Friday, December 19, 2008

Are You a Burnt Out Mom?

I have a stat counter linked to my blog and every now and then I like to log on to it and see how many people are reading here. (That lets me know there are a lot of "lurkers" out there...Some day, won't you please leave a comment just to say, "Hi"? Pleeease!)
One of the things I like to look at on the stat counter is the "Key Word Activity." This feature lets me know what words people use in a search engine which bring them to my blog.
Lots of people are searching for information on the Pass the Parcel game, and that makes me happy - knowing they'll have some fun with their kids.
I regularly see people searching for a survival kit for motherhood, and am hopeful that mine will be helpful to them.
It makes me laugh to see so many people looking for information on removing armpit stains. And I'm glad I posted about that topic.
And it simply delights my heart to see several people wondering how they can trust God. Not that I'm glad they're having difficulty trusting, but since they're questioning Him, I am glad He has led them to my blog post about the same issue and I pray He'll speak through it.
But there is one key word phrase which comes up frequently that just makes me sad.

Burnt out mom

Whenever I see those words in the Key Word Activity, I sit and wonder what the woman who typed those words is going through at the moment. Is she crying? Yelling? Slamming things? Walking around silently with a hopeless look on her face? I hope she's praying.
And then I have days like the ones I've had recently, and I think I might know very well what that woman was feeling.

Last night Brian was reading through some Proverbs with Joshua before bed. I was standing guard over Matthew to make sure he stayed on task getting ready for bed. (Watching over the shoulder of my little ADHD friend is sometimes necessary. Last night he couldn't stay focused to save his life!)
As I stood watching Matthew, frustrated with him because he wasn't listening to me, I heard Brian read a proverb about the look on your face being a reflection of your heart. And I imagined what the look on my face was at the moment - thankful I wasn't near a mirror to actually see it. I knew my expression was not one of peace and joy. I thought about that proverb, and my heart, and leaned my head against the wall as I sighed, My heart is tired, Lord.
There are so many good things going on - class parties, writing our Christmas letter, getting ready to go see family, making treats with the kids. There are lots of necessary things - appointments, correspondences, assisting with tasks. And things I fully enjoy - speaking, working out, and - yes - writing blog posts.
But last night I realized just how much all these "things" are weighing me down. As I contemplated the fact that I didn't think I could muster up a joyful look for my face, I realized, I am that burnt out mom.

God used my realization to remind me I need to get away with Him for a while. I need to be in a quiet place without appointments to keep or tasks to accomplish so I can simply receive His love. And it's a snow day, so I know it isn't going to happen today. But that's my new goal - to find a day, soon, when I can get away.
Until then, I know God will sustain me. I know He is good and He will carry me. And I long for the day when He can just hold me.

How about you? If you're feeling a little burnt out, too, may I encourage you to seek time to just be with God?

I also want to invite all my Burnt Out Mom friends to visit my website for a free copy of the Irritable Mother's Survival Kit. May God use it to help bring hope to your heart.

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luvmy4sons said...

LOL! I don't lurk! I leave messages...there's that! LOL! And here is your hug...from one occasionally burnt out mom to another. And one mom of TWO ADHD sons to another...I SO understood that "he couldn't stay focused to save his life!" LOL! Joy...that is my gift to the Lord...and that thought helps me in my moments to choose joy when the other-irritation, frustration, angst- is so much easier and quick to give in to. Blessings to you this Christmas season. And hey stop on by and leave a comment! LOL!

Jessica said...

Too funny about the looks on our faces! Once my four year old told me I looked like a monster. (yeah, I was yelling)
I didn't know whether to laugh or to cry. I wouldn't say I'm burnt out, but I keep my life very simple on purpose so that I can be as relaxed and peaceful as possible. There's still moments though, especially at bedtime, where the cool leaves.
Thanks for sharing your stories. There are tons of frustrated, burnt-out mommies (me sometimes) and it's nice to hear that God can help us and strengthen us.
So, how do you get that people counter? Is it easy to do?

Mrs. Sidney said...

As I took my shower this morning I was crying out to God about being tired myself. I am so burnt out and tired of the same stuff being a struggle. I know this is God teaching me and I know he is helping me yet I am still tired.

Thank you for sharing, I too need to find some time with him alone.

km said...

