Author Topic: Feel burnt out from the corporate world  (Read 2353 times)

startingout

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Feel burnt out from the corporate world
« on: March 24, 2023, 09:24:43 AM »
I suppose there's no easy answer to my question because I've considered all the options and more or less ruled them out. I'm feeling burnt out from the corporate world and don't know what to do. I want to take a career break, but I work in tech, so I feel like I'd be penalized if I'm out of the workforce for any time at all. Especially in my area--programming, the speed of change is astronomical. On one hand, working from home has been very helpful from a scheduling and work-life balance standpoint. On the other hand, I feel isolated sitting in my office alone, even though my spouse also works from home, and my 2 kids and our nanny are also present during the day. Raising a baby and a toddler during the pandemic has not been easy, contributing to my feelings of exhaustion and loneliness. I gave up many of my hobbies after having each baby. Even working in the office often would be hard now because our nanny works exactly 8 hours a day, leaving little time for us to commute. In addition, the baby is still breastfeeding so I'm needed throughout the day (and night).

I'm in my mid-30s and our family's net worth is over $1M, so in theory, I could quit my job, especially if my spouse continues working. But we have a huge mortgage and high expenses, and I'd have to convince him into agreeing. He wants to be able to fully fund our kids' college tuitions to whatever universities they want to attend, and also pay for big weddings. The same things our parents provided for us. Simultaneously, a part of me wants to stick in the working world for the next few decades. Who knows where I'd be then, and what knowledge and experiences I'd have acquired in that time? I love the company I work for and used to feel immensely passionate about my career. I'm not sure I could muster the same passion for cooking and cleaning, though I could for childcare.

I've tried taking a vacation and also counseling; both were disasters. Maybe things will get easier once the kids are a bit older?
« Last Edit: March 24, 2023, 09:27:57 AM by startingout »

GilesMM

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Re: Feel burnt out from the corporate world
« Reply #1 on: March 24, 2023, 09:38:51 AM »
You should think very, very hard about continuing work vs raising your kids (and firing the nanny!).  A huge mortgage should not take priority over your kids. They only grow up once!

startingout

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Re: Feel burnt out from the corporate world
« Reply #2 on: March 24, 2023, 10:31:28 AM »
You should think very, very hard about continuing work vs raising your kids (and firing the nanny!).  A huge mortgage should not take priority over your kids. They only grow up once!

Thanks. I've thought about that. But our nanny is very patient (probably more so than me) and loves our kids. Sure, she doesn't do everything exactly the way I would, but there are some things she's much better at. It also helps that she has no young kids of her own so she's much better rested than me. In addition, I found many studies saying stay at home parents are at greater risk for dementia and memory loss later in life. I figure that my kids would prefer to have me in their lives for longer and more mentally intact than stay home with them while they're growing up. I've had professors who lived well into their 90s or over 100, and they taught college courses into their 90s.

bacchi

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Re: Feel burnt out from the corporate world
« Reply #3 on: March 24, 2023, 10:36:26 AM »
Quit the corporate job and go into contracting. You can then pick and choose your projects and taking a month break between gigs is accepted.

Laura33

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Re: Feel burnt out from the corporate world
« Reply #4 on: March 24, 2023, 10:56:41 AM »
Why, exactly, was counseling a disaster?  Wrong therapist?  Did your SO not want to attend/not contribute as expected?  Counseling should never be a disaster; if it's not helpful, find another therapist, go without your SO, etc. 

You also need to have a serious conversation with your SO.  It's great that he wants to pay for full college tuition, big weddings, etc.!  But it's not so great if he's doing it on the back of your mental health.  He needs to understand the toll your current plan is placing on you, so that you can start working toward a compromise you can both live with.  And if he's unwilling to give, see "counseling" above -- for you, by yourself, because focusing on his goals to the exclusion of your mental health is not an ok attitude for a spouse. 

I'm interested in your statement that you've considered all the other options, and that the best option is to continue plodding along the path of burnout.  Why do your spouse's and children's goals matter more than your own?  How good of a spouse/parent can you be when you're stressed and underwater all the time?  The best thing you can do for your children is to take good care of their mom, so she is healthy and happy.  Even without knowing your situation, it's obvious that there are many other options; they just require compromises in other areas, like more time from your spouse, or a smaller home, or another child care option that covers more than 8 hrs/day and/or costs significantly less.   

