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Sometimes I wonder who I would be, if I were a man. A father to my three children. The provider that goes out to work everyday to a job that is both emotionally and mentally draining, but stimulating and rewarding as well.  A stable, predictable, and loving family awaits him upon his arrival. Daily he gets accolades for his accomplishments and praise for going above and beyond. The one that loves his wife and family and would give anything for them… but would likely never have to.

I met my husband at a major University Cancer Center where I worked as a Registered Dietitian. I am well aware of what he faces ever day. I left that life, not only to raise our family, but it became impossible for us to have any sense of normalcy with us both driven and consumed by a very ill patient population. We waved to one another on the highway, but had nothing in the refrigerator, boxes left unpacked from our move, and no awareness of the world outside of our “job.” I didn’t like it, so I let it go. At the time, my husband said “what is it that I’m going tell people you do?” I didn’t care.

Three children later, he has a clear answer to that question. I’m a stay-at-home mom and a manager of my home. I’m also struggling. I have regular migraines, despite medication. I have worsening anxiety, despite medication. I have PMS monthly exactly 10 days before my period (that I can tell without a calendar) and I STRUGGLE to hold it together.

Though taking care of twin toddlers and a 7-year-old, as well as a large home, and being a physician’s spouse are nothing to take lightly… I miss the mental challenge and focus I have for myself. I swing from thing to thing at times. I briefly held a position at my daughter’s school during a time when they needed the extra support, then my focus switched to our move and finding a new home. Now, however, I’m stuck.

I’m now an anxious, migraine-prone, PMS struggling mid-thirties woman who is looking to feel better. I feel like I’m hanging on by a limb, always. From the outside, one would think that I have it completely together… beautiful home, successful husband, wonderful children, etc. These things are true and I am grateful for them. I just need to get myself back in the group where my family knows that I will be there for them too. They can depend on me and I am strong. It’s time that mommy puts herself first for a while. Maybe it’s running, maybe it’s reading, maybe it’s writing, maybe it’s something I haven’t even thought of yet… but things are about to change.