After two years in my position at work I received a promotion at the end of last year. I was excited for the new responsibility and to be taking my career in a new direction. And, the pay increase was a welcomed benefit.
I knew the new job would require training, the learning of much business history and methods, and a general inundation of information. I was ready for the challenge. It’s not that I didn’t enjoy my previous position. In fact, I actually loved it, but after two years I had mastered much of it. Many of the daily tasks could be done without too much thought – I knew what I was doing and I could do it well.
As I transitioned to my new position I spent the days soaking up loads of new information like a sponge. At the same time I was training someone to replace me in my old position. When I got a break in the new job I’d jump back to the old one to make sure everything was running smoothly. It certainly made the work days pass quickly.
But when the day ended and I finally took a breath, I realized I hadn’t planned for dinner and I had no idea what was in the fridge. Clearly it was a night for ordering pizza. The next night, as I’m reading emails before bed, I notice I forgot to pay the daycare tuition. And we’re out of milk. We’re NEVER out of milk. I felt like I was losing my mind. A melt down may have followed shortly.
A few days late I stumbled upon an article from Time about The Invisible Workload That Drags Women Down. The article stems from an amazing blog post by Love That Max. The author writes a wonderful Mother’s Day post about all of the reasons she and all other moms rock: ‘for our seeing superpowers.’ An entire list of things we notice as moms that keep our household running. And often without anyone ever noticing what we’ve noticed. It. Is. Beautiful.
I finished reading the list and suddenly felt completely understood. This. Exactly this. I hadn’t been losing my mind. But I was so busy learning this new job that the daily needs I normally ‘noticed’ almost without thinking, weren’t being remembered, or worse, weren’t getting ‘noticed’ at all. Those family-life mental post-its weren’t sticking because I was going in so many different directions. And because I normally took care of it, others weren’t noticing either. This revelation was a game-changer.
As time has worn on, the job has become more natural and my superpowers are returning. But I’m still busier and more occupied than I once was, so we’ve had to find a new balance when it comes to keeping things flowing in the household. A new shared calendar helps keep me (and us) from forgetting to mention anything calendar worthy. (Did I forget to mention that I’m suffering from pregnancy brain too?!) Amazon Prime has become my best friend for nearly anything we need. And I’m giving in to pizza delivery or eating out a little more often, because sometimes at the end of the day I just can’t. We may try, but we can’t do it ALL. It’s all about learning to balance while the rules of the game are ever-changing.