Wednesday, July 10, 2013




not balanced: as

a : not in equilibrium
b : mentally disordered or deranged

"Balance" is a concept you hear a lot of working mothers talk about.  It is something that I think most of us strive to achieve.

For quite some time, I have felt unbalanced, as in the first meaning of this word. . . not in equilibrium.  Feeling that I am devoting the majority of my time, energy and focus to something that is less important to me than it once was--work--while having less time to devote to many other things in my life that I used to enjoy.  Feeling overwhelmed.  Feeling that, although I have many of the things in my life I hoped to have, the life I am living is not the life I hoped to live.

For quite a while, I have felt caught in a trap of my own making, stuck, as though I have painted myself into a corner and cannot figure out a way out of it.  I know, intellectually, that there *is* a way out.  Were I counseling someone in my exact situation, I would certainly tell her that she could do many other things, that she is capable and qualified.  But I seem to lack the energy/confidence/gumption/something to find that path for myself.

The past few weeks, I have not only felt that I am not in equilibrium. . . I have also felt unbalanced in the sense of the second definition: mentally disordered.  Unstable.  Like I might, at any moment, break down, crack, under the pressure that is my daily life.

What pushed me over the edge, to a point where I could no longer handle the stress, was developing daily headaches, for reasons that are unclear even to my doctor.  I have had a headache at least some portion of every single day since waking up with a migraine the day after Father's Day.  Although I have suffered with migraines since age 15, I have never before lived through an episode like this.  Some of these headaches have been migraines; some of been tension headaches.  Some have been typical of the usual headaches I get; some have been different.

(Yes, I have seen my doctor, a few times.  I have also had a MRI of my brain, which was negative, assuring him that there is no serious, organic cause of the headaches.)

My sister made an analogy that I found apt.  She compared my management of my daily life to walking while balancing a very full glass of water.  If I walk carefully, I can do it without spilling a drop.  These daily headaches have been like someone came and poured some extra water into my glass.  Now the water is running down the sides of the glass, and I can no longer keep it from spilling out.

I know something has to give.  Something has to change.  I cannot go on living the way I've been living for the past year plus.  

Of the things in my life that are changeable, the things that occupy my time on a daily basis, there is only one that I would want to change: my job.  I think that making that one change would, eventually, make a huge difference to the whole, for a number of reasons.

There are a few obstacles to my making that change.  I have very little control over being able to find a new position at all; I have applied for many jobs in the past six months and had three interviews and still no new job.  Also, changing to a job that isn't just as stressful, time-consuming and unfulfilling as my current position will certainly mean a pay cut.  The only question is, how big a pay cut.

Since faking my own death seems a bit drastic (and I would miss my sons too much if I did it), I guess I am going to just have to keep plugging along and find a way to keep doing what I'm doing until I can get out of this daily grind that I am in.  I hope and pray that I find that way soon.


  1. I don't work, I'm a stay-at-home mom, except for some part time work for my husband (probably about 10 hours per week), but I feel like I could have written this. I have major family problems going on right now that are sucking up all my time, though, which I could compare to a job, and which I can't really get out of doing. I've been having headaches for the past week, including one today that had me begging my husband to come home early so I could lie down for a couple hours. I have a wonderful life, and yet I'm stressed and angry and frustrated and just having a rotten time in general. I don't know how to fix it, either.

  2. When I've felt this overwhelmed, the mere thought of the time it would take to try to make a change just seems like another stressor. It perpetrates a vicious cycle.

    This sentence: "although I have many of the things in my life I hoped to have, the life I am living is not the life I hoped to live" - really strikes me. I understand.

    I hope that you are able to find a change that will help you achieve the balance that you need. Cuz a Headache-Life is no life at all. ((Hugs))

  3. Oh man, daily headaches, that sounds rough. I am sorry that your unbalanced state is manifesting into physical pain. It is so, so hard to find balance. I think it is one of the most difficult things in life along with being present.
    Maybe you can try and re-compartmentalize things until you find yourself in a better situation, can you let anything go? Make time for something (small) that make you happy. When you figure it out, let us know the secret!

  4. Is there any way you can get some "me" time?

  5. The HR Manager in me really wants to get you a new job! Of course, I can't magically do that, but just know the thought is there! I get headaches too, but I really can't imagine them being at that level. It does sound like you need some "me" time as someone else suggested. Could MM watch them by himself for a weekend so you could get away? Or at least for 1 night?

  6. As a working mother of twins (16 months) I feel this exact same way. I think it's just an adjustment that you have to be okay with not being okay..for a while. Most other twin moms and even singleton moms tell me the first 2 years are the worse.

    I hope they are right. For the sake of my sanity.

  7. Is relocation an option. That could open up the net wider. An attorney friend with twins just got a job lawyering for abused kids. That is fulfilling for her and gives her flexibility without a giant cut in pay.

  8. Your feelings are totally understandable- but I am sorry you are feeling this way. Sending positive vibes that something changes soon to ease things for you!

  9. Ugh, stress is the silent killer. It is insidious and affects us in ways we don't often easily attribute to it (absentmindedly biting our nails, wanting something to eat even when we aren't hungry, mindlessly flipping the channels, not being able to sleep through the night, forgetting where we put our keys or why we walked into a particular room and worse, way worse.

    For vastly different reasons, I, too, feel like something has to give. I hope you find your way with it in a way that brings you back into balance.


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