Today I finally broke down and cried. I really don’t cry too often, but seem to always have a blog to talk about when I do give in and cry.
I’ve been feeling overwhelmed. I am one of those people that probably overbooks…doesn’t say no often…and is scared to not go for something or let something go in fear of regret. Typically I do well with the busy lifestyle…I find beauty in the chaos and learn to enjoy the craziness of my life. But today it got to me.
I have many little jobs. As a Physical Therapist, I have a part time job, but I also work prn (as needed) multiple other places. I coach gymnastics once a week (but have been agreeing to a little more lately..maybe even doing some private lessons).
Here is the problem I know all of you working moms understand. I sometimes feel like the responsibility of it all is too much. I have 4 children. I have very limited time between getting the kids on the bus and off the bus to work my job. I try to only work 3 days a week, but sometimes it turns into more. I’ve felt overwhelmed lately trying to fulfill the needs of my multiple jobs while being a mother, a housekeeper, keeping groceries in the house, sports. Trying to find a 2 hour window to get in extra training for one job…go in an extra day to see new patients for another…rushing to get into work to make sure I get all the patients seen at another job and can get out in 5 hours to go straight to the school then straight to gymnastics, only to make it home by 8:30 pm….it’s hard. It’s not that I don’t love what I do. I spent 6 years to become a Physical Therapist. It is very rewarding teaching people to walk again after surgery…solving someone’s pain…allowing people to be independent once again. I never wanted to be a full time stay at home mom because I have always been passionate about my career.
Half way through work today I found out my 3-year old was sick. Fever going up sick…lethargic. He needs his mom when he is sick. So guiltily, I gave the remaining case load of patients to my coworker. I then realized the patients I had so much trouble scheduling for tomorrow morning would need to be rescheduled. They had already completely rearranged their work schedules to get in to see me…and now I was going to have to cancel them.
I picked up my sweet sick boy… and then I started crying. Not just a few tears, but full out bawling. Frantically trying to call and text people to come over and watch my sick boy tomorrow…even though I’m the one he probably really needs…then frantically trying to figure out another time to reschedule patients in my already packed weeks. I just lost it. I texted my sister and told her I was having a mental breakdown and was ready to quit all my jobs. She immediately texted me back and said “You are great. Just pray about it”. So I did.
Seconds after, I received a message that someone was willing to come sit with my sick boy tomorrow while I go to work. I breathed a sigh of relief.
It’s not really that big of a deal. Kids get sick. People get sick. Lot’s of people work with kids. It is just so hard when I feel like my kids should come first….be my first priority. Yet, there are patient’s relying on me. There are coworkers relying on me. I feel guilty for not being home to take care of my baby when he is sick. I feel guilty when I can’t fulfill an appointment a patient is relying on. I feel guilty when my work has to find last minute coverage because I can’t come in.
How do you working moms manage it? How do you decide to stay home..go to work? How do you know when you have too many obligations and need to let some go? I am one of those people that seems to keep adding to my responsibilities instead of subtracting 🙂
It all works out. I know 2 hours away from my baby when he is sick will not hurt him. I know my patients are grateful and need me. I know I need to really look at my schedule and figure out what is adding value into my life and what is just too much right now. Learning to let go is not easy. Learning to say no is hard.
My goal over the next year is to find balance. Find balance in my life. Be sure life is not flashing before me and my kids are not growing up behind my back without me knowing. Maybe that means being a stay at home mom. Maybe that means letting some obligations go. Maybe I’m meant to keep going at this pace and learning to enjoy the chaos and the bumps in the road. I am on a journey to discover the balance. Wish me luck.