There is a lot of talk of overwhelm in parenting. But it tends to be in a positive way as if you're doing something right. Honestly, at the time, I didn't even realize that I was overwhelmed. People were telling me that I was. They would say, "I just don't understand how you keep up with that schedule. I don't know how you manage it." And I was actually proud of that. I took it as a compliment in some way. I kind of pictured myself in some "cartoon" as that mom who was juggling things on my fingers and my toes- having it all under control. The truth is that I didn't even realize that I was deteriorating. I mean in every way - emotionally, physically, and mentally. Everything was falling apart and it came to a point where I said, "No More!" I literally lived only doing the mandatory. I was just done. I was in survival mode.
Understand that if you if you've got a million things on your plate and you can handle it- Wonderful! That's great. Everybody has a different threshold. My threshold is different from yours. The key is recognizing that threshold so that you can live and feel healthy. That's the goal.
My story starts about a year ago when I found out about a vacation that I just had to take. It was my dream vacation. I really needed to make it happen. (It truly was a dream vacation. I did end up going. I did what it took to be able to go. As a matter of fact, it was so great that it was beyond what I had dreamed it was going to be.) Like all dream vacations, it was going to be incredibly expensive. It just seemed impossible. I thought to myself, I don't want to miss out on this because of money. It just seemed ridiculous to me. I did what I thought made sense and being the entrepreneur that I am I took another job as an independent contractor. The numbers would fit with this contract. I would actually make more money than I needed for this trip. So I signed the contract. Let me tell you what the contract entailed.
1. Me getting up seven days a week at 3:40 A.M.
My alarm literally went off at 3:40! If I was a person that had no children and no other job(s) and I was able to go to bed every night at 7 P.M. this wouldn't be a crazy thought. But that's not my case. I have a lot going on.
2. It was a huge workload. I was getting very little sleep, but to me, I could handle it because I had a goal. I thought it was fine.
I told myself it was fine, but that was when the migraines started. I have not found one migraine medicine that works. I have been to the doctor. I found that the only migraine medicine is sleep. And even if you're getting eight hours of sleep, but you have too much on your plate, you are going to shut down in some way. I thought I had a hormone imbalance. I couldn't recognize that I had too much on my plate. I had to see it for myself. Sometimes lessons have to be learned through experience.
I needed to rest and do some soul searching. I needed to really focus on what I was doing to myself physically, mentally, and emotionally. I started fresh. I changed my job(s,) my kids' activities and my household expenses.
This lifestyle change is a work in progress, but my family and I are already feeling the benefits. The rewards certainly outweigh the sacrifice.