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I was exhausted

I was dealing with a lot working full time as a single mom and a caretaker. My alarm clock seemed to ring earlier and earlier every morning. Sometimes the physical and mental fatigue was overwhelming. Moving my body took great effort only to feel like I was dragging heavy bricks with each step.

Every step takes great effort like bricks weighing you down
Dragging with each step

I kept thinking it would get easier. There were days when I was grasping for whatever motivation I could find. Having a mental or emotional illness greatly affected my natural ability to be productive and successful. Thankfully, there were rewards. After a grueling day I would come home around 5pm to be greeted with wonderful kisses and talks of the kid's day. My girls were so sweet and they took their academics seriously. But there was still homework that needed monitoring, chores that needed to be done, and errands to run. My life was busy.

"the stability they deserved"

I was a proactive mom, always on top of what my girls were doing. I wanted them to have the best foundation possible. Ours wasn't a life of luxury, but we were blessed with good morals and standards that we treasured. Spending quality time together was a pleasure regardless of how tired I was. Sometimes while the girls talked about their day we would all just laugh about whatever little incidents occurred in school or on my job. The three of us could be so silly together. I would joke with them that I was the best mother they ever had. Knowing I was there for them and that they were loved was the stability they deserved to have. No matter what mode of depression I was going through, those precious moments always made me feel better.

A single Mom surrounded by her two teenage daughters all happy and smiling
Tired Mom pushing through for her girls

After making sure the girls were fine, I'd proceed to check on the parents. Most of the time Dad was in full control taking care of Mom. Simply inquiring of their day and seeing if I needed to pick up prescriptions or make doctor's appointments was sufficient. I was on it. However, at some point in a parent-child relationship the roles shift a little. Responsibilities of taking care of them increase. That is a part of life. They're my parents and I love them. So I took a keen interest in making sure medications were being taken correctly, I asked pertinent questions at Doctor appointments, and I was always an advocate for their care. My goal was to make sure they felt respected and dignified. After all, I would want my girls to do the same for me.

My good friend once wrote an article asking, "What Kind of Person?". In it he says, "The big question was regarding people who go through life completely selfless, always at the ready to render support, understanding and loyalty while always taking the brunt and the blows during the lows and lofting and enjoying the highs. What kind of person does that? I only hope that when life turns full circle and I stand there having to peer into my deepest core, I will find at least a small piece of that person in me".

"things were about to change significantly"

Caretaking and parenting, while very fulfilling, was taking its toll. There wasn't a day that went by without my name or "Mommy" being called constantly. I struggled with depression that ranged from mild to severe. I truly felt that I could not keep doing this on my own. I really needed someone in my life who could jump in and help me maneuver through the difficult times. I had no idea that things were about to change significantly, for all of us...

⇒Hello Reader, we're curious: Are you an exhausted parent? What struggles do you have to deal with to keep going for your child(ren)? Let us know in the comments.

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