Obviously, changing a job is a big decision, with real ramifications.  So why not start with changing things around the edges first?  The first thing that springs to mind is why the fuck did you give up everything that you enjoy for the kids?  Yes, kids are a time suck, and kids and jobs are both demanding and overwhelming even on their own.  But the answer to that is not to strike everything fun out of your life.  If you have a hobby you enjoy, take it up again, and either ask your SO to cover or hire a sitter.  Make a date night once a week -- a real one that you get a sitter for -- even if it's just sitting out on the porch with a bottle of wine, or going for a walk.  The marriage-and-sanity-saving thing my DH and I did when we had our first kid was to trade off weekend mornings -- I got to sleep in on Saturday as long as I wanted and lounge around until noon (absolutely critical when dealing with overnight feedings), and he at first used Sunday AM to sleep and then switched to using it to play golf.  This is not solely your responsibility, and it is reasonable for both you and your SO to have time on your own and time together without kids.

If you miss people, can you go into the office once a week?  I'd think you and your SO could trade off morning/evening shift with the kids.  And really, if he's still working at home, why can't he cover both once a week?  Again:  this is not solely your responsibility.  Or if the juggle is too much, can you go part-time at your current job?  Are there other part-time positions in your area of interest that you could look for? 

One final note:  it is reasonable to consider quitting and staying home with the kids. It is also reasonable to decide that you need to work at something outside the home, even if what you're doing now isn't working.  You are in the middle of the suck right now, with young kids.  I think everyone at some point considers quitting during that stage -- I certainly did.  Personally, I realized that staying home = budget cuts = me doing all the cleaning and kid logistics = giving up the fun part of my job in exchange for the drudgery parts of being at home that I absolutely hate.  That was not a sanity-inducing trade for me.  My solution was (1) go part-time and (2) continue to have ongoing discussions with DH about how we shared the load.  YMMV as always.  But whatever you choose, you don't have to feel guilty about it.  There are many different versions of right, and the only thing that matters is finding the version that works for you and your family.

startingout

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Re: Feel burnt out from the corporate world
« Reply #5 on: March 24, 2023, 12:24:46 PM »
Great points, @Laura33! I'll answer the questions you posed in order.

Why, exactly, was counseling a disaster?  Wrong therapist?  Did your SO not want to attend/not contribute as expected?  Counseling should never be a disaster; if it's not helpful, find another therapist, go without your SO, etc. 

Counseling was a disaster because I went to the counselor to discuss feeling overwhelmed, depressed, and unmotivated. It was the introductory session, so she asked me about my relationships with the people in my life. She stumbled upon a sore spot when it came to my parents, and then spent the rest of the session delving into the dumpster fire that is/was my parents' marriage. I left the session feeling completely retraumatized by my parents' marriage and my upbringing (even though objectively, none of it was anything too terrible). It took many days to get over the dark cloud that hung over me, and my counselor wasn't even working for the remainder of the week so I had to do it all on my own. I've tried individual therapy in past years as well with different counselors, and also didn't find that it solved any of the real problems in my life, but rather refreshed them in my memory in a way that made me feel worse about them. I'm now too scared to try counseling again, which has its benefits because my counseling session cost $150 an hour, not covered by insurance.

I've been starting to get back into some hobbies, knowing that I likely won't have time to do all of them. It's been hard because of the pandemic and me breastfeeding. I'm trying to switch to formula, but the baby won't take a bottle anymore. My husband's hobbies are mostly playing video games and online RPGs, so he can pick that up whenever and wherever with no preplanning required. He also does a ton of childcare and domestic duties, probably more than me. Including all of the mornings.

What kind of part-time job do you have, if you don't mind me asking? I've been thinking about working part-time more and more. I don't think it would work at my current job, because my company has so many meetings. I would also need to find something that either covers the cost of the nanny or allows me enough time at home for us to do without a nanny.

gooki

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Re: Feel burnt out from the corporate world
« Reply #6 on: March 24, 2023, 12:39:20 PM »
I feel your pain. Pandemic effects and working from home can be hard. I'm not exactly an extrovert, but I miss the people aspect of office life and greater work/home seperation.

Can you switch to 4 days a week so you can have a day to yourself to focus on you?

Laura33

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Re: Feel burnt out from the corporate world
« Reply #7 on: March 24, 2023, 12:51:01 PM »
Great points, @Laura33! I'll answer the questions you posed in order.

Why, exactly, was counseling a disaster?  Wrong therapist?  Did your SO not want to attend/not contribute as expected?  Counseling should never be a disaster; if it's not helpful, find another therapist, go without your SO, etc. 

