Dear husband and kids,

There’s something I’ve been meaning to tell you.

In fact, for the last 3 years, I’ve actually been hiding a huge secret.

I’m sorry I’ve kept it from you for this long, but I really didn’t want you to know.

I know you think I can do it all. I’m the best multitasker around. Some of you have even said I’m stronger than Superwoman.

But I need to tell you something. I can’t do it all.

It’s true.

Mommy is not a robot.

Kids, when you wake up tomorrow morning at 5am and find me at my laptop, my eyes will sparkle as I crouch to the ground to give you a hug. I’ll ask you how you slept and what you dreamt about, and wait with delight for your answer. What I won’t tell you is that I tossed and turned all night, and that the gloss coating over my eyeballs means I’ve been up since 3am to get everything done on my unending to-do list.

Mommy is not a robot.

When you ask for breakfast, I’ll jump up from my comfy spot on the couch to make your oatmeal, just the way you like it, with pancake syrup and peanut butter. When you’re hungry again, I’ll serve you cereal, and let you help make toast. You’re learning to use a butter knife, so I’ll say nothing when you smear the peanut butter all over the counter as you smudge it onto your bread. While you eat, I’ll wipe the counters, clean up last night’s dinner dishes and move the step stool back to its place on the wall, before starting a full day’s worth of site work that I’ll accomplish in less than an hour.

But, I need to tell you: Mommy is not a robot.

When Daddy comes out of the bedroom, stretches and asks how I slept, I’ll smile and grind his favorite Starbucks coffee as he sits down to play with you. I won’t tell him the 17 things I have on my mind today, because I don’t want to stress him out. But, I will ask him what he wants for dinner tonight as I hand him his coffee, perfectly hot, with Sweet’N Low and fat-free creamer, just the way he likes it.

I know I make it hard to believe, but Mommy is not a robot.

When you don’t want to get dressed for school, I don’t tell you that I wish so badly that I could get dressed right now. That I could take a proper shower, shave my legs and maybe even blowdry my hair and put on some real makeup. Since I’m caring for your needs, all I have time for today is a greasy ponytail and just enough makeup to cover the bags under my eyes.

Even though I smile and seem fine, Mommy is not a robot.

When you don’t nap this afternoon, I don’t tell you that I’m so tired I could lay down and sleep until tomorrow. I won’t remind you that I have a baby in my tummy, and that every second of every day, that baby is sucking the life, energy, sleep and brainpower out of me. That the extra weight my body is carrying puts so much stress on my lower back that sometimes it hurts just to sit down. That my feet never get a break, and they ache every morning when I wake up.

Even though I don’t complain, Mommy is not a robot.

When your Daddy finishes work, and comes home to find me exhausted, slumped over on the couch and barely able to move, I’ll realize I have nothing left to give. That I’m so physically drained and emotionally depleted from all that I’ve given today, I can’t even put words together. Even though my mind is racing, and my palms sweat, as I think about that long to-do list that looms over my head for tomorrow.

It’s in that moment that I’ll realize: It’s my fault.

Because I haven’t told you.

That I have limits. That I’m human. That I break and get sick and get tired and get emotional.

Most days, I’m great.

But not today.

So, I’m so sad to tell you, I can’t do it all.

Mommy is not a robot.

Yes, I am pretty amazing.

I can clean our whole house, do 7 loads of laundry, manage our family’s finances, run 8 errands and make 3 square meals in a single day. All while managing a website and being an attentive wife, a hands-on mother, a caring friend.

But, my dear family, Mommy does get tired. (Oh so tired.)

Of never being alone.

Of always being needed by someone.

Of never getting a break.

Of being everything to everyone. All the time.

Of all that’s expected of me.

And, most of all, of all that I expect of myself.

So, Sweetheart, it’s not your fault.

But tonight, Mommy needs a rest.

Mommy is Not a Robot

So right now, I’m going to leave you and go take a nap.

But here’s a Superwoman doll for you to play with.

Until the real one comes back.



Mommy is Not a Robot