We all have something we should let go of, don't we? Some thing or activity that just adds one extra thing to our plate. It could be letting go of the clutter, the waste, the schtuff. Whatever it is, it has this death grip on you and you just can't...let...go. It causes undue stress in the background of your life and you don't even realize how much it weighs you down until you release it and feel yourself immensely relieved.
I let something go yesterday. Even though it wasn't huge, it had reduced me to a scary mascara teary mess at 9pm last night. It was a work project that had been requiring 2+ hours of my time everyday for the past 6 weeks. I rejoined the project when Lucy was 3 months old after returning from my maternity leave thinking I could balance it all.
I CAN DO IT ALL! I AM WONDER WOMAN! And I did do it all at first, but then work was really starting to impact my quality time with Lucy. I am a Mom who Works from Home and I put those words in that order specifically. I am not a Working at Home Mother (mother being last). My children come before my work. That was a decision I made back in October 2011 when we decided to move to Sweden to accomplish just this.
I don't like not being focused on my work or my children and I felt as if I couldn't focus on either. If I'm in my kids' world, I want to play with them and breathe them in. They change so quickly that it's impossible to hold onto anything they do for very long.
At work I want to be a professional and provide high quality work - which I felt was suffering greatly due to my divided and diluted attention. So I didn't quit my job entirely, but I removed an unnecessary chunk off my plate. I let it go. I allowed myself to admit that not being a part of this phase of this particular project wasn't the end of the world. I don't have to do it ALL. Life was getting too hectic. I needed to simplify.
Letting go was difficult for me because I had to admit that I was afraid of not being included and not being relevant to the team. I felt I had to prove my value and my worth immediately upon returning from maternity leave. But it wasn't the right move at the right time. I was the square peg jamming myself into the round hole and it just wasn't working.
After conversations with my colleagues and my boss, they were all extremely supportive and understanding. It made me wonder why I hadn't come to this realization sooner. Why was I willingly allowing myself to become so stressed by this?
The answer: I feel privileged to be able to work from home and had accepted that I have to work long hours at night to compensate for such flexibility. I was thinking, "Well, at least I get to see her during the day," instead of, "This really isn't what I want for my life right now. This isn't working."
I'm not perfect and I'm open to self-improvement. I will take this as a lesson learned to evaluate my work-life balance regularly and make decisions based on reality instead of some made-up compromise that I MUST endure. I know that I will continue to struggle with letting go but I'm on my way towards making better decisions with my family in mind.
Basically, more of this: