Help! I can not do it anymore

Help! I can not do it anymore
Help! I can not do it anymore

You have to learn to let go and realize that what awaits us is exhaustion and even depression. Future mothers and mothers, react!


Whether by tradition, bad habit or because we have the Supermom syndrome well established in us, it is not uncommon to see mothers accumulate all the tasks related to the household. But after a while, many, completely exhausted, ask for help because they can't do it anymore!

The leave that isn't

First, there is the famous maternity “leave” which, as its name does not indicate… is anything but leave! Of course, the new mother no longer goes to work and does not have to travel morning and evening, but when we accumulate childbirth, breastfeeding, colic, small discomforts, sleepless nights, baby stimulation and all the household chores and education, it's a full-time job we're talking about, and even more so if we start calculating all the hours spent in the service of the family.

Then, in most families, there is the return to work… So to the tasks already mentioned above, we add work - says real work, because paid! -, travel and organizationabsolutely necessary to accommodate everything you have to do at the same time, without the days being longer! How many times have I joked that I was going to open a night shift because the day and evening shifts weren't enough? I was laughing, but basically, I wanted to send a message: I need help! I can't do it alone!

It's nice to have a spouse full of good will and live in a time when tasks are supposed to be shared, but sometimes I think that Yvon Deschamps had put his finger on the sore when he spoke of equal sharing tasks “My wife makes pies, I eat them…”

The division of tasks

We have to face the facts, women can't do everything; Dad is not only able, but he must do his part as much in the care of the children as in the organization of the whole household. You have to learn to let go and realize that what awaits us in the end is exhaustion and depression and that despite our dedication, we do not receive of medal for services-to-the-family-until-complete-exhaustion!

Before blaming fathers for their lack of involvement, perfect moms that we are, we must humbly admit that the first responsible for the situation… often, it's is us! That we find it difficult to accept that the cleaning is not done as we want (as our mother showed us?)! That we have a hard time trusting dadsin caring for children! That the list of our recommendations is long when we have to be absent – we have to feed our guilt, right? – ranging from what the child should eat, to sleep times, and to the 15 bottles already prepared just in case!

Letting go is really easier on the second baby than on the first, but it's crazy how much better off we would be if we got there right away the first child!

We really have to stop believing that our spouses are incompetent who wouldn't know what to do without us – sorry to say it like that, but that's often what we think! -, and that the Earth would stop spinning if everything was not perfect around us, that our reputation is at stake every day! Take the word of a woman who suffered a big burnout for wanting to do everything on her own to spare a hard-working dad! Since then, I have healed… and separated! Don't be like me! React before it's too late!


A few tips for getting help

  • Before giving birth or as soon as possible – now would be the perfect time! –, have a good conversation with your spouse on the famous task sharing. If you plan to breastfeed, your spouse's full participation is essential! When you breastfeed, you don't have time for housework, meals, laundry and errands! Stop thinking that being on maternity leave will give you time to do everything!
  • As soon as baby arrives, let dad take care of several things, whether it's bathing, changing diapers, cuddling, sleeping… It's true that he may be naturally less skilled than you, but if you don't give him the chance, he'll never learn!
  • Dare to leave for a few hours or even a day without preparing anything! Does your spouse make you a list when he goes to work or when he goes to play hockey… No? Well, he will manage, maybe not the same way you do, but he will! You didn't choose him as the father of your children because he was a fool!
  • If you're a single mom, you may have no choice but to take more on your shoulders. But don't wait until you're on the brink to seek help. The CLSC, community organizations, support networks and, for those who can afford it, paid services from several companies, for example SOS Garde, just waiting for your call to give you a hand.
  • Let go of what before the arrival of the child seemed essential to you, like the house super clean at all times! Decorating magazines waiting to photograph your home – and sofa undersides – will come back another time!
  • When you already have children, tell yourself that you are doing them a disservice by doing everything for them. You are their mother, not their servant and already in infancy, children must do their part. They canmake their bed before entering Cegep…
  • Do not hesitate to seek the good care of mum, mother-in-law or even a home help service. Did you know that you can access a host of services through Home Service Cooperatives for around $17 an hour? We can help you with cleaning, but also with meals and shopping. There are currently nearly 50 Coops, whose services are partly subsidized by the RAMQ. Use them occasionally or regularly, they are very flexible on the nature of the services and their duration. If you're hesitant because of price, ask yourself how much your mental and physical he alth is worth. A few weeks or months of respite can make all the difference!

Young people can do their part

Depending on the age of the child, the following tasks will not be done perfectly, but they must be initiated when they are young, otherwise they will never learn! Many of his tasks will need to be done under your supervision at first.

Between 3 and 5 years old

  • put away the toys he just played with.
  • do small tasks while you tidy up.
  • small personal cares like washing hands and brushing teeth.

Between 6 and 8 years old

  • basic toilet care.
  • choosing your clothes the day before for the next day.
  • put your dirty clothes in the laundry basket.
  • making his bed.
  • putthe table and clear.
  • fold towels and several items of clothing.

Between 8 and 10 years old

  • rinse the bath, put away the bath toys
  • vacuuming or sweeping
  • dry the dishes, empty the dishwasher
  • put away the groceries
  • waking up and getting ready alone
  • putting away his clothes
  • wash your hair
  • feed an animal
  • take out the trash

Popular topic

Interesting articles
Tips for good dental he alth this Halloween
Read more

Tips for good dental he alth this Halloween

It's hard for young people to resist the lure of the thousand and one sweets harvested on Halloween. There are simple tips parents can follow to help their kids celebrate Halloween while keeping their teeth he althy

Music and hearing loss
Read more

Music and hearing loss

The alarm clock, the horn of a car, the doorbell, music, conversations… our ears are precious: they allow us to hear, interpret and understand

My child does not drink milk
Read more

My child does not drink milk

Dairy products are essential for the development and maintenance of he althy bones and teeth. It is an excellent source of vitamin D, a key element for the absorption of calcium