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Admin Pro Forum

Why do I feel so chained to the job?

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Question: "I feel chained to the job and out of the loop at home and everywhere. My job is a good one, and I've been here about a year. It involves recruiting so I’m constantly reminded how lucky I should feel that I have a job at all in this economy. But I'm just sad that I can’t seem to find a better balance. There are never enough hours in the day. Working part-time is not an option—since we have three teens to get through college. Any advice for finding a better balance and a sunnier outlook?" –Working mom

{ 10 comments… read them below or add one }

Grandma Duggie October 31, 2011 at 11:23 am

I agree with Angela as well. When I am overwhelmed I make my list and each time I cross off an item it is a wonderful feeling of accomplishment. Hang in there!


Sharon October 27, 2011 at 3:07 pm

If you are overworked at the office, have a give and take meeting with your boss. Ask the boss to help you prioritize your day, then if there are not enough hours in the day, you will know you did what you could to get everything done but it was management’s decision to overload you and it will be your decision to let it go when you get in your car and drive away.

If you are overworked at home, have a give and take meeting with your family and see how the whole can work better together to make life more pleasurable and peaceful for all.

If you don’t have a minute to pray and ask God to help you, take a minute. It will be the best thing you do when you are overworked and overwhelmed. You are never alone. Remember that.;


Sara October 25, 2011 at 10:14 am

It almost sounds to me as if this is the first job you’ve had for a while. I have always worked since my youngest was 9 months old. He’s 23 now, and although it was a long time ago I still remember the trama of figuring out how to “everything.” I was quite fortunate to have a husband who wasn’t afraid to “do toilets” and generally pick up a lot of slack. When you say “we” have three teens I take that to mean you’re husband’s on the scene as well.

My advice is to do as Angela suggested and write it all down. Then have a family meeting to decide how the FAMILY is going to get it all done. If you’ve been at home for a long time this will require that you let go of some things – even if they aren’t done exactly as you would have done them. Not sure if they are helping out already, but your teens might well consider their contributions as a way of helping to “pay” for their own college. Oh, and remember to schedule in fun time!

Best of luck!


Lisa October 24, 2011 at 10:33 am

Make sure that you take your complete lunch and leave the office when doing so. It makes it feel like your day is broken up. Also, see if you can multi-task for the little things. Such as if you are talking on the phone with someone, place it on speaker phone, shut your door and that way you can do something else. This also works at home. For the home front, you can delegate chores to your 3 teen kids such as collecting/taking out the garbage, dusting, vacuuming and cleaning the bathroom.


Part-time working mom October 24, 2011 at 9:37 am

I sometimes suffer from these same feelings. I suggest not looking at your e-mail or text messages after hours. I often find myself tied to my cell phone, even while on vacation. We have to realize that the business WILL survive without our constant availability. Yes, you are a valuable employee, but good employees have to balance their personal life with work responsibilities. Free yourself from the electronic media!


Part-time working mom October 21, 2011 at 6:24 pm

I hear you…The only way I can handle the working mother balancing act is by working part time …full time was just too difficult with kids to take care of too. But if you’ve only been there just a year, it may take a while before you can see if there’s a way to go part-time &/or job share. Unfortunately, college tuition rates aren’t going down.

I don’t know how many options you have at your company but since they/you have invested a year in your training …I’d look around and see if there’s any way you can get a “smaller job” there, or work from home one day til you’re an empty nester and the juggling won’t be so hard. I think your sadness is telling you something. If it’s just the occasional blues that’s one thing and you’re generally pretty energetic and engaged/enjoy the work, maybe that’s just the life of your avg working mom …but if you wake up dreading this particular job, maybe it’s not the best fit and you should look for something that energizes you more, has a shorter commute, shorter hours, etc.

Even if it’s a good job that uses your strengths that doesn’t necessarily mean that you LIKE it. Gretchen Rubin’s book The Happiness Project said something like, “You can choose what you do (for a job), but you can’t choose what you LIKE to do.”


Lisa October 21, 2011 at 4:46 pm

I read two key issues:
1. Your job is a good one–that tells me you like your job.
2. “…you can’t seem to find a better balance–find–it’s a mindset!
I am also a working mom and a single parent. Keeping work separate from my personal life and vice versa is difficult to do, especially since I not only work in a Church office, but have co-workers that seem to have made “their” job a vocation.
I still have some people judge me for not working 24/7–after all it’s the Lord’s work! I set my mind–this is NOT my vocation, it is my profession! I had to let “their” preconcieved ideas just roll off my back. Not an easy task. There are some days I work late, but I keep those at a minimum. You have to make yourself leave at the end of the “work day”, and your boss should expect nothing less–unless of course they are willing to pay you overtime. Just as Admin 123 does…remove your hat.


Angela October 21, 2011 at 3:46 pm

Usually when I am feeling overwhelmed it’s because I have not taken the time to create a prioritized to do list. When this happens you tend to ‘carry’ everything around in your mind and are constantly hoping you haven’t forgotten to do something. Which means you are worrying about your personal life at work and then worrying about your work life at home. When I do a mental dump and put everything on paper and then focus on the important things – I can leave work with a peace of mind knowing I have accomplished the most important things and everything else can wait until the morning. So – if quitting your job isn’t an option – you might ask yourself if you are truly prioritizing the way you should. Good luck!


MHarvey October 21, 2011 at 3:15 pm

I can certainly relate! I’d say to consider a permanent solution, versus a temporary bandaid. For example, find a home-based business that will assist in supplementing your job income. There are some very successful and credible business teams that will work with you and leverage the time that you do have to contribute. While there may be a short term sacrifice, the real goal in life is to be connected with your family and pursuing activities you love; not chained to a desk chasing a few bucks.
Also consider your gifts. If you are a great writer, start working on your book! If you make delicious baked goods, put a price tag on them! Use the gifts and talents that you already possess to replace the income that your job provides. You don’t have to stay stuck. Step out and use your talents and abilities! Once you’ve positioned yourself financially, you can let someone else have your cubicle. :)


Admin 123 October 21, 2011 at 3:07 pm

I think balance is very important, if you’re finding yourself not reaping the benefits, start a job search. Yes, the economy is not the best right now but there are some employers that still respect the life/work balance. I am here at 7am and when i walk out the door at 4ish, that hat is off.


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