How Burnout Taught Me to Own My Emotional Self Care
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Burn out. We all face it at some point.
In my definition it’s when I try to do too much without giving myself enough grace. Not stopping often enough to take a break. Or even a breath.
Fortunately, I haven’t reached total burnout with motherhood since my early postpartum days when everything was completely overwhelming and I felt like I was losing my mind. Of course, half of that was probably the fact that I was getting by on only a couple hours of sleep a night.
That’s not to say there aren’t plenty of days when I feel like we are all just surviving. But at least now I know when I’m reaching my limit. So instead, I have a quick example about being burned out recently by this blog that all started with my nephew making a mean comment to me.
Because reaching your personal limit can happen in any capacity in our lives. Although parenting and job burnout seem to be the most commonly discussed. But you’ll see very quickly how this relates to you and your emotional self care. I promise.
When I started this blog a few months ago, it was a casual passion project. Each week, I picked a self care topic that was on my mind, wrote a quick an article, grabbed a royalty free image, posted, and shared on my social channels. See ya next week.
But it didn’t take me long to realize something. If I really wanted to make an impact in the world and empower mamas to prioritize their health and wellbeing, I would need to get a lot more serious than that.
So I did what any good overachiever would.
I dumped well over a thousand dollars into my project, of course. From blogging and social media trainings, to professional web development, and securing other tools I would need to be more efficient. Because now I’m not just writing quick articles I post the same day anymore. I’m doing google and pinterest keyword research to find out which topics moms are searching for, so I can create the content that best serves them.
Then I write weekly emails to stay in touch with my audience. Oh and don’t forget about posting daily on my @WhatAboutMamas Instagram, Pinterest, LinkedIN, Facebook page, Facebook group, and TikTok. Sound like a lot? It is.
In fact, I’ve been drowning for a while now. There are so many days I just want to quit because I put so much pressure on myself to make this the great resource I know it can be for current and future moms.
Trust me, the irony is not lost unto me that someone writing a self care blog is constantly struggling to find balance, prioritize her boundaries, and break her screen addiction. I also have Generalized Anxiety Disorder, so as I drink from a fire hose of new ideas, it’s easy to be overwhelmed.
This is where my 7-year old nephew being unintentionally mean comes in.
He’s like all kids in that he’s completely honest and totally carefree. In short, he DGAF and tells it exactly like it is. He’s also like all kids in that he’s totally tech savvy, curious, and super into the digital world right now.
He told me recently he wants to be a “YouTuber” when he grows up. Ha! Anyway, the kid is obsessed with these online videos of kids doing silly things. So he’s on TikTok and YouTube a lot.
When he came over for dinner the other night, he told it to me straight. He said “Tia (he’s bilingual and “tia” means aunt in Spanish), you’re doing TikTok wrong. Your videos aren’t good. You should just delete your channel.“
Of course, I blew off his feedback at first. I was like, what does this kid know? I’m the social media expert here. He doesn’t like my videos because they don’t have any coordinated dancing, nerf guns, or silly kid’s skits.
Then I realized, and it pains me to admit this, he’s totally right. My videos DO suck. They’re terrible. In fact, they’re so bad, although there are over 800 million active monthly users on the platform, my best video only got 360 views.
The reason they’re so bad is because I don’t care enough about making them good. I don’t have the patience, time, or energy to pour additional hours into capturing and editing videos and creating viral content.
Plus, I have enough on my plate already as it is. You know, with a full-time job, 7-month old, husband, family, and friends? So here’s my plan. Instead of getting swept up in this endless black hole of being all things to all people in all places, I’m going to focus on what I can do well.
I can create helpful, validating, entertaining content on my blog every week. I can show up to facilitate discussion and support the women in my Facebook Motherhood Community Group. And I can promote my articles on my social platforms.
But one thing I won’t be doing, is making a name for myself on a channel I barely know how to use, and don’t really care about.
Have you noticed how this all came around to practicing emotional self care yet?
Being an overwhelmed blogger is an exaggerated example of what we do to ourselves every day as moms. Putting pressure on ourselves to create perfect memories for every holiday and special occasion.
Being embarrassed when our house isn’t always in tip top shape, expecting relationships to stay the same forever, and demanding the impossible of our postpartum bodies.
My question for you is this: what is your TikTok? What I mean is: What’s the thing you don’t care about enough to do right? Or what’s something you could take off your plate to make room for the things that bring you joy? How can you ask for help from friends and family? How can you demand less of yourself to improve your mental health, emotional self care, and wellbeing?
And what can you delegate or outsource? Could you have a cleaner come in once a month to alleviate the mental energy and time keeping a tidy home requires? Have you ever tried a meal delivery service (My favorite is Hello Fresh)? How about grocery delivery like Shipt? Or my personal favorite: free order pickup from Target!
Can you ask your significant other to take on bath time, bed time, and daycare pick up (like we do) or other specific daily tasks? That way, you know there are certain times of the day carved out for you to do whatever YOU need or want to do!
Let me know what ideas you have to take something off your plate in the comments below.
And to my 13 follower on TikTok? Bye, bye. See ya never.
Edit: Since writing this article I have been casually dabbling with TikTok and one of my videos already went viral. I guess I showed him. HA!
Wait, one more thing!
While you’re here, feel free to check out my little self care gift shop if you want to treat yourself or pamper a friend with something special today. You deserve it, mama. Your purchases keep this blog running, support mama-owned businesses, and mean more than you will ever know.
Psst… please share this article to help another current or future mama! You can also save it for future reference on your “Motherhood Inspiration” Pinterest board.