My Life As an Overtime Mom

The Overtime Mom

If someone asks me what I do, I reply that I am a stay-at-home mom.

Most people get what a huge undertaking that is, especially with two under three constantly underfoot and needing me for all the things at every single moment. However, some seem to wonder what it is I do with “all of that free time.” Free time? Adorable.

I think all moms are rock stars, but I belong to a special league of motherhood I refer to as the “Overtime Moms.”

What is an Overtime Mom, you ask?

An Overtime Mom is a mom whose partner works hours that far exceed the regular 40-45 hour work week. An Overtime Mom is a mom whose partner travels for work throughout the year. An Overtime Mom is someone who can go entire days from wake-up to bed-time without any help, and then do it again the next day.

I sometimes envy the partners of those with 40-hour work weeks. My husband can hit 40 hours by Wednesday, and that’s on a week when he’s NOT traveling. I envy the moms who have their partners around to divide and conquer the morning crazy. I feel bad that there are days where my kids’ only contact with their father is the five minutes of FaceTime he carved out of an insanely busy schedule.

Don’t get me wrong, I’m not the martyr here. My husband is. He is one of the hardest working, most loving parents I have ever seen. He’s Superdad. The man doesn’t even need coffee. I’m convinced he has a radioactive spider stashed somewhere. He’s fun and devoted. He takes such good care of us. Even with his crazy hours, I know there is no better man I could have picked to parent with.

That said, there are times when I feel like my kids don’t get enough of him and I just don’t have anything left over to give to make up for that.

Parenting non-stop from 6am has me struggling to be my best self by 4. The nights when my husband works late are basically forced marches from the end of nap-time (if it exists) until bed-time. My kids deserve better than that. I hate that I can’t always give it to them.

I’m not alone, however. I’m part of a Facebook group for the Overtime Moms of my area. We meet for play dates and try our best to keep one another sane. They are my village, and together, we lift one another up. It’s a special kind of sorority that none of us bargained for, and we are bound together by our shared–often stressful–experience. We are stretched thin, but blessed beyond imagination, because our partners do come home eventually. And that makes it all worth it.

P.S. Single mamas, you all deserve a medal and a really long nap, because living your life just part of the time takes all of what we have to give. We acknowledge that on a regular basis and are continually in awe of you. 

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5 Responses to My Life As an Overtime Mom

  1. Melissa September 9, 2016 at 6:40 am #

    This is me. I totally relate to this article. I am pregnant and have two little ones. My husband is constantly on the road. Sometimes going nonstop from 6:30 AM-9 PM daily for a week by myself can make it hard and mentally take its toll. I have to get out everyday to keep myself sane. Luckily, I have some great neighbors that help when they can.

  2. Heidi
    Heidi September 9, 2016 at 6:46 pm #

    Well written and I loved that you painted your husband in a good life while also outlining your challenges. I always have a hard time being my best self by 4 and my husband has a decent schedule. 🙂

  3. Karri
    Karri September 14, 2016 at 12:02 pm #

    Having your tribe is huge, IMO. If I had not had other moms in similar scenarios or moms who were empathetic to our exhaustion, my friends and I would not have survived. Or come out sane, at least. A huge thing was our 4pm ‘witching hour’ playdates. We’d order pizza and let the kids play, we’d all enjoy a glass of wine, then around 6/6:30, wash them up and get them in their jammies and head home. It obviously gets easier – the kids can help make their lunches and get their own breakfast. But the afternoons are wild and hairy and you still need a tribe to lean on when you have to be in 2-3 places at once.

  4. Cris Bauer June 7, 2017 at 12:43 pm #

    Thanks for the recognition of single-mom’s. I work two jobs and have to have enough left over to make sure my kids, 9 & 11, aren’t always getting the “left overs” of me! Their Dad pops in every now and then, but always gets to do the fun things I wish I had time for. Yes, he supports them financially, but the day to day challenges of homework, activities, their blossoming social lives, and oh, yeah, the meals, laundry, and shopping that it takes to keep them healthy…require so much more than money. So, Over-Time Mom’s, I get you…oh, do I ever. Congrats to US! We are super-women!!

  5. Terumi June 19, 2017 at 9:46 pm #

    Totally hear you-my hubby works a lot too! So cool that you have a Facebook group-I wish we had that kind of thing in my neighborhood:)

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