I've been feeling burnt out. And...forgetting that sometimes my kids can't help but be so needy. I feel like 'sheesh...can't you do anything without me looking over your shoulder.' Guess I just need reminding that they still NEED me. And I just NEED HIM to fill me so that I can keep giving.

ThreeGirlyGirls said...

I am a burnt out mom today Karen!! It seems like every time I turn around it's another thing to "DO" this time of year. I so need to just re-focus tonight after all these wild things have gone to sleep!! =)

Anonymous said...

I don't lurk . I enjoy your blog every day. I don't leave a message often,but i have prayed for many of your comment people through the day. God will bring someone to my heart and i try to pray for that person dduring my day.

On Purpose said...

Praying for your "getaway day" and knowing how great it will be for you to rest, and renew in Him!

Thank you for having a real blog that allows people to be real!

Love to you and prayers up to Him!

Chatty Kelly said...

I can so relate about the look. Once after fussing at my kids, I turned and caught my reflection in the mirror. I was so convicted. It wasn't pretty. Been there, done that.

Got the calendars today!!! So excited. Thanks.

Anonymous said...

EVERY single time I read your blog I always walk away uplifted & full of hope. THANK YOU!!!

Anonymous said...

I found your blog awhile back after doing a search for "burnt out mom." I bookmarked your blog and came back today. You are right on about the necessity to take time to be alone with God! Lots of things (including your blog) can be very helpful, but where its really "at" is with Him. :)

I think my problem, oh wait... problemS... with being burnt out start with me neglecting to spend time with God and also stem from a a lack of proper training. I am an adult and can't blame my parents/upbringing for my difficulties today, but I do believe it is a major factor. I lack a lot of basic skills (time management, organization, etc...) that I think she be taught too one's children. I think it is easier if you grew up learning instead of trying to work out that stuff and learn while parenting. :)

I also haven't really had a good example of what a really good parent is. But by God's grace & mercy I am learning one day at a time. Praise Him!

kreed said...

I guess I have never thought of myself as a burnt out mom, but I know that my heart is tired quite often! Thanks for the reminder to stop and seek some quiet alone time with my God - it seems crazy that I haven't taken the time to do that at this time of year. Of course, that being said, I don't know when I am going to find that time, but I know I better take it soon. I am ready for a non-tired heart!

Jeff and Valerie Carr said...

Thanks for the post!

Amanda said...

Ah yes.... burnt out mom. Thankfully...I have a great book and blog to referrence when those moments hit! (YOURS THAT IS!)

AS usual, great thoughts and guidance dear Karen!

Many blessings-

an ordinary Saffa girl said...

I have just come across your blog, love this post!

I hope you have a splendid New Year, and a happy and healthy 2009, may God bless you richly.

Love a non-lurking South African sister in Christ in London x

Anonymous said...

Is she crying? Yelling? Slamming things? Walking around silently with a hopeless look on her face? I hope she's praying. When I read that I said WHAT! When I feel overwhelmed I am very slow to take it out on my child there is no yelling. That's just apart of being a parent it's not all about how your feeling all the time. The comment made me alitte upset, it seems to suggest that parents don't feel overwhelmed on a regular basis. And when they feel overwhelmed they take it out on there kids. Its easy to feel overwhelmed in todays society mothers usally have to work and care for family. Its almost like its society's dirty secret that no one talks about. No one ever says its incredibly hard to be a parent these days and that its ok if not perfectly normal to feel overwhelmed. We know it not normal or ok to take your emotions out on your kids though.

Irritable Mother said...

Dear Anonymous - who posted on 11/28/09 - I apologize that my comment made you a little upset. I was certainly not implying that parents take their overwhelmed feelings out on their children.
I fully agree with you that it's hard to be a parent, and normal to feel overwhelmed. Whether or not anyone ever talks about it! That's why I am so thankful for the grace of God - He reminds me I don't need to be perfect, and I'm not in this alone.
Thanks for sharing your thoughts.


nichole said...

I too need a break. I hate the week before my period when motherin is the hardest for me. I just adding homeschooling to my to do list and now I just sit here and cry. Yet, I know the Lord is here at my side cheering me on.

Anonymous said...

Thank you, this page help me feel less alone.

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Anonymous said...

Hi! I'm burnt out. Feeling stuck in a cycle I can't get out of. I pray. But do I pray about this? LORD, please help me! I'm so alone.

Karen Hossink said...

anonymous - I am praying for you today. May God give you HOPE in the midst of the storm.