Stay at Home Parent Burnout: For over four years I’ve been a stay at home mother. I love it. I do. I wouldn’t dream of missing this time with my children. Yet, I’m burnt out.
What to do?
I love my children.
I love the mini moments. The big moments.
I love how my daughter uses her drool as moisturizer, coating me in it then rubbing it around for good coverage.
I love how my son’s eyes twinkle with pride when he’s accomplished something.
I love listening to my son learn to read.
I love each new word out of my daughter’s mouth. I even love hearing her gleeful “PUPPY!” for the millionth time. In a day.
I love the perfection of watching them both play in harmony with each other – for the few minutes it lasts.
I love seeing them change from day to day and the challenge of capturing each priceless face to film.
Don’t even get me started on kisses and hugs.
I’ll turn into a mushy pile of mommy goo.
Yet in the pool of all this amazing awesomeness, there is a thought, lurking beneath the playful chaos above, slowing tainting everything around it.
I want to be free.
It contaminates every interaction with my children. With my husband.
With my friends in life.
I was always a “homebody”, preferring the comfort of my couch and family over the outside world.
Now I want to flee.
I want to walk out of the house with only a purse and not have to worry about having enough wipes or snacks for the thirty minute errand.
I want to eat without stopping every other bite to cut someone else’s food – while the food is hot.
I want to shower whenever I please.
I want to stay up late, stay out late, sleep in, watch an R rated movie during the day…
I want to escape the laundry piles of blueberry drooled clothing and the clutter that exponentially replicates on my counters.
I want the damn dishes to wash themselves.
And I want to do it all in a place where it isn’t over 100 degrees every day of the summer.
I am sick of the Groundhog Day monotony of being a Stay at Home Parent.
My house teases me mercilessly with the 1,042 things needing to done. That likely never will be.
I am burned out and feel a giant neon FAILURE light flash above my head for daring to admit it.
So I want to leave and not deal with it.
I want to be free.
I have never gone 24 hours without seeing my children. Not once.
I’ve had mini-dates with my husband.
I’ve had the rare event where I’m gone most of the day.
I use my two hours of gym child care like a life preserver and praise the days my son is gone to his Mother’s Day Out program.
Sometimes I even escape for a few hours of girl chat – but rarely before the children are in bed.
And it isn’t enough.
I’m not happy.
I want to be free.
Normally the wish is a whisper.
Lately it’s a scream.
Maybe it’s the heat.
Maybe it’s the hormonal time of the month.
Maybe it’s because somehow I didn’t shower for three days.
Maybe I’m depressed.
I don’t want to workout, something I once loved.
I want to drink my Mountain Dew, inhale a pan of brownies, and eat popcorn coated in butter.
And write. I really really want to write. All day. Without distraction or interruption. Until the thoughts and ideas brewing over the last four years spill onto the screen.
This is selfish – I know. I feel like the petulant child, stomping her foot in anger, whining to the world about a life that in reality, is pretty damn good.
I love my family. I would do anything for them.
But I’ve hit Mommy burnout – and all I want to do is be alone, or be in the company of those who know exactly how I feel.
Just for a while.
I need a break, so I can miss what I have, and truly appreciate it.
I need to recharge.
I need time to be just… me.
And finally, I’m doing something about it.
I’m going to Canada.
Everyone who knows me, is saying, “What the FRAK, Kelly?!” Right about now.
That’s right. I’m flying to Canada.
I applied for my passport on Tuesday (my other one expired long ago, and I had small children when the Canada/Mexico/Caribbean rules changed).
In seven weeks.
For five and half days.
I’m going to see friends I’ve never met in person, who somehow understand me in freakishly psychic ways.
I’m going to the mountains – I’ve never seen the Canadian Rockies.
Hell, I’ve never set foot in Canada.
I’m going to write.
I’m going to talk. And talk. And talk.
I might even cry. Hopefully from too much laughter.
I’m going to do outdoorsy things without worries of child care.
I’m going to just be me – with no demands, chores, or worries.
And while I’m sure they’ll have to shove me onto the plane when I’d rather relocate my entire family there for the summer to escape the heat, I will be so glad to have my babies back in my arms.
And smell them again.
And see their smiles.
Because I am a mommy. Not a perfect one, but a good one.
Who is just burnt out.
And desperately in need of a vacation.
So don’t be surprised if you see me counting down the seven weeks.
When my blog will temporarily become…..
……wait for it………
Dances with Canadians.
Happy Friday all.
Have you ever had at least 24 hours away from your children after taking that procreating step? Either with or without your spouse? Or had parent burn out?