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Thursday, November 18, 2010

Beyond Mommy Guilt

Burnout and I are old friends.  It has been a part of my life for many years, and I know why.  There's the easy answer, and there's the real answer.

The easy answer - which, by the way, is definately not a wrong answer - is that I simply take on more than I can handle.  A type-A, "I can do it all" person since childhood, I have a hard time saying no when someone asks me to take on a new responsibility.  There are a lot of things I love doing, and I have a hard time letting go of one to make room for another.  Which is why I ended up coordinating Vacation Bible School in August while working and taking anatomy and physiology II during the second summer session of college...yeah, huge burnout.

Then you have the real answer.  When I reach down deep, I know that the real reason I'm burned out is because of expectations.  I juggle so many roles in a day - wife, mom, manager/trainer at a women's gym, student, daughter, friend, pastor's wife, and CHO (chief home officer).  Sometimes I need to drop something, but no one is willing to let it be them.  Everyone needs me right now, and everyone needs me to give 100%.

I goes way beyond mommy guilt.  I think a lot of people would be surprized to know how much of the time I feel like I'm failing.  I think a lot of moms feel that way.  I try to do it all, and do it all well, and it's simply not possible.  When school gets crazy busy, my house is wreck.  When I'm stressed about what's going on at home, it's hard to give work my full attention.  When I have obligations because I'm a pastor's wife, I feel like my family doesn't my attention the way they need to.  I feel like the guy at the circus spinning plates, always running from one place to another to keep them all spinning.  Sometimes I need to let a plate fall - but no one wants it to be their plate.

Peer pressure doesn't end when you graduate from high school or even college.  I think that moms everywhere are pressured to do it all and be perfect at it all, and that pressure is what truly leads to burnout.

Mama's Losin' It

13 comments:

Jennifer said...

Wow! I can certainly relate...there are definitely times when there are just too many people who need a part of me. What do you do to compensate?

Jenn said...

Ouch, this does hit a nerve....I'm a Type-A, married to a Type-A, who ended up with two Type-A children.
Things can get pretty stressful in a flash...

I just tell myself what I tell my son when HE starts to stress out - only God is perfect. The rest of us muddle along.

Stopping by from Mama Kats!

Stacey said...

I totally hear ya. The pressure is stupid though. I wish instead of making each other feel like we must be the best, we should band together and realize we are already doing so much. This mom gig is tough!

KD said...

Wow...this post has so many similarities to the one I just published, it's scary!

And to think...we all just thought it was OUR mothers that were so crazy! ;)

Jen said...

Amen. You totally hit the nail on the head with this post.

Emily said...

These are the times I thank God I only had one child.

Steph, from Be Positive Mom said...

Wow! We MUST be on the same wavelength. Slow it down sister! I keep telling myself that. We can't do it all and that IS OK! I'm better at recognizing when I am overloaded and saying "no" to things more and more.

Shell said...

There's just such a never-ending list of things to do. We can't ever do it all, so it's easy to feel like we're failing. Totatlly feel ya.

Jill said...

Visiting from Mama Kat's. I say I'm the plate spinner ALL THE TIME! It's so true - we expect super-human things from ourselves.. but why?

Great post!! Glad I stopped by.

Andrea said...

Right there with you. Mom of three, maintaining a house kids blog marriage, and now an online toy company. I think my head may soon explode!

Andrea said...

Right there with you. Mom of three, maintaining a house kids blog marriage, and now an online toy company. I think my head may soon explode!

ZippyChix said...

Try to stay light and breezy Amanda...no one will know if your house is clean or if your laundry is in control, but your kids will sense if you are stressed. Ditch the guilt and enjoy the fleeting moments...it all goes way to fast. It is definitely hard to do in the beginning, but I am trying this tact and believe it or not, it gets easier. Dishes have been in my sink all day and here I sit blogging. I can do it!!! Join me!!! Stopping in from the lady blogger's tea party to enjoy your blog. Thanks!

trydefyinggravity said...

I totally know where you're coming from. And I think sometimes that the more kids you have, the more guilt comes out. With three boys, I find myself stretched out thin with not much leftover at the end of the day. My middle child has high functioning autism, and he takes up so much of my energy. But the guilt does no good at the end of the night...
visited from the LBS tea party. thanks!
alysia

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