When my older two children were little I worked full time. However, they went to their dad's house part of the time so I got intermittent breaks to refresh myself and take a break.
Fast forward to my younger two children and I am a full time stay at home homeschool mom. Talk about a different life completely. I love my girls and I cherish all of our time together, but there are days that I am just burnt out on mothering. Although my blog is titled Embracing Everyday Motherhood, it doesn't mean that I always do.
Maybe you've felt this too. The feeling that you are staggering through life, trying to make it till bedtime. Thinking "yay I get to do this all over again tomorrow." You feel like you are living the same day over and over again. You're getting everything checked off of your list but you never feel accomplished or even refreshed.
I've discovered that there are some things I can do when I am feeling this burnout sensation.
The first thing I've had to learn was to relax. When I say relax I'm sure you're envisioning sitting down and drinking a cup of coffee, which is always a goal of mine, but that's not what I mean. I had to learn to stop trying to be in control of everything. I had to take a step back and evaluate what was truly important to me. It doesn't mean I let my house go, but it does mean that I will choose playing with legos or reading a book with my girls over doing dishes. Throughout the years I've learned to relax my nature to control things. It has actually helped me to be happier and not feel burnout and overwhelmed.
Although for the most part I do at least have a mom bun and my kids clothes are cleanish when we leave the house, I have learned to expect there to be bad days. Days that I may yell more than I want, days that the kids are uncooperative, days that I feel like I'm going to loose my mind if I have to repeat myself again. But knowing that tomorrow is another day helps me to put things into perspective. Not everyday is going to be great and that's ok.
Something I never had to do when my boys were little was make time for myself. I took for granted my weekly breaks. Now as a full time stay at home mom I have learned that I must set aside time for myself. I have learned that I need to be intentional to put "me time" on my calendar. I really don't even make a plan, I base it on how I'm feeling that day. This has helped me on more than one occasion to shake the burnout I may be feeling.
My final thing that I try to institute is taking breaks from the routine. Yes I know I preach about routines all of the time but sometimes routines can become stale and well, routine. Some days we have a pj day and literally eat ice cream for breakfast and watch movies all day. Or we might head out to a theme park or the beach for the day. This break in our daily rhythm brings the little bit of reprieve that we all need to help take the edge off of the burn out for all of us.
Mom burn out is a real thing. It can steal your joy and make you forget why you wanted to have children to begin with.
The truest secret that I have found to avoiding mom burnout is
This isn't the kind of rest where you go to sleep earlier or sleep in later, it's actually the kind of rest where you take a step back from everything and rest in Jesus.
“Are you tired? Worn out? Burned out on religion? Come to me. Get away with me and you’ll recover your life. I’ll show you how to take a real rest. Walk with me and work with me—watch how I do it. Learn the unforced rhythms of grace.I won’t lay anything heavy or ill-fitting on you. Keep company with me and you’ll learn to live freely and lightly.”
In this verse Jesus offers a real rest, he offers to help us recover our life, he offers to teach us to live freely and lightly. I don't know about you but sign me up!
We can rest in Jesus daily through prayer and reading the Bible. Even the smallest amount of time doing these things will refresh our spirit and give us the rest that we so desire.
Day in and day out we strive to accomplish our tasks on our own. But if we turn to Jesus and give our tasks to him, he will give us the rest (peace of mind) we need to accomplish them.
I pray that if you are experiencing burnout, you are able to turn to the one that truly will give you rest.