Tuesday, January 27, 2015

New Job = New Work-Life Balance Struggle

I've been at my new job almost five months now!! I'm so much happier there now that I've adjusted and gotten the hang of things!! Yay me!

I'm not gonna lie though - it was likely one of the hardest job adjustments I've ever had to make. It could be due to being older, more anxious/worried, so many things at home to juggle, combined with the fact that this job has an intense workload. So many deadlines, so little time.

I try to keep my focus on my project list, calendar, meetings and be able to manage frequent interruptions from people coming in my office, calls and a constant stream of emails. I usually eat lunch at my desk and force myself to be chained to my desk most of the day (aside from a power walk with coworkers occasionally). I am convinced I have ADD and this job intensifies it, but I have not given up. There were days I think I was near a full-on panic attack and was ready to walk out the front door and never come back.

One day I was feeling particularly overwhelmed and I even texted my old boss at my previous job asking if my position was still open. It was embarrassing and humbling to be at such a low point, but I'm glad I didn't give up. And that the position wasn't available.

Now, I'm more confident, familiar, relaxed and competent. I've managed to accomplish a lot in a short period of time and I think people are impressed (or at least relieved). When I first meet people, or I'm new to a job, it takes me a while to come out of my shell and speak up. I go through an introverted, shy adjustment period and it likely comes across as meek and incompetent. In my position, I think people are expected to be confident, assertive, take-charge and outspoken. That doesn't come easy for me. I struggle with feelings of inferiority, insecurity or what is coined, 'imposter syndrome'. It's wild.

I have always disliked public speaking. I've taken a Toastmasters course last summer which helped my speaking skills. This job has also helped as my boss has been understanding and has coached me where I need help. Being knowledgeable about the subject and being prepared are the main keys to being a good speaker. Practice, practice, practice.

On the home front, I do feel a little guilty that I haven't been able to do more with the kids as I used to with my prior, more flexible job. I wish I could volunteer in the kids classes, show up for the parties, pick them up earlier, do a weeknight activity/sport, etc. I want to be a loving, involved mom and be there for each of my three children. They are all happy, healthy and doing well; Daddy-O has stepped it up when I need him more. But I really miss having special time together. When I pick the kids up from school, it's 6:00 and from the moment we get in the car and head home, they are bickering and creating chaos. It's maddening.

Once home, we have about two hours to do homework, eat dinner, take showers, brush teeth, put on pajamas, get tucked in for bed. But all three kids run around shrieking like banshees and doing whatever they want and completely don't hear me when I try to lead them to what they should do. I have become invisible and inaudible! So my mothering attitude has become quite jaded and angry and I'm sad that it has become this way. I'm always yelling, threatening, swearing, nagging, bribing and whining. It's pathetic and I'm sick of being this way.

After the long Christmas break, I was completely excited to return back to the office for work. It is complete sensory overload with a house full of active children, when I just want a moment or two of peace, quiet and solitude. It is best for me to have a job to go to during the week. I need that in my life for my mental health.

I'm making small changes at home to try to bring order to chaos and to foster a nurturing environment. I'm pushing myself to clean and organize the clutter. I'm making new, healthy recipes for dinners that hopefully appeals to the kids. I'm being more disciplined with each child to hold them accountable for their actions, which can be time consuming, but necessary. I'm removing TV and tablet on school nights. These tough actions aren't making me a very popular person at home, but I think it's necessary to create order and better behavior.

I really do need think I need to have a parenting support group or a psychologist though. I sense I'm in danger of an emotional breakdown. I have been taking a few hours alone doing something away from home during the weekend, which is super nice (massage, gym, nails, hair, friends, book club, etc.) but I could still benefit from talking to others who understand my struggles and can offer helpful advice. I don't want to turn into my mother!

If you would like to share your own personal work/life struggle on this blog, please contact me. It's nice to hear others' experiences. I can publish it anonymously, so don't be shy.

