Maybe I am feeling this burnout more right now because of the time of year, or maybe I just haven’t given myself the space to revive recently, but I am in major burnout mode. I work from home and have two boys. On the majority of days I work (including work with the kiddos and housework) from 7 am to 10/11pm. That is way longer hours and much more physically demanding job than I’ve ever had.
I hold the majority of the responsibilities in my family. My business is important to me, it helps me keep a piece of something outside the family and I am very passionate about it. I feel a sense of duty to my clients, I help them create wellness (through sleep) in their families. It is good stuff, really good stuff. But time off and weekends don’t really exist.
My business, my kids and my marriage are really important to me. I bet you have a list like this too, perhaps with some different items, but you have one. When you have kids, something triggers a change. This little human, this gift and blessing, becomes more important than anything in the world. Then, we put everything we have into them, their health and well-being. We lose a bit of ourselves and try to get it back – but it doesn’t look the same – so we re-define ourselves. In re-defining, perhaps we take on too much. Or perhaps “too much” is just motherhood. The “too much” can overwhelm us and can send us into burnout.
I think burnout looks different for all of us. For me: I space out. My once highly productive self starts to become less productive. This doesn’t serve me or anyone else around me. So, once I see this start to happen, I need to regroup. I must regroup! If I can’t take some time to slow down and time for just me at this point, I am no longer properly serving my family.
Does any of this sound familiar? Do you feel like burnout is imminent or, maybe you’re in the thick of it right now? Yes? Here’s a few things I’ve learned that helps pull me out of burnout.
Take Time For You
When I say this, I do not mean take time to focus on your business or your job. I mean focus on you! I know, I know – you are your family now. You are Mom and Wife and your job. BUT I mean you. Who were you before husband and kids? What did you like to do? Find a little time to do something that used to define you. Even if you can only find 30 minutes to do so once a week, do it. For me, it might mean a bath with a good book, a trip to the gym or some time in nature. What is that for you? Find it and do it.
Alone Bathroom Time
I am not kidding. Who would have ever known that using the bathroom or taking a shower could be a show. I try to make it a point to get that alone time daily. It doesn’t always happen, but I try. That time is supposed to be private and our little ones cannot jump into EVERY part of our lives, can they? Well, they can and will if we let them. Take it – even if it means getting up 15 minutes earlier.
Have a Date
Seriously, have a date with you and your significant other. I know some families who are successful in doing this weekly or monthly- I commend you! Way to go! You two created this family, so find time for just you two again. If you can’t go out on a date, have one at home or take the kids with you and make sure to make it an event that the kids will enjoy and you and hubby can step back and have some alone time. It can be very restorative.
My dear, please please get the sleep that you need. At a bare minimum, have your sleep within your control and that means ensuring that your kiddos are getting the sleep that they need. Sleep is important for a healthy family. Your kids need healthy sleep just as much as you do. It is vital for any family to thrive. It is vital for you to thrive as a mom. Both of my boys are in bed early and sleep without interruption til the morning. If we really wanted to go to bed early, I could go to bed at 8/9pm and sleep all the way through till 6:30/7 am. Ha! I never go to bed that early though ;). You can have this too!
I think it is so easy for us to go through the day, everyday without really thinking about breathing. Once in awhile, find to time to breathe. Maybe you can find a corner (or a closet 😉 ) and meditate for a few minutes. But if that is not possible try just breathing while doing what you are doing. The 4-7-8 Method from Dr. Andrew Weil has always worked well for me.
Create A Code Word
Sometimes you don’t know that you are on the verge of burnout – until you are already right there! Come up with a code word with your significant other to signify them when you need a break. I recently watched a video where mom and dad had a code phrase that she “needed to go to Walgreens.” We ALL need a break sometimes. Come up with a word to let your partner know that you need a break ASAP. Then take that break.
Taking time to take care of us as moms is just as important as taking care of our family and our jobs. ‘Cause if we are not well, we can’t serve our family well. Take care of you!
Remember… always apply the oxygen mask to yourself, before assisting those around you!