I wish I could tell you how I’m feeling, I really do.

But the words get trapped in my throat, refusing to come out.

I’ve never been one to be able to put a voice to feelings. I would push them back to the dark recesses of my mind and pretend they weren’t there. But feelings have a way of building up like a volcano ready to explode. 

I see you working hard to provide for us. I see your stress as you help with virtual learning, only to leave for work to add more stress to your day. I see how overwhelmed you are even though you try to hide it. I appreciate everything you do and I know I don’t tell you enough. 

But I’m drowning, too. I work hard not to show it.

Mothers are viewed as the glue that holds the family together. If I fall apart, what would happen then?

I must stay strong to help everyone else when they fall apart. Be the shoulder to cry on, the venting board when they are frustrated. But my ends are fraying.

I feel myself become more undone every day. Barely holding back the tears as we go through one more week of the hated “unprecedented times.” I know everyone is suffering, but that doesn’t make it easier. 

But my grip is weakening. I’m barely holding on, and less each day. I’m hanging by a thread. I’m exhausted from trying to do so much. Not once do I get a break, away from kids needing me. And the almost constant fighting and screaming, I just can’t take any more. 

But my patience is wearing thin. It’s not what it once was. I notice myself getting mad at little things, or annoyed when I hear “Mo-om” for the millionth time. If I see it there, I can only imagine how everyone else is seeing it, which then leads to the infamous mom guilt. 

But I’m losing myself.

I can’t remember the last time I had alone time. And I’m not talking about the 20 minutes I get when I shower (and if we’re honest, many times one kid or another comes in). I’m talking about true alone time. We all need that sometimes. I haven’t gotten any since this whole thing began, except a few grocery store trips, if we’re counting those.

I know you only go to work then come home. But do you know how much I would give for that right now? Even for a few hours where I don’t hear “Mom” a hundred times in a matter of minutes. Where I don’t have to break up fight after fight. Where I could go to the bathroom in peace without someone knocking on the door or barging in. 

I know there’s not much we can do right now, in this age of social distancing. But please hear what I cannot say because I’m slowly losing my mind.

Encourage me to go for a walk alone while you watch the kids. Or go for a drive where I can listen to my music with no one complaining. Or even lock myself in our bedroom so I can watch a show or movie I’ve been longing to see. 

I know I try to do too much. I know I should ask you for help. But since I can’t,  please try to help me help myself.

Originally published on Filter Free Parents

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BA Eubank

BA Eubank is a wife and mother of five children. She's been through all the stages from colicky baby to one who has left the nest. She squeezes writing in between playing referee and asking the dog what's in his mouth. Her work has appeared on Her View From Home, Filter Free Parents, Blunt Moms, and Red Tricycle. Follow her at facebook.com/writerpoetdreamer