That warty, malicious witch... burnout

“The best things happen at the exit ramp of your comfort zone.”

- Karen Salmansohn

Who’s fed up? Put your hand right up in the air.

Yep, I see you.

You’re done. Cooked. Fried.

Funny how the words that best describe your current state of

I-have-had-enoughness all relate to cooking. Which I would wager you have been doing far too much of.

When did you last step away from the to-do list?

When did you last say: “Everyone can have whatever they like for dinner tonight – popcorn, icecream, LCM bars – because I’m not cooking. Neither am I picking up socks or signing the school excursion form. Not today, not tonight.”

It can be devilishly hard to step off the treadmill and just watch ABC Kids – with your cherubs. Or maybe without them. There are so many errands and tasks calling to you.

But stepping away from the routine could be exactly what your body and mind and soul need.

The thing is: focusing always on the tasks and errands becomes a habit. Telling yourself that you have no time to sit and play with your child becomes a ‘fact’ when really

it’s a choice.

No ‘down time’ leads to burnout where you feel you have no control, no say in what you do and no fulfillment.

Burnout is a warty, malicious witch that creeps up behind you. She leaves you feeling unmotivated, fed up and hopeless.

What we know about burnout in the workplace is that the risk factors include:

- Identifying so strongly with your job that you lack balance between your work life and personal life;

- Having a high workload, including overtime work

- Trying to be everything to everyone

- Feeling that you have little or no control over your work

- The work being monotonous

These are factors for workers in paid jobs. But they are eerily similar to much of the parenting role.

Don’t you think?

Witches, like bullies, lose power when faced head on. And that’s the remedy for burnout. Naming it, facing it and making a plan to whittle it down to size. You will need to get your family involved. And you will need to put a muzzle on your perfectionism.

Start with these:

- Really examine your thoughts, expectations and beliefs about how clean the house needs to be and what standards you want to keep while your children are young.

- Talk it through with your partner. Small, frequent talks rather than a long blether-session might be easier. Especially if other people in your family have been a bit frustrated with your high standards and intense busyness to keep everything under control. Your partner for example might have a few harsh words to say and you may need to just listen and nod. Then resolve to make some changes.

- Delegate some tasks. Even a 2 year old can put away their toys. Kids of all ages and stages even sometimes those with special needs can do something to help the household. It helps with their emotional, social and physical development.

If you would like to talk over these ideas some more and better understand why it’s so hard for you to take that exit ramp away from your comfort zone and towards better emotional health – just call me.

I talk to mums about these types of issues all the time.

We often have a few laughs and come up with a plan that sees you living and relishing your family life and not droning on about the shopping list or the lost library bag.

By phone for an old fashioned chat: 0492 918 646

By email at

You could keep it anonymous and visit the website

Or you could check out my facebook group Working Parent Wins.

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