My first short story

I wrote a short story with the theme being ‘Burnout’. It’s about a single mom and her daily struggles. It’s easy to get lost in being a good homemaker, mom, and wife. I think everyone struggles with finding the balance. Hope you like my story!
The alarm clock jars her awake and she immediately feels the pull. She closes her eyes against the harsh light, trying to mentally prepare herself for the pull. She tries to prioritize what needs to be done today. A small sigh escapes as noise floats in to the room. The pull grows stronger as the noise gets louder. When it finally peaks, she drags herself out of bed.
The kids are fighting at the table as she hunches over the stove. Her hair sticks out crazily as breakfast splatters on her pajamas. She feels another pull as her phone starts to ring. Her heart sinks as she sees the caller ID. She puts on a smile and answers anyways. The activity leader says he cannot be there tonight. She says it is okay and that she will handle the cub scouts, but the pull grows.
She starts ushering the kids out of the door to the car, running a comb through her hair and hurriedly throwing on clothes. As she races through the messy house, another pull starts. She tries to ignore it, but she knows it is impossible. The pull grows as she passes the sink overflowing with dishes and the full trash can.
The kids jump out of the car to go to school. She signs the last minute forms and is informed of a book report that is due tomorrow. She promises to swing by the library and gets the book as she feels yet another pull. She eats her breakfast as she drives to the library. After she gets the book, the pull of groceries and errands call to her. She pays bills on the phone as she walks through the store, picking up the stuff she needs for dinner, all the while feeling pulled to do more.
On the way home, the dirty house keeps creeping up in her mind. She tries to make a mental checklist of which chores are the most important and need to get done. As soon as she steps foot in the house, the list disappears and everything pulls her. She starts laundry and dishes, sweeps and folds, gathers trash and takes it out. The dogs are whining for food and the cats are scratching at the doors. No matter how much she does, the chores never end, the pulling never lessens.
Before she realizes it, it is time to get the kids from school. She grabs a meager lunch and runs out the door. The car rider line is long enough for her to take a few minutes to herself. She relaxes and tries to shove the constant pulling aside. A knock on her window pulls her back to reality. A teacher is looking for volunteers for field trips, clubs, and parent teacher conference dates. She quickly checks her calendar and sets a date for the conferences. The pulling intensifies as she tries and fails to get out of volunteering. The teacher eventually leaves and she forces a smile as her kids get in the car.
The kids ramble on telling her everything that they learned and what they did. They shove quizzes and art projects in to her lap, waiting expectantly for her praise. She takes a second to look at every piece before handing out snacks and driving away from the school. They stop by the house long enough to gather up their equipment for their various clubs and sports. She drops each kid off, promising to stay and watch them when it it their turn, the pulling coming from every direction now. She sits in the bleachers, sorting through emails and cheering for the team.
After practice, they pick up the rest of the kids and then head to scouts. She teaches her thrown together lesson to the rowdy boys, all the while wishing the activity leader had been able to do it. The other moms look on sympathetically. She feels like she is being pulled apart.
On the drive home, the kids are tired and cranky. A full day of activities has taken it’s toll on all of them. They get to the house and eat a quick dinner before she starts making them cycle through baths and get ready for bed. She reads to them and kisses them good night. After the nightly battles, they are all asleep. She sits on the couch and looks around at her destroyed living room. Mitts, cleats, and clothes litter the floor. The kitchen sink is once again full of the days dishes.
She feels empty inside, the pull is gone. She does not want to dance on strings like a marionette doll anymore. She wants to say no, no more sports, no more chores, no more scouts. She wants to walk away from it all. The constant pulling throughout the day is too much. She feels burnt out on life’s responsibilities. She feels like she is no longer her own person, but a hybrid built to serve others. She longs for time where she can do what she wants not what she needs to do.
She reluctantly gathers backpacks and pulls out permission forms and agendas that need to be signed. A paper falls on to the floor. It is a drawing of her. In the picture she is balancing clothes, a ball, and holding hands with the kids. At the bottom of the picture in crude little kid handwriting, it says “I love my Mom because she can do everything”. Tears well up in her eyes as the pulls vanish. The appreciation and love in that simple drawing spread through her. The burnt out feeling is replaced by that of gratitude. She knows she can make a difference and she knows she is doing the best she can.
She makes her way to bed, knowing the pull will be back tomorrow, but determined to make the best of it.
By: Jessica Wing
(Comment and tell me what you think 😄)

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