I’ve been feeling a bit down in the dumps this week. I’ve had a really tough time at work and I feel that it has been really affecting everything else. My work/life balance, my sleep, my eating, motivation etc have all gone kaput. Working from 8:30 am till at least 10pm, sometimes even midnight with a few hours rest to pick Riley up from nursery, cook the dinner and get him off to bed, means that my mind just isn’t switching off and I can’t stop thinking about work related nonsense. I can’t keep up with the housework, with parenting, with going to the gym. Something always has to give and I hate that I can’t give my all to everything, or even half of it. The more I was thinking about it this weekend I wondered, why should work come first?
Unfortunately, ever since accepting my promotion this seems to have been my life. Firefighting and struggling to keep on top of everything. I do feel that this job is nothing like what I expected and that it has been one career decision that I have actually regretted. I have a habit of making very bad decisions, usually due to me overthinking everything and being conflicted in knowing which the right decision to make even is anymore.
I have so many demands coming my way, for huge top business priorities to other smaller bits of work that also has to be done to allow the line of business to function. It is never-ending and I feel I have a mountain of work that I will never catch up on. Not even if I did have the right people to delegate to. I’ve been travelling for meetings a fair bit recently as well, which obviously doesn’t help with that drowning under workload, but certainly not helped when that comes in conjunction with bank holidays too.
Now the other side of this is of course home life. I’m struggling at work but deary me what a mess my house is in! When I work at night at home I’m lucky if I get a few minutes to do the dishes never mind clean the rest of the house. I do switch off at the weekends but last weekend I found myself sleeping it away from sheer exhaustion. I also spent last Sunday in discomfort in my arm where it felt like I was just about to get pins and needles all Saturday night and resulted in only 2 hours sleep. I ended up making a trip to out of hours, who didn’t have a clue what it was and sent me home.
Riley is another casualty of my work being so hectic. I’ve been travelling quite a lot recently which has resulted in Riley becoming very, very clingy towards me when I am home. Now as much as I love the cuddles and kisses, it gives me an extreme case of Mum guilt when I put him to bed and he says that he doesn’t want me to leave his side in case I’m not there the next morning.
Kevin says he pines after me at night, asking every time if Mummy will be there after bedtime. It breaks my heart to hear this. His behaviour is also awful after I’ve been away. It could be a coincidence but it really does seem to coincide with when I’m away.
I was recently approached by someone in another line of business who had been given my name as a recommendation as a good fit for their team. It was a bit out of the blue and not something I had been thinking about, but I had to turn the opportunity down as it would have involved weekly travel, which I am really kicking myself all the more now for that decision. A fresh start in a new role is probably what I need just now and I think something I probably will be looking into a bit more in the not so distant future.
But for now, I do think that stress is beginning to take its toll on me. My biggest worry is letting it go too far and reaching that point where my mental health takes a beating. I’ve been down that path before and I don’t ever want to go down there again. I had a rocky time since Riley’s birth and struggled with the crushing feeling of depression and anxiety for several years. I know the signs, and I know now that is not a place I ever want to go back to. I know that I need to start taking my work life back in control so tomorrow morning I am going to have to start my own prioritisation which is no doubt going to upset some people but my health is far too important to put work before it.