Counseling was a disaster because I went to the counselor to discuss feeling overwhelmed, depressed, and unmotivated. It was the introductory session, so she asked me about my relationships with the people in my life. She stumbled upon a sore spot when it came to my parents, and then spent the rest of the session delving into the dumpster fire that is/was my parents' marriage. I left the session feeling completely retraumatized by my parents' marriage and my upbringing (even though objectively, none of it was anything too terrible). It took many days to get over the dark cloud that hung over me, and my counselor wasn't even working for the remainder of the week so I had to do it all on my own. I've tried individual therapy in past years as well with different counselors, and also didn't find that it solved any of the real problems in my life, but rather refreshed them in my memory in a way that made me feel worse about them. I'm now too scared to try counseling again, which has its benefits because my counseling session cost $150 an hour, not covered by insurance.

I've been starting to get back into some hobbies, knowing that I likely won't have time to do all of them. It's been hard because of the pandemic and me breastfeeding. I'm trying to switch to formula, but the baby won't take a bottle anymore. My husband's hobbies are mostly playing video games and online RPGs, so he can pick that up whenever and wherever with no preplanning required. He also does a ton of childcare and domestic duties, probably more than me. Including all of the mornings.

What kind of part-time job do you have, if you don't mind me asking? I've been thinking about working part-time more and more. I don't think it would work at my current job, because my company has so many meetings. I would also need to find something that either covers the cost of the nanny or allows me enough time at home for us to do without a nanny.

I'm a lawyer -- work by the billable hour, get paid accordingly, so it was relatively easy to cut back for a few years.

Ugh, I hate that kind of navel-gazing, it's-all-your-parents'-fault counseling.  I will say that long-term, it can be helpful to identify a bunch of unstated assumptions and expectations and such.  But it's not where you start when someone comes in feeling completely overwhelmed!!  I'd suggest looking for someone who does cognitive behavioral therapy or some other kind of "active" therapy.  And have some phrase in-hand when they start to diverge into some Freudian bullshit -- like "I recognize that this kind of discussion is helpful long-term, but right now I'm completely overwhelmed and need some immediate advice for how to get through the next day/week/month/etc."

Why don't you just pick a hobby or group to start with?  Don't want to create another complex set of obligations or scheduling nightmares, but focusing on one particular thing, like a Tuesday night book club, or some crafty hobby you can do at home, is a really good place to start getting yourself out of your own head.

I am going to challenge your thinking again, though.  You say:

Quote
I would also need to find something that either covers the cost of the nanny or allows me enough time at home for us to do without a nanny.

No.  No you don't.  It's not your responsibility to either pay for the nanny or not work.  It is your joint responsibility to decide who works and how much, and your joint responsibility to ensure that your combined income is sufficient to cover your budget.  They're not "your" kids singular, they're "your" kids plural, and so you both contribute to the finances, the logistics/cleaning/maintenance, and the small-child-supervision.  And if you need to step back to a lower-paid job for some period of time because the kid/household side is overwhelming, then you can both figure out what part of the budget to cut to cover that drop, exactly as you would if one of you got a pay cut. 

This thinking is a big part of why you feel stuck.

cincystache

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Re: Feel burnt out from the corporate world
« Reply #8 on: March 26, 2023, 08:53:34 AM »
Some great advice already offered. I struggle with similar feelings towards work while raising young kids, you are not alone in these feelings. In our experience it has gotten better now that the kids are a bit older (sleeping through the night, able to get themselves a snack and occupy their own time a little bit).

I think the key #1 is getting on the same page with your spouse. If my spouse came to me struggling with mental health issues and burnout today, the last thing I would be worried about is college at ANY school and lavish weddings for my breastfeeding child.

Key #2: having a NW of over a million with 2 remote jobs gives you tremendous options if you're willing to move to a lower cost area. I get the sense from your "huge mortgage and high expenses" that you live in a HCOL area. Why not move and drastically lower your cost of living without decreasing your lifestyle?

Psychstache

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Re: Feel burnt out from the corporate world
« Reply #9 on: March 26, 2023, 10:37:19 AM »

Ugh, I hate that kind of navel-gazing, it's-all-your-parents'-fault counseling.  I will say that long-term, it can be helpful to identify a bunch of unstated assumptions and expectations and such.  But it's not where you start when someone comes in feeling completely overwhelmed!!  I'd suggest looking for someone who does cognitive behavioral therapy or some other kind of "active" therapy.  And have some phrase in-hand when they start to diverge into some Freudian bullshit -- like "I recognize that this kind of discussion is helpful long-term, but right now I'm completely overwhelmed and need some immediate advice for how to get through the next day/week/month/etc."


