No really, it’ll be different next week

by Janelle Hanchett

Every week, while darting around the streets of my life, I think to myself “next week, it’s gonna be calmer.”

Next week, it’s gonna be easier.

Next week, I won’t have so much to do.

I will rest. I will have a little time. I will be less frantic. I’ll breathe.

Next week.

And yes, you guessed it. “Next week” never comes. But like an insane person thinking circumstances will change even though no circumstance has changed, I continue to rely on my hope for “next week.”

I wake. I prepare. I cook. I homeschool. I shower. I drive. I work. I study. I call. I call back. I deposit. I buy. I race. I listen. I study. I write. I chase. ย I do so much more.

I crawl into bed.

I sleep, or I do not sleep.

And then, I do it again.

Often, like yesterday for example, I’m driving home from work at 4pm and I’m delighted that tonight I finally – for the first time in god knows how long – get to go home and chill (well, “chill”, as much as you can with a neurotic toddler bolting around). Sit. Eat. REST. Maybe read. Do nothing. Definitely do nothing. And my husband calls and says “Tonight I gotta cut that beef (he’s a butcher at his dad’s ranch, in addition to an ironworker), and Rocket has a baseball game at 6pm, and Ava has one at 7pm. Sorry.”

And I do it again.

Next week.

Next week I’ll have less to do.

Nope, I won’t. There will be the same things to do. And the same person to do them.

I’m not pitying myself. I dig my life. It wouldn’t break my heart if I were handed some very large sum of money and could therefore work less, but I don’t want my life to suddenly become less busy, because that would mean less family, less mothering, less joy. It wouldn’t destroy me to learn that somebody died and left me a butler, and a driver, and a cook. But hey.

I’m not THAT insane.

What stings a little sometimes is the stuff left undone. Like that book I’ve been writing. I’m on page 40. I’ll never get off page 40.

I have something to say in that book, but I don’t have time to say it.

And those books on my nightstand. I want to read them.

And the blog posts in my head that will take a little time and focus. I’d like to write them.

And that call to my friend I’ve been meaning to make.

And that theory I’d like to read about that idea I had about that Melville story I read. A year ago.

But alas, this is it. This is the life. This is the life for us women (and some men, I’m sure) who work for a living and have kids and attempt to do right by them, and ourselves.

This is the life for awhile, at least.

Until next week comes for real.

And I miss this one terribly, because it was the time when my kids were little and my life was insane.

Ladies, I’m just so tired.

Do you ever get that sometimes? That tired that’s more than tired, more than sleepy, more than weak. That tired that washes over you like a 100-foot wave, pounding you into the depths until you just collapse. The mind, the emotions, the legs. All of it. Down.

Thank God next week it’ll be easier.

  • not blessed mama

    “I gotta cut that beef” is my new sex euphemism.
    And I really hope this blog post isn’t intended to tell me that we can’t hang out next week!

    • renegademama

      Oh god no. It isn’t. If we don’t hang out I’ll die.

  • Shel

    Girl I was just lamenting over this very same thing earlier today, I FEEL your pain…sometimes I wish I was the mom who didn’t care so much about keeping all my ducks in a row and being on top of it all, it is freaking exhausting. I feel like the guy in the circus who is running up and down keeping all the plates spinning. Big hugs to you, and behold a light at the end of the tunnel, summer break!!! Barely a week left!!

    • renegademama

      Thanks, Shel. And I agree. The circus guy image is perfect. Sometimes I also wish I didn’t care about whether my kid has a Hawaiian outfit for the school “luau,” or gets all those activities in, or, you know, eats.


      Mostly. Also partly true. ๐Ÿ™‚

      You hang in there too! xo

  • Cailin

    A friend (working mother of two) said to me this weekend, every day I feel like I barely muscle through the day and go to bed every night with a longer list than the day before. She was yawning during the whole conversation.

    • renegademama

      I’m glad I didn’t read that statement before I wrote this post, because you just explained my entire post in one sentence! Looking forward to seeing you next week at the shower.

  • Steph

    What you just posted is the true mark of an optimist. You’re always looking up, looking to find the positive. It’s when you don’t have the books on your nightstand, and say, “ah, I’ll never have time to read again” that you should be worried. I saw a movie once where a depressed character said, “I decided to stop washing my hair because it just gets dirty again.” Don’t stop looking to next week, or the brighter side of tomorrow – and don’t stop washing your hair. ๐Ÿ™‚ xoxo

  • Elizabeth

    been raising 4 kids alone for 16 years this is my life

  • Stephanie

    My measure of success is one day reading (and finishing) a book. It’ll happen someday. Maybe.

  • shauna

    I hear you, and I only have one and a 1/2 kids at the moment. I nearly died this week from everything on myplate. Thanks for making us feel regular. And I’ll SO miss it when it’s over. I never ever want it to end! Soldier on, Mama Bear!!

  • Jessica

    That post gave me a little anxiety :/ I’m staying home right now with toddlers so my life is mostly slow paced and predictable, now. But it’s coming. This fall, I’m going back to school, my oldest girl starts preschool and I signed her up for a tiny tumbler class ๐Ÿ™‚ granted, that ain’t nothin’ compared to your scedule but it will be a new normal for sure and adjusting to it will take a little…um, deep breathing.

  • Becky

    Thank you so much for your posts! You have such a way with words. It is so nice to know that I am not alone! I am married but my husband is always gone for work. I work full time and have 4 kids. After work I want to relax but there is homework, baseball, scouts, dinner etc. On Saturday’s I am exhausted!