“Why can’t you take her?” This is what my husband asked me when I told him he would have both our younger daughter and our 7-year-old when he went out to do errands today.
“Because I can have a day off and I do not need to justify it”.
When we think of the term burn out it is often thought of as an extreme. Someone is at the end of their rope. That was not me today. I was nowhere near the end of my rope and if I needed to keep one or both of my kids today with me rather than them going on errands we would have had a blast.
It was not always this way though. One of the main reasons I held my space today was so that we could continue to have an incredible relationship with my kids and with my husband.
My burn out is real.
It happens all the time. I can speak from my experience both as a mother and as a therapist that mothers often carry the weight of the world on their shoulders. Especially when we are mom, wife, professional, and daughter. Sometimes we are a sister as well.
The wheel never ends it seems.
We end up being the caretaker for all and if we do not take care of ourselves then there will simply be no one to care for all those people you have in your life that you care for.
In 2015 I started taking a very proactive self-care approach. I set boundaries around events and activities so that I was not constantly running from practice to a birthday party and more. I scheduled half days off where I would be kidless and husbandless to reconnect with the amazing woman who is responsible for her own well being.
Some may call this selfish but we have all been there where we have snapped or got upset at someone we love. Then 5 or 10 minutes later as we sit sobbing in our own guilt we realize that if we were less stressed and stretched we could have handled it a whole lot better.
Or you see the way your child responds to stress and you realize you are looking into a mirror. That is eye-opening.
So today, I can just observe the parade of chaos that is walking past me and choose which events I want to respond to and allow the others to simply march on. Not my monkeys and not my circus. And tomorrow, I commit to doing the same thing and maybe I will even buy myself some popcorn to enjoy the parade.