:00 to 2:00. I just lay down on the carpet and fall asleep, with the kids screaming bloody murder while they make a blanket fort. Who does that? My to-do list is soooo long. I have a lump in my neck that I need to get checked out but the dog needs a vet appointment. Hey, I know; how ‘bout if I don’t call on either one of them! I almost burned the beans. Because today is the kind of day where I will put something to cook on the stove and I will completely forget about it. I need to chop a bunch of vegetables to put in the beans so they’ll be extra-healthy, because I care so damn much about healthy eating. Oh who cares, the kids won’t even eat them anyway. My husband won’t care. He’ll fart a whole lot tonight, though, damn beans. The plan is to cook dinner early, and when my husband gets home, leave for a nice, long, six-mile run. But it’s about to storm. It’s pitch-black outside. Of course. God I need to exercise (these demons). What is that smell? Is that me? I think I can smell myself. If I knew it wouldn’t lightning, I’d run in the rain. That’d be good therapy. I could use a little therapy right now. Except that I don’t deserve to feel like this. My life is perfect.

everything is perfect

Life is “perfect.”
*I wrote this August of 2013 and didn’t immediately publish it because I felt like I was being whiny. Looking back, I realize how much I was struggling with anxiety. I might have sent a text to my husband telling him I felt like crying and didn’t know why, but I never told anyone else how I felt. I think isolating myself made me feel even worse. It seemed like the right thing to do to share this now to let other women who experience these kinds of feelings know they are not alone. Need to vent? That’s what the comments are for…
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    • So not brave. I just had this sneaking suspicious I wasn’t the only one. I’m pretty surprised by how many “me toos” I’ve gotten, though. I think this is more normal than any of us know.

    • Ewww I just noticed I said “suspicious” when I meant “suspicion.” I wonder how many times I make mistakes like that and they go completely unnoticed. *facepalm*

  1. My oh my you touched a nerve with me…
    I raised four boys, who are now men..with their father who spent most of hie time in marriage and divorced..cranking on me for everything…it was not a fun ride..and everything you right reminds me of what I was feeling..and some days..what I am feeling…
    My days are created now about my choice of work and relationships….but I have found being a mother..makes you always think about these things..and to double step yourself in most everything…
    I am glad you have gotten through this…and see it from the other side…
    Funny now..I still feel this…and it still invades my adult relationships…
    Motherhood..strips you down to the bare tools needed…and somehow we do more than we ever thought ourselves capable of…
    Bravo to you for speaking…

    • Yes that’s true about the “stripping you down.” This morning I was doing an inventory on all the stuff I’ve let go… my hair, my nails, my skin, my weight, my style, my … ok you get the point. I’m in need of an overhaul! lol

    • “Motherhood..strips you down to the bare tools needed…and somehow we do more than we ever thought ourselves capable of…” I could not have said it better myself. Brutal truth; good and bad.

  2. I feel your pain, sister! Seriously, Being home with kids is so much more overwhelming than going to work everyday. When you leave work, you leave work. We can’t just leave home every evening. You may be in the top 5 percent and have a “perfect life” but you’re human and you feel human things. Every day is such a balancing act. Our home is not nearly as clean and clutter-free as I would like, or the hubs would like. Bu seriously, I’m more busy now, surrounded by kids all day, than I ever was working a full time job.

    • Yeah I think that’s part of what caused the anxiety in the first place… thinking that with such a perfect life I should also “feel” perfect. Like what do I have to complain about? But the sweat till poured, whether I wanted it to or not. :-/

    • Kandy D.

      I rarely attempt to argue with people over the internet because it’s pretty pointless, but I got some major butthurt from your comment: “Being home with kids is so much more overwhelming than going to work everyday.” Really? REALLY?!?!

