Wednesday, May 25, 2011

I'm Calling In Sick

I wish I had a cute story to share, or a funny moment, or an inspiring thought to help you through your own parenthood journey. I wish I could be witty or clever or humorous. I wish, for that matter, I could keep my eyes open…

The last few months have been little more than a blur. Every moment of every day has been full and I have been running full speed ahead with very little recovery time. I’m exhausted. I’m overworked. I’m barely keeping my head above water and my patience with the kids is wearing very, very thin. In short, I need a break!!! (As a side question, how do the kids always know when I’m on the verge of a mental breakdown and choose these moments to pull their worst stunts? Or is it that they normally act this way but I’m better equipped to handle it when I’m not functioning on an empty tank?).

Most days of my life I am perfectly fine. I have my better days and my not-so-great days like everyone, but overall I entertain a good life. These past few months have really thrown me for a loop though and I’m at the point where I need a well deserved vacation. I would settle for a personal day. Heck, I’ll even call in sick! Oh wait, I can’t. I don’t have any of these options. I don’t even get weekends as a respite from my full time job. I’m on duty, or at least on call, twenty four hours a day, seven gosh, darn days of the week. It’s too much. I can’t perform my duties properly if I’m never afforded a break.

Now, before you think this is a boo-hoo, poor me story, let me assure you it is not. It is an honest, vulnerable sharing of my heart. And I choose to share this today because I know there are many that can relate. We’ve all had times of overwhelm, of too much on our plate, times we feel the insanity creeping in. Life can be too much sometimes even if no catastrophe has occurred. The activities that consume my day are all things I like and want to do (except for the house cleaning!). I volunteered to work two side jobs and to coach, and all the running around for sports, school events, appointments, etc is all a part of caring for the kids full time. I asked for all of this and normally I love it all but recently they have just overtaken my life. Now I am saying, “Whoa there, Nelly! I need a break! Where do I punch out? Who approves my vacation time? When is my day off?” And the sad, but very real answer is, “Sorry, dude, no break for you.”

Usually I’m not this crazy-busy and I do get a few minutes here, an hour there to do something of leisure, or to relax and remove myself from the kids. Lately, however, any break from the kids I get is occupied with a plethora of other time-sensitive duties that must be tended to, leaving me about an hour at night of free time. The only problem is by this time I am very much brain dead and physically worn out.

So I’m not really sure the point of this entry, but this is what has been on my mind and heart lately. If nothing else, when you read this you’ll know you’re not the only person completely drained and overworked. We all need breaks and moments of relaxation in order to recover. I know this. Recovery is an essential part of life, without it we’ll burn out entirely. We must rest and recover in order to adequately perform again. Athletes know the importance of recovery. Imagine if they trained and trained and trained and never allowed their muscles to rest? They sure wouldn’t last very long. The same concept applies to the rest of us.

My only problem is that I don’t know how to rest and recover right now….. There is no temporary replacement lined up for my position of Mommy. Therefore I must persist until the craziness subsides. I hope I make it! In the meantime I heavily rely on my two (maybe three?) glasses of red wine on Saturday nights… This is my own blessed heaven and refuge for now. I know it’s not ideal but this truly is my reprieve from reality for the time being. Soon enough I’ll be able to recover properly… I must have hope!


  1. I hear ya! About once a month (and not during "that" time of the month), I feel like throwing in the towel. It's so tough being on-call literally constantly. I'm so thankful that my husband and I now share all of our duties. We both go to work and we both stay at home. He's really getting to see that being a mom is extremely taxing. More than once he's called me while I'm out of town for work and said, "This is NON-STOP! How do you do it?!" I just smile on my end of the phone and thank God for my little break. :)

    Having recently moved to Austin, I don't know anyone, so as part of my mission: sanity, I just enrolled in a women's Bible study. I know this will help. Just having adult interaction can make a world of difference, don't you think? Here's hopin' (and prayin')!

  2. Kristin, yes!! Sharing the load with your spouse is ideal. Shortly after Levi was born I was working part time at an office. It was heaven! My time away, coupled with adult interaction and office work (as opposed to reading the same book in a high, squeaky voice 17 times in a row), gave me the break and refill I needed. Too bad I work from home now!!!
    I'm so glad you have that nice balance though. And it's good for the dad's to experience our world! Hopefully the Bible study becomes a good break and source of nourishment for you as well!!