Life Update: I’m not Okay

In September when I gave my latest Life Update my last sentence was “So, while we are doing well with our current routine right now, it might all be blown back apart in a few weeks…”

Consider my life blown back apart.

I really wish that fear would not have come true, but here we are. I was asked to return to the office two days a week at the beginning of this month. However, Jack’s school also went to a hybrid model in mid-October. Easy-peasy, right?

Nope.

After much discussion, we decided NOT to send Jack to school for the hybrid model, which would have had him in school on Monday’s and Tuesday’s. Instead, due to a large variety of reasons we decided to keep him on the 100% virtual schooling model. Which means that on the two days a week I go into the Baltimore office… we needed to do something with Jack.

We decided that Travis would take off work on Tuesdays to stay home and oversee virtual learning. Then, on Thursdays I’d drop Jack at my parent’s house so my mom could serve as home-base for the day while Jack is in his online classes.

I knew this would be hard. But I hadn’t anticipated how much extra stress this would put on me.

Extra Stress #1: After my second day in the office I was exposed to someone whose daughter had just tested positive for COVID. STRESS SPIKE. I returned back home and my coworker quarantined at home and tested (the first one came back as negative and the second one should be coming in soon). This just opens my eyes yet again HOW EASY it is to be exposed to someone who may be sick. So, every single meeting I have, I’m worried. Especially when meeting with someone who pulls down their mask to their chin and keeps talking. Add that to the fact that COVID numbers are spiking again and yup… there goes my stress.

Extra Stress #2: SO MUCH MORE PLANNING. In order for me to leave Jack in the hands of someone else, there is a billion more moving parts to deal with. Everything from planning to cook double-dinners on Mondays and Wednesday so we can have an easy dinner on night’s that I get home late. To laying out every possible notebook or item that Jack may need to put his hands on throughout the day (oh wait, you need that art project from 3 weeks ago… yup, that’s RIGHT here!). To making sure Jack’s backpack has every possible thing in it he may need at my parent’s house. To my own prep and packing to go back and forth to the office when I had everything perfectly set up in my home office. It is a forever changing list of stuff I have to remember that lives in my head.

Extra Stress #3: Jack is not doing well working with other grownups in my absence. We have our routine down for getting classwork done and it just simply is not working when daddy or Mimi is in charge. This causes me even more stress with a fun guilt + stress + frustration combo. This also means that at the end of the day after driving an hour to work, working all day, driving an hour home… we still have the majority of the classwork to review and complete in the evening when we are both exhausted.

Extra Stress #4: Money. Since I’m not taking the metro, I’m paying to park in the building garage two days a week. Add onto that the fact that Travis is taking off work on Tuesdays and losing an entire day of work (he’s a self-employed truck driver and gets paid by the job he completes), it’s making a financial dent. Which gives me something else fun to worry about.

I’m a problem solver though. And I know that the way to solve this problem is to tell my boss that I can’t do it. I can not work full time + oversee virtual schooling full time + come back into the office 2 days a week + deal with the constant stress of getting COVID when both me and my son are high risk + EVERYTHING ELSE.

And I know that he will understand. And I hope that the other partners would also understand.

But here’s the thing – I’m an overachiever. I love my job. I love being a working mom. I love ‘doing it all’ and I feel like if I say I CAN’T DO IT ALL then I’m failing.

So, I’m holding off. And the stress bubble is just growing larger and larger. And I know this is not sustainable. And I KNOW that I will have a sense of relief if I just say I can’t do it anymore.

But dang it, it is also so hard to give up.

Like what you see? Share me with your friends!

4 thoughts on “Life Update: I’m not Okay”

  1. You will thank yourself if you do talk to your boss. Do what is right for you and your family. You won’t be failing anyone, and you will be helping everyone. Stress level lower! Life is hard, especially now. If your boss seems empathetic to people’s problems, go talk to him/her. There’s always zoom, to use every other week, or so. This should be the norm for meetings, where everyone can be there. We used to use conference calls, and go to meeting, and that worked fine.

    I had to do this, once, and it actually worked out well. My boss wasn’t for it at the start, but I did a good job from home, and that is all he cared about. Good luck! You can do it!

  2. You have so much you are dealing with right now. Change is hard for everyone and especially for kids. So many changes at once have to feel over the top. Since you mentioned you think your boss would understand, I definitely would talk with him. Maybe you could work from home one of those two days, maybe he might agree to both. I hope that it works out to lower the stress for everyone in your family.

  3. I relate to this so hard. The routine in our house is a mess. One day here. One day there with someone else. It’s a lot, and it’s not enough of a routine for my 4 year old, which resulted in a huge meltdown.

    I feel like as moms it also falls on our shoulders in a big way. We have to make sure we have what we need, but we also have to make sure we have a plan for our kids, our husbands, our pets…the list goes on.

  4. I’m so sorry that you’re having a hard time right now. It’s completely understandable – I think being a working Mom is especially hard right now (maybe sexist, but I still think so). You will get through this, and kiddos are adaptable, so he’ll get through this too. Take a deep breath. Best of luck!

Leave a Reply to Nancy Rowlinson Cancel reply

Your email address will not be published.