Mom burnout is real — How to deal

by Terry Fletcher

Have you ever just had a moment where you want to sit down, bend over and just cry? But you have one kid on your hip, one on the couch yelling for you to come to play with them, and dinner on the stove boiling over?

For the young moms out there, I have been there.

Or when you finally think you are ahead of the game and then there is a call while you are at work to come to pick up a sick kid? There goes your sick time and the corporate ladder is getting longer and longer with the judgments of leaving work for family issues.

Or how about when your deadlines at work have got you to a point of no return? You bring work home with you, but again, family life is still ever-present and you just feel like you can’t breathe.

Yes, we have all been there and this week has been one of those weeks.

I have more on my plate than I ever have before, all the while looking at that nice hardcover book taunting me on the table over there to read, as my book club group message on my phone keeps notifying me how great it is.

Dinners I have planned out for the week to make seem like they just sit there because 6 pm comes faster than ever before and there are days where there is just no relief in sight.

Does my husband say, can I start or make dinner for you?

Not-so-much, and then as I am working from my home office, all I hear is his yelling at the TV from some pitcher on his baseball team losing the game.

That’s not really helping me honey, Just sayin’!

Life can not only become overwhelming at times but downright harder than you could even fathom unless you lived it yourself. And let’s face it, no one knows what you go through unless they are you. They could be looking, thinking, “well if you just did this…”

Yeah, I want to throw my cold coffee from the morning at those people!

After having a near meltdown myself last night, yes, crying was involved, I just took a minute to take a breath, and sit with my eyes closed, not concerned with the outside chaos and just be quiet for a minute. I mean a full minute.

I actually count it down in my head.

I know that can be a tough thing to do, and a full 60 seconds is longer than you think. But if you can try, it really does help (the crying helped too). I also treat myself every day to a Starbucks “…black iced tea no sweetener, extra ice.” They double filter their water and ice, so I am addicted I must say.

Anyone who pays $3.50 for an iced tea has to be obsessed but that is my “just breathe” moment.

Other ways to just regroup?

If you are sitting at your desk all day every day, stand up and just go walk outside. If it isn’t possible to take a long or short walk, just go outside feel the sun, rain, or breeze on your face, take a breath, and then back to it.

Another way? Go out to your car turn it on, close the windows, make sure you have air, and just scream as loud as you can! (I am not kidding!)

You will inadvertently laugh at yourself, but it is a great release. I had someone see me do that one time, and it was a physician who was passing by- I’m in the medical field, (can you say awkward?), he asked me later what I was doing, and I told him. He said, does it work? I said “like a charm!”

A few months later he mentioned he does it every once in a while, and yep, it relieved that moment of the anxiety of feeling overwhelmed by everything.

If you’re at a job that has a hallway and a bench, walk out there and just sit in the quiet for a couple of minutes, closing your eyes might help too. If you have a lobby of your office building, go to the lobby and just look out the window for a few seconds. And by all means, don’t forget to breathe.

I have also started taking 15 minutes a night after everyone is asleep to just read my Magnolia magazine. (Yes, paper magazines do still exist.)

If you watch HGTV (Fixer Upper) or cooking shows, or even if you like those Pottery Barn catalogs that come in the mail with things too expensive to buy for real but fun to dream about, take a 15-minute break for yourself and just look through it, with nothing else on your mind, but what you are reading. (If you can stay off of social media for that time that helps too. Sometimes SM can add more stress).

While many of us deal with stress, and moments of extreme exhaustion, and overwhelmed feelings differently, before you feel like you are going to fall off that proverbial cliff, take a moment and just BREATHE!!

What’s your “Just Breathe” moment? Please share with us.