Updated: Apr 11, 2022
Hi Doc Rock,
I am working full time from home all while homeschooling my young child along with managing cooking, cleaning, laundry, buying presents, etc.
My husband's life hasn’t changed much. He continues to go to work, come home to his lunch made and his clothes cleaned, house in neat order, and child well-taken-care of.
I find myself overly stressed from being home 24/7 and putting pressure on myself to have the perfect home, not disappoint my child’s teacher with submitting work on time, and struggling with my overall work ethic because of being at my computer for 9+ hours a day (including working weekends).
How do you suggest I manage my increasing workload and maintain my sanity? 😊
Dear Overwhelmed Mom,
I know I don't need to tell you this...but mom's have one of the toughest jobs out there and your submission only supports that. I can't say I know what it's like to be a mother, but I have full appreciation for all that you do to be a great mom, wife, and contributing member of your team at work. I read how hard you're working and keeping it all together. You deserve to hear that you are doing a great job. You may not hear this often, but your hard work is appreciated. You shared you are feeling overly-stressed and overwhelmed with all you are managing and that's totally understandable.
I sense your family and coworkers have all come to rely on you for your consistent contributions. On the one hand, it's an incredible compliment and honor to know the people around you feel they can trust you to always come through and be a bad-ass while staying on top of all you do! On the other hand, it sounds like it has put you in a position where you feel you need to keep it up, don't have a break, and are now struggling to sustain it.
This year has presented many challenges which I won't even begin to try and list here. One major one for you is the balance of working from home while supporting your child's schooling and you are definitely not alone. Everyone is approaching these uncharted territories differently and so it's difficult to tell you the best way for you to navigate. I am a huge proponent of self-care and that takes many shapes and forms. Some people prefer to fit in exercise, spa-like pampering, finishing their day with a good book or tv show or starting it with a guided meditation.
I will suggest one thing: you need to use your voice and be your own advocate.
I encourage you to bring your struggles to your husband. I know as a mom and woman you possess a God-given sense of ownership in taking care of the home and your family in the ways you do. However, like your husband, you have work to do, passions to pursue, and a mental wellbeing that deserves equal attention to everything else. You are partners in life and that includes matters of the home. We ALL have competing priorities and we sometimes need to ask for help. You know your husband best so I won't suggest ways to bring it up. I trust you know just the right way to go about it!
Lastly, advocating for yourself can be done at work, too. Your boss and coworkers are probably experiencing some degree of these pressures and are more likely to work with you to manage expectations or share responsibilities. Maybe a time of day works well for you to take a break and have a coworker be on-call for any urgent things that come up and then you can reciprocate in the same or similar ways. I suggest you also do this so you do not have to pick up work (or work less) on the weekends. That is your time! Either way, level-setting about your limitations and blocked time is encouraged and a solid way to ensure you're not creating unnecessary additional pressure on yourself. Remember you are human and that we all have our limits!
Hoping you are able to turn things around so you may enjoy the upcoming holiday and start the new year in a better place!