I have a very full schedule. Yuck. I hate schedules.
As mom, wife, teacher to four kiddos, part time therapy aide, house keeper, cook, chauffeur, nutritionist, nurse, friend, sister, athlete, etc. it's easy to get overwhelmed. I should say, it's almost impossible NOT to get overwhelmed.
The more complicated my life gets, the more I realize how much I crave simplicity.
When I was down and out with my shattered ankle and employed in nothing but healing and raising kiddos, I got a little carried away with future plans. As I came out of forced rest, I took on my part time job (which I still love!), and looked forward to more running, more adventures and more yoga- even promising my former students that I'd be back, and soon. I added karate and other homeschool activities to our weeks. I didn't take into account what would happen when I tried to put my "normal" activities back into our everyday lives.
They don't fit.
I find myself faced with hard decisions. I'm in dire need of simplification. My time is so jam packed with really good things that I can't move. I spend whatever free time I have exhaustedly trying to tune out all of my other responsibilities and letting things slip through the cracks. My body is out of balance and drained from constant stress. I'm in major spiritual disconnect. My kids are upset that I'm gone so much, and I don't think it's because I'm physically gone that much. I can't go out for a run without a major guilt trip that I'm not taking at least one of them with me. I bought yoga passes that I haven't used yet because it's just one more night or day that I'd have to leave. But what good is it that I'm home if I'm not really there? I need to recharge. I need head space, physical exertion and a sense of accomplishment. I need trail runs and yoga classes. I need time to unravel this tangled mess and to believe in myself again. I need not to jealously guard my free time from the very people I would normally choose to spend my free time with.
My house is a wreck. My head is even more so. I find myself waking up each morning wanting to quit everything, empty out and sell my house, wipe the slate and start over.
I want freedom.
It's amazing how much work that takes.
So do I quit a part-time job that I adore, and let down the people whom I love working with twice a week? I am loyal to a fault. I feel horrible walking away after just 3 months. But that's what I'm doing. When given the choice of sacrificing my side job, my kids, or my mental health, it's not even a question which gets cut.
I forget sometimes that being a homeschool mom is a full-time job, because no one sends me a W-2 every tax season- well, because I don't make any money. But it is. It's an extremely hard, wonderful, amazing, all-consuming, difficult, full-time job that is more important to me than pretty much anything. I'm neck deep in it. I'm committed to it. I can't fathom sending my kids off to public school every day anymore. And I'm starting to realize why everyone I talk to at work who finds out I homeschool my kids, or every homeschooler that finds out I work part-time, looks at me in shock and awe. This isn't sustainable and I know it. I'm walking away from a job I love, in order to take care of the kids I love more and the sanity I desperately need to tend to in order to care for them.
I'm so grateful to Brian. He could be really upset with me for backing away when I've only just really gotten the hang of everything. He only guilt tripped me a little (actually I think I may have done my own guilt tripping). He offered to keep me on the call list to fill in when they might need someone. I accepted. I'll be on the schedule for another month or so while they find a replacement.
I know this is the right thing to do. But it still hurts. I've beat myself up plenty over it. Here I am, the Kakes who never sticks with anything, failing, letting people down again. At least that's what pops up when the mean and nasty inner voice starts rambling. She's a witch.
I need this. I need to step back, gain perspective, and breathe.