Exhausted, Overwhelmed & Feeling Guilty
This morning I joined a few Facebook groups that are specifically dedicated to helping working moms cope with the chaos. Honestly, I requested access to these private groups because I’m always looking for new ideas and suggestions for ways to improve my formula for living and I thought these groups would be a great way to cultivate these new ideas.
I picked out a few groups that looked generic enough (i.e. they weren’t dedicated to women from a certain city or state or anything) and I was accepted in and started perusing the posts. At first I was like – oh yeah, I remember that! The sleep deprived, overwhelmed, where did my “me-time” go kind of feeling that stays with you for years after having children. But as I continued scrolling and reading post after post after post from women who were just drowning in their own exhaustion, stress and guilt…….I thought …… Wow! I’m past that stage. And then……. What? When did I get past that stage???
But the more I let that thought percolate around in my mind, the more I began to realize that it was true. Was it not just this week that I had found myself binge watching That 70’s show with Zach in the middle of the week? It’s true my husband and I both work full-time, out of the home; I do have a house to manage; I do have personal finances to optimize; I do have healthy meals to cook and clean up afterwards and our kids do have a total of 4 practices and 5 hockey games this week. How in the hell do I sit down for a few hours of watching a TV sitcom in the middle of it all?
I can do that because I’m not exhausted, I’m not overwhelmed and I don’t feel the least bit guilty about taking time for me.
My goodness! I could see my younger self in the posts of these young ladies struggling with this new life with kids they had opted into with no hope in hell of truly understanding what they had signed up for. My younger self was looking for someone like the me of today to hold my hand and tell me exactly how I should be doing things so that I could rid myself of the overwhelm and guilt (sorry ladies, the exhaustion only goes away when the wee ones figure out night time is for sleeping!)
This realization that I had moved on past the chaos had me feeling revived and oh so ready to spend the day sharing my wisdom with these young ladies….but alas, it’s a work day and I’m in the middle of drafting a memo supporting what I will and will not be adjusting for financial statement purposes due to our impending international financial reporting standards conversion. (Please - keep your excitement in check over the thrilling things I am responsible for at work …….)
It’s strange. I’ll admit that I wouldn’t go back to those early days with the kids. But not because of the kids and how life was when they were that age, because of me and the person I was back then. I’m so glad I’ve taken time over the years to think through exactly what I want my life to look like and to search out just how I should get there and then took the action necessary to move myself away from the chaos. I don’t even think that this kind of wisdom comes with age (and I’m not just saying this because I’m most likely several years older than many of the ladies in these Facebook groups). I wish I’d had a mentor to send me on that path of discovery sooner. I wish my kids were only 1 and 3 when I got my groove back (despite my exhaustion because Julia didn’t sleep through the night until she was 4!) But ultimately I’m grateful because I eventually found what I was looking for. I found my formula! And now I’m SO ready to help other ladies in the throes of chaos find theirs too!
To all of you exhausted, overwhelmed, guilt-ridden gals who are just doing your best to get by, I’m here to tell you, one day the chaos that you now fear is your new life, can be tamed! With a little bit of self exploration and planning, you can create your own formula for living, a way to manage your day-to-day that suits you exactly! Do the work and one day soon you may find yourself binge watching a retro TV show on Netflix in the middle of the week because everything else is under control and you can relax and do exactly what you want to do!
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