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Tips for Surviving Mother Burnout

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  • Tips for Surviving Mother Burnout

    I can always tell myself what needs to be done when I am feeling, overtouched, overwhelmed and frazzled, but not very good at doing those things for myself.



    I guess I am just looking for some gentle reminders of ways to meet my needs and still meet my children's intense needs.

  • #2
    Wow Marianne, you and I have a LOT in common. API Leader, LLLI Leader and 4 attached kids. Meeting our needs is challenging. I count baby steps as successes. Often I feel as though there simply is not enough to go around. Then when I work to shift my perspective I find I have to be really creative. Not easy when one is tired often. Humor and good connection with like-minded families goes a really long way for me.
    best,
    Nancy

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    • #3
      Nancy,

      Thank you for your kind words, it is always reassuring hearing from other like-minded families that are "in the trenches" with you.

      I think the hardest thing for me is I am always on.... just when I have finished helping one, another one needs me.... And it seems to be a pretty intense month for all of them- ages 1, 3, 6 and 8. And life marches on......

      Thanks for reaching out! Yes, humor does help get me through too!

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      • #4
        well, i only have 2, but sometimes experience the burnout. for me, i have found that if i have some small, side project, that's completely unrelated to parenting, spouse, etc., that i feel better. even if i don't get to it, knowing that i have something for me makes me feel better. sometimes it's a book, an artwork, room re-decorating, etc., it really helps me.

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        • #5
          I like that idea, it seems I have several side-projects but they are all related back to parenting, family, etc.

          Thanks!

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          • #6
            I, too, only have two and now that they are older I'm finding that I have a bit of breathing room, so-to-speak. So I think part of it will likely come in time but of course, you can't just sail on through the next few years without stepping back and doing a little something for yourself.

            This may sound so trivial but a few weeks ago I read a book. This was a fiction book and was the last in a series that I'd been reading for ten years. I read it over the course of a weekend and had to stay up far later than I should have but when I finished I felt refreshed. Part of it may have been that a ten year long story came to an end but I think it felt good to also do something that was just for me. I don't mean that in a selfish sense, but this wasn't a parenting book, a textbook, or a book on autism - this was just a fluff book!

            Hugs to you momma - burnout can be tiresome but like you mentioned you're always on so it is hard to find (or make) time to do something to counter the burned out feeling.

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            • #7
              My LOs are 3, 2 & 7 weeks. I nurse both younger ones. I get very touched out. I only have very small breaks. For instance, we have a new rule in our house that when daddy is home, mommy goes to the bathroom by herself & pounding at the door is not allowed. This has really helped. I keep a book or something to read in the bathroom & a "quick pee" turns into 10 mintes later....

              Or when cooking dinner w/o holding baby & watching LOs (rare occassion), I turn my country music station on so I can't hear anything/anyone as DH plays w/ them in another room.

              Sorry not much but it does help.

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              • #8
                Originally posted by blessedmama View Post
                For instance, we have a new rule in our house that when daddy is home, mommy goes to the bathroom by herself & pounding at the door is not allowed.
                did you ever in your life, before kids, think that peeing alone would be SUCH a luxury?

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                • #9
                  I think the beauty in these responses for me is we are all in it together.

                  Thank you for sharing and reminding me of the humorous side.

                  When you mentioned the luxury of peeing alone I had to laugh- in my bathroom its usually a nursling standing next to me in some Ringling Bros pose latched on against all odds and the toddler (the Informant) running back and forth from the bathroom to the living room telling on his older brother and sister!

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                  • #10
                    go outside- turn your face to the sun- and breathe-really breathe and be in the moment..does the trick for me everytime....
                    your kids can come outside too or all of you lay in the grass and look up at the clouds and just breathe and "be"..ask for silence while cloud gazing and ask them to listen to the world....

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                    • #11
                      Originally posted by harmonicker View Post
                      go outside- turn your face to the sun- and breathe-really breathe and be in the moment..does the trick for me everytime....
                      your kids can come outside too or all of you lay in the grass and look up at the clouds and just breathe and "be"..ask for silence while cloud gazing and ask them to listen to the world....
                      Oh - that just sounds beautiful!

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                      • #12
                        Originally posted by harmonicker View Post
                        go outside- turn your face to the sun- and breathe-really breathe and be in the moment..does the trick for me everytime....
                        your kids can come outside too or all of you lay in the grass and look up at the clouds and just breathe and "be"..ask for silence while cloud gazing and ask them to listen to the world....
                        thanks, traci,
                        i am soooooo going to do this today. i am the worst at remembering to breathe, i think that's where ds1 gets it

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                        • #13
                          Harmonicker,

                          Thank you for offering one of the most simple and yet deeply renewing tips.

                          I did this today with my younger children as snow was falling down all around us in April in WA, and I just felt the frustration melt away. My children were smiling and so was I, eating snowflakes! Thank you my new friend for the reminder.

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                          • #14

                            I am so happy all of you got something out of my post..
                            I need the same reminders myself and I am always so grateful for those "oh yes!" moments....

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                            • #15
                              For me, avoiding burnout is something I need to pay attention to by making sure I get to feed my body and soul on a regular basis.
                              As we are all different, my experience is that we all have different places, people and activities that fill up our batteries, the challenge is to find the ones that work for you.
                              I'll mention the ones that do it for me!
                              - pilates
                              - yoga
                              - making myself an espresso (or 3 )
                              - a phone call to a friend
                              - regular play dates with like minded families
                              - subscribing to Mothering - a source of excellent articles!
                              - a hot bath
                              - an important one: when the kids are sleeping is not the time to always clean or cook or doing the dishes. do something refreshing instead! The dishes can wait!
                              - plan ahead: If we have friends coming over, I try to be upfront by preparing lots of fruits and lunch before they come, so that I don't have to be such a busy hostess when they are here. Trying to cut water melon while I hold the baby and answer questions from my 3 year old, while trying to keep a conversation going with my guests really kills me!
                              - making the most of the rare times when my 3 year old entertains herself. If she is "reading" a book happily - I hurry to make yet another espresso!
                              (again - instead of cleaning the laundry)
                              - making sure I refill my knowledge: subscribing to newsletters from Naomi Aldort and others I find inspiring, getting hold of new books and articles from time to time
                              - being specific about how dh can help me out. He is not a mind reader, unfortunately
                              - making sure I get to meet my favourite AP friends on a regular basis, even though we live in different cities. We call the afternoons that we spend together for retreats. If we are really lucky, the kids will play nicely together, which means that we get to chat a lot. But just being together with parents who treat their children in a gentle manner, gives me new energy
                              - making sure dh doesnt work more than he has to to pay the bills. The more time he spends at home with us, the better we all feel!

                              And the best one for me is stopping for a moment when I feel overwhelmed, taking a deep breath and thinking about the wise words: "this too shall pass!" It helps so much!

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