Tuesday, 31 January 2012

Burnout


Right now I am burnt out. Gone. I have nothing left to give.
I've been "on" for the last ten days in a row. I've had exactly 15 minutes away from my children in those ten days; maybe even two or three weeks. The 15 minutes were yesterday when I left Barry and the suckers in a cafe and I went to try on and buy a pair of trousers.
I'm spent. I've no energy, I've no mothering left in me. I'm no use to them at the moment.
I feel tired, drained, like I want to sleep for a week and get a shot of adrenaline to kick-start me, only I'm too tired to even contemplate even having energy again.
I've done it all, feeding, changing, playing, minding, washing, loving, holding, jigging, creating, thinking.
At the moment I'm so head-wrecked about the future, about the next stages coming, how we're going to deal with them, which choices to make, and all the while feeling suffocated in the present.
It's like a non-stop rollercoaster, and I'm not able to get off, I'm screaming but the wind is whipping the sound from my mouth and no one can hear. There's no "getting off" anyway, I'm always "on", always needed.
I'm trying to remember how I usually tell myself "Isn't it lovely to be needed so much, some day you're going to miss this", but I can't feel like that right now.
I'm overwhelmed. I'm pulled in so many directions, feeling bound to so many people, I feel I need to escape for a while or I'll forget who I am.
I'm eating too much sugar, and feeling the highs and lows of it.
I'm not getting any exercise or fresh air these days.
My sleep pattern is right off, sleeping in late, staying up late.
I'm having a glass of wine, which I know makes me feel lower when I'm like this, but I want to "live a little" and this is my pathetic way of feeling like the "old me".
I'm feeling and looking really old, I saw wrinkly eyelids in the mirror this morning, which scared the hell out of me, and made me do a double take.
There is a growing list of things I need to take care of, all with their own deadlines, which I'm leaving, and leaving, procrastinating, and worrying more about as the days go on. So pointless, but I'm too chicken to tackle them.
I'm nesting, feeling like spring-cleaning the whole house, and the mess and clutter is getting to me, along with the chipped paint, the hand-prints on walls, the rotting wood, the leaking pipe, the dirty windows, the unpainted doors, the endless things that need doing.
I feel like this house has become my life, that I spend all my time in the sitting room or the bedroom, I am stuck in these walls, this place, this box.
I can't get out because it's too windy, too rainy, Charlie's too tired, Noah's too small, I've no car, there's nowhere to go, there's no one to see, there's nothing to do, except wait, wait for them to grow, to develop, to start cycling, to start walking, to start talking, to take care of themselves a bit more and give me a bit of space.
But I know when that space comes I'll be pulling them closer to me, wanting them to need me like they did before, wanting them to sit in the sling, to feel my face, to cuddle into me, to feed from me.
This is it. I chose this. I planned it all. I got what I wanted. I'm here now, I've made my bed yada yada.
Still, it doesn't change the fact that I'm feeling burnt out. I think I've been burnt out for some time, and I couldn't even acknowledge it, had to keep going.
Now I've got the time and space to crash.
I'll crash for a while, let Barry take over, which he does so well, thank god.
Then I'll enter the fray again.

11 comments:

  1. I think you are echoing the feelings of mothers everywhere. It a non-stop to do list.
    Personally, I have resolved to do a class every Saturday morning, just to have a little time to myself ( I have a 3 year old and a 3 month old). Hang in there ! Spring with its brighter days and long Summer evenings are just around the corner. Then it will be easier to get out. Love your blog !

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  2. Just want to say I think you're absolutely amazing! Forget about the housework/stuff that needs fixing coz life is way too short!

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  3. And instead of crashing right away, you wrote this first for all of us out here who feel the same! hang in there...

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  4. I love how honest your posts are. Am really enjoying your blog. Thanks for that. Hope you feel better for letting off steam. It's a bleugh time of the year. Keep the faith .

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  5. Oh Niamh! Would it make you feel any better to know you are not alone?! That is basically my life you are describing right there. I was slightly freaked out reading each sentence as it is so similar to how I have been feeling lately. I EBF, co-sleep, baby-wear and the longest I have spent away from my LO in 6 months was 2 hours to see a specialist about repeated blocked ducts (party on down - not!). I ask myself, why do we set such high standards for ourselves as mamas and wives and in everything we do??! Not everyone is like this I have discovered but if you are, then burnout seems to be inevitable.

    Your blog has been an inspiration to me since I discovered it. You have validated so many of the accidental AP methods I have found myself using and the love you have for your family comes across so vividly in every post. They are a lucky bunch of suckers, don't forget that!  

    So, here's what i am saying to myself. This too will pass. The weather will improve. Spirits will lift. My baba will start to crawl and be more independent.

     When I was feeling blue in the past, my best friend used to tell me, "Everything will be alright in the end. If its not, then it's not the end". So true.

    Hang in there mama! 
    X

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  6. Your blog is amazing! Thanks! And thanks for sockin' it to Maura on 4 live too.. That show gets on my nerves big time!!!

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  7. Thanks everyone for the lovely comments here and on my Facebook page. We do set high standards for ourselves, "good enough" is not good enough, I want to be an A+ mama! Obviously that's ridiculous though.
    I do try to balance my blog, so it's not all "look what a great day we had today", I think sharing the tough times is really important, because we all have them. And it's cheaper than therapy!

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  8. Everything you are saying in this is, at some points, almost word-for-word what I have been saying lately. I just feel like I have no resources left lately, that I am like a tree that keeps having to bear fruit but is being given nothing back; no light, no air, no water, no space!!! Nothing's being put back in. I've two 3.5-year-olds and a 9-month-old, and it is just NON-STOP. So I kind of know how you feel, though I am not as good a mother as you - can't seem to be so creative (mobiles? seriously?! How do you get the time woman?! My kids barely get bedtime stories these nights!!!) and also am not tandem-feeding!

    Niamh S.

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  9. Hi Niamh,
    Just wanted to say that you are not alone! Been feeling like that for the past few weeks and so many things to deal with re: finances, work, career (if you could call it that now!) and what to do. Alao, I haven't been able to do as much AP with my little DD as with the older two, it hasn't really been practical so of course the GUILT sets in and eats away, bit by bit. I look to your blog for inspiration...how you manage to do nails, makeup, hair...good god haven't done anything like that in years! Take some time, breathe, realise you are doing the very best for your children. Niamh, you strike me as a very strong person (you took on yer wan in RTE) Things will work out for you and your lovely little gang and I for one look forward to your future blogs on how you are getting on!!!!
    Colette xxx

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  10. As Bilbo Baggins said...I feel thin, like butter stretched over too much bread.
    I know those days so well Niamh, and when the bleak humour hits, everything is just s**t, and all problems seem insurmountable.
    My two are a similar age gap to your boys. The baby lived in the peanut shell, nursed, slept and sat in my arms all day as I met the needs of my first child, tandem nursing too for about 10 months. I can vividly remember when the baby 'woke up' at about 6 months and was no longer content to just feed and sleep... now she wanted to play too! If you were cloned, there would still not be enough of you to go around!
    Know this though, you are giving your boys, through your mothering, a gift for LIFE. The security and comfort they are receiving in these crucial early years will give them a foundation of confidence and a sense of the 'rightness' of themselves, that no-one will ever be able to take from them. They feel a need, express it to you, and trust that it will be answered, and it is answered... exactly as nature intended it to be.
    Your blog is fantastic, thank you for sharing! Hope you can get a couple of chances to recharge the batteries and feel ok again over the next few days. X

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  11. this is like my life.empathise completely.we chose this but sometimes we need to feel like we have the option to escape it for an hour?

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