Ornaments, Candles, Tees and More! Order Soon for Christmas Delivery!🎄 ➔

I feel you in the dullness behind my eyes and in the heaviness of my arms and legs. I hear you in my thoughts that start as a whisper and then shout “it’s too much” and “I can’t do it all”. I’m so tired but you rob me of proper sleep. I’m exhausted but you won’t let me rest. There is too much to do.

There are daily decisions about meals and lunch boxes and snacks. There are the “special activities” planned by the school and extracurricular programs meaning a costume, or an item to purchase or look for. Requests to sign up to various apps and Facebook groups and the endless reminders that then appear there. Or sometimes more irritatingly, to receive no messages or updates at all on said app, after a time-consuming sign up process.

There are mountains of laundry that do not stop coming. A similarly endless cycle of dishes. There are the constant complaints from about what isn’t done, what isn’t fair or what was forgotten. There are accusations about food that nobody likes or wanted to eat. There are the bins that overflow despite reminders or because” I wasn’t the one who filled it up”. I remind myself they are kids but my burnout whispers “they don’t care”. The inability to find anything without help paired with complete resistance to using any organisation system I put in place for them.

More than anything it is the mental load of remembering everyone’s schedules, the endless school notes and invoices to pay. The unseen job of the administration of parenting is at every corner. All of it together with a lack of any positive feedback or acknowledgement is what creates burnout.

When a family member requests to watch my kids do an activity, I think but do not say, why not take them for me instead? I know you will ask me constant questions, give critical feedback about how the activity is run or what my children should be doing. Take this weekly burden from me, just this once. My family provides you with entertainment and social currency but I am too tired to talk to you, to care about your needs as well, please let me rest. When I’m in burnout mode, I don’t have the fight in me, so I say with dread “sure that would be lovely.” I start to withdraw from my family. I connect less as my resentment builds.

Work fewer hours, some say. Your work is so demanding, delegate more. Pay attention to your self-care. Get a cleaner, shop online, get a hobby, have a regular date night. All of which I have tried and some work for a while. Some have created more work than help. Go on strike say, other mothers. After a few days the kids will start to appreciate how much you do. I hear more choices and effort in these suggestions and my burnout says I don’t know if I can. Maybe I will strike one of these times. Because burnout will likely be back, that I know.

I do what I know helps when I’ve been here before. I talk to my husband. Noticing my efforts or buying my favorite wine is not enough, take some of this workload I am drowning in. I rest. He takes on more of the load instead of telling me to do it differently. He notices the children badgering me and puts an end to it. He makes decisions about meals. I go for walks and spend time alone. Tried and tested, silence helps me recover from burnout. I put the brakes on social media for work. I stop using electronic devices an hour before bed.

I feel a lessening of burnout’s drag. My body feels better. My thoughts become more positive, my kids appear cuter. I know that it will end soon.

The recipe to avoid parenting burnout is to do less of it. To delegate, seek support and reduce the load by dumping the non-essential tasks. To say no to requests that feel overwhelming or bring more work. The recipe to burnout is prioritizing you. If I know this, then how did I get here, when I have been here before?

Maybe I’ll prevent it or catch it earlier next time. Or maybe motherhood is an eternal balancing act between self-sacrifice and self-care with unpredictable factors that can’t be anticipated and prevented against. Either way, each day is mine to keep trying to find the right mix.

If you liked this, you'll love our new book, SO GOD MADE A MOTHER available for pre-order now!

Pre-Order Now

Nadene van der Linden

Nadene van der Linden is a clinical psychologist in private practice specialising in perinatal psychology, parenting and trauma. Join the Unshakeable Calm facebook group today. Science based tips for calm and confident living.

Children Don’t Get Easier, We Just Get Stronger

In: Inspiration, Mental Health, Motherhood
Children Don't Get Easier, We Just Get Stronger www.herviewfromhome.com

“This too shall pass.” As mothers, we cling to these words as we desperately hope to make it past whichever parenting stage currently holds us in its clutches. In the thick of newborn motherhood, through night wakings, constant nursing and finding our place in an unfamiliar world, we long for a future filled with more sleep and less crying. We can’t imagine any child or time being more difficult than right now. Then, a toddler bursts forth, a tornado of energy destroying everything in his wake. We hold our breath as he tests every possible limit and every inch of...

Keep Reading

The One Thing Young Kids Need to Know About Sex

In: Health, Kids, Motherhood
The One Thing Young Kids Need to Know About Sex www.herviewfromhome.com

I currently have four kids in elementary school from kindergarten to fifth grade. My kids have not experienced any sexual abuse (to my knowledge); we have been very careful about any potential porn exposure; we closely monitor their involvement with pop culture through music, movies, books, and even commercials. While we might seem to err on the side of overly sheltering them, what we have also done is be very open with our kids about sex. We have told them the truth when they’ve asked questions. And have they asked some questions! Here’s a sampling of what I’ve been asked...