      You’re just going to completely discount the anxiety and stress of those of us moms who HAVE to work – not CHOOSE to, but HAVE to. Because, much like you, I feel like my kids deserve food, and the occasional family fun day out & about instead of sitting at home all the time because we have to choose between things like paying our son’s OT and Speech therapist (not covered by insurance but sooooo necessary to his development at this point in time!) and doing something fun … My husband and I both work full-time, own our home, make sure our kids are fed well, clothed alright, we haven’t bought a new car in years though shortly we will have no choice, are *almost* finished paying off our college loans – but thanks to unexpected things like medical emergencies and special-needs parenting and additional services needed that, because we both work and make “too much money” (we make about $75K between us, FYI), aren’t covered like they are for those less fortunate than us . You talk about stress and anxiety? Try mandatory OT because I work for an accountant and tax season is upon us, husband works shifts, daycare closes at 4:30 today because Grandma has an appt, son in OT 20 minutes away from daycare, and no family or friends available to help. Then tell me being SAHM is “more overwhelming.” I have a stressful job, as does hubby (and you’re welcome – he’s helping to keep the world safe from the bad guys) – and while I can leave work at work, I then come home & do the cooking, cleaning, homework help, laundry, bathtime and bedtime routines, too.

      And I do hope you’re not one of those moms who feels that it is my choice to work – because believe me, honey, I’d choose to be home with my munchkins in a heart beat. I don’t have that choice because this life doesn’t work without my income. When we’ve got the college loans paid off – then, maybe, we could manage and I could even do part-time for some fun money for all of us. But, nope, there’s that little expense with the oldest’s therapies that adds up to about $800 a month. Yep – $120 per appt, times 2 a week.

      But – hey – I’m usually of the opinion that parenting isn’t a freaking competition … and suffering is suffering to the person feeling it – no more and no less than anyone else’s. So I truly believe you feel the stress and anxiety of being a SAHM. Just as I feel the stress and anxiety of being a working mom. But you don’t have the right to judge your stress and anxiety as any more or any less than any other mother’s. Unless she has nannies, in which case that bitch can STFU 😉

      But seriously, tho … just think about how you phrased it. I don’t think you meant it the way it came across. If you did, well, I’m gonna say “shame on you” because it’s sanctimommy BS and ain’t nobody got time for that.

      • I just want you to know I know Silence of the Mom personally, have known her since college (we were roommates), and she DEFINITELY did NOT mean it that way. She is an awesome person with five kids (two through marriage), insane exes to deal with, and worked full time all the way up until she had her most recent baby. She also has dealt with terrible debilitating anxiety. She certainly understands what you’re going through even if that did not come across! I think she just meant that for *her*, staying home is harder. I personally go back and forth. Staying home is mind-numbing slave-like drudgery, BUT it is nice to have those daytime hours to get crap done. Working is awesome because it gives you a purpose, some way to feel useful that doesn’t involve removing poop stains from people’s underwear, BUT OMG THERE IS NO TIME! NO TIME FOR EVERYTHING! Either way, moms basically have to be superheroes. =) xo

      • Surely she meant working full-time pre-kids?!? Of course it is AT LEAST as stressful working AND being a mum as being a SAHM, but I think you are missing the point. Being a mother, an active parent, who cares about their kids, is stressful, and 24/7, even though it may at time seem like it should be easy. I think we can all agree on that.

      • Nope, she meant working full time when she had four kids. She didn’t become a SAHM until her fifth. =) I think she was just speaking to her own personal experience. I don’t mean to speak for her, but I know she had a terrible time with feeling isolated and alone when staying home with her fifth, and ended up needing treatment for severe anxiety and panic attacks. She wrote a piece about her experience here: =)

      • Are you serious?! It’s not a competition! SAHM or working mom… Anxiety and depression don’t give two shits about labels or I come levels. I worked for 14 years while raising 2 kids alone and NEVER felt the crippling effects of the anxiety she describes UNTIL I was a stay at home mom! It is fng Groundhog Day everyday and is demoralizing to an educated woman to be reduced to a babysitter and domestic servant! However, you are right that it is better than doing both. Most days I know that… But sometimes I breakdown as I am sure you must. Geez! She is human… We all are… Cut her some slack!

  3. You are definitely not whining; you are just raising the veil on what it is to be a mom. There are never enough hours in the day, with or without naps. Those naps are just sanity savers. High five for the honesty.

