In my lifetime I have been a waitress, a stockbroker, a banker, and even a pizza maker.  I have lived stress, deadlines, pressure and failure.  And my theory has always been that this, too, shall pass when things got tough.  But somehow all of the previous experiences have paled in comparison to the extremely stressful and complicated reality of being a wife and a mother.

Being a wife used to be easy.  Tend to your man and he’ll tend to you.  I spoiled him with trips to sporting events, evenings out and surprise gifts.  I took good care of myself and was someone he was proud to parade around.  He did the same for me and it seems so fairy tale like.  So easy.  So selfish.

And then we added kids – three in a row – and never ending bleeding of the bank account for doctor’s appointments, feet that grow too fast, and the little extras that come with raising children, took over.  I never lost the baby weight, forfeited the time it took to make myself pretty, chose to spend money that used to go to pedicures and manicures on college funds and crayons.  And both of our stress levels sky rocketed.

He suddenly had four people to take care of financially instead of one and I was lost in the land of taking care of three small children and finding time to shower.  It has all just become overwhelming for both of us.

So here we are, six years later, wondering who each other is.  Wishing that we had taken better care of each other, praying that we find our way back.  And the truth of my role in it is glaring at my soul asking for some solutions.

But I am stuck.  Who comes first?  The spouse or the children or me?  Who comes second?  Whose needs are more inportant?  The adult I am married to or the children that depend on me?  Or me who needs to be healthy and alert to take care of anyone?

Where do I find the time and energy to be that woman he married AND the mother that my children need?

The truth is, melding the jobs of wife and mother and the expectations that come with those roles is the hardest. thing. I. have. ever. done. in. my. life. 

Add working from home until the wee hours of the morning to try to keep us afloat financially and the layers of “other things I have to do” pile onto one another and takes even more time from me and him.

So, how do you do it?  How do you balance kids, work, money, housework, AND tending to the needs of a husband?

Without losing yourself completely?  And without compromising yourself and all that you believe in?

And how do you get it done before you lose absolutely everything you thought you wanted your whole life?