Burnt Out

{Mama’s Musings; a Monday tradition. Or at least, trying to be a tradition}


I am feeling very burnt out these days. And I am not sure why exactly. It’s easy to blame the baby and say I am just exhausted (which I am), but I think it’s more than that. I feel like I am running on empty and not just in the sleep sense. I have not done anything for myself in almost 9 months. Well, I take that back. I have gone to the bookstore by myself, for an hour. Once. I have gone to the movies, for two hours. Once. I have had a couple of pedicures, but have taken Penelope with me. I work out twice a week, but it’s with Penelope. I have gotten several massages, and they have gotten the job done of taking the physical pain away in my neck and back, but they are not the same anymore- in a relaxing way. During the massage, I am still in the house with Penelope and can hear her if she is fussing while Peter is taking care of her, so the entire time, I am itching to get off the table and tend to her. And it’s not that I want to be away from her either, because when I have gone to the bookstore or movies, thinking that is what I needed, was to just get away for a bit. I ache to be back with her. I miss her ridiculously.

Everything I do is for someone else. Whether I am cooking or cleaning or caring for Penelope. My life right now is all about service to others. Don’t get me wrong, I love it, but I feel like its been way too long since I have had anyone take care of me. Peter, my husband, helps out at the house a lot, but still something feels not quite right. I am not sure what I am even craving. I thought I really just wanted to go see a movie but when I did that, it didn’t help. In fact, it stressed me out more than not seeing one. For one reason, like I mentioned already, I miss Penelope too much to be gone for several hours and two the amount of effort it took to coordinate me going to see a movie, in between nursing to sleep and pumping times, at time that Peter was available to watch Penelope, that my friends were both available to go, and find a time a stinkin’ movie was playing that fit in that schedule, was insane. I would rather just not see a dang movie for all that effort.

Maybe its a yoga class I need? I haven’t’ been to a class since I was pregnant. I practice at home, in spurts, again mostly with Penelope, but its. not. the. same. Maybe its going to church? I have only been to Mass a couple of times this year. Ok, two times. And one was Penelope’s Baptism, and there wasn’t even Mass at that! The other, you guessed it, was Easter. My Priest recently sent us a letter, asking if there was a health problem he should know about to add to his prayers (a.k.a. why the heck are you not in church?) Does having a baby count as a health problem?

I remember a conversation I had with a mentor of mine, a few years ago, when I was so burnt out from running the yoga studio. She gave me a breathing meditation, in which on each exhalation I was to send my breath back to myself and give myself some energy and love. Maybe I will give that a try.

I don’t want to alarm anyone, I am not on the brink of a meltdown or anything, its just this little itch that something is missing and I can’t quite put my finger on it!

What do you think? What is something you do to restore your soul?

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  • HappyLittleMonkey
    July 27, 2010 at 3:48 AM

    So well said. If you figure it out, please do share. The only thing I have come up with is that beings Mom is hard. We create some fairytale images of what it will be (whether we like it or not) and then it's a lot of dirty diapers and laundry, inbetween raising a person who needs us all the time! You aren't the only one who feels this way

  • Anonymous
    July 27, 2010 at 11:48 AM

    You need a good full day away from the house. Leave as early as you can and come back when P is down for the night. You need to be gone long enough to go through all of the stages separation from the house. I didn't realize this until it happened to me on one of my "days off". I left the house before the kids got up and drove to Jacksonville for the day. I love drooling over the stores in Town Center. I caught myself calling Eric every once in awhile to see how things were going and he finally told me to stop calling. He had everything under control. As the day went on I didn't let myself think about the house. On my drive home that evening I was singing along to the radio and realized my mind was perfectly quiet. I didn't have the thoughts of the house and the kids buzzing in the background like I always have. I hadn't felt that in over 2 years. I cried for a good 15 minutes when I realized what happened. Of course I called Eric and he was thrilled that I had finally found what I needed. Now when I leave the kids for a couple of hours or for the day, I know they will be fine and I can put my mind to rest for a little bit.

  • Kbroadway
    July 27, 2010 at 12:26 PM

    I totally get this – and I had a second child. The saying that keeps me going is "this to shall pass" and it truly does – before you know it P will 3 and you won't remember where the time went. When I find myself getting frustrated about my choice to practice attachment parenting I see in Johnna all that I have accomplished – she is confident, sweet, loving, and mostly well behaved. I know it's because I invested all the time up front and I know Mason will be the same. Hang in there.