    • Yeah. I needed the sleep on that particular day. I’m glad my kids are generally well-behaved and didn’t burn the house down. =)

  4. Dammit, I just typed out this long comment about how much I can relate to your post and how important it is to share these feelings with other moms who might be going through the same thing…but my phone ate it! Grr. I’m too lazy to retype it so I’ll just say I loved it and thanks for sharing 🙂

    • LOL! It’s not your phone, it’s blogger. They really need to fix that. And thanks so much for taking the time to try again! =) xo

  5. I didn’t know about that thing with the baby powder in dirty hair, does that really work?

    • Yes, but I have since learned a new trick: dump the powder into a hand-towel and fluff it a little so it spreads evenly. They bend over and flip your hair and use the towel to massage the powder into your roots. It makes it spread more evenly so you don’t get white clumps. 😉 Oh you just gave me a new idea for a blog-post: How to fake being clean. LOL

      • can you put that post together. I mean, who doesn’t want to know how to fake being clean better?Anyone who WANTS to be clean, already is ;-)…

      • Cocoa powder works too, i use bc i am brunette… baby powder shows up too light.. i am a fulltime srudent single kom of 2 boys and i feel your anxiety bc i go through it daily.. your breakdown was in fact deserved 🙂

  6. Boy do I relate to this post. It is a little scary (terrifying) to be that out of control and to hear the craziness coming out of your mouth or your brain and not be able to stop it. I’m glad you shared, I’m sure this post will help someone else who is feeling alone!

    • I had a feeling I wasn’t alone, but I’m still surprised by the response I’m getting… I have more company than I anticipated! 😉

  7. This is such a common experience, and yet so few discuss it. Thank you for your honesty and for normalizing this process for others.

    • Yeah, why don’t we talk about it? I thought I was going nuts! Oh well I guess I sort of was… anyway I’m glad it passed. The feeling still comes and goes sometimes but not as profoundly as in those couple of days last August.

  8. That was so brave of you to share such a vulnerable moment in your life. Also, I’m not even a mom, and I totally do the baby powder in the hair trick from time to time. Except, I use cornstarch instead of baby powder. Also, hats. I rock hats a lot. I’m a chronic sleeper-inner. I hate mornings. Always have. This has been the root cause of anxiety in my life, I believe. It causes me to be running late all the time, feel guilty for not being a morning person, and the list goes on. I’ve had anxiety all of my life. Sometimes I am a wreck. Sometimes I manage to win. On those days that anxiety wins, it’s really shitty.

    • I do the hat thing sometimes, too. I’m sorry you deal with anxiety constantly. I feel like I have mine mostly under control. It’s pretty rare that I’m reduced to tears and over-sleeping like I was last August.

    • “A” cookie? I want like 10. No cookies allowed in the house. My daughter will NEVER be a girl-scout.

    • I actually wrote this piece last August, but never published it. I did have a high-anxiety day, though, the kind of day when I get pissed at bras, my own body parts, and water. And sweat. Right now I’m mad at sweat.

  9. I am right where you were when you wrote. Driving myself and my husband crazy. I’m thankful that I get to leave with the kids tomorrow to visit my parents for the week. They are my only saving grace because my kids are angels for them. And I’m sure I’ll be able to sneak out for some much needed friend time. You are not alone!

  10. All of this. I actually had a long, tearful convo with Captain the other night (after turning him down in the sack for the 5th night in a row and he pried long enough to get me to talk) about this damn thing. Thankfully, he’s the best support I could ask for.

  11. That is exactly how I feel as well… Thank you for making me feel less crazy! (As I sit here trying to get a minute and read your perfect article while the baby is staring me in the face and my 3 year old is demanding ANOTHER snack)

  12. Tanis Shaw

    Holy mother of cupcakes, that’s me, that’s me *as I’m squirming in the chair while feeding the baby* My breakdown ended in the hospital with a very nice doctor telling me I was suffering from exhaustion (No, really?) I was so caught up in living everyone else’s version of a perfect life, I forgot about my own version. Now, we eat breakfast for supper a few times a week and I “hire” my mother to come fold my laundry 😉 and some days I struggle but most days, I have a smile in my heart and chocolate on my face!

  13. This is my second, okay third, time reading this. I love it.
    Kristen, You’re so real.
    I know this is how I will feel when I’m a mom. It’s already how I feel now, every second, panicking over the thought that I might not be able to do it. I’m going to be 25 this year. WHEN will I feel ready to be an adult? WHEN will I be able to handle the thousands of things a mom has to handle without crumbling under the pressure, pressure that I put on myself?

    • Well, remember, that day was one of many. Not every day is like that. My kids make me smile and laugh more than anyone ever has. Go check out the FB page for proof! 😉

  14. Kristine

    My boys haven’t even joined the world yet (pregnant with twin boys) and I have these days already. I decided to stop working once I hit the second trimester, since we could afford it (perfect life, right?!). And there are days that string together where I barely dress. My husband is wonderful and doesn’t say anything but the other day he made a comment bc I had a bra on (apparently I didn’t for several days) and all I could think was “now I have to get dressed everyday to look human, it’s the least I can do”. As my due date approaches I struggle with everything I should be doing and what I have the energy for. Thank you for writing this.

  15. You never struck me as the “type” to have anxiety. LOL, right? I have been dealing with this shit for YEARS. Ive been to counseling, Ive tried everything, to make it go away. Surprise! To no avail. I am so fn tired of people telling me to just STOP. Dont do it anymore. If you dont want to feel that way, DONT. Id like to punch them in their fucking faces!!! And sometimes come close to doing it. Really. My sister had the same problem. Dad use to tell her all the time to quit acting like that. Until she commit suicide. I wonder what goes through his mind, now. He told me the other day to quit acting like that. I SCREAMED at him through the phone “Well, wouldnt that be nice?!?! To just QUIT????! He hasnt called back. Yet. I go days without leaving the house. It freaks my husband out. My friends ask me to go out dancing. He’s like Go! Go have fun! Im like, Shut the F up!!! Then, Idk, maybe, we’ll see. I dont go. I went to the store the other day, and hyper ventilated all the way home. Damn! All that to get a loaf of fn bread!!! Was it really worth it? I dont even eat bread!!! He does though. So, then, its like, Look what I did for you, today? I got you a loaf of bread!!! Yay!!! smh. He gets excited, like I did this spectacular thing!!! lol Kinda sad, really. BUT, I can NOT control it. God knows Ive tried!!!!! Thank you for sharing. Its nice to know people have the same weird ass problem. But sad to know someone else suffers like I do. . I deal with it, and move on. Good thing I love my furniture and belongings SO MUCH as much as I look at them. haha

  16. Thank you so much for this honest piece. I laughed and cried at the same time. I can so relate to everything you said… Thank you!

  17. I’ve been there, girl. I’ve been there, I am there, I was there, I’ll be there again…maybe…hopefully not. The only thing that has ever helped me is acupuncture. I’m here for you. We’re all in it together, whether we like it or now.

  18. I could have written this!!!! My name is Kristen and I have a son with ADHD.

  19. Damn. I reread my last post. I really sound angry. Im not THAT mad. Geez. I just wanted to say that i LOVE reading your posts and Blog. You are flippin hilarious!! Because you are so right about so many things 🙂 You make me laugh every single day, whether I want to or not. Thank You for that. Really.

  20. It’s a little more than coincidence, I think, that I saw this today. I’m a sufferer of Anxiety Disorder, among other things, and it’s ruining my life. My husband and I had a serious screaming fight last night all because of this condition. I totally understand where you were when you wrote this. I’m not quite there, but I definitely see the similarities between us. My son is also ADHD… it’s hard. My husband wants me to be “fixed” , but doesn’t realize that just isn’t possible. We can be helped to deal, handle, suffer in silence, but we can’t be “fixed” . I feel all the more broken because of it. It’s nice to know I’m not alone.

