the pressure we put on ourselves

The Pressure We Put On Ourselves To Do Everything

I have finished 5 weeks of my full time training in my new job and I’m feeling exhausted. This full time business is full on. And I’ve been putting pressure on myself to do everything I was doing before I got the new job, while doing the new job.

Quite early on when I started the new role I told myself to not get caught up in trying to do it all. But I’ve found myself doing the opposite.

I have nothing to prove to anyone. (I don’t think… or maybe I need to think about this a bit more) It’s the reality of full time work and working away from home which have condensed the hours I would normally have to do the work I was doing (and will continue to do) before I had this job. I’ve been trying to fit it all in.

But it’s been a bit like trying to fit an elephant’s butt over a toilet. There is only so much weight a pan (and floor) will take.

elephant shower curtain

How crazy is this shower curtain? It can be purchased from Dreslily.

You can imagine how relieved I felt when it was Easter weekend last week. Moments of contemplation were soon lost between the hustle of what gets pushed to the weekend as there have been no hours during the week to get them done. The weekend was broken into snippets of cleaning the house, decluttering, going to church, Easter egg hunts, going to the movies to see Peter Rabbit and catching up with family. So my breaks were still family related.

Easter egg hunt done and dusted for 2018. #easter2018 #easteregghunt

A post shared by Rebecca Senyard (@theplumbette) on

But nothing beats lying on the couch and zoning out for a while don’t you think?

The nights have been a busy routine.

Each night when I get home, after the girls are fed and put to bed, it’s straight on the computer to get articles with deadlines written, social media posts scheduled, emails answered, invoices sent, comments replied to, pitches for the next lot of articles sent and the list goes on. I enjoy doing all of this, but there have been some nights where I have come home from work feeling exhausted, and have yearned to chill out and watch Netflix. It’s taken discipline to do what is a priority each day. And while I’ve exercised this muscle for years when the girls were babies, holding a full time job and business has been a different ball game.

I also didn’t factor in the nights I’d be completely washed out with a migraine and would have to go to bed at 7:30pm.

Or the night Phoebe didn’t sleep, so I didn’t sleep and my eyes were falling out of my head yesterday morning, right before I had to start taking calls.

I have always known new challenges aren’t always smooth sailing. But I nevertheless put pressure on myself to keep performing. This constant pressure has meant I have made mistakes.

I missed a copy deadline by a week not realizing I had been given it and when I submitted it, I was told it was ok, but read a little rushed. Not my best work, which highlighted my pressure to perform can sometimes affect my performance.

The pressure to do it all has been my doing and not at all from those who have given me the work. I could have asked for a break for 7 weeks, but I didn’t.

What has helped me in the last week, has been considering the long-term consequences of maintaining my obligations and the effect it has on the future. Asking myself what is most important has been the key to not fall into a heap, in tears, overwhelmed with it all.

Wednesday night was my test to see what I would choose.

After my migraine on Tuesday night I missed a night getting work done. Jacob and I had planned to have a date night on Wednesday as the girls were sleeping over at grandma’s and pa’s.

There was temptation to blow the night off and get work done. Even Jacob suggested to get takeout and stay home so I could catch up on work.

But my marriage is important. And I wouldn’t have been able to do these past 5 weeks without Jacob’s help. He needed to be my focus on Wednesday night, so we headed out to a local Indian restaurant and had a date night. It was great talking about the weeks that had been, things we wanted to get done and everything that was in our head, with no interruptions from children. I was glad I made that decision and it was a poignant reminder that choosing to spend time with those we love, is not time lost, but time where priorities realign.

There are only two more weeks of this full time business, before my hours reduce and I can start working from home. The short-term pain will be over and the juggle to do this role and my writing work will become easier. I remind myself why I’m doing this, and while it may feel a bit crazy right now, I know it’s all part of the process to where I want us to be.

pressure can make you or break you

If there is one thing I have learned from this experience, it’s yes, I can do it all, but not very well. I’ve needed a village to help me as us mums do A LOT to keep the cogs of family life going. And I’ve had to let some people catch the balls I’ve had to drop. (Thanks mum and dad) I’ve even thrown a few balls to God to deal with.

My prayer life has been constant. Living out of my comfort zone drives me towards God and certainly not away.

High pressure situations aren’t all bad. They certainly show us our capabilities and can be an opportunity to clarify our priorities.

Thanks for sticking around for the journey and sorry for the distance between posts.

How was your Easter? How do you deal with high pressure situations? Do you put pressure on yourself to do all the things?

  • Hi Rebecca, when I saw you had a migraine this week it was a sign to me of overwhelm ….of which I am familiar! I was a young married mum working full-time in a school executive position & doing Uni part-time by distance education (no internet in the 1980s &90s…and I was trying to be the best person I could in everything. But that cannot be sustained. Yes I had support from my husband but in the end “I” was the one doing what I did and something had to be done to take some of the load off. What that ended up being was a cleaner once a fortnight. When I no longer had to think about cleaning as being 3 hours on a weekend then I was able to go to my kids’ sport and to fit grocery shopping in as well. My recommendation to anyone “trying to do it all…is decided what task(s) you would like to offload…because YOUR health is worth it! Denyse x

    • Thank you so much Denyse. Your advice is so timely and always given so lovingly from someone who has been there and has learned and wants to help. You’re so right. Something does have to give. I’m holding on to the fact it’s only temporary for 7 weeks. But after this 7 weeks is up, I will be sitting down and looking at the work I do and working out what I keep and what I may need to pass on. The house work can be time consuming and eat to precious family time on the weekend too. Your comment is just what I need to sit down and look at what I do.