Are you losing your motivation? Does it feel like you’re banging your head against the wall? I get that feeling occasionally, it’s like I lack the desire to get up and actually show up to be the person I want to be. If I only feel that way once in awhile, then it’s not a huge deal, but once I see a pattern, a habit forming, of not wanting to do anything day after day, then I have to admit…. I’m burned out! So the question lies, “How do I conquer burn out?”
Staying Home and Burning Out
As a stay at home mother it’s easy to get burned out doing the same things over and over. While our kids are young I’ve become completely mindless changing diapers, nursing a baby, calming the civil war going on in the other room, and so on, and so on. The stress and amount of overwhelming situations pile on. Sometimes I know what I should be doing at a particular moment but I’m just not “feeling” it, so I sit down in the Easy Chair instead.
I’m easily burned out on making breakfast, lunch, and dinner. I’m tired of the stress of convincing my kids they need a nap. Sometimes I no longer want to worry about what my husband wants when he walks in the door after a long day at work. My “burn out” list can get long! Working hard to keep my home and family running efficiently wears on me. One day I have an amazingly productive day, only to wake up the next morning feeling like everything is worse off than it was before!
Emotions Coming From burnout:
“Here We Go Again!”
Have you ever had that feeling towards your spouse? Have you ever mumbled that phrase to yourself when your husband or wife walks in the door and you can tell they’re in a bad mood… again? You’re not alone. There’s been too many times when our day (the kids’ and my day) has been completely disrupted by the front door opening and my husband walking in. I can see in his posture, in his reaction to the kids, and so forth, that we’re going to have a rough evening. And in my mind I’ll say, “Here we go again!”
Quiet down that negative talk, that’s the devil whispering in your ear. Change your perspective a bit and realize you and your kids are not the reason your spouse is acting the way he is. So now we have Mom burned out and Dad burned out. Can we all feel sorry for the kids a little?
It’s Okay to Be Depleted at the End of the Day
My purpose for painting the picture of a frustrated and depleted father walking into a house full of kids is because it’s natural. It’s completely and utterly natural. Working parents often live two lives and leaving a hard day of working on your career to go home to a hard night of parenting is not easy. It’s okay to take a moment for yourself in your car before heading to your front door. It’s perfectly fine to not have enough energy to be the awesome parent or spouse you had planned on being.
The only people I know who can kick it at work and then come home and have ample energy at home doing cartwheels and cheerleading roles are probably on drugs (I mean I don’t know, I’ve only seen drugs in the movie, but it reminds me of someone on Cocaine).
The REAL Reason for Burn Out
It’s not the thing you’re doing that causes the burnout, it’s the approach, the lack of support, the mind-set that we need to deal with, or we don’t have the resources we need to resolve it.
I can’t stress how important that is for you to remember! Read it over and over again until it is engraved in your brain.
When we feel this way, we get tunnel vision that forces us to believe that the person or the event in front of us is making us this way. That’s absolutely not true. The devil would have us believe that to tear down our relationships with loved ones or to distance ourselves from God. This tunnel vision will send anyone down the rabbit hole and it will take us longer to gather everything back into place.
How Do I Conquer Burn Out?
You’re Not Alone
First we have to realize we do not have to do it all on our own. We should ask for help from one person or a few persons. It isn’t all up to us, and thinking so will only create isolation. You are not an island, no one is.
This may mean reconnecting with your spouse. Depending on where your burnout is coming from, you might decide your husband or wife should be there to support you. In my situation, as a stay at home mom, I need the support of my husband to be a better parent. So I may start making more time for date nights (in home or out on the town) to reconnect, or maybe talk late at night after kids are down instead of watching a movie or browsing the mindlessness of the phone.
If you’re a single parent… take a look at “Friendship Therapy” below.
Second we have to reach out to God through prayer. I’m not going to tell you how to pray, but what I will do is give you an example of prayer…
“Dear God, I’ve been struggling for awhile to get up from my bed every morning. Mornings are tough because everyone’s so hungry and so demanding. I’m tired of hearing them ask for milk while I’m literally pouring milk. Help me to wake up when my alarm rings and put my feet on the floor. Give me the knowledge to provide my kids with what they need before the whining and the crying begins. I also ask for patience, for the times I can’t please everyone. Help me to see they aren’t doing anything to me, they’re just frustrated and hungry. Lastly, please lift me up as I ask my husband for help in getting the family situated before he starts getting ready for work. Help me to ask him lovingly and without frustration in my voice. I praise you for every mouth I have to feed, every body I’m asked to clothe, and for the love you’ve provided me with to hold each one in my heart. Amen.”
Not sure where to start? Check out a few books to help aide in your prayer in faith. **These Links are affiliate links and St. Martha’s Lens will earn monetary gains through your purchase. You can read more on that in our Disclosure.
Everyone can use a good friend to bounce things off of now and again. Friends are good for helping you realize you are capable, and that your problems, though valid, are not new. There are plenty of others dealing with burn out in some of the same areas. Chances are you have a friend who has been where you are and can offer some sound advice on how they picked themselves up in that situation. You have to build a community! Which also means you’ll be that type of friend for them when they need it.
Keep Away the “Shoulds”
Are you one of those people who says, “I should be doing this, or should be getting that done”? Me too! We need to get rid of these “shoulds” and begin doing what we can at the moment. Look at all you’ve accomplished and be happy with that! The “shoulds” are often those naughty words Satan is whispering in your ear. While “should” is not a bad word, you should be careful you don’t get overwhelmed with the feeling you aren’t doing enough.
Time to Start Again
Lastly, you need to start again. Whatever it was that was burning you out needs to be revisited. Take it one step at a time, and start small.
A friend of mine was sick and tired of not having the time to put herself together each morning and she was burned out and started feeling depressed. We talked and decided it would be alright to let her kids watch a little T.V. while she fixed herself up enough to feel better. It’s incredibly important to this woman NOT to use T.V. as a babysitter, so the ultimate goal is to get fixed up while the kids played in the other room.
Baby steps for her meant, she could figure out how much time she needed and where she could fit it in her day without letting her kids watch screens. She needed to pull herself up from the depressing feeling first. Sometimes there’s sacrifices but that doesn’t mean you can’t accomplish what you ultimately want or need.
Eventually, she figured out how to get ready while her kids ate breakfast. When that didn’t work she had a back up plan and learned how to start her kids playing with Legos or something EVERYONE could agree on and she was able to sneak away to do what she felt she needed to have a better day.