I don't know if I'm "burning out" or just "burning at both ends" or doing something else entirely, but I know that the place I'm at doesn't feel very good.
I'm at a place where I feel that my job is taking over my entire life. Even to write on my blog--this blog that is supposed to be my personal space--I have stopped myself from writing this post for fear of what my families (my families I work with) will think. [I don't want them to worry.] But goodness, I just have to have a space that is for me to vent and this is it.
It's bad ya'll. Real bad. Here are some things that start happening in my house when the mommy does nothing but work all day every day.
- My little kids literally put their faces over the arm of my chair and directly between my face and the computer screen to speak to me. This is the only way they think they can get my attention.
- In the rare instance that I put my computer down and my lap is free it's like a race to see who can get on my lap first--kids or dogs. Seriously. Sounds funny, but it's completely sad.
- My 10 year old son made dinner for the whole family last night because, "I know you have to work mommy."
- This weekend my family worked out in the yard while I sat inside working on the computer. I went out to check on them at one point and something was said about hard workers. My son for some reason felt he had to come to my defense and said, "Mom, you're the hardest worker I know! You work every day and every night and on Saturday and Sunday!" If he only knew that is *NOT* the message I want to be sending to him about how a parent should be working!
- My youngest child "plays" adoption coordinator. She walks around with a phone on her shoulder, knows the words "I-600," "social welfare," and "referral."
- Even the sleeping pills don't work.
This work is my great passion (second only to my family), but it is currently eating me alive. There is no walking away from it. I post business hours, but people know I work from home and constantly call me after 5pm. They know I'm at home and figure I will pick up for them. GUILT. Some people will call over and over because they know I'm home! I suppose I could open the computer at 8am and close it at 5pm but I'm telling you, I WOULD NEVER GET EVERYTHING DONE in that amount of time. It's more than that amount of job now. Three years ago it was a just-barely full time job. I could take a day off, or work half a day, and have no problem keeping up. Now, to catch a cold and miss a few days can put me behind for a week.
My children are enrolled for next year's charter homeschool and yet I haven't had the time or motivation to even look at the curriculum choices. Do you know how sad that is? This is my kids' education! I already take the wimpy way out by doing online curriculum for our "homeschool" but now I can't even find the time (or mental energy) to choose the program they are going to use? It's completely and utterly pitiful.
I don't hardly remember the time when I was "just" the mom. It was 5 years ago. I know I was missing this work at that time, but my kids KNEW me. Imagine that. They didn't just draw pictures of me with a computer in my lap (like my littles do now--the only way they've ever known me). My big kids knew me as an active mom who did things with them! Ugh. Now the tears. I miss that. I want that for my little ones and I don't know how to give it to them.
People say, "I don't know how you do it all." I had someone say that to me today. Well, I don't! I'm not! We are just surviving. My "all" is going more to this job and my kids are getting what's left over. That's how I feel right now. Yes, they know how to behave and they are learning fine at homeschool. But they are missing the family experiences that I want them to have--memories that I will never have with them because of this job.
I had a family tell me today that THEY are who I should be losing sleep over at night. Now this family is wonderful and I love them dearly. They are having a tough time and they just cracked (much like I'm doing right now). They had no idea that what they said to me on this day was being said on the worst day they could have said it to me. They had no idea that I've been dealing with powerhouses in Ghana and the U.S. all day long while my children pop their little heads in front of my face sweetly seeking my attention (but no longer even expecting it). NO. I am not losing sleep over their case. I am losing sleep over the loss of my motherhood as I try to help others obtain their own. THAT is what I am losing sleep over!
The worst thing about this is I have no answer to the situation. SOMETHING HAS GOT TO GIVE.
Quit. I can't. To do so would be to mess up the lives of 50-something families. I would never. Plus, there's still the small inconvenient truth that I love this work. I love Ghana. And I am committed to her people.
Continue. I can't. My family is suffering too much, even if they don't realize it. They are so in love with me that they faithfully accept all of the drama that is Ghana adoption as part of their everyday lives. It's not fair to them. It's not even fair to me. I miss my children. Something must change.
Please pray with me that the Lord will reveal whatever change must be brought about before I completely burn up and turn into ashes.
P.S. I reserve the right to bring cheerier posts tomorrow.