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     Not only have I completely stopped striving for sanity today, but I've lost my ever-loving mind. It's not that my kids hid my mind from me today (although my husband's looking a bit harried after the afternoon with them), it's the rest of the world that's taking a toll on this woman. Unfortunately, my kids don't understand the words "Mommy's on-call this week so she can't make plans with you" or "Mommy hasn't slept for 3 nights and is too tired to play a game" or "Mommy's heart is beating out of her chest like a bongo player on speed, so please stop asking so many questions or Mommy will stroke out".
     "Haha," (that's Cameron) "Why are you talking so funny?" (This from my little one that sounds like he's gargling marbles and can only make the sounds of half the letters in the English language.) "Cameron, I don't know.... Pappy's truck broke and we need a new one, I have to work extra this week and answer calls in the middle of the night and then I don't fall back to sleep, and then Taylor wet the bed and I had to get up again... so I'm tired and I begin stuttering when I feel this way." (I'm not even sure at what point my kid became the therapist and I became the client.)
     "What's stuttering?"
     "It's what I just did that made you say I was talking funny."
     "Why did you stutter?"
     "Because I'm tired, remember?"
     "Can I stutter?"
     "No, Cameron... reach for the stars, man, not stuttering.... it's not a good thing."
     "Then why do you do it?"
     "Because I'M TIRED."
     (10 seconds passes) "What's stuttering again?"
     "Oh look! It's bedtime!"
     As a working Mama, I'm feeling the strain of not accomplishing anything well.... when I'm home, I'm too tired or pre-occupied to be 100% there for my family. When I'm at work, I'm too stressed to be 100% there for my clients. And if I get the chance to make it anywhere other than home or work, consider it nothing short of a miracle, worthy of celebration (no, seriously. If you see me out and about, I expect to be fed chocolate cake immediately). I'm physically drained, on the brink of an anxiety attack, covered in hives (for over a month!), and now apparently in search for a new vehicle for my husband (do NOT bite your nails, do NOT bite your nails, do NOT bite your nails....) I thought school starting would make things better, but now there's PTO meetings, all-day classroom events that you can't go to unless you take off from work, kids that need help with each and every step of their homework, and now a fundraiser... on the SECOND week of school! They couldn't have held out to rob us blind for a few more weeks? There are literally small candles in this catalog being sold for $18. I know that our thriving metropolis of Western PA can be mistaken for New York and all, but this is a bit ridiculous. What kind of hoity-toity wax costs that $18? But all is not lost, because if Cameron sells 20 of these magical candles, he wins A DOLLAR. Keep the dollar... just kick him in the knee cap... six in one, half a dozen in the other.... I digress, my apologies......(I really do have school spirit, I swear....)
     So, how do you other stressed-out, financially bogged down, working Mamas out there survive? Have you found the miracle trick to spending quality time with your kids, even when you're beyond busy and "talking funny"? Is there some kind of medication that could remove the need for any amount of sleep so that I can actually accomplish my to-do list each day? Maybe Michael Keaton was on to something.... cloning has to be legal somewhere, right?