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Friday, October 24, 2014

Burnt Out

This summer, 'Listen to Your Mother' stage show came to Orange County. I fully intended on going; I knew it would be right up my alley. I was even toying with the idea of auditioning, even though I'm petrified of public speaking. Sadly, I missed the show altogether.

Recently, when I was searching to see if Listen to Your Mother was coming back, I stumbled on some recap videos. I especially loved this one of a pediatrician turned stay at home mom. Everything she says is so spot on for me! I am so burnt out and seriously considering choosing mothering full time over working. It's becoming too difficult, with minimal reward for my tremendous effort.

Enjoy the performance and HAPPY FRIDAY!!!


Friday, October 17, 2014

Family Music: Walter Martin's Hey Sister

Our family LOVES this new song by Walter Martin, "Hey Sister". It's so sweet (and catchy)!!! We heard it first on Sirius XM Kids Place Live. We looked for it on YouTube and only found this personal tribute, which is so endearing.

It reminds me that childhood (and sibling rivalry) only lasts a brief time. To enjoy and savor those precious and chaotic moments.

I hope you and your family like it as much as we do!

Walter Martin's 'We're All Young Together' album on Amazon.


Thursday, October 9, 2014

I'm the Bitch in the House

"The Bitch in the House"
Amazon Affiliate
"Overwhelmed: Work, Love and Play
When No One Has the Time" by Brigid Schulte
Amazon Affiliate
Here are the two books I have checked out from the public library right now; no joke. "The Bitch in the House: 26 Women Tell the Truth about Sex, Solitude, Work, Motherhood and Marriage" and "Overwhelmed: Work, Love and Play When No One Has the Time" by Brigid Schulte. Such great books!  

Can you guess what my state of mind is? I'm so stressed, anxious, frazzled... I'm too tired to delve into details, but you'll be thankful for that. It is the same story: too much to do, not enough time, feeling like I'm not doing enough, bad mom, bad worker, bad wife...

But now with my new job, my overwhelmed feelings are more extreme. It's not logical; it's full on reactionary and gut level emotions. My sister tries to 'talk me off the ledge' when I'm in my irrational outbursts, but it's ineffective. Yes, I should stop the negative loop, take deep breaths, meditate, think positive... I just don't feel I have the luxury of time for that.

Some minor things I've done to 'own' more of my time: put an hour lunch break on my work calendar each day of the week (even if I don't actually take it) and I've gone walking in the afternoons with a few coworkers. It's nice to get fresh air and stretch my legs.

I'm a month in at my new job. It's the end of the week. TGIF. I hope that next month I own it.

Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Guest Post: "Mommy Has to Go to Work" Poem

A friend of mine recently had her second daughter and has been enjoying her maternity leave with her two girls. She and I have talked at length about how hard it is to leave your babies to get back in the grind.

The night before she had to return to work from her maternity leave, she shared this poem she wrote with me.
Mommy Has To Go To Work

Tomorrow mommy has to return to work.
Tomorrow our daily routine will have to change.
You may be too young to understand that in order to secure your future,
Mommy has to work and provide for you.

I have enjoyed every second of you.
From waking up to you, to every meal,
To all our many adventures throughout the day.
From play time, to reading time, to movie and cartoon time,
To bath then bed time and everything in between.

Those special moments are what will help me make it through my day.
I will carry your laughter and giggles in my heart.
I will close my eyes and imagine your scent, warmth and cuddles.
I will miss you so much, the pain is simply indescribable.
I will even miss the times you fought me,
As well as your fussiness and temperament.

I hope your sitter gets you the way I do.
I hope she learns your likes and preferences.
I hope she imitates the healthy food I make you.
I hope she is patient and makes sense of what you want.
I pray she treats you with kindness and respect.
I pray she comforts and reassures you the way you like.

I hope she constantly teaches you new things.
I hope she is attentive and affectionate.
I hope she is fun and makes you laugh as I do,
With all the silly things I do.
You deserve the best this world has to offer.
And because of this mommy needs to go to work.
The end of maternity leave is the saddest day ever.