“This isn’t what I signed up for.”
Do you sometimes notice yourself thinking this way about your work, your marriage, or your role as a parent? It can be disconcerting, even distressing, to have doubt and dissatisfaction creep into your most important responsibilities and relationships.
But here’s what you know: You work hard in your job, you love your family, and somehow you get to the end of the day — or a glorious weekend off — and you’re not fully able to enjoy the life you have.
You are grateful, sure. Your brain registers that you have a lot to be thankful for. You have perspective…you KNOW things could be worse, but still: Something is blocking you from accessing joy, and it’s really messing with your life.
Maybe you’re thinking,
- How is it that I’m putting in so many hours at work and at home…and yet somehow I’m not happy with all that I have?
- or some version of: I love my kids, but WOW I feel frustrated a lot when I’m with them…I just don’t like parenting as much as I thought I would/think I should.
- or: I wish I could do more of what I want and not feel so damn guilty about it.
Let’s take a moment and strike “work/life balance” from the record. Light it on fire. It’s not attainable in any sort of perfect, ideal way. Moments of balance often don’t last, and sometimes it’s better to think about ways to integrate work and life rather than see them as separate entities that are at odds with each other.
This doesn’t mean you’ll never have peace. It doesn’t mean you have to feel ground down to a pulp by Mom Guilt (or Dad Guilt, for that matter…). It doesn’t mean you have to settle for a surfacey marriage that’s only about kid-care logistics and syncing your Google calendars — when you’re not bickering or criticizing each other.
Chronic stress is a tricky beast. It shows up differently for different people. For you, it might translate into trouble sleeping, vague sadness that’s hard to pin down, or worries that play on repeat in your mind. You might get sick a lot. You might notice feeling exhausted or disconnected all the time. To cope, you might be numbing out by spending a ton of time on social media, or by overeating or over-drinking. It may be to the point where you and your partner are questioning whether you have what it takes to last.
You’ve dedicated your life to caring for others…and that means it’s ESSENTIAL that you to devote time and energy to caring for yourself and your relationships. To renew the energy you need to keep giving.
But if you’re anything like a lot of my clients, there’s a part of you that’s frustrated that you can’t figure this out on your own. You’re used to relying on yourself. That’s a strength. There also comes a point where you need an outside perspective, someone who can see things with more clarity and objectivity. If there were a quick fix to all this, you would have found it by now.
Together we can create space for you to figure out what parts of your life need repair, attention, healing, or breathing room. What you need to add and what you need to subtract.
I can hear you saying, “If I’m so overworked, how will I find the time for yet another commitment?” We can figure that part out. Don’t get me wrong: The time and money involved in therapy is an investment. But at the risk of sounding like a self-help book, investing in yourself is never a mistake. It’s not! Without emotional wellness, you’ve got nothing.
We will find a way for you to lower your stress, find ways to relax and be present, rediscover your professional passion and creativity, and repair strained relationships.
Have a look around my website, and if you think I can help, I hope you’ll get in touch to schedule a consultation. And if you’re not quite ready to take the first step, you can still get valuable strategies & ideas for managing stress and improving your relationships in your inbox by signing up for my e-newsletter.