I think I am burnt out on parenting.  After 2 weeks of almost non stop parenting alone-  my husband has been traveling – I have hit the wall.

And I feel terrible about it.  And guilty.  And like a bad mother.

Especially after the horrific and appalling daycare fire in Houston this week.

I KNOW I am lucky to be able to stay home and take care of my kids.  To make sure they are eating what I want them to, reading what I want them to and watching what I want them to.  And that someone is with them all the time should tragedy strike.

And I have made an effort to hold them tighter, love them more, and appreciate that I have them more…  and understand that they are growing too fast.

And then – on the 7,567th Mommy, or the 86th fight, or the 853rd “I need:,”I want”; Get me”, I lose my grip on the reality of how good I have it.  I start to roll my eyes if I hear them call me, let tension and anger enter my instructions to them, and let tears fall as I wish I could just have five minutes alone.

It was kind of nice when my husband was gone, at least at night.  I managed to get them all to bed at a decent hour and had some time to myself.  Of course, I chose to clean, do bills, organize drawers and fold laundry.  Because all of that had to be done too.  I wish I had watched movies, drank some wine, and taken a long, hot shower.

But I felt like a bad housekeeper.  Like I was falling down on my job.  And like I was unappreciative of how hard my husband works to give us this life.  And relaxing would have made me feel guilty.

But now he is back, and let’s be honest, he is a lot of work all on his own.  We have an old fashioned type of marriage.  I take care of the house and him and the kids, and he takes care of supporting us and spoiling the kids… for the most part.  It is not that I want him gone,  I don’t at all – but it did seem like my work load was more relaxed and less ‘do, do, do’.

But even thinking that makes me feel like a bad wife.  And unappreciative mooch.  And guilty.

So, I wonder…  is this just Mommy burn out?  Am I just suffering from too much of a good thing?  Unable to balance my life so that it is about more than my kids?

Or is it just a selfish rant.  Meant to incite sympathy and supporters to my side.  Justifying my guilt…  empathizing my self induced stress?

I do have my first real weekend away in years coming up in two weeks.  A whole weekend with a dear friend.  We have been planning it forever but now that it is on the horizon, instead of being excited, I am worried.  That taking this time to go play means I do not love my family.   That I will be there and just want to come home because I miss my constant companions.  That I will come home and wish I could have stayed longer…

I don’t know.

I think, like with any job, every one just needs some time to recharge.  But when you are a mother, that time is null and void.  Because even if I do find time to get out, get away, tend to myself a bit, I am still wondering about the kids and my husband.  What do they need?  Are they OK?  Do I need to check in?  How fast can I get home if there is an issue?  And on and on.

Sometimes, it is just easier to put myself last and hope that in the future, I will move up the importance chain.

Until then, I will just continue to wonder if I can claim mommy burn out…  or if I am just on a selfish rant.