Apparently, parental burn-out is a thing.
And let me tell you, I HAVE HAD IT. How do you know you’ve had it or are in it? Well…
You find yourself swearing more (even if just in your head), and this isn’t your normal self.
You lack motivation, in pretty much everything.
You really, really, really care about mothering, but still just can’t.
You feel like you’ve given up. IT’S ALL TOO MUCH.
You LOVE your kids cuddles, but don’t want to be touched. BY ANYONE.
You want a vacation away BY YOURSELF for a whole week. ALONE. Did I mention alone? Doesn’t matter if you’re an extrovert. ALONE.
You have the “don’t give a what’s”
T.V. feels like a saving grace and even though you don’t want them on a screen, you don’t a give a what.
You know this is a mental game and you have the Holy Spirit and you know your parenting matters, but…you don’t give a what. IN THIS MOMENT, you don’t. You can’t. Because you are done.
The white flag has been raised.
Desperate texts have been sent.
YOU ARE DONE.
You don’t even know what that means exactly, you just know you are.
We’re going to go ahead and have a safe space right here right now because THIS IS REAL AND TRUE AND NOT WHAT YOU WANT. We must bring this mother burn-out to the light if we want to get better.
Me at the end of the summer, feelin’ IT
Real Answers, Real Help
Bring the Truth to the Light
We must be being willing to be honest about the FACT that mother burn-out is real. It’s real and normal and it kind of makes you crazy. Except that you’re not crazy because it’s ACTUALLY NORMAL TO EXPERIENCE THIS. Everyone understands getting burned out with a job or a test or a paper due or project deadline, but seem to forget that motherhood is ongoing and demanding and exhausting and WONDERFUL and beautiful and painful and ALL THE TIME. Therefore, it’s so NORMAL to get burned out by the constant-ness of it. But if we’re going to come out of it and keep on, we need to bring the truth to the light.
“…everything exposed by the light becomes visible—and everything that is illuminated becomes a light. This is why it is said:
“Wake up, sleeper,
rise from the dead,
and Christ will shine on you.”
If you are burned out, done, dying, feeling crazy or alone or ALL OF THE ABOVE, admit it. It’s okay. It doesn’t make you a bad mom, it just makes you honest. And when you’re honest, you can get better. It all starts with the truth.
Know the Difference Between Guilt and Shame
I read a fantastic article on showing children the difference between shame-parenting and guilt-exposure, but I think some of us could use the lesson for ourselves.
“Guilt’s message is, “I did something bad,” and needs justification and forgiveness. Shame’s message is, “I am bad,” and needs an identity shift and relational connection. Sin leaves both in its wake, and shame is what lingers even after forgiveness has been sought and granted. Shame feels like it’s welded onto you, but guilt feels like something outside of you.” -Heather Davis Nelson, 10 Things You Should Know About Shame
Push off condemnation and accusation and be gentle with yourself. Really, be gentle with yourself. Your heart will accuse you, the voices in your head from over the years will accuse you, and the enemy will accuse you. But God is greater than your heart, the voices of condemnation, and the enemy. He doesn’t shame us, He teaches us, guides us, allows us to feel pain, and leads us as we mother. If you are feeling overwhelmed with feelings of failure, go to His throne of grace where He will give you mercy and help if you ask.
“…let us draw near with confidence to the throne of grace, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help in time of need.” Hebrews 4:16
Know Your Needs
When I was feeling crazy at the end of the summer my husband asked me, “What do you need?” Well, I said, a maid and a weekend away by myself at a hotel.