Full Up

The comic You Should’ve Asked by French cartoonist Emma made the rounds on Facebook a few weeks ago, and it SO perfectly sums up my life right now. Go ahead, click on it and read it before you come back here. It’s important.


Photo by Emma

I don’t mean to lay the blame all on my husband – he’s insanely busy at work right now and because of his industry (concrete) that is just the way it is right now.

But. I am full up and burnt out.

I suck as a housekeeper.

I am apathetic as a parent.

I have no energy to give to workouts.

I am frustrated as a wife.

I am half-assed as a coworker.

I have no time for friends.

I have nothing left to give.

Last night about 6pm, I careened head first into the wall. You know the one, right? Where you’re arguing with your husband and yelling at your bickering children and (maybe) neither one is deserved (but maybe they both are), so you just lock yourself in your bedroom and tell everyone to leave you the hell alone for 2 freakin’ minutes…

Yeah, I’m full up.

Two hours later, when it’s time to put the kids to bed, they ask for a book, and I say no. I can’t. If you Dad wants to read to you, he can. Meanwhile, Dad is sitting on the bottom bunk, halfheartedly telling the kids to put their jammies on. I’m in the closet putting away two laundry baskets full of 18 million pieces of kids’ clothing that have sat there since the weekend before… I suppose because I was hoping that SOMEHOW, their Dad would chip in on this particular task at some point. Nope. He starts to read them a joint book to get out of having to read 2 separate books, Harvey pinches Stella, Dad gets mad and tells him to go up to his bed. I sigh and remind him that he didn’t have either kid brush their teeth or go to the bathroom yet, so no, he can’t go to bed. Harvey, come back down and go to the bathroom. Now I’m undermining their Dad and he is mad at me, but if I don’t, I’ll have to strip the top bunk of a queen size bunk and wash the sheets tomorrow after the three year old pees the bed, so who is being undermined now? The details matter, dammit. Go pee in the potty, THEN you can go to bed, I don’t care if you’re throwing a fit or being mean to your sister, you still have to sit on the goddamn potty.

After they’re in bed, I walk back downstairs. It’s 8pm, and I just want to meet up with a friend – any friend – for a break from my freakin’ house and life. Nobody can meet up, it’s 8pm on a Sunday night, I get it, it makes sense, but at this moment I hate my life. I can tell C is annoyed I’m sitting on the couch on my phone and not coming to bed with him at 8pm, but I’m so damn tired of going to bed at 8pm just because my husband wants to. I’m a night owl, always have been. Why do you have to take it as an insult that I don’t want to go to bed every night at the same time as our kids? You were working all day Friday and Saturday and golfing Sunday and I haven’t had a break from them and OHMYGODISONEEDABREAK.

I really should be in bed so I can work out in the morning before I go to work. I need to figure out what the hell we are going to do if Harvey doesn’t get into preschool (which starts in 4 weeks). How did I forget to figure out how to pay state quarterlies for our company last week? There goes my lunch break tomorrow, hopefully we don’t have to pay a fine. I should’ve gone to town today to get groceries. I can’t believe I took apart the stupid vacuum cleaner today and it still doesn’t suck right. C is never going to remember to bring it in to the repair shop. I want a drink. It’s 8pm on a Sunday night, I should just have water. Dammit, I didn’t empty the dishwasher and move the towels in the laundry. Maybe I should start that book I’ve been meaning to start forever. Screw it, I’m just going to zone out on this TV show until I can’t keep my eyes open anymore.

Full up.



  1. Good God! I’ve been annoyed that the cat that I have been cat-sitting for the week needs her insulin shot at 9:30 in the morning, cause that is just too much responsibility. This post gave me a swift kick in the ass. Perspective! Lol! Hang in there mama!

    1. Ha! Well, it’s not a competition for stress & responsibility levels by any means, but a little healthy perspective helps us all from time to time. I know these are all first world problems I’m having myself, but DAMN if I’m not burnt out by it all right now.

