Updated: Feb 23, 2019
Warning: as the title indicates, this blog contains language that may be offensive to some readers.
One day during daycare pick-up time, a teacher pulled my husband aside and asked if we can get our son a smaller backpack because he was struggling to carry his own backpack. Unbeknownst to us, our toddler had been carrying the adult-size daypack that we use to haul his daycare stuff on their group outings. No wonder the little dude struggled!
Naturally, we agreed that we would look for a toddler-size backpack for him before the next field trip the following week.
Fast forward a week. It was after 11pm and I had just finished my “second shift” (i.e. squeezing in a few more hours of work after Rowan was in bed). I was feeling tired but accomplished as I slowly got ready for bed. And that’s when it hit me. I had one of my “Oh, shit!” moments. I had completely forgotten to get the backpack and his next field trip was the very next morning.
Just like that, within seconds, I went from feeling accomplished and proud to feeling guilty and annoyed at myself for not having “it” together.
These aptly named moments often begin with me literally blurting out “Oh shit!” when I realize (often too late) that I forgot something. I have had many of these moments in my life, long before I had a kid and took on a demanding job. But the combination of parenthood and a full-time job definitely increased the frequency and severity of my “Oh shit!” moments.
You may be thinking, “We all have forgetful moments! What’s the big deal?” You’re right! On their own, each of those moments is rather harmless and often a part of daily life. However, the cumulative effects of experiencing repeated stress, anxiety and panic can be quite damaging. For me, a series of daily “Oh shit!” moments are warning signs that I’m approaching the danger zone of burnout. I pride myself on being organized (yes, I’m a bit of a control freak!) so these moments are not only stressful but also trigger feelings of shame. They are particularly effective at making me feel like I’m not good enough and that my life is spinning out of control.
There are many things I can do to deal with these moments. I can be more meticulous in tracking my to-do lists and managing my calendars so nothing gets missed. I can learn to forgive myself and not let each moment have such a negative impact on my sense of self-worth and my self-confidence. I can ask for help more often.
I can begin the journey to create more breathing room in my life by changing the way I work and live. All the lists and time management tools in the world can’t make up for the hours I want to spend with my family. This solution is the one that I have been avoiding. It seems unrealistic to want a challenging and interesting career, time with my family, and space for myself and everything in between. This is the change that I hope to achieve with Gigify. The price is too high for our break-neck speed of life.
We’re missing out on great moments of life. We’re getting sick and stressed. Let’s not accept this as just the way it is.
Let’s challenge it to be different. Let’s challenge ourselves to answer the difficult questions about who we are and what we want out of life. If you want both a rewarding career and time for yourself and your family and friends, it can happen. We are working to make it happen.
P.S. In case you’re curious about what happened with Rowan’s backpack, I managed to find a red backpack (as per Rowan’s request) the next morning and delivered it to daycare before the field trip before making it to work with two minutes to spare. Nothing like a little shopping marathon to start the day!