Too much on my plate

Hi everyone.

I’m sorry if I sound like a broken record but it’s hard for me right now.

I know some of this is my neuroticism but at the same time I don’t want to fall back into the habit of invalidating my own feelings.

Work is getting really busy. Don’t get me wrong. I love my job. But I’m juggling my full time work with caring for Kiera who has been refusing to eat again, she is very fussy today. For the past handful of days she has also been throwing up more. We spoke to her GI doctor yesterday and everything looks good still. We are going to find a non-milk based formula to try and see if that helps, shortage allowing.

On top of all that is inflation and gas prices of course and we are still fortunate to be able to pay our bills and put a tiny bit back to save but I’m starting to worry to prices go much higher we might not be able to. Thankfully I work from home now because if I still worked traditionally there’s no way we could afford gas.

I worked so hard for so long to put myself and my family in a comfortable place where we wouldn’t have to worry about money and now its all going down the drain. I’m doing the budget and paying the bills. Working for majority income. Playing stay at home mom.

My manager is trying to be very supportive. Ridiculously so. She is such a good person. I don’t want her to feel as though I’m taking advantage of her. Which, I have no reason to think she feels that way except my brain is screwed up. I don’t want my performance to slip at work but I know it must be. I think. I guess. I don’t know.

I don’t know about anything right now and it’s driving me crazy.

The hospital where we take Kiera for therapy was shot up 2 hours after we left yesterday, it made national news.

Everyone is hounding me. Call insurance. Call cable company. Renew vehicle tags. Birthday coming up. Trying to get Kiera on disability. Wanna sell your house? Oh. Time to refill somebody’s medication. Ulcers are acting up. Can’t find formula to stock up for more than a couple days. Kiera threw up again. Finish this order. Brother needs a ride.

I just can’t. I don’t know how long I can do this. Something has to give. My husband has been asking what he can do to help. He’s not good with money and admits it so I need do do budget and bills. He can’t work from home. He does what he can around the house. I can’t realistically ask for anything from him.

So I don’t know. I just need some kind of relief right now.

7 Likes

It sounds like you have an exhausting schedule. It’s exhausting just to think about. Your brain needs a break! I had times like that when I was doing home health and hospice nursing. I had to choose what needed to be done, but had to go undone in order to do something more important. I had to face the fact that if I couldn’t do everything, I needed to choose what to let go of. It’s easier to prioritize when all the issues are on a list. Another nice thing about a list is that it allows a person to temporarily forget about everything but the thing that’s top priority on the list. That concentrated focus helps a person work more efficiently, and usually saves time.

Another thing that might help is to have a set allotment of time for certain activities. For example, on Thursday evenings between 7 and 9pm, do the bills. Maybe Saturday morning is good for doing the laundry. When you have specific time slots for things, it gives you some idea where you’ll be and what you’ll be doing, as you navigate your week. I’ve found comfort in having a schedule. I don’t strictly adhere to it, but it gives me a framework for planning my days. Sometimes it’s fun to be naughty and blow off the schedule.

It used to be necessary for me to juggle bills, and decide which I could pay, and which I could afford to put off. Fortunately I don’t need to do that now, so all but a couple of my bills are on auto-pay.

It might also help to enlist the aid of other family members. For example, if brother needs a ride, let him pay for it by taking out the trash or something.

I hope it gets better for you. Remember, your plate can hold only so much.

5 Likes

Thanks for responding.

I’ve never really been much of a list person. It kinda feels like another thing to do.

I think carving out time on given days for certain things probably would help with stuff like chores and paying bills… I don’t think it will help the lingering worry about money in general or the day in day out running around like a chicken with a head cut off to be able to work and take care of Kiera at the same time.

There are just some worries that will always be there, I’m afraid.

I spoke to my manager yesterday and she sympathized with me. She knows things are stressful right now. She offered to let me do some of my less stressful work rather than some of the harder work that is technically due sooner so that work will be less stressful. She also wants to let me take time off when I need to but I’m trying to save my PTO for Kieras appointments. If I don’t use it all I guess I’ll just take a vacation at the end of the year or something.

Oh, and ironically my brother texted yesterday while I was working asking for a favor. I didn’t oblige.