They should probably look for someone who specializes in solution focused or brief therapy. That would be the terminology I would search for. Would likely be a better fit.

CNM

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Re: Feel burnt out from the corporate world
« Reply #10 on: March 26, 2023, 11:28:39 AM »
One thing that really helped me work through some job-based frustration & decision making was the book The Artist's Way at Work.  It might help you, too, to sort through various options and relieve some negative feelings related to your profession.

Metalcat

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Re: Feel burnt out from the corporate world
« Reply #11 on: March 26, 2023, 06:22:07 PM »
Great points, @Laura33! I'll answer the questions you posed in order.

Why, exactly, was counseling a disaster?  Wrong therapist?  Did your SO not want to attend/not contribute as expected?  Counseling should never be a disaster; if it's not helpful, find another therapist, go without your SO, etc. 

Counseling was a disaster because I went to the counselor to discuss feeling overwhelmed, depressed, and unmotivated. It was the introductory session, so she asked me about my relationships with the people in my life. She stumbled upon a sore spot when it came to my parents, and then spent the rest of the session delving into the dumpster fire that is/was my parents' marriage. I left the session feeling completely retraumatized by my parents' marriage and my upbringing (even though objectively, none of it was anything too terrible). It took many days to get over the dark cloud that hung over me, and my counselor wasn't even working for the remainder of the week so I had to do it all on my own. I've tried individual therapy in past years as well with different counselors, and also didn't find that it solved any of the real problems in my life, but rather refreshed them in my memory in a way that made me feel worse about them. I'm now too scared to try counseling again, which has its benefits because my counseling session cost $150 an hour, not covered by insurance.

I've been starting to get back into some hobbies, knowing that I likely won't have time to do all of them. It's been hard because of the pandemic and me breastfeeding. I'm trying to switch to formula, but the baby won't take a bottle anymore. My husband's hobbies are mostly playing video games and online RPGs, so he can pick that up whenever and wherever with no preplanning required. He also does a ton of childcare and domestic duties, probably more than me. Including all of the mornings.

What kind of part-time job do you have, if you don't mind me asking? I've been thinking about working part-time more and more. I don't think it would work at my current job, because my company has so many meetings. I would also need to find something that either covers the cost of the nanny or allows me enough time at home for us to do without a nanny.

I'm a lawyer -- work by the billable hour, get paid accordingly, so it was relatively easy to cut back for a few years.

Ugh, I hate that kind of navel-gazing, it's-all-your-parents'-fault counseling.  I will say that long-term, it can be helpful to identify a bunch of unstated assumptions and expectations and such.  But it's not where you start when someone comes in feeling completely overwhelmed!!  I'd suggest looking for someone who does cognitive behavioral therapy or some other kind of "active" therapy.  And have some phrase in-hand when they start to diverge into some Freudian bullshit -- like "I recognize that this kind of discussion is helpful long-term, but right now I'm completely overwhelmed and need some immediate advice for how to get through the next day/week/month/etc."

Why don't you just pick a hobby or group to start with?  Don't want to create another complex set of obligations or scheduling nightmares, but focusing on one particular thing, like a Tuesday night book club, or some crafty hobby you can do at home, is a really good place to start getting yourself out of your own head.

I am going to challenge your thinking again, though.  You say:

Quote
I would also need to find something that either covers the cost of the nanny or allows me enough time at home for us to do without a nanny.

No.  No you don't.  It's not your responsibility to either pay for the nanny or not work.  It is your joint responsibility to decide who works and how much, and your joint responsibility to ensure that your combined income is sufficient to cover your budget.  They're not "your" kids singular, they're "your" kids plural, and so you both contribute to the finances, the logistics/cleaning/maintenance, and the small-child-supervision.  And if you need to step back to a lower-paid job for some period of time because the kid/household side is overwhelming, then you can both figure out what part of the budget to cut to cover that drop, exactly as you would if one of you got a pay cut. 

This thinking is a big part of why you feel stuck.

While I totally agree that this sounds like a case of not great therapy, I wholeheartedly and emphatically disagree that OP shouldn't be talking about their family of origin in therapy.

It's not at all navel gazing if when they talk about this shit that they go into a state that takes days to recover from.

