It is really hard to admit when I am overwhelmed. I should qualify that: I’m not overwhelmed to the point where I just can’t function anymore. I’m just … situationally overwhelemed. Like, at work, I can hold it together while I talk to desperate people in desperate situations. I can smack down the email that pops up with a quick response. I can handle the 20-minute phone call that turns into a one hour phone call. I can dash out the door to get my kids (just) in time from daycare/preschool.
See? I told you it’s hard for me to admit.
Yesterday, the toddler was sick, so instead of driving an hour to work, I got the kids together and went over my parents’ house. I feel bad bringing a kid with a stomach bug over, but I needed to make some phone calls to clients and there was no way I could do that with screaming kids in the background. Not professionally, anyway.
Having my parents watch the kids isn’t really a way for me to be super productive. It’s just a bandaid solution so that I can get the minimal amount of work done. Inevitably, something goes wrong, so I can’t just leave them over there for any real length of time. As soon as I closed the door to make a call, I heard the little one start wailing about something.
Later, I just collapsed exhausted in their living room, where my mother had given my 3-year-old a book. She asked my daughter whether she could read. It dawned on me that I haven’t been following my kid’s development in this area all that closely. I … think she can read, at least a few basic words? My kid looked at the pages but wasn’t interested in putting on a show for my mother. She hadn’t napped that day, due to the disruption in her routine. My mother made a comment about how she had ME reading when I was 3 years old. I tried to remember whether I was reading BY 3 years old, or if I started reading after turning 3, like closer to 4. I told myself it was ok that my preschooler is not reading yet because her 4th birthday isn’t until August. I resolved to read more with her.
I got home, finally ate something, and watched My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic for like 45 minutes. Have you seen it? It’s an amazing kids’ show. Don’t laugh. I sat there, eating fish sticks and cursing my relapse into carb-land (they’re coated with breadcrumbs), hating myself for barely scratching the surface of my to-do list that day.
Oh, and the blog post. I post every Friday evening, which usually turns into Friday night. DH is going to start “hubby blogging” in my spot from time to time. He had intended to do it last night, but texted me to say it wasn’t going to happen. So I said no problem, I would make it happen. But I didn’t. And I can’t even blame the fact that I passed out in my clothes, without brushing my teeth, AGAIN, last night. This post was on my mind as I drifted off, knowing it was just not going to get done.
This isn’t overwhelmed, right? I mean, if I was overwhelmed, I would be dropping the ball at work (NOT going to happen. NEVER) and I would be huddled in the corner somewhere, hyperventilating, right? I mean, I am sitting here, typing. DH just asked if I want Dunkin Donuts. I said yes, toasted almond coffee. I am functioning.
Just … not functioning at full capacity.
And I’m sorry to vent for a minute here, but that sucks. It sucks really bad, and feels effing awful to know you can do better, but won’t. Not “can’t”. Won’t. I am choosing every bad action I am making lately, whether it’s my health, or how I handle my kids, or looking for shortcuts to half-ass my way through my to-do list. I am handling everything, but I am stressed.
Here is the big takeaway, because I know you clicked on this looking for an answer. Your first problem is thinking that I have an answer, or at least a good one, anyway. I’ll take a stab at it though:
1) Admit you have a problem. In my case, it’s overpromising and underdelivering. I’m going to start trying to UNDERpromise and
OVERdeliver just deliver what it is I say I will do.
2) Ask for help. I don’t do this, so do as I say, not as I do.
3) Implement systems and automate as much as possible. I love this idea, but I don’t really know how to get started. For example, we could automate the grocery delivery service so that we get the same stuff every week, and that way we will at least have basic necessities on a weekly basis. I like this idea. I don’t have the time to take the hour and set this up though.
I’m still at step one above.