Owning Up to Burn Out

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Tired. Stressed. Over-committed. Maxed out. Burned out.

Hi, my name is Tiffany, and I’m burning out.

They say the first step to healing is admitting you have a problem (or something like that), right? So, as of this moment, I *should* be golden.

See, I have this problem. And, honestly, I’m really trying to remedy it. Really. It’s just that I have a hard time saying “no.” Even worse, I volunteer to do things, without thinking of the ramifications it will have on me, my family, or my physical, mental, and emotional health.

I have a feeling I’m not the only maxed out momma. Last night, as I was doing my nightly multi-tasking—you know, doing dishes/putting laundry away/getting son ready for bed/searching for and taking allergy meds—I stumbled across this column in the Chicago Tribune. One in four working moms cries alone once a week. I believe it. And, yet I kind of wonder who lied on the survey to make it one in four instead of, say, one in two.

My point is this: all parents, dads, moms, parents of food-allergic children, working outside the home, working from the home, stay at home parents, single, married, Sister Wives (wut?); whoever, whatever. We all have a ginormous job to do. And we can’t do this intricate, energy-sucking, complex, keeping-kids-alive-plus-shape-them-for-life job if we’re completely empty, dry, exhausted.

I feel like it’s time for me (us?) to do something about this. To invest a little in us for once.

It’s time for a reset.

Owning Up To Burn Out - Taking Care of Yourself

For the past two years, I’ve tried to say “no” to those things (small and large) that will keep me from saying “yes” to the things that will fulfill me most. Today, I took a step in the right direction and said “no” to cleaning off my desk so I could say “yes” to serving a friend coffee and sitting in my living room talking with her. We talked about life, schools, decisions, fears, and dogs. And, it was maybe the best thing I did all week, or all month.

Here’s the thing: we parents have so much going on these days—school carpool, work, soccer, church, travel hockey, piano lessons, swim team, handling our children’s various health concerns, you name it, we’ve got it going on. We’re so busy doing that the days just pass by in the blink of an eye. Is it any wonder we have no time for ourselves just when we need it most?

I’m ready to commit to saying “no” to doing and saying “yes” to being. To be present with my family. To be aware of my friends and how they might need a text of encouragement. To be good to myself. In the end, if we’re good to ourselves, we all reap the benefits of our less-stressed, more-at-peace presence.

It’s time for a little self-care, and maybe this post is just for me; a reminder of what I committed to two years ago—saying “no” so that I could say “yes” to the right things, thus avoiding that whole burn-out. I’m okay with that.

But perhaps someone else needs a gentle reminder that taking care of yourself is not a selfish act, but it is terribly important for both you and your loved ones. And be good to yourself. There’s only one you.

PS. We’re opening up discussion about parents of kids with allergies, asthma, and eczema and self-care. More here, and here, with a chance to win a $100 SpaFinder (or Amazon) gift card.

Tiffany Self

Tiffany Self is a wife, mom to "Z", and a lover of words. In an ironic twist, she is an English class dropout who now writes for a living. Tiffany is a freelancer in the Chicago suburbs by way of Seattle and Southern Oregon. She writes about her journey of parenting a child with multiple severe food allergies, asthma, and environmental allergies. You can follow her on Twitter or Instagram.

1 Comment to Owning Up to Burn Out

  1. Amazing post, Tiffany! I’m totally guilty of over-committing myself. The Supermom complex is exhausting, and you’re right — we need to start saying “yes” to making time for ourselves.

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