If anything, that points to a serious foundational trauma that is likely underpinning a lot of other struggles and behaviours.

As I said, I agree that the therapist did not handle it well, if that kind of shit is that heavy, they should be prepared to manage that fallout. It sounds like the therapist may not have enough experience with early childhood trauma, which is a fucking minefield of a challenge in therapy.

I know, because it took me MANY therapists to find someone who was truly able to handle my personal care.

But yeah, that level of reaction tells me that what OP might benefit from highly competent care from someone who has extensive experience with whatever their particular type and age of trauma was.

I did all of that action-oriented CBT kind of stuff for years, and it did help short term when I was actively in a crisis. But I wasn't able to develop truly healthier patterns until I found a therapist who was an absolute juggernaut in terms of early childhood trauma and started processing all the shit that triggered me to react the exact same way that OP is describing.

I used to experience serious retraumatization when delving into my past. Now it doesn't bother me at all and my entire way of approaching life and decisions is radically altered.

So yes, I agree, bad therapy so far, but I disagree as to what made it bad.

clarkfan1979

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Re: Feel burnt out from the corporate world
« Reply #12 on: March 26, 2023, 08:17:23 PM »
Quit the corporate job and go into contracting. You can then pick and choose your projects and taking a month break between gigs is accepted.

Overall, the above comment looks to be the best answer, IMO. 


I think your post is perfect for this blog and forum. From the outside, you are the poster child of success. Two highly paid tech workers that get the luxury to work from home and can also afford a live-in nanny. The social norms of the world celebrate you because you are "successful". The problem is that you don't feel that success.

I would try to focus on what is important and meaningful to you and reject societal rules regarding "what is successful". Try to get some of your hobbies back.

Money is not a primary reward. Money is a secondary reward. The value of money is based on the association of what it can buy you. Right now the money you get for your high paying job doesn't seem like it can buy you anything that can make your life better. I think the suggestion above regarding consulting work could get you the flexibility to then maximizing our happiness based on your occupation. Your current job based on your current season of life doesn't seem to be a good fit. No amount of money can fix that, IMO. 






AccidentialMustache

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Re: Feel burnt out from the corporate world
« Reply #13 on: March 26, 2023, 10:46:39 PM »
I'd agree that a contractor sounds like a potential path here. It is something on my list (also software engineering) to explore as an off-ramp, but I haven't done it yet.

DW went 50% time because we decided that the extra time for the family was more valuable to us than the income. That was before the pandemic and we wouldn't have made it through the pandemic as a family unit, had she not been at 50% time. We (all) needed the extra buffer that gave us. If your DH can't get onboard, that may suggest larger problems in your relationship.

Laura33

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Re: Feel burnt out from the corporate world
« Reply #14 on: March 27, 2023, 10:00:23 AM »
Great points, @Laura33! I'll answer the questions you posed in order.

Why, exactly, was counseling a disaster?  Wrong therapist?  Did your SO not want to attend/not contribute as expected?  Counseling should never be a disaster; if it's not helpful, find another therapist, go without your SO, etc. 

Counseling was a disaster because I went to the counselor to discuss feeling overwhelmed, depressed, and unmotivated. It was the introductory session, so she asked me about my relationships with the people in my life. She stumbled upon a sore spot when it came to my parents, and then spent the rest of the session delving into the dumpster fire that is/was my parents' marriage. I left the session feeling completely retraumatized by my parents' marriage and my upbringing (even though objectively, none of it was anything too terrible). It took many days to get over the dark cloud that hung over me, and my counselor wasn't even working for the remainder of the week so I had to do it all on my own. I've tried individual therapy in past years as well with different counselors, and also didn't find that it solved any of the real problems in my life, but rather refreshed them in my memory in a way that made me feel worse about them. I'm now too scared to try counseling again, which has its benefits because my counseling session cost $150 an hour, not covered by insurance.

. . . .

. . . .

Ugh, I hate that kind of navel-gazing, it's-all-your-parents'-fault counseling.  I will say that long-term, it can be helpful to identify a bunch of unstated assumptions and expectations and such.  But it's not where you start when someone comes in feeling completely overwhelmed!!  I'd suggest looking for someone who does cognitive behavioral therapy or some other kind of "active" therapy.  And have some phrase in-hand when they start to diverge into some Freudian bullshit -- like "I recognize that this kind of discussion is helpful long-term, but right now I'm completely overwhelmed and need some immediate advice for how to get through the next day/week/month/etc."