  21. My only difference is, I’m a working mom…

    • I hear you. I have done the work-full-time gig as well as the SAHM thing, and I honestly think this is irrelevant when you suffer from anxiety. When I started this blog I worked full time – and the reason I started it was because I was overwhelmed with anxiety and feeling terribly alone with my “crazy” thoughts. I hope YOU know you are not alone. xo

  22. Some of the details are different (baseball caps work just fine for short hair, wake up at 6 back in bed at 8:30 sleep till 11) but all of the emotions are the same for this SAHD. You think women have a hard time talking about this stuff? Even harder for most men — but it’s getting better.

    Thanks for sharing your shitty day with us. Misery truly does love company. And also cookies.

    • You make a great point about how men often feel the same but under even more pressure to “suck it up.” Have you blogged about it? This would be a great topic!

  23. Christina

    So much yes. I finally went to the mental health place this week for my anxiety, apparently I might be bipolar…

  24. I had to share this with my husband. Thank you so much for writing it.
    I have a 4 year old and a 5 year old- and am also a SAHM. We live a fairly privileged lifestyle, and the guilt that that alone brings to anxiety and nervous breakdowns is overwhelming! How can I feel like this, when in essence, “life is pretty easy”? It does nothing but add to the struggle- which is very, VERY real.
    About 2 years ago, I came home from a lovely day with the kids, and started shaking and crying and told my husband I was taking myself to the emergency room. I don’t know what it was that broke the camel’s back- everything had been fine- but I was NOT. The nurses and doctors were AMAZING and listened, and each one (EACH. ONE.) had a story to share that was so similar to mine. There are a lot of us out there- and I think it’s SO important to have stories like this available online for women to read. Thank you SO much for sharing.
    I’m going to go eat my feelings now. 🙂

  25. OMG! I can’t believe I just said that like a 12 yr old… But OMG!! I feel like this often … No currently! And the guilt is overwhelming because I am so privileged…so blessed! I even reposted an old blog about an hour ago… The one where I dream of running away… Where I just say F@&K it and just leave! Thanks for making me feel a little less alone!

  26. I suffer from anxiety too. I have for a number of years. I know exactly how you feel. I wrote about it a bunch of times on my blog if you want to read more and know that you aren’t alone.

  27. Julie Madrona

    Hand sanitizer for on the run BO. How to fake being clean :”

  28. Ugh, thank you. The guilt, smashing down like a concrete block. Reading that felt like you were in my head. It’s overwhelming most of the time. Thank you for the small bit of relief. I don’t know why it’s relief to know someone else shares the pain. So strange, but I guess it makes us feel less alone. As I’m typing this texts are coming in, all requiring action on my part, and my husband wants to know why I haven’t done this or that or something that I’ve already done but somehow needs doing again. Yikes. I hate sounding whiny but this stay at home mom thing isn’t straightforward like my job was. It’s a jumble. I thought it would be easier now that they’re teens, but it’s actually somehow worse. I feel guiltier for staying home with teens and most of the time, whatever I’m doing, it never feels like “enough.” Of course today is one of my “bad” days. They’re not all like this. But today is one of those days so off I go… But feeling a little less alone.

  29. Jennifer

    I’m right there now. Sometimes I feel like I will never be happy with my life. From the outside in, it appears perfect. Why can’t I just be content at home with my kids? I love the IDEA of being a stay at home, homeschooling mom but my reality looks SOOOO different. Maybe my expectations are too high. My house is always a mess. I mean, a MESS and I tend to sink back into my “hole” instead of tackling the mess. I just don’t know where to start. Days upon days end and I haven’t accomplished anything. What is the answer?

  30. I’m SO glad you published this, Kristen. This is something I struggle with CONSTANTLY!! Thank you- for being real and vulnerable in sharing this part of you. It is a part of me too. <3 Definitely sharing.

  31. I was on the brink of a breakdown today. The whining and fighting, the yelling and waking the baby after I spent 40 minutes getting her to sleep for her much needed nap, the complaining about EVERYTHING, the questions and questions and questions and questions, the reminders of all the things I haven’t done, hubby working weekends and nights and he’s so stressed. Today was my undeserved breakdown.
    I fled house as hubby got home from work. That was an hour ago and I don’t know when I’ll feel like I can go back, or what I’ll say…. I can’t complain. I can’t tell him how I’m feeling. I’ll probably just say it’s PMS…