Saturday, January 12, 2013

Unable to Recover from Burnout

Childe Hassam An Urban Fairy Tale Land Art Print Poster

Years ago, we bought a country store. My husband and I were very busy raising and homeschooling our five children.   The children and I were also active in home related industry, like sewing and writing professionally. Our children worked with us at whatever we were doing and we all thrived.

As time went on, and children started to grow up and move on to college,we were losing our helpers. . .  the work was too much. The family businesses were falling heavily on the parents.  We couldn't stop it, or get out fast enough. Burnout was inevitable.  It weakened me, both physically and emotionally. I took years to "recover." 

At times I thought I had gotten better - stronger.  But I am still frail.  I am still weary.  When I start to feel better and energetic and motivated to do some such thing or other, and I begin, I have to stop myself before I "crash" from the wounds of burnout that will never go away.

I did far too much for too long and I will never recover.

I didn't see the warning. There wasn't one.  There was only excitement and possibilities in the adventures. And while I most certainly enjoyed our adventures, I will never be the same.

Sometimes, if you do too much, you might get to a point where the harm it causes you will never heal.

Mrs. White

"If you don't have time to pray and read Scriptures, you are busier than God ever intended you to be." -  (From Godly Woman Daily)

[Edited update - After receiving many comments (that I did not publish) and emails, I need to clarify something. This post has a message. It is explaining that in this society we mothers take on far too much. This will cause us damage.  It is a warning. Nothing more. It is not about me, necessarily, even though I use some of my own experience in the post. It is not about a person's health. It is not about my health.  It is about taking on too much, which is a modern plague.  Please heed the warning if it is meant for you. Otherwise, no worries!]   

What Life is Like - Living without Credit Cards.

No More Worries - The Note in Mother's Pocket.

Great Peace - Pleasant Days by the Fire.

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Amy @ Just Being Me said...

I completely understand! I used to own a cloth diapering accessory business. I designed the products and created the company from nothing to successful. I worked night and day while my children were little. It was fun, especially having such an amazing income to contribute to the family. Once I sold the business, though, I crashed. That was 6.5 years ago and it is still hard for me to do anything and keep focused. I think it is my bodys way of not letting that happen again. <<>>

Anonymous said...

I know exactly how you feel. I had 2 jobs from home while my children were small.I had the energy , but now that I am 52, my energy is gone. I garden and can in the summer and work 12 hours a week for a small family insurance agency, but that is it. I wish I would have paced myself in my younger years, but I thought I could handle it. NOT! Thanks for the article. Becky

Anonymous said...

Oh, Mrs. White, you have my deepest sympathies and empathy. I, too, have recently realized that I am suffering from continual burnout. I had an intense period of four-to-five years of emotional battering from parents and sibling after I could no longer turn a blind eye. I have been removed from the immediacy of the situation (which was decades long) for almost three years, and most days I feel as though just slowly going through my day is a huge accomplishment. My prayers are with you.
Mrs. Skutt

Anonymous said...

I understand this too. Having 8 kids (6 boys!) in just under 12 years with very little help really wore me down. I have never been healthy and I feel like my health just keeps getting worse and worse. I just keep plugging along, but it's hard. God is truly my only strength!

Jessica said...

I am in the middle of right now. It's not pretty; and I'm just not seeing when or how I will ever be able to recover - and that sure doesn't help the situation.

Anonymous said...

I am wondering what you mean by "never recover"? I am 46 yrs w/6 kids from 15-3 yrs. I had all via c-sections and have some health & back related issues. I have for prob 10 years stayed up to just hear peace and quiet;when I was younger I could clean or grade papers but now I just sit on-line and look at home school blogs or those like yours. I do receive so much encouragement and good ideas but lack the ability to implement little if any of it. Now I am so accustomed to loss of sleep(I have messed up my body's rhythm) and have no way of knowing how if ever I can get it back.Thank you for all your candor and wisdom-you are a blessing to so many of us still in the trenches.

budgeteer said...

I am glad you have posted on this subject. I have had very low energy levels for some years. It is so easy to either take on too much physically, or too much stress and worry through trying to do things in one's own strength. I have found a slower natural pace nowadays, and I think things would have been different if I had paced myself back then - the world tells everyone that we must go at double speed!

JMD said...

I applaud someone having the courage to say this. I am now in my 60's and still worn out from doing so much for so long. I still do a lot but not at the crazy pace I once did. Thankfully.

Betty said...

I too have this trouble. It has plagued me for many years now.

Lately, I have been reading about vitamin D. I had my levels checked
and, they were low. I have since been taking a large dose of vitamin D. This has helped me.

Deanna said...

Dearest Mrs. White,
God bless you.

I understand the wear and tear on my emotional health and physical. I have such faith that we will regain our health as we wait upon the Lord to renew us.

d on the prairie

Anonymous said...

i think you are brave to share many of the things you share on this blog . i am always encouraged by your posts, i'm glad you chose not to respond to negative comments- god bless a friendly note from NC

Leanne said...

Thank you for this post (and your blog). I pushed myself for too long to just keep taking it in a bad situation, which ended up breaking me down physically, and now I wonder if I will ever really recover. Your blog is one of the places where I get encouragement for just where I am now, rather than being told to "just try harder".

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