Liz Petrone hit a breaking point when she took to Facebook to give outsiders a glimpse of the reality of her life as a working mother of four young children.
Petrone, 38, of Syracuse, New York, detailed in nearly 400 words all that she accomplished in one morning before arriving at her full-time job at an IT company at 9 a.m.
“I woke four sleepy humans,” she wrote of her four children, ages 12, 11, 7 and 3. “Some I gently patted, some I prodded, and one I pulled the covers off and tried to roll onto the floor when the pat and the prod fell short. I'm not proud of that last one."
She continued, "I made five beds, one twice because someone snuck into it and tried to go back into sleep. It *may* have been me.”
After getting her four kids off to school, Petrone wrote that she still had work to do, sharing the details of at least 10 more tasks.
“I tell you this because if one more person says to me, 'Wow, it sure must be nice to be able to waltz into work at 9:00 a.m.,' I am going LOSE IT,” Petrone wrote.
Petrone, who has worked in the IT field for the past 15 years, said she wrote the post to draw attention to people who, like her, feel they are pulled in “a million different directions.”
“I have a pretty understanding place of employment, but I never feel completely present,” she told ABC News. “I go to work and I’m thinking about my kids, and I go home and I’m thinking about work."
She continued, "I’m always apologizing for being late, having to cancel at the last minute or not being available.”
Petrone’s honesty drew hundreds of comments, including from men and stay-at-home moms, in addition to other working moms, who echoed her feelings of being pulled in many directions.
"This is my life everyday with a few more. I wake at 530 a.m. and it is nonstop til 9 p.m. I curse the people at my office that judge me, like I'm 'waltzing' in late everyday. YOU run a mental and physical marathon everyday before you come to work and then leave knowing that another one awaits your return," wrote one commenter.
"There is more truth in that passage than a lot of people realize," wrote another commenter, a male. "God bless moms that also work outside the home. God knows you certainly work inside it!"
Petrone's post has also been liked more than 2,000 times.
“It’s definitely surprising,” she said of the reaction. “When I sit down and write these things, it’s often from a place of loneliness.”
Petrone’s husband is a teacher who typically leaves their home for school by the time Petrone and the kids start their day at 6 a.m.
Petrone, who also writes a blog, said she does not want the post to draw sympathy but wants it to empower other people. She would also like the post to shine a light on the work people are doing outside of their 9-to-5 jobs.
“We have a way of looking at the time that you’re earning money as the work that you do and your value to society,” she said. “But some of the hardest work I know people are doing is outside of the office, at home and with their family.”
She continued, “My message is not a justification of my life or others. It’s more to everyone who is fighting this battle, I feel you and I’m there with you.”