      1. I bet!!!!! Yea, no, it’s not about winning the stress olympics but this post definitely made me say ” stop whining ya spoiled bitch” about myself ofcourse lol

  2. Hugs Jos. Just so many hugs. Been there (very recently in fact) and it sucks.

    1. Ugh, sorry to hear you’ve been there recently as well, Cristy.

  3. Oh girl!!! I can relate so much to this it’s bringing tears to my eyes. One thing that has helped quite a bit, although still a drop in the bucket as far as my list of things to do, is that I FINALLY broke down and hired someone to help around the house. Once a week she comes and it is a godsend. Seriously. That’s the only suggestion I have because marriage and kids are the hardest fucking things I’ve ever done. Hugs!

    1. Yeah, I think I’m going to do this. Need to do this. Honestly, we had a nanny (3 days a week, Mon-Wed) for the past 3 years, and I think I took for granted how much she did. Monday & Wednesday she would wash/fold/put away all of the kids’ clothes, toys were always put away when I got home, dishwasher was emptied, floors were vacuumed… all without me ever asking her to do any of those things. She was just a tidy person who liked to keep busy. At any rate, now she’s gone and all of that is falling on my shoulders, plus I work full time, and my hubby is somehow not taking on ANY of the work that used to be done by her. I just… I can’t verbalize appropriately how overwhelmed I am in every aspect of my life right now. *sigh* Sorry to hear you can relate as well. 🙁

      1. TheRedhead · · Reply

        I second this plan… it started out as having cleaners come once or twice while I was pregnant and literally couldn’t keep up with it all. Even though I had the baby in May, we’re keeping the cleaners coming once a month. I go back to work in a week and I don’t know what I’d do if I also had to clean regularly. Between working full time, a LONG commute, managing everyone’s schedules, meal prep, etc… I would literally never get to sleep or sit or spend any time with my kids. It’s an expensive splurge for sure, but SO worth it for me.

  4. I meant to add that the housekeeper was most definitely not in the budget, but it was that or my actual sanity.

    1. Yup, this!

  5. Heather · · Reply

    I have no helpful advice other than to tell you you’re not alone. My husband and I both work full-time and have 3 kids. My middle child has severe ADHD. Our house is always a mess. I’m always tired. I feel like I’m failing at everything. I want to hire a housekeeper once or twice a month but the husband claims we can’t afford it. He spends money on cigarettes an eating out for lunch every day. But I can’t hire someone to help us and get criticized about the cost of my gym membership and how much I spend on (healthy) groceries. Marriage is hard. Parenting is hard. Life is hard. Hang in there. That’s all we can do, right?

    1. Phew, at that point I’d just schedule the damn cleaner and tell your hubby to sod off. Probably not helpful to your marriage, but maybe helpful to your sanity?! 😉 Really though, can you use a budget program to show him how much his cigarettes & lunch add up to each month, and then give him a quote from a local cleaner for a monthly 4 hour clear to hit your kitchen and bathrooms at least? That’s what I did!

  6. From one concrete wife to the other-I hear ya and feel your pain. 77 hours last week then the Saturday side job. Nope. I hit my wall Saturday. Done. Wine is how I survice most of the time.

    1. Yes, this. I’m deep in it right now, especially b/c I *know* that he is working hard, but dammit, so am i!

  7. I hear you. I absolutely lost it at my husband a few weeks back for exactly this reason and he isn’t even that busy at work right now. I was one very unhappy camper, I have had my say he seems to be trying a little harder at the moment. I don’t feel quite so overwhelmed right now I have been actively been trying to take a bit more time for myself (which is really hard). Hope you find something that will help!

  8. Remember I told you I had a meltdown a few weeks ago – well it was the housework and mental load that was killing me. I gotta give kudos to ryan for stepping up because I was really down about it. The cleaner came last week and it was the best money ever. It’s the laundry it fkn never ends. The rest though – I just want to sit and have a beer with you about it all.

    1. I so, so wish we could do that, m’dear. And yes, I just hired a cleaner to come next Thursday. Somehow I need to have a calm conversation with C though about expectations regarding contribution to housework and parenting…

  9. I can relate. I am fortunate that my husband actually has a less demanding job — and works fewer hours — than I do, but there are so many things that it just wouldn’t even occur to him to do. He is great with our sons, and I try to focus on that when I get frustrated.