  • Maureen
    July 28, 2010 at 5:52 PM

    I agree with what everyone has said… Claire is 4 1/2 and Nora almost 2 1/2 and I feel burned out as ever…. Frustrated and afraid MY dreams won't come true… Being a mom is a hard realization to face at times… While you think you need "me" time, it isn't "me" time anymore, because of constant worry of your child(ren). I bet the stress of moving and selling your home is not helping. <3 you

  • Kristy
    July 28, 2010 at 7:41 PM

    I am in the same same boat as you. We’ve been feeling the toll of not having extended family in town where the “I’ll watch yours if you watch mine” rule is in effect. I need to get out but feel guilty for leaving Lottie with my husband for a couple hours after he has worked an 11 hour day. And, until she can fall asleep without me, girls night out is a timed, on edge activity. I recently stressed myself out to the point of vibration. When I did get a chance to “run away” for an hour I put all the windows down in my car, sunroof too, blasted music and found myself sobbing uncontrollably (in a good way, I think).

    I too am in search of an outlet & alone time. A regularly scheduled relaxing yoga group, dance class, sewing technique instruction, painting class or knit night? Richard and I also discussed a possible evening daddy play group where the moms can go do something together or alone.

  • Stephanie
    July 29, 2010 at 2:57 AM

    Thank you to everyone who shared. I so appreciate your honesty and openness. I just want to smooch all your faces and give you a kiss!
    @Carrie…I think that is part of it for sure, I thought I had fully realized and accepted that my old life is dead, but I guess some parts are more like a slow death and I am still realizing how my life will never be the same. Part of the feeling, is that I sort of don't feel normal anymore. I keep thinking that if I go get a pedicure, or do something I used to do in my old life I will feel "normal" again, and then I walk out and still don't feel normal. I think I am still getting used to my mama shoes and what my new normal is.

    @Kristy…I think that is part of it too. My neighbor has a daughter my age and she is able to drop her kids off all the time to get a break. It is much harder when you have no one but your husband for help, and like you said, sometimes, they aint much help! And Penelope is the same way, only knows how to go to sleep with Mama to makes escaping exactly how you describe, timed and on edge. I love the idea of a daddy play group!

  • HappyLittleMonkey
    July 29, 2010 at 6:29 PM

    I have thought about this post so many times since reading it, trying to determine when I have been able to find some "peace" and they have been when I couldn't do other things. For example, we took a trip to Destin, the room had a big, deep bath tub, and when the kids took a nap I got a magazine (not Parents!) and filled the tub with the hottest water I could and just sat there. I flipped through the whole magazine and the water was still warm, so I stayed. Afterall, what else was I going to do? We were in a hotel so- no laundry, no dishes, no vacuuming, and I hate to waste hot water!

    The "problem" is that when the pedicure is done, the amazing responsibility of another person is still there…add to that, if you are paying a babysitter, you are watching the meter so you never fully relax.

  • Carolyn
    July 29, 2010 at 6:45 PM

    Thank you for this post. I identified with it immensely. I practiced yoga (Journeys in Yoga, Tallahassee) until I was 7.5 or so months pregnant. I now have a 9m old and between nursing and working full time, I haven't been back since then. Any more time away just means one more time I have to pump, and I don't look forward to that . . . not to mention, that's MORE TIME AWAY, bad in it's own right.

    So if you find the secret . . . do share.

    In the meantime, snuggles to Baby Penelope.

  • Anonymous
    August 3, 2010 at 9:21 PM

    This is EXACTLY how I have been feeling taking care of my 3 month old. I love the little guy, but I know that to be the best mom I can also means taking care of myself. How do I do that though? If you figure it out first- let us all know!

  • Stephanie
    August 3, 2010 at 11:50 PM

    So I went to my first yoga class since I was pregnant, this past Sunday, and it was a big help! It was relaxing and restorative and time alone all rolled into one. I am going to try and go on a weekly basis and see how I feel.

  • Sharon (mama to Adam)
    May 18, 2011 at 5:44 PM

    Thank you for being so honest and sharing something that I can't put my finger on either. Weird all the feelings that are attached to this topic.