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I’ve written about it before, but it can be easy to get burnt out as a parent (or any adult living a busy life really). It happens to me every few months. I’m not just talking about when you feel tired after a long week of less sleep than you would like and a couple of mishaps. I’m talking about that feeling where you start to wonder if you’re insane and the burn out that you feel starts to impact on your relationships.
For me, it comes from looking after the Little Mister for very long hours, feeling guilty because we both haven’t had a break in a long time to just play (quality one on one time) and be peaceful/content in our own space. It comes from weeks/months of not looking after myself properly and somehow putting myself last. I don’t do it to be a martyr. I don’t do it on purpose. It just sneaks up on me. If my husband or the Little Mister need a doctor’s appointment or anything else that is good for their health/wellbeing, I will jump at it and make sure it happens. Me? Not so much. No time for that. I’m too busy giving away my time to my family.
This is a dumb idea, because I end up feeling drained and hating my job (being a stay at home mum/wife). Now, I ordinarily love my job. I love being at home. I love the Little Mister to pieces. I do love trying to do those nice extra little things for Mr Unprepared to make him feel loved and appreciated. It’s only when burn out approaches that I feel resentful and easily irritated – a sign that it’s time to look out for me.
This past few weeks has been full on. We’ve made lots of big decisions. We’ve hosted or been to several parties/social/family events (which can often mean the Little Mister skips his naps – eek). Our cars have needed work done on them (which means a lot of money, time and running around). We’ve been working on our house/yard (or getting quotes from tradies etc). We just bought a camper van (off a loan we applied for). We’re planning a rather significant overseas trip next year which is going to be fun to somehow find the moolah for (I’m sure you’ll hear all about it in due time). Mr Unprepared has worked longer hours, which means I have done the same at home unassisted. And…I’ve got to out my husband as a bit of a stress head (he’s addicted to always finding a new project aka something new to worry about), which then further fries my own brain. Sorry, husband. It’s true. Knowing your partner is stressed can often be the most stressful thing of all.
None of the above is exactly earth shattering stuff. It’s not a hard life by any means. We’re very blessed. Lots of exciting things are coming our way. It’s just tiring. And while that’s OK for a while, eventually it becomes hard to keep up with. It can take months, but eventually we need to stop (or pause) and take a breather – even if it’s just mentally.
We need to be able to focus on the positives (and there are a lot). We should be enjoying ourselves. Not worrying about whether it can all happen, whether we can afford it or just freaking out for the hell of it. As long as we’re rational and take things step by step, things will work out. Why stress? It won’t change anything. We need to conserve that energy!!
I’ve decided I’m on strike. I’m not making big decisions, bringing new ‘issues’ or ‘projects’ into the mix or making appointments for anybody else (unless it’s an emergency) until I have two things: a doctor’s appointment and a hair appointment this side of Christmas.
Yeah, totally outrageous. Don’t get too crazy, Kez.
I told my husband and he took it rather well (perhaps he’s still in shock). I also claimed that I am his union rep (he signed up for membership when he married me haha) and I am ordering him to take industrial action too. No silly over time at work (voluntarily getting up at 2:30am because he feels pressure to provide more than we need). No finding new (unnecessary) things to stress about. No squeezing of new and complicated (but not urgent) tasks into days that are already too short.
After all, we can’t BOTH be burnt out. We need to look after ourselves so we can look after each other. Not to mention the Little
Monster Mister needs the best of us.
Enough of the zombie eyes and the inability to just talk sh*t and laugh. Our lives aren’t hard enough to justify that.
This week, I am determined to be selfish. Not uncaring. Just remembering that I’m important too. I’ll start with a couple of appointments booked, a dinner with the girls and I’ll work upwards from there.
What will YOU do for yourself today/this week/this life?