5 Likes

It only took me half a lifetime to realize the benefit of lists, and I still skip them quite often. For me the issue is having to hold a list of things in my mind and worrying about forgetting something. For me, a mental list requires perpetual review, which can end up being perpetually overwhelming, depressing or anxiety producing. That’s when thinking about it can be exhausting.

A list won’t make worries go away, but I think a chicken with a list is better off than one with a missing head. Unexpected stuff can really mess up a list, but it can be something to fall back on when the day’s events leads to a feeling of “what next?”

Another approach is a check list for only the things that need to be done, but are easily forgotten.

My first use of a list was for bill paying and avoiding late fees.

I don’t guess lists work for everyone. I was just hoping it might be an approach to reducing stress.

5 Likes

Hello there,

I am so proud of you for reaching out & posting on the HeartSupport wall, so we can encourage you. I am sorry that life is so overwhelming for you right now. I am a big list person & I read that you feel like that is just one more thing to do, but the way I see it is that it is something I accomplished at the end of the day. I agree with Wings & his approach to list. They can be quite helpful.

Could you make the list before going to bed or doing it first thing before everything gets started? Is there an app that you could use that would accomplish the same thing?

You are important. You are valid. You are enough. You are strong. You matter.

-StarFox :yellow_heart:

2 Likes

From: Lisalovesfeathers

Hi Sapphire, Thank you for this post, goodness you do have soo much going on, its no wonder that you feel completely overwhelmed and yes you are right, from the sound of it something does indeed have to give so now you just have to work out what?? I would defintely encourage you to work out a schedule, I see that wings also suggested that and yes I know its yet another job but it is a job that could save you other jobs, perhaps work out what needs to be done as opposed to what you would like to get done, also make add your husband to that schedule, you would be able to alocate the jobs he can take off of your plate. There is no easy answer to your situation, you sound like you are doing a wonderful job and you are being a fabulous wife and mother but you also have to be kind to yourself esp to your mental wellbeing, you are no good to anyone if you are in a exhausted state. Please remember to ask for help. Its really ok to do that. Much Love Lisa x

3 Likes

From: Dr Hogarth

Hi Sapphire,

I honestly feel dizzy just reading your post, so I can only imagine what experiencing it is like. You certainly do have a heck of a lot on your plate and it sounds like everything is just muddled together. That must feel very chaotic. I want to say that I think you’re amazing; working, looking after your daughter and on top of all the other calls and tasks. The love you have for your family to bear this day after day, that is astonishing. However, it isn’t fair on you and you shouldn’t have to live this way. I agree with a lot of what Wings said about making schedules. I am also not a list person, but over the last couple of years, I got so overwhelmed by all the activities and calls on my time jumbled in my head that it was affecting my mental health. Having a physical list means that you don’t need to hold it in your head and you have a clearer idea of what needs to be done by physically seeing it instead of imagining it. I also wonder if you could ask more favours of your family; it sounds like you do a lot for others, there is no harm in asking for some help in return. You have more on your shoulders than one person should have to bear and asking for help in phoning people or doing chores is more than fair.

I truly hope that the future is brighter for you and that the load you’re carrying lightens. x

3 Likes

I suppose. It’s just hard to want to male a list when I try to sleep as much as I can before Kiera wakes up, then all my energy goes into her and work (unless it’s my one day off with my husband). I’ve been slacking on note-taking about Kieras feedings - it’s something husband started because he writes everything down but it’s just not realistic to care for a special needs newborn and work and take notes and find time for me to do simple stuff like eat or hydrate.

And I don’t ask my family for things. There are ALWAYS strings attached. My parents always want 10 fold from me when I need a favor. My brother… don’t get me started. My mom and I are once again not speaking because she felt the need to let me know how ungrateful I am and I don’t have time for that. She’s lucky she even met Kiera because we weren’t speaking when I was pregnant and I re established communication because I thought she should know she had another granddaughter on the way. She would never visit Kiera when she was in the NICU and when they finally let her come home, every time I offered to have my parents over or to bring Kiera over to meet them she always had some kind of excuse. So eventually I brought Kiera over anyway and they met her and then the rest is history. My family members all mix like oil and water. It just doesn’t happen. And honestly, I don’t trust my parents to be alone with Kiera.

1 Like