The pandemic has put an entirely new set of stressors on working parents—but even pre-COVID, it was nearly impossible to fit everything into our hectic schedules. One overwhelmed mom took to Reddit seeking advice for her “drowning” family, and we all feel her pain.
In the r/Parenting thread, the mom of a toddler opened up about her scheduling issues. With only one kid, she asked how other parents could possibly work and fit everything else on their to-do list. While they offered her some sound advice, it served as a reality check every working parent needs at some point.
The mom explained that she works about 35 hours a week and her husband works 40-45 hours. They drop their nearly-2-year-old daughter off at daycare five days a week, and have little time for everything they need to get done. She shared her weekday schedule in the Reddit post:
Sound familiar? We thought so. The mom explained that there’s no padded time for errands, or anything unexpected. They each sleep about 6.5 hours and don’t get a lot of down time—and spend their weekends doing all of the tasks they didn’t get done during the week. Sounds about right.
“Where... is the fun? And how is it that I am flirting with being fired because I can rarely actually fit a full work week in?” she asked. “Dog has a vet appointment - 2 hours of vacation. Need to run to the library? 1 hour of personal time. Kid has a pediatrician appointment? Dentist? I need to go to the doctor? Sick, sick, sick time. I am constantly running low on my accruals. Am I missing something? I know parents who work more hours than us... WAY more hours. I know parents with 2, 3, 4 kids. Do we just suck at this?”
Oh, Mama. You don’t suck at this—it’s just impossible to do it all. Luckily, some Redditors responded with sound advice and the reassurance that every working parent needs to hear.
“We have 5 kids so I can tell you from experience that you’ll have more time as they get older,” one user wrote. “Some of your kid bonding time will take place as you make dinner or pack lunches together as they get older and that’s totally OK.”
“Honestly, that all sounds about right for an almost 2 year old. It’s survival mode for years until they become a bit more independent. It will get easier,” another mom wrote. “Try not to compare yourself to others. They aren’t living your same day-to-day life and also people try to paint a pretty picture that maybe isn’t their reality.”
“At work I try to be as efficient as possible. Do it well, not perfectly. Try to do it in work hours,” another user wrote. “Just remember your children are seeing super mom and super dad. My parents didn’t work and my best friend’s mom did, and I used to look at her like she was Wonder Woman.”
Other users suggested OP find ways to split the mental load more evenly with her husband, try prepping more, investing in outside help, rearranging their day-to-day, and trying to find more shortcuts throughout the day. Beyond that, they assured her this is the essence of working parenthood.
The moral of the story is this: Parenting is hard. There’s no other way to put it. But, fortunately, it does get easier—and you’re doing better than you think, Mama. Hang in there, you’ve made it this far.