Work-Related Stress

Yesterday I felt overwhelmed.

Now, I don’t work outside the home anymore. So saying I was overwhelmed would strike some as a little silly. There’s this mythology out there that just because you don’t go into an office and bring home a paycheque, your life is somehow stress-free. You sit at home on the couch in front of the television and watch soaps and eat bonbons.

So, yeah… all you stay-at-home moms and retirees and people with home businesses… your life is so cushy, right?

Hardly.

I am as busy now with work as I ever was going into an office. It’s just a different kind of work. I spend several hours of most days, weekends included, writing on several sites on the internet. And when I am not writing, I am researching. (2 of my articles that I write during the week — just the 2 of them — can sometimes take somewhere in the neighbourhood of 24 hours of research.) And when I am not doing that, there’s cooking and cleaning and laundry and shopping and errands to be done. Bills have to be paid. Heavier seasonal work, like shovelling the driveway and taking out the garbage and yard work and such (thank goodness for allergies I don’t have to mow the lawn!), also has to get done in its time.

So days can be a bit busy.

And someday, we’ll be adding the care and maintenance of a small, busy person into the mix of things to get done in the course of a day.

Don’t get me wrong — I LOVE things this way. I am so fortunate to be able to have things this way, with a husband who supports what I do and goes out to a job that he loves each day. I would not trade and go back to the walking dead life I used to lead in an office for anything in the world. I used to have to do the bidding of incompetent, foolish bosses and do unfulfilling, meaningless work and work long hours to make other people money. Now, although some would say my boss (me!) is still a bit questionable, I do work that I enjoy in a place I like to be. Sure, I don’t get paid (yet), but I am happy. And since I am halfway through my time on this earth and you only get one chance at life, being happy is a pretty big thing.

But still, despite all that, there are days that are harder than others.

Some days there are just so many things to be done. I feel snowed under with tasks sometimes. I have a list of writing projects stuck on the one side of my computer. On the other side, I have a “to do” list of things to be done around the house. I have a grocery list going elsewhere.

I am getting behind in my writing projects. My house looks like a bomb went off inside it. My cat won’t stop yelling at me. I haven’t regularly done yoga in weeks. The water softener needs to be filled with salt. And we’re out of milk.

So yesterday, I just plonked down on the sofa and had a wee bit of a stress-induced, hormone-fuelled meltdown. And then I got up, put the shrieking cat in her cage, put the lists away, and did about an hour of yoga.

It’s good. Every now and again I need to be reminded, like those stupid people who think that stay-at-home moms and retirees don’t have anything better to do with their time that sit down with a drink and an episode of Oprah, that I do WORK. And I work hard. And sometimes it’s okay to get overwhelmed and up to here with stuff.

And that I need to have a more understanding boss who lets things slide a bit sometimes. And possibly, sets out less demanding schedules of things to be done. And maybe makes shorter lists.

2 thoughts on “Work-Related Stress

  1. Didn’t that feel good. A good cry, a good rant, even a good chocolate bar are great stress relievers. I think I’ll try my new yoga DVD to see if that works too. Now, where did I put it? And where exactly will I find the time to do it? Love another stay at home mom who works a fulltime job from home, runs all the errands, gets the groceries that no one else will help me cook, pays all the bills, fiddles the budget to pay everything, does all the laundry, tries to find the baby under all the toys on floor, and runs her older daughter to her basketball games and practices, babysits 3 other kids after school, and tries to keep the house from being taken over by the dust bunnies. Mind you, maybe they could keep it cleaner.

  2. I totaly agree.
    People don’t realize how hecktic stay at home people actually are.
    I was getting my haircut the other day and they start with a scalp massage. As the woman worked her way down to my shoulders she said commented on how tight my shoulders are. She said “you must be really stressed at work”.
    I don’t think people who are stay at home allow themselves to be “stressed”. How can we be stessed? Its not as if its stressful – at least that is what society thinks.
    Don’t get me wrong I won’t trade this year for anything, but I think we do need to cut ourselves some slack. Make sure we take a break over the day. Office people get lunch time and at a certain office at least one or two walks over to Tim’s.
    My boss just woke up…gotta go…

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