Sunday, July 25, 2010

Something's Gotta Give

After approaching burnout faster than I thought possible, I came face to face with the reality that my life needs to change.

I have fought against, ignored, resisted, and tried to be stronger. But none of those methods are working.

After days of talk with Hubster and some intense moments of doubt, discouragement, and self-examination, I'm finally in the process of accepting some of the changes my life needs.

I know that I've blogged about it on numerous occasions, so much that you might not be able to stand hearing about it again, but my job is tough. It's intense. It's a full-on, adrenaline-filled, emotional-roller coaster, exhausting job. Don't get me wrong. Despite my complaining, I'm (usually) grateful for the amazing job that I do have (and the fact that I even have a job.) But it's hard. Much harder than I thought it would be.

I have another job that's the hardest, most rewarding job there is. I'm a mother. I have a wonderful husband and two precious boys that need me.

I don't want to sound like I'm generalizing or stereotyping, but I'm convinced that trying to do the whole career/parent thing is much, much harder for women than it is for men. Men seem ingrained by society that they will go to work each day. Regardless of family, children, or anything else, it's what they do. For women, we have two different paths. We either work or we stay home. And it's the wondering if doing one impacts the other that makes this so much harder. Every minute of my life I feel that I should be somewhere else. While I'm at work, I worry that I'm missing something at home. While I'm at home, I feel that I should be studying for work. I'm lacking the ability to focus on where I am.

For the longest time, I've been trying to do both jobs full time, 100%. I'm working the 60-80 hours a week required by my job, plus trying to find time to study at home. I've also been trying to be the perfect wife and mother. To make as many meals as possible. To clean, garden, launder, wash, bathe, read, snuggle, sing, calm, sweep, wipe, mop, hug, rock, tidy, dust, kiss, love.

And here's the truth.

I can't.

I'm exhausted.

It's not the kind of tired that a good night's sleep can fix. It's the kind of tired that fills my bones and seeps into the rest of my life. It's made me unable to focus at work and unable to care for my family.

It's not sustainable.

Something's gotta give.

That's just what Hubster and I have talked about for the last several days. And as much as I don't want to, change is necessary.

This is what we decided. No more television. No more Facebook. Hubster will take on more household chores. We will be firmer about bedtime. Monday-Thursday, between 9-10 pm will be dedicated study time. Friday will be our couple/television time. Saturdays that I'm not on call will be dedicated family time. Sundays that I'm not on call will be light study and prepare for the week time.

Part of what this means is I have to be willing to cut back on blogging. On reading blogs and writing. I can opt to use some of my Sunday time for blogging. But not much more.

When Hubster mentioned this, I wanted to cover my ears and hum loudly. La-la-la, I can't hear you! But he's right. Something's gotta give, and it's not going to be my job and it's definitely not going to be my family.

Blogging has been my coping mechanism, my emotional release, my relaxing spot, my voice for sharing my joy and my sadness. It hasn't just been my ability to share that has become so important. It has been the support and encouragement that I've found. It's been the friends that I've made. It's been you.

I'm not going to disappear. I'm going to still be here. There won't be as many comments on your blogs. There won't be as many posts here. At least not right now. But I'm still here, still living out this adventure, and still sharing as much as I can with you.


  1. I will miss you but understand. I hope these changes you are making will help you out. Good luck with everything.

  2. Don't stress about the leaving the blogging world behind since you claim you're not going anywhere...but neither are we! I hope the changes that you are making in your life will help you find the release and relaxation that you are in desperate need of. Plus, family always comes first.

  3. I can certainly understand that Katherine. I will enjoy reading your posts when you have time and hearing about your adventures. Best wishes to you and your family and it seems you're on the right track by making the changes you need for you and your family:)

  4. I'll miss you but I understand. I already weeded out several blogs I don't *love* this week and don't know how I'll blog at all once the baby arrives. Good luck.

  5. I completely understand. Blogging, while fun and incredibly entertaining, can be a huge time drain. Spending time focusing on work and family is so important (and hard when we want to do FUN things, like blogging/zoning while watching TV). I hope you're new schedule, which sounds very reasonable by the way, will work wonders for you, Katherine.

  6. I'm glad you both had the opportunity to talk. You have a great family and that focus will not disappoint you.
    You are a good writer. Know that you have support, behind the scenes, its true. We will not go away. You will know when the time has come to pick it up.
    Hugs many times over. You are so very loved!

  7. I once took a 6-week hiatus, fully expecting that I'd lose my few readers, but they stayed loyal and I even gained a couple new subscribers in the month-and-a-half of silence! I think I may be the only blogger in history whose readers prefer her to NOT post.

    IMHO when you start to worry about tit-for-tat commenting and/or following, it can really take the joy out of blogging. Just write what you want to write, read the blogs that you want to read, and leave a comment when you feel like it. Otherwise, you'll go crazy ; )

  8. I don't work outside of the home anymore but I do have commitments to write for other blogs which I consider to be my work. I am supposed to be finishing off my degree and I just can't find the time. I'm barely hanging on as it is so I can only imagine how draining it it to really have an outside job and be actively studying while being present for your family. So tough. Hang in. And do what you need to do to keep sane.