    I hope you get a break soon!

  10. mcmissis · · Reply

    I screenshot things on FB when I want to read them, leave them in my photos for a while, then usually delete them when I realize I’m never going to. I took a screenshot when you commented on someone’s post with this article, avoided reading it for a while, then actually did a couple weeks back and connected with it so very much. So, thanks for sharing!

    Sorry you’re having a rough go of it. Your old nanny situation sounded amazing! Hiring someone to clean the house will definitely help, and we have every two weeks, but honestly, they’re not going to do what your nanny did. They’re going to deep clean (which, again, is great!) but it’s not the everyday stuff that builds and builds and makes you (me) want to pull your hair out. That stuff still lands on you and having the cleaner come just forces it to happen on a set schedule, which is helpful but also stressful bc they can’t do their job if your shit is laying around everywhere.

    Just this past weekend, Calvin and I were talking about his coworker who has two babies, younger than ours, and how they get out and do things and go places and all this stuff that would’ve seemed impossible for us at that stage. Calvin said, “Honestly, I think part of it is bc she works and the kids go to daycare. So, she can come home and not have the house be a disaster every day.” All that to say, maybe it will be a little less housework when S&H aren’t home all day and are away at school while you’re at work. Maybe that’ll take a tiny bit of the mess out of the equation.

    Also, for me, (and I know you and I are very different when it comes to a lot of stuff like this, so I could be totally off base), I adore summertime and all the fun and exciting things that go on, but by the end of it, I feel myself craving the routine of the school year and getting everything back to normal. Could part of it be that?

    1. mcmissis · · Reply

      I feel like every time I comment, I have to come back in and clarify: BUT I TOTALLY FEEL YOU. I feel overwhelmed and overloaded and way too short with Calvin and the girls all the time, especially now that it’s summer, and they’re with me every. single. second. It’s a freaking lot. I’m here to listen and tell you you’re not alone. Believe me.

    2. First off, did you know that if you want to save something in FB to read later (or cook, etc), you can click the little arrow top left and click on the banner icon to “save for later”? Then the link is there and not just a screenshot. 😉

      At any rate, yes, you’re totally right that a cleaner won’t help with the day-to-day stuff, but it does force us to keep more on top of the clutter. I hope. Ha!

      I do agree that it’s easier when the kids aren’t home all day, using dishes and making messes. We shall see what happens come fall. School starts in 3 weeks and Harvey is still on the wait list for pre-k, so I’m still super stressed about that b/c WTF are we going to do if he doesn’t get in? *sigh*

      Also, we are very different about craving routine for sure. 🙂 I crave my kids being gone and having routine, but I actually detest the shorter days and feeling even more home bound in the winter!

      And no need ever to come back and clarify! I know that you always have my back. xoxo

  11. nonsequiturchica · · Reply

    Oh the mental load for a women is tough….plus add on everything else that we have to do/manage around the house and it simply sucks. We are a family of two working parents and two kids in daycare and I hardly have any time to do any housecleaning so after our house renovations are done we will be getting someone to come once a month. FOR MY SANITY.

    I simply don’t understand why husbands can’t fold laundry. I end up folding my husband’s laundry (he once joked that I should put it away for him and I about killed him) AND putting my kid’s clothes away too. So I’m literally doing EVERYONE’s laundry. Laundry truly is the worst.

    Chugging wine with you here in Chicago! 🙂

    1. I used to do Charlie’s laundry pre-kids. After Stella was born, between my stuff (which includes his “good” clothes – aka, golf stuff), Stella’s stuff, cloth diapers, linens, etc., I told him he could do his own damn work clothes (filthy carhart / concrete type work clothes). He was shocked, and somehow had no idea how many loads of laundry I was washing, folding, and putting away every week. It’s so hard to know how much I (we) have enabled and how much we just internalized as being expected from a young age. *sigh*

  12. Augusta · · Reply

    Love you sissy. I so understand the full up, burnt out feeling. Reading this makes me wish I lived closer so I could be that friend for you on Sunday evenings at 8 pm. You’re the queen and always will be. I admire you. 💞

  13. Geochick · · Reply

    i hear ya. that cartoon is dead on.

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