Care Giver Burn-out
I have four kids, a handicapped husband, plus myself. These are all-in, a total of 24/7, 365 days of the year. How did I get burn-out during a pandemic where you really couldn’t ask for help? The risk in asking for help was getting Covid. WHICH SET ME OVER the EDGE.
Getting vaccinated! my life is actually opening back up! I can truly ask for help! I can send my kids to their friend’s house, ask my friends to watch the kids at their house, ask grandma or grandpa or great aunts for help. The list is finally opening up. To reach out and be able to do it all.
How did I discover I was burned-out? I physically couldn’t get myself to take a shower. I was getting sleepy when driving, to a point where I would rather have things delivered than do it myself. These things sound silly, but true. Lots of mis-communication with my husband over caregiving, our relationship, etc. I could no long look forward to putting on an outfit, makeup, or hygiene for myself. But the breaking point was I needed something to hold me accountable. I put off therapy for 5 months. Just the thought of calling them was too much. Countless other things like spending time with the kids and having kids helping cook were my favorite things that I could no longer bring myself to do.
I booked myself a therapy appointment and got everything off my chest. My favorite part is that I let so much out that my therapist said you only have 2 mins left. But, this was the first step in the right direction. Now I am writing this because I know I'm not alone. But when you’re in it you feel alone. Now the actual work is going to be me getting back to me. It’s going to take some time to recover. Burn out-like depression-can sneak up on you. However, I don't want it to happen for me and my kids. It's time I take actual steps to put myself first.
Putting me first is very confusing because how can I do that when my plate is full? Beyond full. The number one step is to ask for help. There is not really an excuse anymore. Things are lifting. How can you do it all and never ask for help or a break? So, how can I let go of my ego and actually get help? Next up, how am I supposed to have confidence in myself if I don't take care of myself? I could schedule time for myself to get pretty and ready for me. Taking like 15 mins three days a week to slap make-up on my face. Take actual breaks, I don't always have to take the kids on the walk or drive with me. Mom's guilt gets me but, I can do these things by myself for a short mental break. I have the equipment for working out. My kids don't always have to have every area of the house. And for another way of planning to get a break is by putting all the kids down and staying up with a friend or husband to watch a movie. Or getting up early before the kids and meditating. These things I need to practice. Because, at the end of the day I wasn’t kind to myself. How am I supposed to preach kindness counts when I’m emotionally and physically neglected?