. . . .

While I totally agree that this sounds like a case of not great therapy, I wholeheartedly and emphatically disagree that OP shouldn't be talking about their family of origin in therapy.

It's not at all navel gazing if when they talk about this shit that they go into a state that takes days to recover from.

If anything, that points to a serious foundational trauma that is likely underpinning a lot of other struggles and behaviours.

As I said, I agree that the therapist did not handle it well, if that kind of shit is that heavy, they should be prepared to manage that fallout. It sounds like the therapist may not have enough experience with early childhood trauma, which is a fucking minefield of a challenge in therapy.

I know, because it took me MANY therapists to find someone who was truly able to handle my personal care.

But yeah, that level of reaction tells me that what OP might benefit from highly competent care from someone who has extensive experience with whatever their particular type and age of trauma was.

I did all of that action-oriented CBT kind of stuff for years, and it did help short term when I was actively in a crisis. But I wasn't able to develop truly healthier patterns until I found a therapist who was an absolute juggernaut in terms of early childhood trauma and started processing all the shit that triggered me to react the exact same way that OP is describing.

I used to experience serious retraumatization when delving into my past. Now it doesn't bother me at all and my entire way of approaching life and decisions is radically altered.

So yes, I agree, bad therapy so far, but I disagree as to what made it bad.

I don't disagree at all -- that's why I mentioned the long-term aspect.  I've had a similar experience; my family wasn't really fucked up much at all, and yet there was still a lot of powerful stuff that came out when my therapist forced me to deal with it.  And yeah, I had the same thought, that the extreme nature of the response proves how necessary it is here. 

But I'm also thinking the most important part is getting into some therapy now.  So if OP isn't emotionally ready to tackle the hard stuff (on top of everything else going on), a shorter-term version focused on helping with the immediate overwhelm might at least get past the "therapy sucks" knee-jerk.

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Re: Feel burnt out from the corporate world
« Reply #15 on: March 27, 2023, 12:17:10 PM »
Agree with the previous sentiment that this is not an individual problem to figure out, but something to be figured out as a couple.  Currently, I work full-time and DW works part-time so that she's home when DD gets home from school and in the summers.  I WFH, so I'm also available to help out with childcare (e.g. biking to the school to get my kiddo if she's sick), but normally (during work hours) it's my wife.  Personally, I'd love for her to not work at all, and just focus on family / house stuff, but that doesn't work for her (even though her income is pretty insignificant for us as a family) so that's not what we're doing.  It's a compromise.

Finances_With_Purpose

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Re: Feel burnt out from the corporate world
« Reply #16 on: March 27, 2023, 01:56:05 PM »
I'll jump in since we have some similar experiences, and DW works, has young kids, etc.

First, I agree fully with everything @Laura33 had to say - she's speaking wisdom.  Except for the one phrase about counseling never being a disaster - sometimes it is, especially at a first visit - but that just means that you may have landed a bad counselor (or you should express that it's stressing you so that he/she moves on for a bit), and that's something that's quick & easy to fix by finding another one (so really, @Laura33 and I are agreed on that as well). 

On counseling, you had a bad experience.  It happens.  You need a better counselor/experience.  Bad ones happen.  It's a little work up front finding the right person to be useful.  And yes, a good one is not cheap.  But it sometimes beats the alternative. 

But your bigger challenges are how to work out a solution within your marriage.  I would also recommend that you sit down with DH and find a balance that works for BOTH of you.  I'll give you the example of what we do with these big-picture, big-stress items (which are more common when you have young kids): I'll come up with various options, and we'll discuss.  We can have more house and more work, or less house and more time, or more house and more time, but more work (less commute), etc., etc.  We discuss them all and finally settle upon a plan that has tradeoffs that work for everyone's mental health. 

Sometimes we hit a point where something isn't working anymore, like a job or a house, and so then we sit down and figure out what to do about it.

It's no surprise that you're experiencing this with a recent kiddo added on - that's a huge, stressful life circumstance!  I'll add that I support DW a lot more during those seasons for that reason - it's too stressful on her otherwise - and then I have to work more in between the kids so that I can catch up on things like house maintenance/repairs/upkeep/work.   

We find that there are some extremes/options that we both don't want, then some options that we'd lean more towards in the middle, depending upon circumstances/personalities, and some that we would lean more towards if we had more information (e.g. about job options/etc.), so we explore that.  At the very least, we find out what we need to know/do to move things forward, and then we do that rather than wait for a collapse. 

