I have been so tired lately. Like bone weary exhausted. Every day.
I read a 3 day devotional series on burnout, and the last entry really struck a cord with me. It talked about how people tend to deal with burnout in 2 ways: lashing out at others in anger, or withdrawing from others. I’m an introvert, so before kids, I tended toward withdrawing unless someone tried to invade the space that I needed, in which case I would lash out. But you don’t get the luxury of being alone once you’re a mother. Especially when your children are all preschool and under. They puppy dog you all. day. long. So now, my reaction to being burnt-out is to lash out in anger. And who is around me all the time, getting the brunt of my wrath? My kids.
I hate when I lose my temper with them. Yet it happens every day.
Psalms 37:8 NLT
“Stop being angry! Turn from your rage! Do not lose your temper— it only leads to harm.”
The last thing I would ever want to do is harm my kids. They are my entire world.
But how can I conquer burnout?
It’s not like I can ask my boss for fewer hours.
The kids need to be taken care of. The dishes need to be done. Lord knows the laundry never ends.
I know what you’re all going to tell me–take time for myself; ask for help.
My husband and I just had a day date 3 days ago. It was so wonderful and we needed it so badly. But yet, here I am 3 days later feeling burnt out again.
Contrary to popular belief, I do ask for help from time to time. But if you ask for help every day, then you’ll burn out your support system.
I can’t help but feel that this issue runs deeper than simply taking time for myself and asking for help. I feel like this is an issue of the heart. My heart.
Here’s what I know: God did not put this spirit of anger inside of me. God entrusted me with the honorable and enormous task of raising tiny humans. I can not do this from my own strength. God wants me to succeed and has a plan that is already in motion to help me succeed.
I may not yet have the answer for how to conquer burnout, and I doubt that it will be found in 3 easy steps. But for now, I will take life a day at a time. I will refuse to worry. I will let go of what I can not control. I will accept the fact that I can not do everything all the time; sometimes the dishes will not get done and the laundry may be clean but unfolded. I will breathe through my days, releasing the nasty poison of anger that I allowed to seep into my heart. I will pray throughout each and every day that God will help me tame my wild tongue and temper, so that I will not harm my precious children.
And most importantly, I will extend grace to myself when I fail, so that I don’t add guilt to my burdens.