Dealing with burn-out - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 12 Old 02-20-2009, 10:56 PM - Thread Starter
 
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How do you cope with the burn-out? I wrote a long, involved post, but the bottom line is I'm totally drained - academically, physically, emotionally, financially.

I hear other women talk about how they went away with their girlfriends for the weekend, or took up a hobby, or hell - cooked dinner - while their husbands did something with the kids, and it just gets me fantasizing.

I should add that in terms of parenting support, things were roughly the same before X moved out. Financially, things were more volatile. So, it's not just that I'm now officially single - it's been like this for years, in many ways.

I suppose it will get easier - the kids are now 2 & 4, which are still needy ages. It doesn't help that they have had one cold after another for what seems like months, either.

But really, how do you pep yourself up? (I'm not a big fan of manicures, which seems to be the default suggestion for a stressed woman)
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#2 of 12 Old 02-20-2009, 11:54 PM
 
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I am so with you. Five kids under the age of 10 and i'm pregnant. No shared custody, no financial support. I'm also taking a full load of classes. My younger two are 2 and 3 and another will be here in four months. When the kids are in bed i take a bath and read a book. When the older three are in school i take the younger two to hang out with other women with kids. The kids play and i get adult conversation. Our local gym has daycare so i drop the kids off and get my endorphins going! I haven't had a moment without a child in a long time so i do what i can. I use a lot of Rescue Remedy and take fish oils and exercise. I'm typically more antisocial with pregnancy but if i don't do any playgroups with other adults i really start to go nuts. I just keep putting one foot in front of the other. I hope that helps you a bit.
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#3 of 12 Old 02-21-2009, 12:18 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Originally Posted by Avani View Post
I am so with you. Five kids under the age of 10 and i'm pregnant. No shared custody, no financial support. I'm also taking a full load of classes. My younger two are 2 and 3 and another will be here in four months. When the kids are in bed i take a bath and read a book. When the older three are in school i take the younger two to hang out with other women with kids. The kids play and i get adult conversation. Our local gym has daycare so i drop the kids off and get my endorphins going! I haven't had a moment without a child in a long time so i do what i can. I use a lot of Rescue Remedy and take fish oils and exercise. I'm typically more antisocial with pregnancy but if i don't do any playgroups with other adults i really start to go nuts. I just keep putting one foot in front of the other. I hope that helps you a bit.
Oh Avani, I'm now pulling the blanket up over my head. You've got 5 kids under 10 and I'm whining?!

But yes, one foot in front of another. You hit the nail on the head. I'm hoping that two recent positive turns of events - X signing the separation agreement and getting accepted into the program I wanted to go to will perk me up soon.
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#4 of 12 Old 02-21-2009, 04:11 AM
 
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ok i have one so i can't compare but what i try to do is have me time after dd goes to bed. whether its watching tv, reading a book or just vegging, it helps me re-set.
i also go out to lunch one a week with coworkers so i get a little break and treat myself. when i dont have dd i try to connect with friends, treat myself to a nice dinner or dessert.
i know i have to take care myself because i wont be able to take care of dd. i burned out few times so i learned the hard way to take a break...

try to take time out for yourself. take a nice bath, go for a walk, watch a fav show, veg. you have to take care of yourself!

single mama to DD 5.09
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#5 of 12 Old 02-21-2009, 05:41 PM
 
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Subbing for ideas.

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#6 of 12 Old 02-21-2009, 06:20 PM
 
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I cry. Honestly. My two are six and fourteen months, and my toddler has some special needs - she's a real little hellion. I love her to bits, but she's still up about three times a night... screaming. Argh.

As far as being burntout, I'm so close to the edge right now, I'm glad things are moving forward in this separation, because at least I have a countdown to keep me occupied.

In May I'm supposed to start work f/t. Right now I'm working f/t and going to school (last semester of my nursing program) so I'm glad that in a few months I won't have book work to worry about.

As far as destressing, lately I've been stuffing my face into oblivion. This works because a) I don't have to leave the house and b) it's good for any stressed moment during the day.

