It’s amazing how quickly a year goes by when you have a baby. It’s been an absolute triathlon every single day. I just keep pushing, pushing, pushing through. I don’t remember the last time I slept a straight 7 hours. There are nights when I’m up every 1.5 with her due to gas or teething, and I don’t get a break in the day. I work full time. The day I was sick and shaking from major chills? I was holding my baby, who was also ill. That’s motherhood. Your kids always come first.
When I got pregnant the second time, I kind of kidded myself. I thought, because I had already experienced the process with first, I’d handle the second much better. And I have, but I haven’t been successful at managing time for myself or the things I used to love to do – read, go to the movies, garden, play video games, or write fiction.
I’m not a full time book author. I AM a full time non-fiction writer, and until a few weeks ago, I was working 3 jobs to support Mr. Awesome as he goes through the Radiography program at the community college. It’s been difficult. Once you get into the mode of working so much, it gets really hard to shut it off. There have been times where I’ve stood in the middle of my house, the kids running around, and felt like I was about to snap, because I hadn’t unwound for 12 hours. Being the breadwinner and mom has put a lot of pressure on my relationships.
My primary job is working on a real estate team managing our social media, writing content for our website, maintaining the structure of our website, facilitating other marketing opportunities, generating and routing leads, and making sure that paperwork gets processed correctly. We are one of the top teams in the company and very busy. So, I’m writing all the time – I just don’t get to work on my personal projects, like this website, as much as I’d like to.
Sometimes I dream about the world before smartphones and social media – when people like me could stop work at 5 and focus completely on their families. There was a shutoff time. A time when I didn’t feel wide open to the world. Instead, my phone is constantly within hearing distance, more often within arm’s length. There are constantly work notifications and emails reminding me I have things to do – deadlines to meet and online activity to moderate. It can be overwhelming and there are days where I’ve basically worked from 7:30 a.m. to 9:00 p.m. with a few interruptions, like reading to my oldest at bedtime. The last thing I see before I close my eyes to sleep? My email. I’ve become some kind of work zombie – plodding through the day, feeling no real range of emotions, and just going through the same motions over and over again.
But now my baby is 1, and I’m trying to regain some semblance of my old self. Frankly, I can’t keep going at this pace. I’ve literally done nothing, but work and do house chores, which are basically the same thing, for days. Anything out of that routine is done for my daughters. MY fun has been watching TV, usually half of an episode, because I’m ready to crash by the time my daughters go down for bed.
So, it’s time for a change, and I think that’s going to have to come at the sacrifice of some other things – like how clean my house is. I may even start using online ordering for groceries. I may look lazy, but I’ll at least be able to relax a little and be more pleasant to be around.
Have you ever worked so much you lost sight of yourself? Have you been a work zombie?