My husband was working from home one day during a time period when our son was getting up pretty early in the morning and suggested I should take a nap while our son napped that afternoon.

I told him I couldn’t because I had too much to get done around the house, so I wanted to get as much as possible done while my son was napping so I wasn’t up too late getting stuff done after my son went to bed that night. He replied that I was always working on stuff at night after my son went to bed, so I might as well take a nap.

RELATED: I Don’t Get Anything Done During Naptime And I’m Not Sorry

That was the problem though. Even with working hard to get stuff done during my son’s nap time, I’m still trying to get a lot done at night time after he goes to bed. Taking the nap would get me some more rest, but then I’d be further behind on what I needed to get done. And that is the problem for moms everywhere.

We desperately need a break, but at the same time, know if we take a break one day, the next day will just have the previous day’s work on top of the current day’s work.

That break that seemed like a good idea the day before no longer seems like it was a smart idea the next day when it’s time to catch up on what did not get done the previous day.

If a mom has a job outside the home, she is not home all day to get anything done. When she comes home she has to get dinner ready, take care of her kids’ needs, spend time with them, and get them to bed. She does not get to start her to-do list until after her children go to bed. She has so much to get done and needs to be up early the next morning to get herself and her kids ready and dropped off to daycare or school before she heads to work herself.

If a mom is a stay-at-home mom, she is home all day, but the time to get anything done is limited. Her primary job as a stay-at-home mom is childcare for her children.  If she sneaks in some housework, her children make new messes to replace the previous mess. Toys that are put away will be back out in five minutes, and any dishes that get done will be replaced with new dirty dishes at the next meal. The only progress she can make is at nap time (and that is only if all of her kids are still at an age where they take naps, and even then, the kids will make new messes the second they wake up.) Stay-at-home moms also feel pressure that they should be handling most everything around the house since they don’t work outside the home. My husband does ask if there is something he can do to help, but I often will insist I can take care of it since he was at work all day and has to go back tomorrow.  

RELATED: The Ugly Truth of an Overwhelmed Mom and Resentful Wife

A mom knows how much she needs a break. It’s not that she doesn’t want to take one. The problem is she’s taken breaks before and knows how hard the next day becomes after she does. I’ve had days I’ve taken a night off, only to wake up the next morning and be aggravated at myself for taking that break because I had a bigger mess to deal with than I normally would have.

With Mother’s Day coming up after an especially hard year, one of the greatest gifts you can give a mom in your life is a break.

Insist she go do something for herself for a few hours and do what needs to be done to make that possible for her to go enjoy some guilt-free time away.  

Watch the kids for her.  

Insist she take a day off from doing any chores around the house and do the chores she would have done that day for her so she doesn’t have them added to her to-do list for the next day.  

Ask her what she needs done to make that break happen.

She’ll appreciate it so much, and it will be the best gift you could give her.  

Kimberly Keys

Kimberly is a stay-at-home Mom to her long-awaited precious son who joined our family through the miracle of adoption. She loves watching her toddler discover new things, especially when exploring the parks around her hometown of Cleveland, Ohio.