To The Mom That’s Verging a Burnout:
I see you. I know what you’re feeling. I know that you think you’re totally over this parenting gig and you want to run away and start a new life. I see you breaking down in the shower because it’s the only place you can get away to cry for a minute. I hear your plea for help through vent sessions and I know you feel like you’ve accomplished nothing on a personal level. I can see it in your eyes that you’re on the brink of your burnout and all you’re looking for is a minute to breathe. And, you can.
This Mama gig is tough, eh? I mean, we have days when we’re on top of our game and feeding our kiddos the organic, well-rounded meals and then there are the days when we’re literally throwing Cheetos and powdered donuts at them for dinner and calling it a day. Some days, those drives to the dance studios and/or hockey arenas are totally therapeutic and we treat ourselves to a steaming cup of coffee while we sit there and watch our kids do their thing and on the other days, we throw them out of the car as fast as humanly possible and savour every quiet second. The bottom line is; our job never ends as a Mama and if we don’t take that minute to fill OUR cup, the burnout is inevitable.
I face the burnout often. Like, to the point that my mind goes blank and I can’t even form my next thought because it is so incredibly overstimulated. I absolutely cannot stand making a decision sometimes and dinner? Nope. Don’t ask me. Go lick the crumbs off the floor and figure it out when I’m in this mode. Realistically speaking, I am a solo parent and am the only parent 24/7/365. My brain legitimately feels like I constantly have 500 tabs open at the same time and if I’m being honest, I’m feeling the burnout as I type this. It’s currently a Friday night and I’m working all weekend. I’ve taken on a number of jobs because like I said, I’m the only parent to these kids and I need to foot the bills. It’s a lot and I’m feeling overwhelmed as can be and I know I have to start doing a better job of taking care of me so I beat this stupid meltdown that is sure to hit in the next few days. I’m tired. And I’m talking that real, REAL tired feeling that coffee doesn’t help in the slightest. Like, I’m nauseated and can sense that migraine coming on. I’m overthinking and breaking my cardinal rule of taking things one day at a time (and sometimes even one minute at a time) I’m obsessing over the extra curriculars that the kids are starting up next week and mentally trying to figure out how I can get everything done that I need to get done in between work this weekend. And in this moment, I feel like everything is impossible because I’m in that mindset of despair. I’m drained. But, it is absolutely a different type of tired as this is the exhaustion that makes your mind literally shut off and even the simplest task becomes extremely daunting and difficult to execute. The thought of climbing a flight of stairs to go to your bed from the couch seems like Mount Everest and I know that I’ve seriously considered just sleeping on the kitchen floor to avoid any extra exertion. It is wild to be THAT tired. But, the worst part is the mental let down. When you feel like you aren’t doing enough or can’t be enough, it takes a huge toll on your well-being and this is where we need to be aware of our thought processes and mindfully take the time to take care of ourselves.
Oxygen mask, mama.
And as the Mom with literally no extra time, this can be hard to do. I like to get up earlier than my kids so I can clear my brain and take that time in the morning to do things for ME, but when you’re burnt out, that snooze button can mean the world. We’re all human and we can love being a Mom but also honour that we need time for ourselves to remember who we are. We all have passions and things that ‘fill our cups’ and when we let these things go, we lose a bit of ourselves. Whether this means getting your nails done, going to bed early after a Netflix binge or even grocery shopping alone, we need to make sure we’re doing things that make us feel good because the burnout SUCKS.
As a solo parent of 5 kids, let me tell you something: I know how you feel. I cried watching The Simpsons the other day because I felt so bad for Marge because she had to do everything. I cried because I felt alone. I cried because I just wanted to cry. But I picked my socks up and tried to figure out how to do something for myself before I LOST myself in that Pandora’s Box. Are we all going to hit this rock bottom from time-to-time? Absolutely. And I’m making it my mission to watch my fellow Mama’s and take notice to when they’re hitting their limit, because that’s when I can jump in and we can all help one another. The Mom Burnout sucks because it messes with our brains and makes us actually think that we aren’t capable- but it’s a load of crock and it WILL get better.
I see you, Mama. It’s an exhaustion like no other, and I validate you.
I have your back.