Turnup to Burnout
Where do I begin? Lately I’ve been finding it harder to focus and connect with people, conversations, the outside world. It’s not that I don’t care, but that I find it easier to stay focused when I filter out the noise. It’s my coping mechanism. I contracted a strain of the superwoman disease back in January, and it made me think (in my Whitney Houston voice) that I was every woman. When I say every woman, I mean full-time kindergarten teacher, mother of two elementary-school-aged sons, wifey, graduate student, entrepreneur , and a blogger who posts to multiple social media platforms 2-3 times a week. The gods must have thought I was crazy! That’s how I felt anyway. I slowly went from turnup to burnout. I had to press so hard this semester, I mean hhhhard, to not sit this semester out. Knowing that doing so would delay my projected graduation date, and I would kick myself once January rolled around and was still taking classes. I decided to stay the course, now, (in my Rick Ross voice) everyday I’m strugglin’.
Feelin’ the Burn
My routine was as follows: I hit my first snooze button at 5 a.m., got up about 5:30 a.m., got myself together, packed up any eBay orders that needed to be shipped out, made sure that my kids got themselves together, dropped the kids off, headed to work, taught my students, made a trip to the post office, picked up my kids from school, headed home, checked homework, made sure everyone was fed, did my homework, listed items on my eBay store, prepared orders, got the kids ready for bed, got myself ready for bed, chatted with the hubby, and before I knew it, it was 11:00 p.m. This was a recipe for a burnout. I did it for about 3 months before it started to catch up with me physically and mentally. I started getting very short with folks. Chocolate became my drug of choice.
Trimming the Fat
I didn’t want to, but I had to start cutting back on some things. It was necessary for my sanity. I’ve stopped listing on eBay daily until the Summer comes. This has reduced my need for a daily run to the post office. I’ve stopped beating myself up if I’m not posting 3 times a week to my blog and social media. I have started taking my boys to the barbershop every 2 weeks instead of every week, and I’ve given up Wednesday prayer meetings at church and sometimes church on Sundays. Yep, God understands! I’ve even given myself permission to not do grade “A” level work in my masters courses. A “B” or a “C” will do me just fine this semester. I’m over it all!
Why was I going so hard in the first place? Because I got goals. I never leave home without them. My immediate goal is to earn a masters degree so that I can get a pay raise. I also want to build my business and blog up to the point that they make enough money for me to fire my bosses. That’s the goal that really fuels me. I’m in a place in life where I want to be happy with my career. I want to be able to be creative and free to act on my intuition, and I know that will never happen as an elementary school teacher in the public school system…I won’t even get on that soapbox today.
I had to reason with myself and table a lot of my endeavors until the summertime. I will be in beast mode this Summer though! With sooo many ideas swirling in my head, I can get easily caught up in my own head. Being an introvert, it’s where I spend most of my time anyway. I know that doing so is not without its perils. I’m trying to strike a better balance now, but it’s hard to do when I’m so motivated to move on from where I am now. The only way I see out is to grind. I keep reminding myself that I will be finished with my masters in December, which will free up a lot of my time to pursue my entrepreneurial passions of thrifting for profit and blogging.
Advice for Other Working Moms
- Be real with yourself: Respect yourself by speaking your truth. Journal, write, confide in someone trustworthy, talk to the Holy Spirit. A lie don’t care who tell it. Don’t let it be you!
- Just say no: Sometimes say hell no, it’ll make you feel better! Seriously, sometimes you have to tell people that you have no room left on your plate for anything else; period!
- Listen to your body: Your body will tell you what it needs. Heed the signs and avoid burnout.
- Treat yourself: If you want it, and you got, then get it! Do something that will benefit no one but you sometimes.
- Re-evaluate the game plan: If something is not working, change it!
- Recharge: Introverts, steal away to yourself. Extroverts, call up the girls for a long night out.
Check out this post, 5 Characteristics of a Successful Purpose Driven Woman, by Samantha Sophia. She is also a fellow mom giving a few words of advice.