By Danee Kiernan
Life is Almost Always Good and co-author of Bouncing With Style. #11
Following the divorce, I ran on empty…3-5 hours of sleep at night, raising five kids (ages 5-16) alone….(except for 4 days/month when they stayed with their Dad),…..working 40+ hours/week as a Director in a marketing firm and attending a 2 year full time program to complete an MBA.
Life was chaotic…..In and around work and school, I was a full time Mom (and sometimes, Dad) to my children and the sole owner of an endless mountain of additional responsibilities. Just to barely maintain our household, 2-3 loads of dishes were done daily, 30 loads of laundry weekly, tons of grocery shopping, meal planning, prep and cleanup (even frozen pizza requires some effort and planning!), homework for myself, homework with the kids, bills, sports, music lessons and school functions.
Organization in our home meant the laundry basket stationed in the corner of the living room where we piled all of the mail, school papers, lists, bills and other important upcoming, incoming and outgoing information. It did help a bit….. There was only one place (more or less) that we had to search through to locate those things when needed … When one is in crisis, they go into crisis management. And that’s what I did. I managed my crisis as well as I could. I worked diligently to keep up with the kids, keep up with work, keep up with school and keep up (barely) maintaining the house. This was my reality, and it did not leave much time for anything else….and in an effort to control my environment and keep pace with the chaos, I cut back on many of my needs. This included much needed sleep.
I had read fantasy stories about people who would relax in the evening, climb into their comfy bed, read a book and fall into a dreamy, fulfilling night of solid slumber for 8 hours or more. These same superheroes would then awaken on time, fully rested, without an alarm clock, feeling chipper and looking awesome. Although, I doubted these people were real, and I honestly couldn’t fathom that this type of lifestyle truly existed, in my heart of hearts, I lusted after it and found myself hoping that maybe, just maybe, it could be true.
I had become an exhausted, zombie like shell of a woman, complete with….slouched shoulders, lifeless arms, glazed eyes, dragging feet and unintelligible moaning.
In my self induced catatonic state, I secretly complimented myself on how well I was conquering my pain. How in control I was. Moving forward. Stepping up. Staying strong and showing the world that I was fine…Just fine.
Danee Kiernan is a writer, parent, entrepreneur and co-author of Bouncing with Style: Starting over but Not From Scratch. She connects with others based on her experiences as a full time woman, full time mom (adoptive, birth & foster), stay at home mom, working woman and business owner. She hopes that sharing her experiences openly will help others to find their bounce. Danee is a powerful advocate for women’s rights, especially every woman’s right to choose her own destiny and build the life that she desires.
Danee KIernan earned a BS degree in Elementary Education with an early childhood specialization from Iowa Wesleyan College, and an MBA from the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee. Danee believes in the importance of love, family and pursuing dreams. She makes her home in Wisconsin, where she and husband Jim, are thoroughly enjoying the experience of raising their 12 children.
You can reach Danee Kiernan at firstname.lastname@example.org