Parental Burnout

I read a short article today about the signs of ‘mummy burnout’ and it really resonated with me. After splitting with my kids dad a few years ago when I was pregnant with my 4th child, I felt a renewed sense of purpose. Born again, as it were. I was determined to be a strong, independent woman. I can do this. I can be a Supermum AND find myself again as a person.
Once baby number 4 arrived I was even more determined to be all I could. The best mum, the best me. For months I coped surprisingly well. I was more organised, healthier than I’d ever been and happy. I cooked, I cleaned, I fed and bathed children, I did school runs, payed the bills on time with a budget set out a year in advance, and somehow found time for exercise, study and casual work.
We moved into a bigger house, as was necessary with 3 kids and one baby now becoming quite active. Things progressed along fairly the same route, but slowly – perhaps so slow I didn’t notice – things begin to slip. Little by little, things just started getting harder. A little slower getting organised in the morning, gradually progressing to being constantly late. From preparing healthy meals 3 times a day, baking for kids lunchboxes, to switching to pre-packaged foods, ‘heat and eat’ type of meals and eventually the kids having to pack their own lunches and make their own sandwiches. From being on top of the washing, to having no clothes in the cupboard and a laundry full of dirty clothes; to the point that I was buying new clothes for myself and the kids just to avoid washing.
I was tired all the time. I started bathing the kids less. I stopped caring if they slept in their school clothes and then wore them to school the next day. We stopped doing homework, stopped visiting the park. I was forgetting school events, forgetting to pay bills. I hired a cleaner. I just couldn’t be bothered. With any of it. And then the guilt and depression sets in.
“What happened to me?”, “Why can’t I do these things anymore?”, “It’s too hard.”, “I’m a terrible mother, and a terrible person.” – these were things I said to myself daily. It of course just creates a spiral of self loathing and CBF-ness. My diet went to shit. My weight sky-rocketed from comfort eating, and I continued to hate myself more. Several times I considered checking myself into a mental health facility, but who would take care of my kids? On a few occasions I half-asked my ex if he would have the kids in his care instead of me, which he declined. I began to consider killing myself, just so the kids would be taken to someone who could look after them properly.
I was low.
I am low.
And I don’t know how to recover from the burnout.

Mum Hacks

Okay so I worked a little trick today that’s useful for when you need to unload something from the car (or van) that is too heavy for you to move by yourself.

It’s not a trick, really, more like common sense. But I was suitably impressed with myself for managing to do it lol

So what happened was, I had purchased a TV unit off a Buy/Swap/Sell site on Facebook. Before collecting it I made sure there was someone to help load it in the car, because I have tiny T-rex arms and cannot really lift anything at the moment in my condition. NO, I am not pregnant. I’m referring to my breathing condition (idiopathic subglottic stenosis), for which I am having my 4th surgery for next Monday. Anywho. So I picked up the unit (though, I didn’t actually ‘pick it up’ as they loaded it in the car for me – awesome!), and when I got home I realised I had no way to get it out on my own. My partner was at work, and I needed to get it out of the car so I could pick up some other B/S/S goodies.

I started pulling it out and realised it was too heavy to just put one end on the ground. It was too far down, and I would probably break it. So, what I did in my super awesome light-bulb moment was grabbed a low coffee table I had in the garage, and used this as a step. I put it at the back of the car and was able to slide the unit onto the lower table, and then from the lower table onto the ground. Amazing!

Like I said, it’s more common sense than anything else, but I’m calling it a #mumhack 😛

Down Time

Sometimes it’s important to work for that pot of gold. But other times it’s essential to take time off and to make sure that your most important decision in the day simply consists of choosing which color to slide down on the rainbow. ~Douglas Pagels, These Are the Gifts I’d Like to Give to You

With all the fifty-bazillion things we have to do, remember to do and remember we’ve done, it’s pretty important to let loose a little, relax, de-stress and get some much needed down time.

Other than sleeping, my current down-time activities are either watching True Blood (totally cheesy for the most part but entertaining nonetheless) and playing League of Legends online, something that my partner has roped me into playing. I’m still learning and he can be very bossy, but it’s still a fun game lol

I think we all need a bit of nonsense in our lives, so we don’t go insane.

How do you wind down? Do you play silly games or watch cheesy shows?

I need your help! Meal planning – where do I begin?

Moving around so much has really disrupted everything I once had in order. I need some help with meal planning. Meals that fussy kids will eat, but that won’t be boring or unhealthy for grown ups.

OR, should I do a separate kids dinner and grown ups dinner? Does anyone do that and find it successful?

I’ve got one kid who won’t eat meat. Two that won’t eat rice. One will only eat sausages. They all eat potato. One will eat beans. They all eat corn/peas. Two eat carrots…it’s frustrating! I don’t want to cook fifty meals, or eat the same boring limited range of foods that the kids will eat.

I need meal plan help. Recipes. I don’t own a thermomix, so none of those please. I am also a terrible cook. So it has to be easy haha. Oh dear. I fail as a domestic goddess.

Don’t it always seem to go, that you don’t know what you’ve got til you move.

My house is littered with moving boxes, almost all of them have been opened and half sorted, then given up on. I have far too much stuff. Most of it is literally just useless ‘stuff’. Trying to find a home for everything is a daunting task.

I think we’ve been here almost a month? I can’t even remember when we moved in. All I can remember is that we still have to collect our things from about 4 different storage locations and try to cram them into this sardine tin of a house. (If you missed the catch up)

I shouldn’t knock the house really. It’s not that small. Just 1/3 of the size of our last place. Everything has it’s pros and cons. A big house means more space, more privacy but also more to clean. A smaller place, the opposite. I could have sworn with the previous move I got rid of loads of stuff, but yet I have more to go through. I’m a hoarder. It’s hard to let go. There’s so many memories I want to hold onto, but feel like it’s an injustice to the memory to part with it’s physical tokens. I really need someone else to do it. Clear out all the things and just start again with a minimalist approach.

Slowly I’ve been selling things off. Currently I am parting with some of my shoe collection. I’ve done it once before. It’s painful. But it has to be done. I’ve cleaned out a heap of clothes. The choice to do so was made easier by the fact that I’ve put on so much weight that I no longer fit into them. At least selling stuff helps on the money front. I thought I was getting ahead when I sold a few things this week, but then we locked ourselves out of the house and had to get a locksmith. We rent privately and our landlord was away. It’s really weird, and annoting, how moving house completely screws you financially. We’ve moved into a place significantly cheaper than the last, and we were better off before?? That’s because of the removalist, the end of lease clean, the carpet clean, the petrol back and forth, the storage units. Ugh.

Hopefully we can catch back up.