Keep Reading

I Don’t Have Anxiety—But My Husband Does

In: Health, Mental Health, Relationships
I Don't Have Anxiety—But My Husband Does www.herviewfromhome.com

I don’t have anxiety but my husband does.  We should have realized this years ago but we missed it. The realization came suddenly and as soon as it popped in my mind, it came out of my mouth. “You have anxiety.” I said. He looked at me trying to determine if I was joking or serious. “I am serious, you have anxiety.” His eyes left mine and found his phone. He picked it up and said, “Hey Siri, give me the definition of anxiety.” As the virtual assistant read off the definition she may as well have been reading my man’s personality...

Keep Reading

This is What Life is Like For a Mom Who Wears Hearing Aids

In: Health, Journal, Motherhood
This is What Life is Like For a Mom Who Wears Hearing Aids www.herviewfromhome.com

I’ll never forget the time I was standing on a dock in the middle of a lake, casually draining my long hair of water, soaking in the summer heat surrounding me. Little did I know, my right breast had escaped the clutches of my bikini top; it must have popped out when I dove into the cool lake. But because I wasn’t wearing my hearing aids—I can’t wear those babies in the water—I couldn’t hear those back on land who were calling at me to shove it back in. So, there I stood, clueless of the fact that I was...

Keep Reading

Welcome to Periods in Your 30s and 40s

In: Health, Humor
Welcome to Periods in Your 30s and 40s www.herviewfromhome.com

Do you remember that day in the fifth grade when the boys and girls were separated for the “Sexuality and Development” talk? Some nice old lady health teacher came into your room and gave you some straight talk about how the next few years were going to go for you. It was awkward and shocking and you knew your childhood would never be the same. When you hit your mid-thirties, there should be some kind of Part Two to that conversation. All the ladies need to be rounded up, lead into a dimly lit classroom that smells vaguely of pencil...

Keep Reading

How Can You Love an Abusive Man? I Did—Until I Decided to Choose Myself.

In: Health, Journal, Relationships
How Can You Love an Abusive Man? I Did—Until I Decided to Choose Myself.

He walked over to the table I was sitting at with some friends and casually, yet confidently, pulled up a chair. His voice was deep and he had a luring accent that immediately caught my attention. His distinctly cut jawline along his perfectly trimmed beard made him seem older, I thought, than the age I’d soon learn he was. Our paths had crossed before like two ships in the night, forbidding us from ever quite meeting as we did that day . . . eye to eye, energy to energy He chatted with me and our mutual friends for a...

Keep Reading

I’m Not Sure How Long I’ll Need an Antidepressant to Feel Normal…and That’s OK

In: Cancer, Child Loss, Grief, Mental Health
I'm Not Sure How Long I'll Need an Antidepressant to Feel Normal...and That's OK www.herviewfromhome.com

I tried to wean off of Zoloft and couldn’t. And that’s OK. I had never really been aware of the world of antidepressants. My life has been relatively uneventful—with the normal ups and downs that most of us go through. I knew people on medication for depression but never understood. How can you be THAT sad that you can’t just be positive and make the best of your circumstances? How can someone be THAT unhappy ALL the time to need medication? I didn’t get it. I felt bad for people going through it. Then my 2-year-old was diagnosed with Stage...

Keep Reading

To the Mom With the Anxious Soul

In: Journal, Mental Health, Motherhood
To the Mom With the Anxious Soul www.herviewfromhome.com

I see you, mama. You’re the one sitting alone at the family party. You’re the one hovering a little too close to your sweet babies at the park. You’re the one standing in the bathroom at work for just a moment of quiet. Your thoughts are swirling constantly, faster and more fearful that a “regular” mama. You find yourself spaced out at times, and hyper aware at others. You’ve heard the words “just relax” and “everything is fine” more times than you care to count. Sometimes you wish you could make everyone understand why you are the way you are...

Keep Reading

I Am My Child’s Advocate—and Other Valuable Lessons a Stay in the PICU Taught Me

In: Baby, Child, Health
I Am My Child's Advocate—and Other Valuable Lessons a Stay in the PICU Taught Me www.herviewfromhome.com

What started out to be a normal Thursday ended with a race to the children’s ER with my six-month-old. I was terrified. My adrenaline was pumping. My baby was struggling to breathe. The day before, he had been diagnosed with RSV. A simple cold to most healthy toddlers and adults turned out to be life threatening to my infant.   Once we were admitted, I knew this was serious. I knew he was in danger. I could sense the concern and urgency in the doctor’s voice. I knew the gravity of that wing of the hospital he was being wheeled...

Keep Reading

To the Young Warriors Fighting Cancer, You Are Superheroes

In: Cancer, Child, Child Loss, Health
To the Young Warriors Fighting Cancer, You Are Superheroes www.herviewfromhome.com

Most people never get to meet their heroes. I have, in fact—I have met many heroes. These heroes didn’t set out for greatness; they fell victim to a terrible disease and faced it with courage, might and bravery like I have never seen before. And when we talk about this type of battle, there is no such thing as losing. whether the battle ended in death, life, or debility, each of these heroes defeated. My heroes are the innocent children who battle cancer. I high-fived, hugged, wept over, laughed and played with my heroes for 10 years as a nurse. And you better believe I...

Keep Reading