Obviously we all see the downside to that, so I started knitting again. That gives me some satisfaction, and it's something I do just for me. Some days it's impossible because my youngest is all.over.me.every.waking.moment.

None of this is easy, eh?

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#7 of 12 Old 02-21-2009, 07:08 PM
 
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sometimes, I do what I want to do, what needs to be done can wait for tomorrow. That freedom gives me an incredible amount of happiness.
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#8 of 12 Old 02-22-2009, 05:31 PM
 
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What really helps me keep burn-out at bay is ds' consistent early bedtime (8pm). From 8pm on, I do nothing except watch TV, read, knit, etc. It is my re-charge time.

Additionally, I try to make sure I give myself some 'me' time before I reach my burn-out level but sometimes I overestimate my endurance level or I wil just have a lot going on and get too busy and preoccupied.

So, when I do reach burn-out, I will try call in a babysitter, neighbor, colleague, etc to stay with ds for a couple of hours, so I can just be alone (go to the bookstore, sit on the beach, etc.).

If I cannot find someone, I curl up on the couch with ds, put in a "long movie" and just sleep while he watches his movie.

Sometimes, I just pile him in the car, give him my iPod to listen to his books on tape and drive for awhile.

And, I have also been known to take him to the gym childcare center (which he loves, as they have a giant bouncer) and just lounge on the couch in the locker room reading a book for 2 hours.

It is hard.
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#9 of 12 Old 02-25-2009, 10:25 AM
 
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Hi - I'm a single mom who hasn't been on mdc too much, but I am this morning! I've just come off a supreme burn out year (ie worse than the 3 before that!), where I ended up staying with my parents for several months just to work less and recover a bit. That had a lot of downsides because they are very controlling etc, but I really needed that.

I'm still rebuilding myself and I totally empathize with being burned out on all levels!

One thing that I find absolutely essential these days is making a smoothie with a ton of things in it:
- yogurt, banana, frozen blueberries
- whey protein powder
- opened multivitamin and cal-mag-d capsules
- fish oil
- spirulina
- tiny bit of trace minerals
- chia seeds

After drinking this, I feel solid and like I can stay awake all day.

Being so stretched, and feeling you have to keep going even when you don't feel you can...that's trauma. So I also try and pay attention and do things that help me deal with the emotional trauma of that. I do energy healing so I use that, also breath and sound work.

Amy
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#10 of 12 Old 02-25-2009, 12:21 PM
 
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What helped me the most was connecting with other moms. What helped me through the most difficult times was talking to friends on the phone, driving in the car so both kids would sleep, then grabbing a rest, a coffee, a magazine or book and just sitting for awhile and re-charging. I'd take them to lunch somewhere as a 'treat' for all of us. And, like others said, I'd have them in bed early so I could have an hour or two to myself before I fell asleep.

My kids are older now and so much easier. It does get easier. I promise.
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#11 of 12 Old 02-25-2009, 12:51 PM
 
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I take my kids to the Y and let them go hog wild at kid's gym. I would love to say I work out(because I truly enjoy it) but putting the baby in the daycare stresses me out because she gets very anxious and cries. But taking them to the kid's gym and climb all over the equipment and enjoy other children is fun for all of them. And everyone is in bed by 8pm so that's helpful. I have 3 hours before the baby wakes for the first time that I can knit, watch tv, read, get on the computer, etc. And it's JUST for me! It helps a LOT. I get really cranky when I don't get that time. I try to leave the house on the 2 nights a week their dad comes over but that's not always easy with a 1 year old with separation anxiety(it usually stresses me out MORE to leave her crying with him) so I tend to stay home. But it does help a LITTLE that there's another adult there(regardless of how useless he is).

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#12 of 12 Old 02-25-2009, 03:50 PM
 
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I feel you. My son's been sick for the past week and I am completely and totally exhausted and burnt-out. No sleep, no food, no nothing for me. I'm so behind in schoolwork it's insane. I do have some wonderful friends who have said they will watch him while I recharge but I am waiting until he feels 100% better. Do you have anyone who could watch your 'lil ones while you just do whatever makes you feel good... even if it's just a nap
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