At the end of the day, it's all about tradeoffs: you can have more house or more time, more money or more time, etc.  It's just a matter of figuring out what the real options are and picking the right combo of tradeoffs that you can both make work. 

And those balances change over time, as life changes.  It's not the same with one kid v. three kids v. four kids v. teenagers, etc.  And with different jobs.

It sounds like you have a lot on your plate and that the balance needs to shift in a way that prioritizes your sanity and welfare.  Stress is also bad for the body and personal health.  So you need to explore some new options. 

You both WFH, you say, so that gives you real options if you were to move.  Maybe you have too much house for your salaries/situation, or maybe you can find some better tradeoffs.  I mention the house because you mentioned that your mortgage is very high: that's something that you have control over, so maybe that's something that you can change in order to take all of the stress/pressure of working so much off of the two of you and give you more options (especially re: time/spending) other than paying a large mortgage. 

In fact, I'll add that that's one of our own largest concerns right now - getting a house that's too expensive out of a desire for more space/better proximity to work - and part of why we're putting up with a house that's frankly too small right now so that we don't end up in that position due to the stress, and instead, we manage things until we can afford more. 

I wish you the best at working through your situation.  It definitely sounds like a change is in order. 

joe189man

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Re: Feel burnt out from the corporate world
« Reply #17 on: March 27, 2023, 02:01:04 PM »
PTF
I think your situation of job burnout is common. Its not easy to have two working spouses and little kids, we were in similar shoes in our mid 30s. This fall we will have both in elementary school for the first time. I would say it doesn't get easier or harder as the kids age, the level of effort they require and attention changes and fluctuates daily. The challenges change. Time also goes incredibly fast, so keep that in mind. FWIW, we both kept working full time and just kept on going through the rolling brown outs as MetalCat would say, not sure i would recommend that.

the lorax

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Re: Feel burnt out from the corporate world
« Reply #18 on: March 27, 2023, 05:08:56 PM »
Is working in office one day a week a possibility? Could your husband cover childcare during your commute? Would provide more social connection for you. Breastfeeding and working is tough, especially if you're still have to do night feeds so that bit should get easier. Can your employer accommodate a 9 day fortnight or other flexible work pattern? I did that when my son was young and that worked well for us. Could you even reduce to a four day week and cut your hours - in many workplaces meetings don't happen so much on Fridays (although that can then mean that is when the actual work gets done!)

engineerjourney

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Re: Feel burnt out from the corporate world
« Reply #19 on: March 28, 2023, 11:52:49 AM »
My case study from a year ago might be worth a read for you, lots of similarities. 
https://forum.mrmoneymustache.com/case-studies/burnt-out-case-study-family-of-five-(long!)/

Fast forward to now and DH is still working full time but I've dropped down to part time (29hrs/wk max).  Best decision ever.  Highly recommend.  The difference in take home pay is not gigantic with the tax savings and we are still socking away a lot in 401k/IRAs/etc.  First step into Coast FIRE and love it. 

startingout

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Re: Feel burnt out from the corporate world
« Reply #20 on: March 28, 2023, 07:23:30 PM »
My case study from a year ago might be worth a read for you, lots of similarities. 
https://forum.mrmoneymustache.com/case-studies/burnt-out-case-study-family-of-five-(long!)/

Fast forward to now and DH is still working full time but I've dropped down to part time (29hrs/wk max).  Best decision ever.  Highly recommend.  The difference in take home pay is not gigantic with the tax savings and we are still socking away a lot in 401k/IRAs/etc.  First step into Coast FIRE and love it.

Thanks for the case study! It's very similar to us, down to your ages and the kids' ages. My husband wants a 3rd kid, and I really hope he'll change his mind because I'm already exhausted with 2. I'm afraid in a moment of weakness, I'll be hit with baby fever and give in.

@engineerjourney, did you go part-time at your current company, or did you switch roles? I would love to go part-time, but no one at my company does it so I don't know if it'll be received well even if management allows it for me.

Metalcat

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Re: Feel burnt out from the corporate world
« Reply #21 on: March 28, 2023, 07:40:13 PM »
My case study from a year ago might be worth a read for you, lots of similarities. 
https://forum.mrmoneymustache.com/case-studies/burnt-out-case-study-family-of-five-(long!)/

Fast forward to now and DH is still working full time but I've dropped down to part time (29hrs/wk max).  Best decision ever.  Highly recommend.  The difference in take home pay is not gigantic with the tax savings and we are still socking away a lot in 401k/IRAs/etc.  First step into Coast FIRE and love it.

