More Than I Can Chew

I am a compulsive over-achiever. For some reason I have an aversion to the word no, and feel guilty if I ask for help.

The past few weeks have been hectic to say the least. I took on a three-month contract position that has me working 25 hours a week on top of my other clients. You know how it goes too … one month you’re slow, so you send out emails to drum up business, then BAM it all hits at once.

When I first started consulting, I aimed to work 5-10 hours a week. I really thought of it as just something to keep my skills fresh and prevent there from being a gap in my resume. Flash forward six months and I’m now working 30 hours a week with great clients. I feel so blessed, excited about the future, motivated to build my business but also … exhausted!

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In true “over-achiever” fashion, I’ve attempted unsuccessfully to do my work AND care for Lila full time. For awhile it was working – I would work an hour before she woke up, then all through her 1.5 – 2 hr nap and then again at night when Luke got home, after I made dinner. Sure I was able to get it all done, but I quickly felt totally burned out.

And my do-it-all approach made it difficult for me to be present with Lila. That feeling of having an urgent email to respond to while your baby whines for you attention is not good. I got some sense knocked into me when I was at the playground with Lila and she fell and hit her nose while I was distracted by … you guessed it … responding to an email.

I realized right then that enough was enough. I needed to find separation between my work and my parenting, while also carving out some time for myself. I decided to use our amazing babysitter more often and make a commitment to NOT check email etc except for my designated “work” hours. I told my clients that if they need me urgently to call me, otherwise I’ll respond to their emails each evening.

And right now? I had a sitter for an hour to get work done and when she texted to see if she could keep Lila a few extra hours, I obliged without any guilt. I so badly needed some down time (and time to write here!).

I feel so incredibly blessed to be able to be my own boss, set my hours and keep my career going all while fulfilling my very strong need to be involved in Lila’s day to day, but I need to remember that I am one person. I can’t do it all – nor would I want to!

How do you make finding balance a priority in your life?

PS – if you know of anyone looking for public relations, social media or online marketing help, send them my way! I am always looking for new clients, because in true consulting fashion … next month will be all quiet. :)

5 thoughts on “More Than I Can Chew

  1. Hi there- I stumbled across your blog while researching birthday party ideas… Do you ” need” to work? Honestly, your daughter will only be this little for so long… Why miss out on the special moments because it’s so important to not have a ” gap in your resume.” Step away from your computer, twitter account and the self absorbed blog and just be present. Geez…

  2. I can totally relate with this post, Liz! Never wanting to say no and always taking on more than I should, I struggle with balance in life as well. Great encouragement for me to keep things in check!

  3. I could have written all of this!

    I have struggled with how/when to cut back and the guilt of popping on Daniel Tiger so I could edit a blog post.

    Luckily, we found a great moms day out program in a church near our house. Berk started going last fall and has LOVED it! It’s really been a blessing for both of us. She has learned to trust other adults, share with her classmates, potty and understands a structured environment that isn’t home. Plus, the crafts she brings home are adorable! All things I couldn’t have imagined as benefits.

    Some weeks are hard but I wouldn’t change this for the world. Except maybe when #2 comes. That might be a whole different story.

  4. Yes to crying in the shower, MJ! Let’s just say going at that pace gave out very quickly. Plus being a SAHM before starting consulting helped me learn to slow down and I miss those moments at times.

  5. Damn, girl. Thirty billable hours while being SAHM… Hats off because there’s no way I could manage that for more than a week without sobbing in the shower every night. Multitasking is vastly overrated. Really glad to hear you’ve found a sitter you and Lila both like!

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