Being a Girl · Family · Homemaking · Just For Fun · Survival Mode

Mommy Burnout and Self Care: A Day In The Life

The thought of even getting out of bed tomorrow is depressing, ” I told my husband as he turned off the light for the night.

Getting up and doing all the things, all over again seemed like Just. Too. Much.

Like Groundhog Day (except without Bill Murray to make me laugh).

The idea of fighting one more food battle, administering one more medicine, worrying about one more reading lesson, making one more phone call to the doctor…it all felt heavy. Really, really heavy. Too heavy to carry.

My husband was sweet. He was encouraging. I was grateful.

But I still didn’t want to get up in the morning.

I was completely done.

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Mommy Burnout anyone?

How many times have we heard about putting our oxygen mask on first before assisting our children? How many times have we nodded our head in agreement? How many times have we actually done it?

Self care is not something I do well. I feel guilty. I feel wasteful. I feel unproductive. I feel sad that I am apparently human, and can’t do it all for everyone all the time.

Honestly, the idea of self care makes me feel weak – and Momma got no time for weak.

Except that Momma also has no time for crushing depression, dragging through the days, crying in the bathroom, and zoning out on Facebook when her husband gets home to escape her very real reality either. (Side note: Even that makes me feel bad. At least my husband comes home and I have the chance to check out. I think of all the single moms who do exactly what I do and more – and I need a break? What about them?)

I woke the next morning, still dreading the day, but feeling a little more free to just do what I needed to do to make it through. I decided to eliminate anything not absolutely necessary, and try to do a few things that would make me smile – my own, real life version of a mommy self care day (at home, with my children…not the best circumstances for self care, but you know – beggars, choosers, whatevs).

My day self care day was a whole lot of not doing things.

I did not sweep the floor, even though it was gross and needed it.

I did not care about the suspicious puddle, behind the toilet in the boys’ bathroom.

I did not call a single doctor on the to-do list.

You know what I did do?

Drank as many cups of coffee as I wanted (three it turns out is my max before the shakes set in).

Read Psalm 25 in my Bible (my favorite and a reminder that “All the Paths of the Lord are steadfast love and faithfulness” – even this path…our life is not an exception to the rule).

Bought these gorgeous markers that had been sitting in my amazon cart, since seeing them on Kara’s blog.

I have office supply issues.
I have office supply issues.

Took a walk with my little guy and the dog.

Made two lunches, one just for me to enjoy without worrying if anyone else would eat it.

Meals have become very, very stressful here. I had grown to have nothing but disdain for lunchtime. Something had to change. This helped!
Meals have become very, very stressful here. I am starting to dread every single meal. But this helped!

Let the boys play video games, while I snuck away and watched Netflix in my room on the iPad.

Ordered pizza for dinner, and I opened a good bottle of wine for my husband and I to enjoy with it.

I still did the basics (well, if you don’t count cleaning up the bathroom as a basic). I took care of my children’s needs, including the food battles, the meds and the reading. But that’s it. Every other thing in my make it up as I go mommy self-care day, was just about me trying to feel a little bit lighter, a little bit more capable, and a little bit more like myself.

You know what? It worked.

I went to bed feeling like we were all going to make it, despite the crazy.

I woke up the next morning and swept the floor. No big deal. The bathroom got cleaned, the doctors were called – it all got done.

Nothing fell apart because I relaxed and took care of myself.

Next time I feel that dread, that sense of drowning in my own life, I hope I remember.

We all need a break.

Even mommas…

maybe especially mommas.


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12 thoughts on “Mommy Burnout and Self Care: A Day In The Life

  1. I so needed to hear this tonight. Today had been a day of total mommy burnout for me. Fighting kids, argumentative kids, and constant chaos was the order of my day. At one point, I just had to escape to my room for solitude. When I came out of my room, my perspective was better, and I put everyone busy to keep them out of trouble!

    1. Right there with you, Patty. Sometimes escaping to our room is the best we can do!
      Thank you so much for sharing.
      Love,
      Shawna

  2. I forget that you have office supply issues! I really wish you lived here so I could give you a real mommy day off! I love you, BFF…

  3. I remember when my premature triplets (!) came home from the hospital. I ate, slept and lived those babies. Even with the massive blessing of a night nurse so I got some sleep, everything else was just BABIES. Trying to carve out “me time” was next to impossible. I look back now at that time and wonder how in the world I did it. And am so very grateful I’m not there anymore! πŸ™‚

    1. Buy them! You will never look back (although you will find yourself color coding things that never really needed to be just because…markers!).
      I hope y’all are starting to feel a bit better. Either way, a mommmy day might be just what you need to get back on track. πŸ™‚
      Love,
      Shawna

  4. Well done, Mom! This is a great example of how self-care doesn’t need to be complicated, just kind to yourself. Thank you for sharing it! πŸ™‚

  5. I love this. Love how God humbles us and makes us recognize our weakness and that Mom does not live by coffee alone, but by his word (slight paraphrase). How when we cannot do what we think we should be doing, our family/the world does not actually fall apart.

    I still feel some guilt about the amount of self-care I need/take (hence, I love your blog). But w/o it, things would be worse for all of us. Also, it’s an important part of kids’ education in Life to see their parents taking care of themselves. (In case we need a justification other than it’s for our own good!)

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