The Time I Finally Took on too Much

Time, Too Much
Photo by Anthony Tran on Unsplash

If I was asked what my biggest weakness is, I’d have to say I try to do too much. Like many moms, I always think I can take on one more thing. I can do one more load of laundry as we walk out the door to the school bus. Run one more errand before the kids crash in the backseat. Stay up a little later to finish getting everything ready for the next day.

Also, like many other moms, this mentality usually leads me into being overly stressed, late, or just putting the ones I love the most on the back burner.

Recently I had a reality check about overdoing it. This summer I accepted a full time job. This would be the first time I would be working full time in many years. I got my older two enrolled in a school near my job, lined up full time daycare for my toddler, and set up a dog walker for our energetic puppy. Logistically everything was set up. On paper it would work well for everyone.

Then I started the job. It wasn’t even the actual gig yet, just training days. Everything and everyone started to fall apart. Mostly me.

The daycare facility and staff were wonderful, but my son had never been away from me let alone for 8 hours a day. He wasn’t eating or napping. He was crying all day—no matter what toy he was given or distraction put in his path. I don’t mean whimpering or light sobbing. I mean the hysterical crying you, and anyone with ears, can hear in the parking lot. Even after I picked him up, there were tears. My tears and his tears.

Photo by Jordan Whitt on Unsplash

You know that when your gut tells you something isn’t right and just won’t be, it’s a feeling you shouldn’t ignore.

So I quit. I quit a good paying job. I quit daycare. I moved my sons back to their base school, luckily before the first day. I regret having to make that decision, but I do not regret realizing that the timing was wrong for me and my family. It took me a few months to realize this, and even longer to write it here.

I am fortunate to be able to make that decision when so many other parents cannot. Yes, it has stretched us financially and that extra full time paycheck would’ve helped especially as everything gets more expensive by the day.

Since I quit I have found some good part time opportunities that allow me to take him to preschool three days a week, but it’s nothing more than “pizza money” as one of my supervisors likes to call the pay. The toddler is thriving, though, and his separation anxiety is gone. My older two are excelling academically and socially, and that puppy gets all her walks.

The one thing I know to be true is that putting your family first may not always be easy or even feasible. I also know that when your instincts scream at you to not rush into something or take on too much, you should pay attention. There are usually many solutions to any problem, you just need to slow down and look.