I’ll admit it. I’m struggling.

That’s not to say I haven’t been writing. I’m further in my revisions of When We Were Forgotten than I thought possible a couple of months ago. I’m not finished yet, but still. That’s a huge accomplishment, considering I revised nothing during June, July, and even part of August. I hope to be done by the end of November, but it is November, and that’s why I’m struggling. (And I’m not even doing NaNoWriMo this year.)

I’m struggling because I am exhausted. It’s nothing new, really. Being the wife of a very busy physician (he’s an OB/Gyn, so Busy), I’ve always taken on most of the parenting duties. I’m the stay-at-home-parent. It’s my job. I do try to make certain things like conferences are scheduled during times when he’s available, because I want him to be as involved in his kids’ lives as I am. I also know that it’s not always possible for him to be physically present. That’s why I stay at home. We are privileged in so many ways, like me being able to stay home, living in a large, sound house, driving functional vehicles, buying enough food that our pantry and fridge overflow, sending our kids to a great school, etc., etc., etc.

Knowing we are privileged, I feel guilty saying aloud, “I’m struggling. I’m exhausted.” But as someone reminded me once, we all have our different struggles in life, so here I am, telling the world, “I’m struggling.”

My husband knows, by the way, and he always helps when and where he can, but he’s exhausted too. His exhaustion comes from a physically, mentally, and emotionally demanding job for which lack of sleep is the norm and emotions run high. Babies come when they want to come, folks, and not always how we want them to come. I know that. I accepted it a long time ago and have always supported him. I may have to deal with sick kids on my own sometimes or spend an occasional holiday or weekend without him, but he will never have to worry about unemployment. Well, unless something unforeseen or tragic happens … like the Zombie Apocalypse, and even then, there’ll be babies born among the survivors for sure.

Anyway…

While he’s exhausted being a physician on top of everything else, I’m exhausted because … why?

Because the days are shorter, and there’s not enough daylight to soak in? Most likely.

Because I’m trying to keep up with housework and meals and getting kids to and from school and homework and bath times and bedtimes and play times and sick times, sometimes all by myself? Definitely.

Because I’m trying to finish a novel that, for a while, I didn’t believe in (I do now)? Most definitely. (For anyone wondering why I’m writing when I don’t seem to have the time: I have to. I just have to.)

Because I lost some weight earlier in the year and still don’t know why? I don’t know. (That’s a new one. I was supposed to have some tests back in September, but one of my sons got sick the day before I was supposed to prep. I’m thinking about rescheduling the tests at some point, though.)

On top of all that, I added some extra duties at my boys’ school, which I’m loving by the way. And I try to play with our weekly board game group once or twice a month to get some adult time in. And my husband and I try to get out together occasionally. And at some point, I need to start working on costumes for a couple of conventions next year. And the holidays are almost upon us, which means trying to live up to everyone’s expectations of being available and sociable when we both probably just want to go back to bed. And …

My eyelid started twitching. I’m not making that up.

Yep, it’s November, and realizing I’m feeling this way means it’s time to make an appointment to see my therapist again. It’s been awhile since we last spoke. I was doing okay in June, July, August, September, and October for the most part, but it’s November now. Winter is coming. It’s time to focus on my well-being, so I can be well for everyone else. (An upcoming conference trip with my husband sans kids will help. So much hotel and beach time means so much sleeping and writing and reading will be getting done.)

I’ll let you all know how everything’s going after New Year’s, although there may be a celebratory post in the between time when I’ve finally finished my revisions.

Thanks for reading and putting up with my shit.

A. Cook

Amanda Cook is a stay-at-home-mom and writer living in the rolling hills of southern Indiana. When she’s not caring for her family or obsessing over punctuation, she can be found helping out at her sons' school, catching up on her Goodreads list, playing (and sometimes winning, but mostly losing) board games with her friends, crying over her favorite PBS programs, or sewing yet another costume for the local gaming/pop culture convention, where she’ll probably lose at even more board games.

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