Oh yeah, I have a blog. All of those good intentions to create a thoughtful space for executive moms juggling various aspects of life was put on the back burner in favor of keeping some measure of SANITY.
The past year has been hell, I’ll be honest. And not for any particular reason. On paper (read: Facebook), everything is fine. We celebrate birthdays, we see friends and family, we work, we even go on vacation. And you know what? It’s sucking the very life out of me.
Here’s the breakdown for me of what the time requirements FEEL like in a given week – maybe it looks familiar to anyone else out there?
- Child = 30%
- Husband = 20%
- Work = 40%
- Friends and extended family = 10%
- Chores, errands = 20%
- Sleep = 5%
You don’t have to be an executive to figure out that adding up to 100% is a complete figment of the imagination. Things haven’t felt manageable within the context of a 100% ceiling in a long time.
Instead, I have been working tirelessly to impossibly squeeze a 9 inch pie into a single, wee cupcake liner. As a result, two things have happened:
- The feeling of failure is my constant companion. Either I am not excelling in any area because I’m spread so goddamn thin, or I’m excelling in one area at the horrible expense of another.
- My sense of self is completely eclipsed by my sense of duty and responsibility to all other parties. (Ah! Maybe some of you noticed that “Me” didn’t make the bulleted list above.)
I felt like a drawing slowing being erased. My identity as a PERSON with my own interests, needs, wants, and experiences was being totally wiped out.
So I did something about it. I started taking steps to take care of myself. Here are some things I did in the last 4 months or so:
- Became a member of a spa near my work
- Joined a weight loss program
- Bought art supplies for painting
- Invested in individual therapy sessions
And you know what? I wish I could say that things have been going well. But the reality is, they haven’t at all. As a result of trying to focus on me, my marriage has suffered greatly, my child sometimes feels neglected and acts out (and I don’t feel as close to her), my numbers at work aren’t as great at last year, the art supplies are sitting there collecting dust, my therapy sessions have gone sideways because maybe the therapist is not a great match for me, and the weight loss program has been only nominally successful but significantly burdensome.
It’s not all bad. I have had a massage or two at the spa. And I have lost some weight. And I went to a couple of totally unsatisfactory, one-time painting “classes” where I produced pieces that I was going to trash if not for my friend insisting she could find someone else who would take them.
Is this progress? Is this being successful? Is this acceptable?
From here, we can pivot to discussing getting support to change and make a real and lasting difference in the life of working women and working moms – support from spouses, friends or extended family or the community, more flexible work environments, and dealing with the sometimes latent, but nevertheless lingering sexism that EXPECTS women to do it all, or that it’s just the woman’s problem to figure out and manage.
… But that’s another post.