Written by: Phindile Le Bris Sithole-Spong
As a mom to a 9 month old, I often find myself making excuses for taking a break. The reality is as a working momma it often feels like there is not enough time to do it all. Especially as my daughter is in the clingy phase where she cries when ever I leave the room which makes me feel even guiltier for either working, or taking some much needed me time. With the holidays coming to an end I find myself not as rested as I had hoped I would be. And craving some much needed ME time. Truth be told, I need a bit more than a few hours but I will take any minute or hour I can get at this point.
Whilst talking to a friend who is also a new mom, it became clear that what I was experiencing was not unique to me. Nor was it something uncommon. As mothers and even parents, we want to do all that we can to make our children happy. Which can often mean putting ourselves last. Well no more.
After realizing that I am in-fact completely burnt out and exhausted. I have decided to take some much needed me time this coming week with a full spa day. Whilst this is in no way a quick fix to my burn out problem, it is a stepping stone. One that I plan to use as a guide and reminder to take care of myself. Because whilst I may want to always be hands on and there for my daughter. The best and most effective way to do so, is to ensure I am taking care of myself first.
Here are some ways I am planning on dealing with burnout in the new year;
- Have a monthly me day where I assign all responsibility to my partner so I can sleep, go to the spa, or just netflix and chill. I would also give my partner a day to do what he wants knowing I am taking care of our daughter.
- Work in a separate room to reduce mom guilt: As a mom working from home, it can be difficult to hear my little one cry. Which is why I am planning on being as far away from my daughter when I need to work or rest and playing some music. Knowing full well that she is safe and cared for whilst I work and take care of myself.
- After a day of working and phone calls, it can be hard to switch off. But putting my phone down and focusing on my daughter is one way to ensure that when we are together she has my attention. This also reduces the anxiety I feel when I cannot be around her as I know I have given her all I can.
- Remind myself that being a good parent also includes being a working parent. Whilst being a stay at home mom is ideal for some. For me, working is one way I destress and stay creative. Which is important in order for me to feel fulfilled. And when I feel fulfilled I am able to give more of myself.