Thanks for the case study! It's very similar to us, down to your ages and the kids' ages. My husband wants a 3rd kid, and I really hope he'll change his mind because I'm already exhausted with 2. I'm afraid in a moment of weakness, I'll be hit with baby fever and give in.

@engineerjourney, did you go part-time at your current company, or did you switch roles? I would love to go part-time, but no one at my company does it so I don't know if it'll be received well even if management allows it for me.

What would the consequence be of it "not being received well"??

Finances_With_Purpose

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Re: Feel burnt out from the corporate world
« Reply #22 on: March 28, 2023, 09:01:15 PM »
My case study from a year ago might be worth a read for you, lots of similarities. 
https://forum.mrmoneymustache.com/case-studies/burnt-out-case-study-family-of-five-(long!)/

Fast forward to now and DH is still working full time but I've dropped down to part time (29hrs/wk max).  Best decision ever.  Highly recommend.  The difference in take home pay is not gigantic with the tax savings and we are still socking away a lot in 401k/IRAs/etc.  First step into Coast FIRE and love it.

Thanks for the case study! It's very similar to us, down to your ages and the kids' ages. My husband wants a 3rd kid, and I really hope he'll change his mind because I'm already exhausted with 2. I'm afraid in a moment of weakness, I'll be hit with baby fever and give in.

@engineerjourney, did you go part-time at your current company, or did you switch roles? I would love to go part-time, but no one at my company does it so I don't know if it'll be received well even if management allows it for me.

What would the consequence be of it "not being received well"??

Seconded.  Do this if you're planning to leave anyway / have made that decision.  In that event, it no longer matters much (even less so if you've got another offer in hand).  They certainly won't take your departure any better. 

startingout

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Re: Feel burnt out from the corporate world
« Reply #23 on: March 29, 2023, 11:48:00 PM »
We crunched the numbers, and I can't afford to work part-time yet. Just our fixed expenses alone add up to more than either of our individual after-tax incomes. Meaning, mortgage, HOA, utilities, and childcare. Of course, if we stopped paying for the nanny, that would change the numbers. In the meantime, I picked up a new hobby that dims the stress from my days, and that has made everything feel better.

engineerjourney

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Re: Feel burnt out from the corporate world
« Reply #24 on: March 30, 2023, 06:00:24 AM »
My case study from a year ago might be worth a read for you, lots of similarities. 
https://forum.mrmoneymustache.com/case-studies/burnt-out-case-study-family-of-five-(long!)/

Fast forward to now and DH is still working full time but I've dropped down to part time (29hrs/wk max).  Best decision ever.  Highly recommend.  The difference in take home pay is not gigantic with the tax savings and we are still socking away a lot in 401k/IRAs/etc.  First step into Coast FIRE and love it.

Thanks for the case study! It's very similar to us, down to your ages and the kids' ages. My husband wants a 3rd kid, and I really hope he'll change his mind because I'm already exhausted with 2. I'm afraid in a moment of weakness, I'll be hit with baby fever and give in.

@engineerjourney, did you go part-time at your current company, or did you switch roles? I would love to go part-time, but no one at my company does it so I don't know if it'll be received well even if management allows it for me.

Ended up staying at my current company in the same role, passed on a couple duties but pretty much no change besides working less hours (which was good for me because I do like my work and the people I work with).  I was being recruited by other companies (people I had previously worked with) and they were willing to work with part time too so there are roles out there.

We crunched the numbers, and I can't afford to work part-time yet. Just our fixed expenses alone add up to more than either of our individual after-tax incomes. Meaning, mortgage, HOA, utilities, and childcare. Of course, if we stopped paying for the nanny, that would change the numbers. In the meantime, I picked up a new hobby that dims the stress from my days, and that has made everything feel better.

I'm not sure why needing more than one income means you can't go part time?  Unless we stopped saving entirely and dropped some extra spending we couldn't live off one after-tax income either... I ran the numbers on how much I needed to make to pay for daycare for our youngest and that was the minimum I shot for (wasnt too hard to get above).  Glad you found a new hobby though! Would love to hear what it is that helped so much!

startingout

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Re: Feel burnt out from the corporate world
« Reply #25 on: March 30, 2023, 11:12:23 AM »
Would love to hear what it is that helped so much!

It's crocheting stuffed animals. I bought a kit online from The Woobles, and now I do some crocheting every evening.